38 Books We Can’t Wait to Read: March 2024

Cover of 38 Books We Can’t Wait to Read: March 2024



Fruit of the Dead by Rachel Lyon – March 5 (Scribner Book Company)

“Rachel Lyon’s genius, alluring novel is a mythic and modern love story: between mother and daughter, between a young woman and the danger she needs to experience, between her darkest and brightest selves. I read with my heart in my throat and my breath held, a total glutton for its sentences and Cory’s propulsive, sparkling, and often terrifying journey.” –Danielle Lazarin, author of Back Talk

Thirst by Marina Yuszczuk and translated by Heather Cleary – March 5 (Dutton)

Thirst cleverly pulls you in with its melancholy prose and its setting and its haunting mood and before you know it you’ve read the whole thing while chewing on your hair. An evocative tale that both recalls and subverts the classic gothic vampire novel. What a mesmerizing read.” –Virginia Feito, author of Mrs. March

The Extinction of Irena Rey by Jennifer Croft – March 5 (Bloomsbury Publishing)

“In The Extinction of Irena Rey, Jennifer Croft mines the complexity of translation, adoration, and symbiosis. At once a meditation on the networks required to bring literature to worldwide readers and a page-turner about the inevitable fallibilities of those systems, Extinction’s push and pull is both thought-provoking and thrilling. I was rapt.” –Emily Nemens, author of THE CACTUS LEAGUE

The Great Divide by Cristina Henriquez – March 5 (Ecco Press)

“Against the backdrop of the construction of the Panama Canal, Cristina Henriquez’s commanding and fearless prose conducts us through the very depth of the Panamanian jungle, where young Ada and Omar fight bravely– for themselves, their families and their communities survival– in a rapidly changing world. Violent empire and volatile sickness combine for harrowing effect in this vivid novel that interrogates all that is sacrificed in the name of progress. By turns macabre and also truly joyful, The Great Divide left me with a powerful ache for forgotten histories that will not soon leave me.” — Xochitl Gonzalez, author of Olga Dies Dreaming

But the Girl by Jessica Zhan Mei Yu – March 5 (Unnamed Press)

Girl was born on the very day her parents and grandmother immigrated from Malaysia to Australia. The story goes that her mother held on tight to her pelvic muscles in an effort to gift her the privilege of an Australian passport. But it’s hard to be the embodiment of all your family’s hopes and dreams, especially in a country that’s hostile to your very existence. When Girl receives a scholarship to travel to the UK, she is finally free for the first time. In London and then Scotland she is meant to be working on a PhD on Sylvia Plath and writing a postcolonial novel. But Girl can’t stop thinking about her upbringing and the stories of the people who raised her. How can she reconcile their expectations with her reality? Did Sylvia Plath have this problem? What even is a ‘postcolonial novel’? And what if the story of becoming yourself is not about carving out a new identity, but learning to understand the people who made you who you are?

Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez – March 5 (Flatiron Books)

“Funny, piercing, and full of moxie, Anita de Monte Laughs Last is unsparing in its assessment of what goes on behind the castle walls, the price people pay to be accepted into those hallowed halls, and what it takes to liberate oneself from the dangers that lurk within. Really, what Xochitl Gonzalez has written is an affirmation for anyone who’s ever had to ‘work twice as hard to get half as much.’ Anita de Monte Laughs Last is rollicking, melodic, tender, and true. And oh so very wise.” –Robert Jones, Jr., author of The Prophets, a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction

My Heavenly Favorite by Lucas Rijneveld – March 5 (Graywolf Press)

A confession, a lament, a mad gush of grief and obsession, My Heavenly Favorite is the remarkable and chilling successor to Lucas Rijneveld’s international sensation, The Discomfort of Evening. It tells the story of a veterinarian who visits a farm in the Dutch countryside where he becomes enraptured by his “Favorite”–the farmer’s daughter. She hovers on the precipice of adolescence, and longs to have a boy’s body. The veterinarian seems to be a tantalizing possible path out from the constrictions of her conservative rural life. An unflinching depiction of abjection and a pointed excavation of taboos and social norms, My Heavenly Favorite establishes Rijneveld as one of the most daring and brilliant writers on the world stage.

