From Zak M. Salih Email him at zak[AT]borderstan.com.
Chances are if you’re a reader, the holidays have made you the proud owner of a bookstore gift card or excess gift cash just waiting to be spent on books. And you could just go out now and buy whatever’s currently on the shelves. Or you could take a look at some of the promising books slated for publication in the coming months.
There’s a lot, for sure. But these particular selections promise to be edgy, engaging, offbeat, insightful…you get the point. One unique and relatively short read for each month. That should be enough to make a few more months of cold seem like not such a bad idea at all.
by George Saunders (out now):
There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love David Foster Wallace and those who don’t. Readers who belong to the former camp have probably heard of George Saunders, whose stories read like a calmer version of Wallace’s. This latest collection from Saunders features stories on everything from bizarre pharmacological experiments and child abduction to post-war trauma and the final moments of a cancer patient. Uplifting stuff, no doubt. But with Saunders at the wheel, they’re sure to make for fascinating journeys.
by Karen Russell (February 12):
Fresh off her debut novel, Swamplandia! (one of three finalists for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize that failed to crown a winner), Karen Russell returns with her second collection of humid southern gothic tales that combine great storytelling with imaginative new takes on night-bumping things. Human silkworms, savaged scarecrows, magical tattoos, lovey-dovey bloodsuckers in the titular story’s lemon grove; Halloween’s coming pretty early this year.
by Anne Carson (March 5):
If you haven’t read Autobiography of Red, the poet Anne Carson’s intriguing mythological reimagining of the classical Greek monster, Geryon (who in Carson’s modernization falls in tempestuous love with that other Greek hero, Hercules), then do it. It’s a fascinating work of poetry and a necessary read for this sequel work — an experimental piece that continues Geryon’s adventures.