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Literary Fiction

Find recent novels and story collections in our selection of literary fiction. Embrace contemporary topics and timeless themes with different narrative styles.

Pinching Zwieback

- Mitch Toews

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These loosely linked stories read like a novel. Lives are given form by the past but undergo change as the world reshapes beliefs and circumstances. Focusing on recurrent, related characters with a common reality: small town Mennonite life, this powerful collection connects us to the author's own background and experiences.

Let Us Descend

- Jesmyn Ward

Hardcover $32.00
Reader Reward Price: $28.80

OPRAH'S BOOK CLUB PICK o Instant New York Times Bestseller o Named one of the best books of 2023 by The Washington Post, Vanity Fair, The Boston Globe, Time, The New Yorker, and more.

"Nothing short of epic, magical, and intensely moving." --Vogue o "A novel of triumph." --The Washington Post o "Harrowing, immersive, and other-worldly." --People

From "one of America's finest living writers" (San Francisco Chronicle) and "heir apparent to Toni Morrison" (LitHub)--comes a haunting masterpiece about an enslaved girl in the years before the Civil War that's destined to become a classic.

Let Us Descend describes a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation. A journey that is as beautifully rendered as it is heart wrenching, the novel is "[t]he literary equivalent of an open wound from which poetry pours" (NPR).

Annis, sold south by the white enslaver who fathered her, is the reader's guide. As she struggles through the miles-long march, Annis turns inward, seeking comfort from memories of her mother and stories of her African warrior grandmother. Throughout, she opens herself to a world beyond this world, one teeming with spirits: of earth and water, of myth and history; spirits who nurture and give, and those who manipulate and take. While Annis leads readers through the descent, hers is ultimately a story of rebirth and reclamation.

From one of the most singularly brilliant and beloved writers of her generation, this "[s]earing and lyrical...raw, transcendent, and ultimately hopeful" (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) novel inscribes Black American grief and joy into the very land--the rich but unforgiving forests, swamps, and rivers of the American South. Let Us Descend is Jesmyn Ward's most magnificent novel yet.

Signal Fires

- Dani Shapiro

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On a summer night in 1985, three teenagers have been drinking. One of them gets behind the wheel of a car, and, in an instant, everything changes.

A TIME Best Fiction Book of the Year o A Washington Post Notable Work of Fiction o A Real Simple Best Book of the Year


Signal Fires opens on a summer night in 1985. Three teenagers have been drinking. One of them gets behind the wheel of a car, and, in an instant, everything on Division Street changes. Each of their lives, and that of Ben Wilf, a young doctor who arrives on the scene, is shattered. For the Wilf family, the circumstances of that fatal accident will become the deepest kind of secret, one so dangerous it can never be spoken.

On Division Street, time has moved on. When the Shenkmans arrive--a young couple expecting a baby boy--it is as if the accident never happened. But when Waldo, the Shenkmans' brilliant, lonely son who marvels at the beauty of the world and has a native ability to find connections in everything, befriends Dr. Wilf, now retired and struggling with his wife's decline, past events come hurtling back in ways no one could ever have foreseen.

In Dani Shapiro's first work of fiction in fifteen years, she returns to the form that launched her career, with a riveting, deeply felt novel that examines the ties that bind families together--and the secrets that can break them apart. Signal Fires is a work of haunting beauty by a masterly storyteller.

Island Falls

- Owen Toews

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A student becomes intrigued by a mysterious friend whose intimate relationship with the history of the mill town where he grew up informs his politics and enigmatic writing. With curiosity that often breaches the private boundaries of friendship, the student's warm and comedic accounts repeatedly shift to a narrative space where the harsh conditions, operations, and confines of the residents of the mill town are explored in clinical detail.

The House of Doors

- Tan Twan Eng

Hardcover $38.99
Reader Reward Price: $35.09

LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE WALTER SCOTT PRIZE FOR HISTORICAL FICTION
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORKER, NPR, SLATE, THE FINANCIAL TIMES, AND A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE WORK
A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE

From the bestselling author
of The Garden of Evening Mists, a spellbinding novel about love and betrayal, colonialism and revolution, storytelling and redemption.

The year is 1921. Lesley Hamlyn and her husband, Robert, a lawyer and war veteran, are living at Cassowary House on the Straits Settlement of Penang. When "Willie" Somerset Maugham, a famed writer and old friend of Robert's, arrives for an extended visit with his secretary Gerald, the pair threatens a rift that could alter more lives than one.