Ellipses by Vanessa Lawrence – March 5 (Dutton)

“An unflinchingly honest debut about the dizzying stakes of finding selfhood in a society that constantly threatens total consumption. Lawrence’s writing is as lyrical as it is incisive, exposing the bravery it takes to not be complicit in your own oppression. I couldn’t put this down.” –Ling Ling Huang, author of Natural Beauty

Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi – March 5 (Riverhead Books)

For reasons of her own, Hero Tojosoa accepts an invitation she was half expected to decline, and finds herself in Prague on a bachelorette weekend hosted by her estranged friend Sofie. Little does she know she’s arrived in a city with a penchant for playing tricks on the unsuspecting. When a third woman from Hero and Sofie’s past appears unexpectedly, the tensions between the friends’ different accounts of the past reach a new level. An adventurous, kaleidoscopic novel, Parasol Against the Axe considers the lines between illusion and delusion, fact and interpretation, and weighs the risks of attaching too firmly to the stories of a place, or a person, or a shared history. How much is a tale influenced by its reader, or vice versa? And finally, in a battle between friends, is it better to be the parasol or the axe?

Welcome to Forever by Nathan Tavares – March 12 (Titan Books)

“With a narrative voice full of charm and punch, gripping from page one, the story unpeels layers of Hayes’s life while painting a hopeful near-future Earth. The cozy pace ramps to a dazzling finale exploring the resilience of entangled time and the malleability of morality when love is on the line and power free at hand. A wonderful debut perfect for fans of ARRIVAL and THE SPACE BETWEEN WORLDS.” – Essa Hansen, Nophek Gloss, Orbit 2020

Mother Doll by Katya Apekina – March 12 (Overlook Press)

“I’ve been a fan of Katya Apekina since her first novel, the delightful and brilliant The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish. Her second, Mother Doll, is just as strange, wild, offbeat, and hilarious as her first, a profoundly moving story about maternity, inherited grief and joy, and the way that the children that mothers bear inside them must, in turn, bear the collective weight of their ancestors. I absolutely loved it.”– “Lauren Groff, New York Times bestselling author of Matrix and Fates and Furies

These Letters End in Tears by Musih Tedji Xaviere – March 12 (Catapult)

Set in a country where being gay is punishable by law, These Letters End in Tears is the heart-wrenching forbidden love story of a Christian girl with a rebellious heart and a Muslim girl leading a double life. Bessem notices Fatima for the first time on the soccer field–muscular and focused, she’s the only woman playing and seems completely at ease. When Fatima chases a rogue ball in her direction, Bessem freezes, mesmerized by the athlete’s charm and beauty. One playful wink from Fatima, and Bessem knows her life will never be the same. Thirteen years later, Bessem is now a university professor leading a relatively quiet life, occasionally and secretly dating other women. However, she has never forgotten Fatima. After spotting a mutual friend for the first time in years–the last person who may have seen Fatima–Bessem embarks on a winding search for her lost love.

L’Air Du Temps (1985) by Diane Josefowicz – March 12 (Regal House Publishing)

In 1985, the shooting of Mr. Marfeo disrupts the quiet suburban neighborhood of Maple Bay and prompts thirteen-year-old Zinnia Zompa to reorganize everything she knows about her parents– their preoccupations, obsessions, and above all, their battles with each other. As her understanding of the world grows, Zinnia sees how the violence she witnesses is part of a larger pattern of domination, one that shadows the world far beyond her neighborhood, and her coming-of-age means reckoning with this darkness.

Green Frog: Stories by Gina Chung – March 12 (Vintage)

“Gina Chung’s Green Frog is remarkable. The stories hit, each one, and land with such seeming perfection. Chung’s book sits next to my all-time favorite story collections by masters of the craft: Karen Russell, Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, George Saunders, and Ted Chiang. This book does not disappoint–it defies gravity in such a way that it takes your breath away, like it lifts you up and up and up past the clouds and into space. There is so much raw power and emotion in these stories that after finishing each one, I felt more and more alive. Green Frog is an unforgettable dream.” –Morgan Talty, award-winning author of Night of the Living Rez

Great Expectations by Vinson Cunningham – March 12 (Hogarth Press)

“The aptly-titled Great Expectations announces Vinson Cunningham as a novelist of singular style, wit and ambition. Focused on one young man’s experience working on a historic presidential campaign, the novel is both a coming-of-age story for its narrator and–just as powerfully–a coming-of-age tale for the nation writ large. Cunningham has an uncanny ability to access the thoughts undergirding our thoughts, and his narrator is one that readers will wish they could keep by their sides to make sense of the world after the book’s final pages. Read Great Expectations and see our recent past, our present, and even our future anew.”–Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House, finalist for the National Book Award

Headshot by Rita Bullwinkel – March 12 (Viking)

