Literary heavyweights, YA blockbusters, and a flurry of family sagas — this year is going to be a page-turner.
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Most Anticipated Books of 2021
Credit: Illustration by EW

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How the One Armed Sister sweeps her House
Credit: Little, Brown and Company

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, by Cherie Jones

A devastating — and devastatingly good — novel that covers domestic violence, murder, loss, and poverty in a coastal Barbados village. (Feb. 2)

The Committed
Credit: Grove Press

The Committed, by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The sequel to Nguyen's 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner, The Sympathizer, follows our unnamed narrator, this time to Paris, where he discovers drugs and capitalism. (March 2)

How Beautiful We Were by Imbolo Mbue
Credit: Penguin Random House

How Beautiful We Were, by Imbolo Mbue

It's been a long four and a half years since Mbue's breakout book, Behold the Dreamers, but her sophomore novel — set in a fictional African village ravaged by an American oil company — unfurls a narrative poignant and sweeping enough to be worth it. (March 9)

Fire Keeper's Daughter
Credit: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers

Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline Boulley

This debut follows Daunis Fontaine, an Ojibwe teen, as she witnesses a shocking murder over a deadly new drug circulating among Native tribes. The discovery thrusts her into the ensuing FBI investigation, and she eventually agrees to go undercover. (March 16)

of woman and salt
Credit: MacMillan

Of Women and Salt, by Gabriela Garcia

The debut that's had publishing buzzing all winter long meditates on the way immigration shapes the lives of Latinx women; it’s the American Dirt we should have gotten the first time. (March 30)

The Hard Crowd
Credit: Scribner

The Hard Crowd, by Rachel Kushner

Award-winning novelist Kushner (The Mars Room), who has also turned toward criminal justice reform activism, shifts modes with an essay collection that promises something for all who love her work. (Yes, there will be motorcycles.) (April 6)

Whereabouts
Credit: Knopf

Whereabouts, by Jhumpa Lahiri

A Lahiri novel is always exciting because of her signature melancholic lyricism, but that she wrote Whereabouts in Italian — one of the three languages she speaks — before translating it into English adds a layer of intrigue. (April 27)

While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams
Credit: Doubleday

While Justice Sleeps, by Stacey Abrams

She saved 2020, but the political leader, who has long moonlighted as a romance novelist under the pen name Selena Montgomery, also made time to write a thriller about the criminal justice system. (May 11)

MALIBU RISING
Credit: Ballantine Books

Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is Reid's eighth book, but her first since the (TV-bound) phenomenon Daisy Jones & the Six, making the story of four famous siblings throwing an ill-fated party in — where else? — Malibu all the more exciting. (June 1)

The Other Black Girl
Credit: Atria Books

The Other Black Girl, by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Harris' debut, which she wrote based on personal experience, reads like Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada and is already set for an adaptation at Hulu. (June 1)

Animal
Credit: Avid Reader Press / Simon and Schuster

Animal, by Lisa Taddeo

Taddeo's first novel provides a very sinister balm for everyone who read her hit Three Women and wished vengeance on its cadre of men behaving badly. (June 8)

Blackout
Credit: Tiffany D. Jackson and Jessica Andree

Blackout, by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon

What's sure to be the YA event of the year is a six-way collaboration between some of the genre's most beloved authors; the collection of interwoven stories explores Black love and joy in all their forms. (June 22)

Filthy Animals: Stories by Brandon Taylor
Credit: Riverhead Books

Filthy Animals, by Brandon Taylor

Taylor's debut, Real Life, was a 2020 highlight; this summer, his linked-story collection should nab similar attention with its focus on desire and violence. (June 22)

Lauren-Groff-(c)-Kristin-Kozelsky
Credit: Kristin Kozelsky

Matrix, by Lauren Groff

"Medieval nun drama" is not what we expected for Groff's next novel, but if you'll allow us the aphorism: We're here for it. (Sept. 7)

Image
Credit: Shelby Graham

Crossroads, by Jonathan Franzen

A fractured family, a joyless marriage, the male gaze — the storied author is back in a most Franzenian manner, this time kicking off a trilogy. (Oct. 5)

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