Maugham, one of the great novelists of his day, is beleaguered: Having long hidden his homosexuality, his unhappy and expensive marriage of convenience becomes unbearable after he loses his savings-and the freedom to travel with Gerald. His career deflating, his health failing, Maugham arrives at Cassowary House in desperate need of a subject for his next book. Lesley, too, is enduring a marriage more duplicitous than it first appears. Maugham suspects an affair, and, learning of Lesley's past connection to the Chinese revolutionary, Dr. Sun Yat Sen, decides to probe deeper. But as their friendship grows and Lesley confides in him about life in the Straits, Maugham discovers a far more surprising tale than he imagined, one that involves not only war and scandal but the trial of an Englishwoman charged with murder. It is, to Maugham, a story worthy of fiction.

A mesmerizingly beautiful novel based on real events, The House of Doors traces the fault lines of race, gender, sexuality, and power under empire, and dives deep into the complicated nature of love and friendship in its shadow.

Shield Maiden

- Sharon Emmerichs

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Both epic and intimate, Sharon Emmerichs's extraordinary debut novel reimagines Beowulf from the perspective of a young woman reclaiming her power. 
 
All her life, Fryda has longed to be a shield maiden, an honor reserved for Geatland's mightiest warriors. When a childhood accident leaves her tragically injured and unfit for the battlefield, her dreams are dashed--or so she thinks. But a strange, unfathomable power is awakening within her, a power that will soon be put to the test.
 
For when foreign lords and chieftains descend upon Fryda's home to celebrate her uncle King Beowulf's fifty-year reign, she realizes not all their guests come with good intentions. Treachery is afoot, and Fryda must gather her courage to fight for her people...as a queen should--as a shield maiden would--and as only Fryda can.
 
But as Fryda's power grows stronger, something ancient hears its call. For buried deep in her gilded lair, a dragon awakens...and Fryda must prove herself once and for all.

Praise for Shield Maiden:

"A heroine with a generous spirit, an unshakable will, and a dragon's fury." --H. M. Long, author of Hall of Smoke 

"Casts a superb spell. Shimmering with detail, with a propulsive plot to match" --D. K. Fields, author of the Tales of Fenest trilogy 

Death Valley

- Melissa Broder

Hardcover $34.00
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Named a Best Book of 2023 by The New York Times ("incandescent...hilarious...a triumph"), Oprah Daily ("surreal, absurd, lucid, and wise"), Vanity Fair ("Broder [is] a genius and a sorceress"), and more!

From the visionary author of Milk Fed and The Pisces, a darkly funny novel about grief and a "magical tale of survival" (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

In Melissa Broder's astonishingly profound new novel, a woman arrives alone at a Best Western seeking respite from an emptiness that plagues her. She has fled to the California high desert to escape a cloud of sorrow--for both her father in the ICU and a husband whose illness is worsening. What the motel provides, however, is not peace but a path discovered on a nearby hike.

Out along the sun-scorched trail, the narrator encounters a towering cactus whose size and shape mean it should not exist in California. Yet the cactus is there, with a gash through its side that beckons like a familiar door. So she enters it. What awaits her inside this mystical succulent sets her on a journey at once desolate and rich, hilarious, and poignant.

Death Valley is Melissa Broder at her most imaginative, most universal, and finest, and is "a journey unlike any you've read before" (Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black).

Moon of the Turning Leaves

- Waubgeshig Rice

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#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER

Twelve years after the lights go out . . .
An epic journey to a forgotten homeland

The hotly anticipated sequel to the bestselling novel Moon of the Crusted Snow.


In the years since a mysterious cataclysm caused a permanent blackout that toppled infrastructure and thrust the world into anarchy, Evan Whitesky has led his community in remote northern Canada off the rez and into the bush, where they've been rekindling their Anishinaabe traditions, isolated from the outside world. As new generations are born, and others come of age in a world after everything, Evan's people are stronger than ever. But resources around their new settlement are drying up, and elders warn that they cannot stay indefinitely.
    Evan and his teenaged daughter, Nangohns, are chosen to lead a scouting party on a months-long trip down to their traditional home on the shores of Lake Huron--to seek new beginnings, and discover what kind of life--and what danger--still exists in the lands to the south.

