Promising New Fall Fiction

TelegraphAvenueWorking in a library, I try to read a wide variety of books -- romance books, graphic novels, memoirs, young adult fiction, fantasy and popular non-fiction titles.  But my one true love is contemporary literary fiction.  A coworker once remarked to me that I didn't like reading novels by authors who weren't alive.  Yep.  Give me Jhumpa Lahiri over Jane Austen any day. 

But I assume like a lot of readers I get stuck in a rut and go long periods of time without being excited about the fiction I am reading.  This fall might be the answer to all my book desires.  Four of my top ten favorite authors have new books coming out!

Michael Chabon wrote one of my all-time favorites and former One Book One Bloomington title, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.  His newest, Telegraph Avenue is out this week.  It tells the tale of a used record shop and the two friends who are co-owners.  Spouses and children complicate the story as well as a mega-store moving in down the street.  Set in Northern California in 2004, Chabon explores parenthood, family, music, and the American Dream.  

Dave Eggers has long been one of my favorite writers -- both for his commitment to social change and for his books.   His newest (which technically came out this summer) follows Alan Clay who is in deep financial trouble and is witnessing his family unraveling.  He travels to a new - really really new - city in Saudi Arabia to score a lucrative contract. In the process of waiting for the king, he discovers health problems and a deepening insecurity.  Hologram for the King is not without social commentary on global economies.

Barbara Kingsolver returns to Appalachia with her newest novel, Flight Behavior, due to release in November.  Using climate change, rural poverty, religious fervor and nature's beauty as a backdrop, Kingsolver tells the moving story about a young wife and mother who is on a quest to widen her world.   

The long awaited new novel from British author Zadie Smith has finally arrived on the shelves.  Out of the five main characters in NW, four are people and one is the remarkable city in which they live and love.  Ethnic and class distinctions is an element that Smith again incorporates and adds a layer of complication but also richness to her universal tales. 

Each of these novels look to be promising and my fall reading suddenly just got a lot more interesting.