An unexpected tragedy at a community pool. A family’s unrelenting expectation of victory. The desire to gain or lose control; to make time speed up or stop; to be frighteningly, undeniably good at something. Each of the eight teenage girl boxers in this blistering debut novel has her own reasons for the sacrifices she has made to come to Reno, Nevada, to compete to be named the best in the country. Through a series of face-offs that are raw, ecstatic, and punctuated by flashes of humor and tenderness, prizewinning writer Rita Bullwinkel animates the competitors’ pasts and futures as they summon the emotion, imagination, and force of will required to win. Frenetic, surprising, and strikingly original, Headshot is a portrait of the desire, envy, perfectionism, madness, and sheer physical pleasure that motivates young women to fight–even, and perhaps especially, when no one else is watching.

Love the World or Get Killed Trying by Alvina Chamberland – March 15 (Noemi Press)

Through playful poetic prose, sharp social commentary and self-deprecating gallows humor LOVE THE WORLD OR GET KILLED TRYING dives into the mind of Alvina, a trans woman on the eve of turning 30. The reader is invited to follow her journey through the breathtaking wilderness of Iceland and busy city boulevards of Berlin and Paris as she probes questions of eternity, sexuality, longing, death, love, and how hard it is to remain soft when you’re a ceaseless target of straight men’s secret lust and open disgust. Reaching its climax through an urgent wildfire scream-of-consciousness, cry-of-love-manifesto, LOVE THE WORLD OR GET KILLED TRYING is a raw and vulnerable work of magical brutalist autofiction; abstract in the sense of poetically digging beneath the surface, and experimental in the sense of trying to find out new things and express them in new ways, while concretely asserting that if trans women one day collectively outed every man who seeks them out, a full-blown revolution would ensue by nightfall.

Fervor by Toby Lloyd – March 19 (Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster)

A chilling and unforgettable story of a close-knit Jewish family in London pushed to the brink when they suspect their daughter is a witch. Hannah and Eric Rosenthal are devout Jews living in North London with their three children and Eric’s father Yosef, a Holocaust survivor. As Hannah prepares to publish a sensationalist account of Yosef’s years in war-torn Europe–unearthing a terrible secret from his time in the camps–Elsie, her perfect daughter, starts to come undone. And then, in the wake of Yosef’s death, she disappears. When she returns, just as mysteriously as she left, she is altered in disturbing ways. Alive with both the bristling energy of a great campus novel and the unsettling, ever-shifting ground of a great horror tale, Fervor is at its heart a family story–where personal allegiances compete with obligations to history and to mysterious forces that offer both consolation and devastation.

Rainbow Black by Maggie Thrash – March 19 (Harper Perennial)

“I’ve loved Maggie Thrash’s work for years, and Rainbow Black is going to set so many new hearts aflame–murder, intrigue, queer love, dark humor AND satanic panic? Welcome to the Maggie Thrash Fan Club, world!” — Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Tomorrow

Memory Piece by Lisa Ko – March 19 (Riverhead Books)

“A group portrait of three women who wrest meaning from a world that is closing down around them, Memory Piece is bright with defiance, intelligence, and stubborn love. To spend time with these characters is a gift.” –C Pam Zhang, bestselling author of How Much of These Hills is Gold

The Waves Take You Home by María Alejandra Barrios Vélez – March 19 (Lake Union Publishing)

The Waves Take You Home is a sweeping story about learning to trust yourself in a world haunted by the weight of expectation and legacy. On their journey to save their failing restaurant, Violeta and her family discover what it means to carry the memories of ancestors within us and how those memories may serve to guide us on our true path–to root us in place, in love, and in community. Barrios Vélez’s debut speaks also to larger themes of immigration and inheritance: what we lose and what we gain when we follow our heart.” –Christine Kandic Torres, author of The Girls in Queens

Annie Bot by Sierra Greer – March 19 (Mariner Books)

“What is love without autonomy? Honesty when one partner’s sole desire is to please? Sierra Greer’s riveting debut sketches an intimate and unsettling portrait of relationship power dynamics in a near-future when humans own conscious AI companions. A timely and provocative exploration of power and romantic relationships that will stay with you long after you finish the last page, Annie Bot probes the depths of identity and intimacy and asks what it means to recognize the humanity in others and in ourselves. Sierra Greer is a fierce new voice in speculative fiction.” — Lauren Nossett, award-winning author of The Resemblance

Worry by Alexandra Tanner – March 26 (Scribner Book Company)

