Thursday, January 15, 2009

Books in 2009

I'm guessing most blog readers are knee-deep in the wait and worry stage of MFA applications. I thought maybe we could take a break to look at what made us want to be writers in the first place: books! I know we've heard a lot of bad news about book sales and publishing layoffs recently, but despite all that 2009 is shaping up to be a great year for literature.

The Millions blog has a nice list of upcoming books.

The 2009 lineup includes Thomas Pynchon, Zadie Smith, William T. Vollmann, Philip Roth, Mary Gaitskill, Kazuo Ishiguro, Lorrie Moore and Jonathan Lethem. That is just to name a few.

What books are you looking forward to in 2009? This list is pretty fiction heavy, so maybe some rising poetry students can chime in.


Adrienne said...

I'm really excited about Holly Goddard Jones' book of short stories coming out in the fall, "Girl Trouble."

She's not all that well known yet, but you may have read her stories in the 2007 and 2008 editions of "New Stories from the South." Jones came to my undergrad in October, I think, for our visiting author series. She actually subbed my child narrator in fiction class and was gracious and interestining during her reception and after the reading.

I've read four of her short stories and heard one read aloud and have just really become a fan of her work. It's poignant and relatable.

For anyone who hasn't read any of her work, I recommend "Theory of Realty" that appears in "New Stories From the South 2008."

DisplayedName said...

James Ellroy's BLOODS A ROVER

Lincoln Michel said...

Personally I'm eager for this How To Sell book. The excerpts published so far have been awesome.

Justin said...

I recently discovered Colson Whitehead with the novel excerpt in the recent New Yorker fiction issue. I'm looking forward to Sag Harbor.

Those short story collections sound great, and I'm intrigued by Wells Tower as I haven't read him. As short fiction goes, I'm always excited about Best American and the O. Henry Prize Stories.

I love Lethem's Fortress of Solitude, though his stuff seems to be hit or miss for me. I am intrigued by his next one.

When is Cormac putting out a new one? I need more of his genius!

I just hope this year is a better year for literature than 2008. It already looks like it's shaping up to be stellar.

Unknown said...

I've read two stories by Wells Tower, one in Harper's a while ago and one recently in The New Yorker called, I think, Leopard. His collection comes out in March and is called Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of stuff he has in it as I haven't been able to find anything by him other than those two stories.

Bernard M. Cox said...

Millions list didn't intrigue me but that doesn't mean that there isn't something worth reading in 2009. I am planning on picking up Home by Marilynne Robinson which came out in Sept 2008. I am currently reading Alasdair Gray's Lanark. I happen onto books in a round about way, someone recommends something, I read a writer's commentary on another writer's work, a discovery through a free association hypertext binge on wikipedia, or my favorite getting lost for several hours in an independent bookstore. As the T-Shirts at Politics and Prose say, "So many books, so little time."

Bess said...

Margaret Atwood has a new novel coming out? yes! I have admired her ever since I read The Edible Woman. Handmaid's Tale is one of my favorites too, and her short stories are amazing.

I'm reading mostly memoirs, so although they're not new, I'm looking forward to Loose Girl by Kerry Cohen, The Agnostics by Wendy Rawlings (of U of Alabama), and Poster Child by Emily Rapp. Also I'm going to reread Atlas Shrugged when I finally finish my applications next week.

Jennifer said...

I won't be getting to anything new for awhile . . . I just committed to Ulysses (for the third time).

Anonymous said...

Yea, and I am finishing up Anna Karenina (6 months strong)and Atlas Shrugged (8 months strong).

But how can I resist poems!!!!

Night Work, C.E. Perry
The Door, Margaret Atwood

Side note: All poets MUST read The Memory Room by Mary Rakow. It's a poem disguised as a novel. Dont be fooled by the length. I read it in a day.

Jesse Thiessen said...

met789 - I just finished Home and it's freaking awesome. It's not as genius or awe-inspiring as Gilead (Though I'm biased in saying that; Gilead's easily in my Top 5 novels), but still insanely beautiful. A bit of a return to the format and style of Housekeeping, though obviously far more mature.

Also, Colson Whitehead's got a new book coming out?!?! Holy crap! I loved loved loved The Intuitionist, and seeing as it was his first novel, his is a career I'm kind of excited about. Awesome.

SeeMoreGlass said...

lorrie moore! lorrie moore!

also, dave eggers' wild things book.

Md23Rewls said...

I actually don't have any books that I'm "looking forward to" exactly--if a new book comes out that looks interesting, I'll pick it up, but I don't have a list of new books I absolutely need to buy. In the coming weeks I want to work through a long long long backlog of books that various people have told me to check out. At the moment, I am in the process of re-reading some stuff that I haven't looked at in a while. A few days ago I finished Where Rivers Change Direction by Mark Spragg (probably my favorite book ever), and now I am re-reading Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life, which I hadn't looked at since my introductory non-fiction course years ago.

Books that I want to read in the coming weeks while I anxiously await responses from programs:

In the Wilderness by Kim Barnes
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Consider the Lobster by David Foster Wallace
The White Album by Joan Didion
Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion

Those are the ones on my immediate radar anyway.

Lincoln Michel said...

[i]I've read two stories by Wells Tower, one in Harper's a while ago and one recently in The New Yorker called, I think, Leopard. His collection comes out in March and is called Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of stuff he has in it as I haven't been able to find anything by him other than those two stories.[/i]

Wells Tower has a story in The Anchor Book Of New American Short Fiction anthology ed. Ben Marcus. The same title as his book. I think it was originally in Fence. Maybe my favorite story in that anthology, if the rest of his collection is as good as that it should be awesome.

Joe Ireland said...

What is this new book by Zadie Smith? I can't find info about it anywhere.

SeeMoreGlass said...

joe - i think zadie smith's new book is lit theory. it's called fail better, and she had an essay published a while back of the same name that discusses writing and the ethics of writing fiction.

Kim said...

Well, Yusef Komunyakaa's reading in Pasadena (for those in LA, if you're out there, this March, 2009, so that should be amazing. It's not a book, but it is a poetry "thing."
Gregory Orr's due to have a new collection out this year, How Beautiful the Beloved--stoked--and, it's not '09, but Richard Siken's Crush recently blew my mind. There's also a newish (late '08) Anselm Berrigan chapbook called haveagoodone I'm excited to read. Not to mention last year's Poetry Pulitzer, Philip Schultz's Failure? Phew.
Next month, I get to see Werner Herzog's Requiem for a Dying Earth screened, and the man himself will be there.
So, anxiety aside, it'll be a good '09.
Now, if they'd only reinstate The Wire. Season 6! Season 6!

Jamie Winger said...

I am looking forward to Scott Blackwood's novel We Agreed to Meet Just Here coming out February 1st! It won the 2007 AWP prize for the novel. He is my teacher though, so I have to be upfront about my bias.

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