Features

The Best New Books of March 2018

Including four new books by Chicago-based authors.

It seems like every season, a single Tuesday is responsible for a massive number of great books. This spring, that Tuesday is March 6, when seven award-worthy books hit the shelves, including new work from Chicago’s own Jesse Ball, Luis Alberto Urrea, and Valerie Wallace. Of course, there’s still plenty to love the rest of the month, like new fiction from Tom Rachman, the late Harry Mathews, and Audrey Niffenegger.


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Census
By Jesse Ball
Ecco, March 6

“A powerful and moving new novel from an award-winning, acclaimed author: in the wake of a devastating revelation, a father and son journey north across a tapestry of towns. When a widower receives notice from a doctor that he doesn’t have long left to live, he is struck by the question of who will care for his adult son—a son whom he fiercely loves, a boy with Down syndrome. With no recourse in mind, and with a desire to see the country on one last trip, the man signs up as a census taker for a mysterious governmental bureau and leaves town with his son.”


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The House of Broken Angels
By Luis Alberto Urrea
Little, Brown and Company, March 6

“The story of the de La Cruzes is the quintessential American story. This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. It takes us into a world we have not known, while reflecting back the hopes and dreams of our own families. Teeming with brilliance and humor, authentic at every turn, The House of Broken Angels is Luis Alberto Urrea at his best, and cements his reputation as a storyteller of the first rank.


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Whiskey & Ribbons
By Leesa Cross-Smith
Hub City Press, March 6

“Set in contemporary Louisville, Leesa Cross-Smith’s mesmerizing first novel surrounding the death of a police officer is a requiem for marriage, friendship and family, from an author Roxane Gay has called ‘a consummate storyteller.'”


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The Adulterants
By Joe Dunthorne
Tin House Books, March 6

“For readers of Roddy Doyle, Nick Hornby, and Mark Haddon, The Adulterants is a piercingly funny—and cringingly poignant—take on how hard it is to grow up and how hard it is when you don’t.”


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Girls Burn Brighter
By Shobha Rao
Flatiron Books, March 6

“A searing, electrifying debut novel set in India and America, about a once-in-a-lifetime friendship between two girls who are driven apart but never stop trying to find one another again.”


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House of McQueen: Poems
By Valerie Wallace
Four Way Books, March 6

“Inhabiting the life and work of Alexander McQueen, Wallace builds a fantastical world using both original language and excerpts drawn from interviews, supermodels, Shakespeare, and more. At turns fierce and vulnerable, here is a collection that leaps from runway to fairytale to street with wild, brilliant grace.”


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Awayland: Stories
By Ramona Ausubel
Riverhead Books, March 6

“An inventive story collection that spans the globe as it explores love, childhood, and parenthood with an electric mix of humor and emotion.”


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Whiskey
By Bruce Holbert
MCD x FSG, March 13

Whiskey burns pleasantly as it goes down, but has a lasting, powerful effect. Brothers Andre and Smoker were raised in a cauldron of their parents’ failed marriage and appetite for destruction, and find themselves in the same straits as adults. The family lives in Electric City, Washington, just a few miles south of the Colville Indian Reservation. When a religious zealot takes off with Smoker’s daughter, there’s no question that his brother—who continues doggedly to try and put his life in order—will join him in attempt to return her.”


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Another City: Poems
By David Keplinger
Milkweed Editions, March 13

“How does it feel to experience another city? To stand beneath tall buildings, among the countless faces of a crowd? To attempt to be heard above the din? The poems of Another City travel inward and outward at once: into moments of self-reproach and grace, and to those of disassociation and belonging. From experiences defined by an urban landscape—a thwarted customer at the door of a shuttered bookstore in Crete, a chance encounter with a might-have-been lover in Copenhagen—to the streets themselves, where ‘an alley was a comma in the agony’s grammar,’ in David Keplinger’s hands startling images collide and mingle like bodies on a busy thoroughfare.”


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Graffiti Palace
By A. G. Lombardo
MCD x FSG, March 13

“A brilliant, exhilarating debut novel that retells The Odyssey during the 1965 Watts Riots—like nothing you’ve ever read before.”


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Footnotes in the Order of Disappearance
By Fady Joudah
Milkweed Editions, March 13

“An exquisite and humane collection set to leave its mark on American poetics of the body and the body politic.”


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The Gunners
By Rebecca Kauffman
Counterpoint Press, March 20

“Following her wonderfully received first novel, Another Place You’ve Never Been, Rebecca Kauffman returns with Mikey Callahan, a thirty-year-old who is suffering from the clouded vision of macular degeneration.”


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The Italian Teacher
By Tom Rachman
Viking, March 20

“A masterful novel about the son of a great painter striving to create his own legacy, by the bestselling author of The Imperfectionists.”


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Sisyphean
By Dempow Torishima
Translated by Daniel Huddleston
Haikasuro, March 20

“A strange journey into the far future of genetic engineering, and working life. After centuries of tinkering, many human bodies only have a casual similarity to what we now know, but both work and school continue apace. Will the enigmatic sad sack known only as ‘the worker’ survive the day? Will the young student Hanishibe get his questions about the biological future of humanity answered, or will he have to transfer to the department of theology? Will Umari and her master ever comprehend the secrets of nanodust?”


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Bizarre Romance
By Audrey Niffenegger and Eddie Campbell
Abrams, March 20

“Internationally bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife,Audrey Niffenegger, and graphic artist Eddie Campbell, of such seminal works as From Hell by Alan Moore, collaborate on a wonderfully bizarre collection that celebrates and satirizes love of all kinds. With 16 different stories told through illustrated prose or comic panels, the couple explores the idiosyncratic nature of relationships in a variety of genres from fractured fairy tales to historical fiction to paper dolls. With Niffenegger’s sharp, imaginative prose and Campbell’s diverse comic styles, Bizarre Romance is the debut collection by two of the most important storytellers of our time.”


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The Solitary Twin
By Harry Mathews
New Directions, March 27

“Harry Mathews, the first American member of the French avant-garde literary society Oulipo, and long associated with the New York School of Poets, passed away this year, and The Solitary Twin is his last novel. ‘I believe this novel is his finest,’ his friend John Ashbery wrote.”

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1 comment on “The Best New Books of March 2018

  1. All these books are way too good. I had read a few of them and loved it. In fact, I keep some of these books in reservation books covers because this way it is more secured.

    Like

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