“With a voice that hooks us on page one, Alexandra Tanner takes us on a dark, brilliantly insightful, consistently hilarious tour of contemporary America’s desperate graspings after meaning, from A to Q(anon) and back again. But it is the richly drawn, deeply affecting portrait of two siblings striving to love each other in this strange moment in history that makes this one of the most exciting literary debuts–and just one of the flat-out best novels–in memory. You should read Alexandra Tanner, because she’s already reading you.” –David Burr Gerrard, author of The Epiphany Machine

All the World Beside by Garrard Conley – March 26 (Riverhead Books)

“Radical and gorgeous, decadent and deeply moral, All the World Beside upends the world as Christian patriarchs have taught us to know it. Garrard Conley’s ravishing novel embodies literature’s power to reach deep crevices that official accounts cannot, to water the dry earth of early American history and transform it into fertile gardens not only of the mind, but of the glorious, imperfect human spirit.” –Meredith Talusan, author of Fairest

Like Happiness by Ursula Villarreal-Moura – March 26 (Celadon Books)

“An epic unraveling of every love story trope, reclaimed as something sharp, seething, unsettling, and true. Yes, this has page flipping plot momentum, but it’s also a whip smart critique of race in America, art making in the age of neoliberal “feminism,” and the crushing humor of trying to exist as a quiet person with big wants. I am so glad Villarreal-Moura’s writing is here and thriving.” –T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls




You Get What You Pay For by Morgan Parker – March 2 (One World)

“In a series of moving personal vignettes, astute political observations, and piercing social commentary, Morgan Parker’s vibrant collection of essays deftly examines the shifting contours of race, romance, memory, and mental health. At once cogent and humorous, You Get What You Pay For is an engrossing journey through Parker’s expansive and gifted mind.”–Clint Smith, author of How the Word Is Passed

Here After by Amy Lin – March 5 (Zibby Books)

Here After is a searing account of a young couple’s lost future and a writer’s descent into the soul-ravaging, shape-shifting wilderness of grief. Amy Lin writes with devastating clarity about the wounds that do not heal, the stories that remain forever fractured, and love’s enduring force. This is a profound and essential memoir.” -Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

The Translator’s Daughter: A Memoir by Grace Loh Prasad – March 5 (Mad Creek Books)

“Grace Loh Prasad interrogates the distance between the homes we have and the homes we long for with the compassion and precision of one who has spent her entire life attuned to language. ‘We were always half a world apart, ‘ she writes; her essays bridge that gap in innovative ways, using family photos, mythical women, and Taiwanese films. Moving fluidly between the personal and the political, this memoir is a remarkable addition to Taiwanese American literature.” –Jami Nakamura Lin, author of The Night Parade

Thunder Song: Essays by Sasha Lapointe – March 5 (Counterpoint LLC)

Thunder Song is testimony, prayer, song. It is an announcement–that a Two-Spirit woman has stepped into her power. It is living proof that loving oneself can be a radical act of decolonization. It is at once a protest against Indigenous erasure and a powerful reminder that Indigenous peoples have part of the answer to the burning question of how to get out of the horrible, planetary mess that we’re in. But more than all this, Thunder Song is the literary equivalent of plant medicine. In it, Sasha taqwsəblu LaPointe gathers the stories and sacred herbs of her lived experiences (and her people’s) and makes a medicine of her own–to heal herself and, in turn, everyone else. An offering of rare beauty in this broken world.” –Julian Aguon author of No Country for Eight-Spot Butterflies and founder of Blue Ocean Law

Lessons for Survival: Mothering Against “The Apocalypse” by Emily Raboteau – March 12 (Henry Holt & Company)

“As the world burns, Emily Raboteau is paying attention as a mother, as a writer and as a pilgrim in search of beauty and justice. At a time when the disconnect between the violence and inequities surrounding race and the climate crisis is too often unseen and ignored, Raboteau makes this relationship clear through her moving inquiries and observations. Lessons for Survival has wings. This beautiful, soaring book is its own pilgrimage and prayer.” –Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge

I Finally Bought Some Jordans: Essays by Michael Arceneaux – March 12 (HarperOne)

New York Times bestselling author Michael Arceneaux returns with a hilarious collection of essays about making your voice heard in an increasingly noisy and chaotic world. In this collection, Arceneaux takes stock of how far he has traveled–and how much ground he still has to cover in this patriarchal, heteronormative society. He explores the opportunities afforded to Black creatives but also the doors that remain shut or ever-so-slightly ajar; the confounding challenges of dating in a time when social media has made everything both more accessible and more unreliable; and the allure of returning home while still pushing yourself to seek opportunity elsewhere. I Finally Bought Some Jordans is both a corrective to, and a balm for, these troubling times, revealing a sharply funny and keen-eyed storyteller working at the height of his craft.