Waubgeshig Rice's exhilarating return to the world first explored in Moon of the Crusted Snow is a brooding story of survival, resilience, Indigenous identity, and rebirth.

The Future

- Naomi Alderman

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From the award-winning, bestselling author of The Power comes a white-knuckle tour de force and dazzling exploration of the world we have made and where we are going

The Future--as the richest people on the planet have discovered--is where the money is.

The Future is a few billionaires leading the world to destruction while safeguarding their own survival with secret lavish bunkers.

The Future is private weather, technological prophecy and highly deniable weapons.

The Future is a handful of friends--the daughter of a cult leader, a non-binary hacker, an ousted Silicon Valley visionary, the concerned wife of a dangerous CEO and an Internet-famous survivalist--hatching a daring plan. It could be the greatest heist ever. Or the cataclysmic end of civilization. 

The Future is what you see if you don't look behind you.

The Future is the only reason to do anything, the only object of desire. 

The Future is here. 

The Vulnerables

- Sigrid Nunez

Hardcover $37.99
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER 

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR, HARPER'S BAZAAR, VOGUE AND KIRKUS REVIEWS

The New York Times-bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of The Friend and What Are You Going Through brings her singular voice to a story about modern life and connection

"I am committed, until one of us dies, to Nunez's novels. I find them ideal. They are short, wise, provocative, funny -- good and strong company." --Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"With the intimacy and humor of a great conversation, this novel makes you feel smarter and more alive." --People Magazine

"An ode to our basic need to connect with other beings, be they human or animal, even in a global crisis that told us to stay apart." --NPR


Elegy plus comedy is the only way to express how we live in the world today, says a character in Sigrid Nunez's ninth novel. The Vulnerables offers a meditation on our contemporary era, as a solitary female narrator asks what it means to be alive at this complex moment in history and considers how our present reality affects the way a person looks back on her past.

Humor, to be sure, is a priceless refuge. Equally vital is connection with others, who here include an adrift member of Gen Z and a spirited parrot named Eureka. The Vulnerables reveals what happens when strangers are willing to open their hearts to each other and how far even small acts of caring can go to ease another's distress. A search for understanding about some of the most critical matters of our time, Nunez's new novel is also an inquiry into the nature and purpose of writing itself.

The Vaster Wilds

- Lauren Groff

Hardcover $37.99
Reader Reward Price: $34.19

AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF 2023


NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY NPR, TIME, ESQUIRE, VOGUE, LA TIMES, SLATE, HARPER'S BAZAAR and others

"Part historical, part horror, part breathless thriller, part wilderness survival tale, The Vaster Wilds is a story about the lengths to which we will go to stay alive."--NPR staff pick

"Lauren Groff just reinvented the adventure novel."--Los Angeles Times

"Glorious...surroundings come alive in prose that lives and breathes upon the page." --Boston Globe


A taut and electrifying novel from celebrated bestselling author Lauren Groff, about one spirited girl alone in the wilderness, trying to survive

A servant girl escapes from a colonial settlement in the wilderness. She carries nothing with her but her wits, a few possessions, and the spark of god that burns hot within her. What she finds in this terra incognita is beyond the limits of her imagination and will bend her belief in everything that her own civilization has taught her.

Lauren Groff's new novel is at once a thrilling adventure story and a penetrating fable about trying to find a new way of living in a world succumbing to the churn of colonialism. The Vaster Wilds is a work of raw and prophetic power that tells the story of America in miniature, through one girl at a hinge point in history, to ask how--and if--we can adapt quickly enough to save ourselves.

Rouge

- Mona Awad

Hardcover $34.00
Reader Reward Price: $30.60

*INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER*
*USA TODAY BESTSELLER*
A New York Times Editor's Choice

From the critically acclaimed author of Bunny comes a "Grimm Brothers fairy tale for the modern age" (Good Housekeeping) and "darkly funny horror novel" (NYLON) about a lonely young woman who's drawn to a cult-like spa in the wake of her mother's mysterious death. "Surreal, scary and deeply moving--like all the best fairytales" (People).

A Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by Time, Vogue, The Guardian, Goodreads, Bustle, The Millions, LitHub, Good Housekeeping, PureWow, Our Culture Mag, and more!


