10 Great Reasons to Read Fiction in July 2016

Each month we highlight 10 fantastic new novels coming your way. Here are our picks for July!

 

Here Comes the Sun
by Nicole Y. Dennis-Benn
In Montego Bay, Jamaica, thirty-year-old Margot has put all of her hopes on her teenage sister Thandi. Margot saves all of her money for Thandi’s education, working for a hotel and participating in the island’s sex tourism trade on the side. But Thandi is not interested in becoming a doctor; she dreams about art school and dating, and aspires to a higher social status by using skin-bleaching creams. Meanwhile Margo pines for another woman while the threat of anti-gay violence looms. “This debut novel from Dennis-Benn is an astute social commentary on the intricacies of race, gender, wealth inequality, colorism, and tourism,” raves Kirkus Reviews, praising the “visceral, profound writing and invigorating characters,” and concluding: “Haunting and superbly crafted, this is a magical book from a writer of immense talent and intelligence.”

Multiple Choice
by Alejandro Zambra, translated by Megan McDowell
Chilean author Zambra plays with form in this experimental story collection, in which test questions provide an unexpected framework for his short fiction. Booklist calls it “An ambitious, hilarious, provocative work” and Publishers Weekly calls it “repeatedly engaging, smart, funny, and sad.” Zambra is one of Granta's Best Young Spanish-Language Novelists and the author of Ways of Going Home (2013) and My Documents (2015).

Everything I Don't Remember
by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles
In Stockholm, a young man of North African descent named Samuel is dead after crashing his car into a tree. Was it an accident or suicide? An unnamed novelist tries to piece together the details of Samuel’s life to solve this mystery. Winner of Sweden's prestigious August Prize, Everything I Don't Remember is an experimental thriller that pieces together fragments of the story through flashbacks and flash-forwards, while highlighting issues facing immigrants in Sweden. Kirkus calls it “moving and grimly funny.” Khemiri is an acclaimed Tunisian-Swedish novelist and playwright whose works include Montecore (2011).

Problems
by Jade Sharma
Maya has serious problems. Her husband is an alcoholic, her mother is dying, she doesn’t care about her job, she’s having an affair with a professor, she can’t get pregnant, and she has an eating disorder. Also, she uses heroin on a regular basis. When her husband and her lover both leave her, she plunges into a full time, full blown heroin addiction. “The novel is written so well that the relentless and destructive rhythm of heroin abuse seems calming, metaphysical, and occasionally even funny.” (Kirkus Reviews) “Some readers may find the subject matter too difficult, but in Maya's voice, Sharma has crafted a momentous force that never flags and feels painfully honest.” (Publishers Weekly)

Sarong Party Girls
by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan
Jazzy’s 27th birthday is coming up, so it’s time to stop partying and find her dream husband—an ang moh, a rich white Western expat. Cheeky, clever and determined, not to mention brand-obsessed, Jazzy pursues her marital goal in the often shocking after-hours clubs of Singapore. Her story is punctuated with Singlish—a patois derived from a mix of English, Malay, Mandarin, Hokkien, Teochew, Indian and Cantonese. “A rowdy tale, memorable language, and a very distinctive protagonist.” (Kirkus Reviews) Tan is also the author of the memoir A Tiger in the Kitchen (2011).

Unseen World
by Liz Moore
Ada Sibelius has an unusual childhood. Homeschooled by her father David, a single parent and genius computer scientist, she spends much of her time helping in his lab. When David sinks into Alzheimers, Ada’s life is torn apart. As the matter of her custody arises, so do questions about David’s true identity, leaving Ada to puzzle out who he really is when he can no longer give her answers. Publishers Weekly calls it a “a striking examination of family, memory, and technology” and “a smart, emotionally powerful literary page-turner.” Moore is the author of Heft (2012).

An Innocent Fashion
by R. J. Hernandez
A full scholarship to Yale is Elián San Jamar’s ticket out of working-class Corpus Christi, Texas. He changes his name to Ethan St. James, pairs up with rich friend Madelyn who has money to spare and falls in love with her boyfriend. Post-graduate reality hits with a smack as his internship at fashion magazine Régine doesn’t live up to his dreams. “Hernández is a diamond-sharp satirist and a bracingly fresh chronicler of the heartbreak of trying to grow up. Honest and absurd, funny and tragic, wild and lovely, this novel describes modern coming-of-age with poetic precision.” (Kirkus Reviews)

The House at the Edge of Night
by Catherine Banner
On a small island off the coast of Sicily, four generations of an Italian family operate a popular neighborhood café. Peppered with local lore and legend, the lives of the Esposito family unfold against the span of the 20th century, in partnership with a vast and colorful community of characters. “Guaranteed to draw comparisons to Beautiful Ruins, Cutting for Stone, and The House of the Spirits.” (Kirkus Reviews) “Banner's superbly written drama is rich in engaging characters and the mystical island stories passed on from one generation to the next.” (Booklist)

Night of the Animals
by Bill Broun
It’s 2052: life in the UK is marked by extreme poverty, scarcity and pervasive surveillance. King Harry9, controls the news through WikiNous, the internet consumed through body implants. To top it off, a resurgence of the suicidal, comet-loving Heaven’s Gate cult is wiping out most life forms on the planet. The only animals left live in the London Zoo and drug-addicted 90-year-old Cuthbert Handley has the ability to communicate with the them and decides to set them free. “Imaginative, fast-paced, thoughtful, and awash in laser-like imagery, debut novelist Broun's phantasmagorical fable vibrantly blends myth and satire to paint both a cautionary warning about present behavior and a futuristic vision of what the unbridled abuse of nature might unveil.” (Booklist)

The Inseparables
by Stuart Nadler
The Inseparables is a book within a book—a famously trashy one that Henrietta Olyphant wrote in her 20s. Now in her 70s and freshly widowed, she agrees to publish a new edition because she needs the money. While she struggles financially and emotionally, her daughter is going through a divorce and her granddaughter is in trouble for a nude selfie that made the rounds at her school. “Throughout each scene, Nadler captures the awkwardness of growing older during all phases of life… This novel contains plenty of romance, tension, and tenderness to make for a rich and compelling read.” (Publishers Weekly) Nadler is the author of Wise Men (2013).

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