The Moon That Turns You Back: Poems by Hala Alyan – March 12 (Ecco Press)

A diaspora of memories runs through this poetry collection–a multiplicity of voices, bodies, and houses hold archival material for one another, tracing paths between Brooklyn, Beirut, and Jerusalem. Boundaries and borders blur between space and time and poetic form–small banal moments of daily life live within geopolitical brutalities and, vice versa, the desire for stability lives in familiarity with displacement. These poems take stock of who and what can displace you from home and from your own body–and, conversely, the kind of resilience, tenacity, and love that can bring you back into yourself and into the context of past and future generations. Hala Alyan asks, What stops you from transforming into someone or something else? When you have lived a life in flux, how do you find rest?

The Manicurist’s Daughter: A Memoir by Susan Lieu – March 12 (Celadon Books)

“Devastating yet healing, painful yet humorous, epic yet intimate, The Manicurist’s Daughter made my eyes weep yet my heart sing. Susan Lieu astonishes me with her ability to transform pain, fear and anger into healing, freedom and hope. This book is the pathway to peace, an admirable achievement from one of America’s leading diasporic Vietnamese performance artists.” ―Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, international bestselling author of The Mountains Sing, a Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist, and Dust Child

Sensitive Creatures by Kirsten Reneau – March 19 (Belle Point Press)

In unflinching yet hopeful prose, this debut essay collection explores the most animal parts of our human nature. Discussions of various creatures in the natural world serve as portals to the painful realities Kirsten Reneau confronts in the process of breaking—and remaking—a home. Honest in their descriptions of sexual assault and its traumatic effects, these essays are at once clinical and lyrical reflections on the ways that desire can permeate our lives for better or worse, as well as how it can be channeled into a lifegiving force for women in a world often hostile to their basic needs. Sensitive Creatures ultimately is a story of darkness, resilience, and the light that still manages to crack through.

The Palace of Forty Pillars by Armen Davoudian – March 19 (Tin House)

Wry, tender, and formally innovative, Armen Davoudian’s debut poetry collection, The Palace of Forty Pillars, tells the story of a self estranged from the world around him as a gay adolescent, an Armenian in Iran, and an immigrant in America. It is a story darkened by the long shadow of global tragedies–the Armenian genocide, war in the Middle East, the specter of homophobia. With masterful attention to rhyme and meter, these poems also carefully witness the most intimate encounters: the awkward distance between mother and son getting ready in the morning, the delicate balance of power between lovers, a tense exchange with the morality police in Iran.

Who’s Afraid of Gender? by Judith Butler – March 19 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

“Judith Butler’s big brain and big heart have consistently made other people’s lives more possible by grappling with and exposing how authoritarian ideas work. Here they show how anti-trans and anti-queer rhetoric are on rapid rise from global and domestic Nationalists, the Catholic Church and TERFS. And that these divergent groups all root their attacks in false accusations of harm, when they are the ones holding the power. By answering the question “Who is out to destroy whom?” Butler dissects the distorted claim that expanding gender systems, “hurts” people who identify with the status quo. Butler turns these manipulative arguments on their heads, revealing the trope of perpetrators claiming victimhood as central to anti-trans politics. A useful, helpful, and hopeful book.” –Sarah Schulman, author of Let the Record Show

Long Live Queer Nightlife: How the Closing of Gay Bars Sparked a Revolution by Amin Ghaziani – March 26 (Princeton University Press)

In this exhilarating journey into underground parties, pulsating with life and limitless possibility, acclaimed author Amin Ghaziani unveils the unexpected revolution revitalizing urban nightlife. Far from the gay bar with its largely white, gay male clientele, here is a dazzling scene of secret parties–club nights–wherein culture creatives, many of whom are queer, trans, and racial minorities, reclaim the night in the name of those too long left out. Episodic, nomadic, and radically inclusive, club nights are refashioning queer nightlife in boundlessly imaginative and powerfully defiant ways. Drawing on Ghaziani’s immersive encounters at underground parties in London and more than one hundred riveting interviews with everyone from bar owners to party producers, revelers to rabble-rousers, Long Live Queer Nightlife showcases a spectacular, if seldom-seen, vision of a queer world shimmering with self-empowerment, inventiveness, and joy.


I Have A Gun by Graham Irvin – March 5 (Rejection Letters)

There’s a gun inside the soul of every living thing. Made of anger. Made of shame.

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