For as long as she can remember, Belle has been insidiously obsessed with her skin and skincare videos. When her estranged mother Noelle mysteriously dies, Belle finds herself back in Southern California, dealing with her mother's considerable debts and grappling with lingering questions about her death. The stakes escalate when a strange woman in red appears at the funeral, offering a tantalizing clue about her mother's demise, followed by a cryptic video about a transformative spa experience. With the help of a pair of red shoes, Belle is lured into the barbed embrace of La Maison de Méduse, the same lavish, culty spa to which her mother was devoted. There, Belle discovers the frightening secret behind her (and her mother's) obsession with the mirror--and the great shimmering depths (and demons) that lurk on the other side of the glass.

Snow White meets Eyes Wide Shut in this surreal descent into the dark side of beauty, envy, grief, and the complicated love between mothers and daughters. With black humor and seductive horror, Rouge explores the cult-like nature of the beauty industry--as well as the danger of internalizing its pitiless gaze. Brimming with California sunshine and blood-red rose petals, Rouge holds up a warped mirror to our relationship with mortality, our collective fixation with the surface, and the wondrous, deep longing that might lie beneath.

Normal Rules Don't Apply

- Kate Atkinson

Hardcover $34.95
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A dazzling collection of eleven interconnected stories from the bestselling, award-winning author of Shrines of Gaiety and Life After Life, which offer the gimlet eye and delightful social critique that have made Atkinson one of the most lauded writers of our time.

Nothing is quite as it seems in this collection of eleven dazzling stories. We meet a queen who makes a bargain she cannot keep; a secretary who watches over the life she has just left; a man who bets on a horse that may--or may not--have spoken to him. Everything that readers love about the novels of Kate Atkinson is here: the inventiveness, the verbal felicity, the sharp observations on human nature and the deeply satisfying emotional wallop. A startling and funny feast for the imagination, these stories conjure a multiverse of subtly connected worlds while illuminating the webs of chance and connection among us all.

My Work

- Olga Ravn, Jennifer Russell, Sophia Hersi Smith

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From the acclaimed author of the International Booker Prize-shortlisted literary sensation, The Employees, comes a radical, funny, and mercilessly honest novel about motherhood.

Anna is utterly lost. Still in shock after the birth of her son, she moves to snowbound Stockholm with her newborn and boyfriend, where a chasm soon opens between the couple. Lonely and isolated, Anna reads too many internet articles and shops for clothes she cannot afford. To avoid sinking deeper into her depression, she must read and write herself back into her proper place in the world.

My Work is a fervent, intimate, and compulsive examination of the relationship between motherhood, writing, and everyday life. In a mesmerizing, propulsive blend of prose, poetry, journal entries, and letters, Olga Ravn probes the pain, postpartum depression, housework, shopping, mundanity, and anxiety of motherhood, all the while celebrating the unbounded that comes from the love in a parent and child relationship-and rediscovering oneself through art.

Tremor

- Teju Cole

Hardcover $37.99
Reader Reward Price: $34.19

An "extraordinary, ambitious" (The Times UK) novel that masterfully explores what constitutes a meaningful life in a violent world--from the award-winning author of Open City

New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice o "Cole's mind is so agile that it's easy to follow him anywhere."--The New Yorker


WINNER OF THE ANISFIELD-WOLF BOOK AWARD o FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD o A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: Time, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Vulture, Chicago Public Library, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal


Life is hopeless but it is not serious. We have to have danced while we could and, later, to have danced again in the telling.

A weekend spent antiquing is shadowed by the colonial atrocities that occurred on that land. A walk at dusk is interrupted by casual racism. A loving marriage is riven by mysterious tensions. And a remarkable cascade of voices speaks out from a pulsing metropolis.

We're invited to experience these events and others through the eyes and ears of Tunde, a West African man working as a teacher of photography on a renowned New England campus. He is a reader, a listener, a traveler, drawn to many different kinds of stories: stories from history and epic; stories of friends, family, and strangers; stories found in books and films. Together these stories make up his days. In aggregate these days comprise a life.

Tremor is a startling work of realism and invention that engages brilliantly with literature, music, race, and history as it examines the passage of time and how we mark it. It is a reckoning with human survival amidst "history's own brutality, which refuses symmetries and seldom consoles," but it is also a testament to the possibility of joy. As he did in his magnificent debut Open City, Teju Cole once again offers narration with all its senses alert, a surprising and deeply essential work from a beacon of contemporary literature.

This is a selection of our current Literary Fiction titles. To find other titles or authors, or just to browse, please use the search box.

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