We've got epic fantasies, hilarious essay collections, gorgeous new novels, and more.

By David Canfield
February 28, 2020 at 07:30 AM EST
Penguin

Deacon King Kong, by James McBride

Just as Showtime's star-studded The Good Lord Bird adaptation hits the screen, McBride returns with an improbably hilarious tapestry of late ’60s Brooklyn and an eclectic group of individuals who bore witness to a fatal shooting. (March 3)

Bloomsbury

House of Earth and Blood, by Sarah J. Maas

At last, Sarah J. Maas' adult-fantasy debut arrives. The epic novel kicks off her Crescent City series, and in case you haven't heard, we're already big fans. (March 3)

HarperCollins

The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich

The reliably excellent, National Book Award-winning author goes especially personal with her latest, taking the action back to 1953 in a novel based on the life of her grandfather, a night watchman who carried the fight against Native American dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C. (March 3)

HarperCollins

Separation Anxiety, by Laura Zigman

Judy's parents have recently died, her best friend could soon die from cancer, and who knows if her marriage is already dead. But after developing an unusual coping mechanism (see the book's cover for a clue), she feels a sense of connection that may just bring her back to life. Zigman calls this witty novel "semi-autobiographical fiction." (March 3)

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Sharks in the Time of Saviors, by Kawai Strong Washburn

The family saga meets Hawaiian legend in this buzzy debut about a young boy whose life is put in the hands of, and unexpectedly saved by, a mysterious shark. Mixing realistic and mythic storytelling, the novel has drawn praise from the likes of Marlon James and Tommy Orange. (March 3)

Coffee House Press

Temporary, by Hilary Leichter

Chances are you've never read a workplace novel like Hilary Leichter's. The author takes numbing routines to dreamy (or perhaps nightmarish) extremes, delivering subversive entertainment in the process. (March 3)

Simon and Schuster

These Ghosts Are Family, by Maisy Card

The big, intimate, generations-spanning family novel we're most excited for this year, Card's ghostly, surprising time-hopping story considers the bonds of blood, the weight of secrets, and the scars of trauma. (March 3)

Grove Press

Writers & Lovers, by Lily King

Euphoria breakout author Lily King returns with a portrait of the artist as a young woman, in which the determination to live a creative life bristles against experiences of grief, loneliness, and romance. (March 3)

Knopf Doubleday

Good Citizens Need Not Fear, by Maria Reva

This innovative, bitingly funny short-story collection unites its tales around its setting: a single apartment building, set between the twilight of the USSR and what comes just after its fall. Margaret Atwood has already raved about the book on Twitter. (March 10)

Simon and Schuster

In Five Years, by Rebecca Serle

Pitched as a sort of perfect combo of Me Before You and One Day, Serle's sweet romance follows a type-A attorney who's just accepted her boyfriend's marriage proposal. She hits the hay feeling sure about what's next in her life. Then she wakes up in a different bed next to a very different man. And it's five years in the future. (March 10)

Henry Holt

The Mirror & the Light, by Hilary Mantel

Mantel's Booker Prize-winning, stunningly evocative Wolf Hall trilogy wraps with what we can only imagine is an epic finale. The finale begins in May 1536, tracing the final years of Thomas Cromwell in the wake of Anne Boleyn's death. (March 10)

HarperCollins

My Dark Vanessa, by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Perhaps the most anticipated first novel of the year, Russell's riveting, timeline-shifting saga of the relationship between a high school student and her teacher, and its #MeToo-tinged fallout, is sure to spark conversation (and debate). (March 10)

One World

New Waves, by Kevin Nguyen

Nguyen's debut provides a clever glimpse into the world of New York tech, as a high-level programmer and a low-level customer service rep band together for revenge against the company taking them for granted. But when tragedy strikes, everything changes. (March 10)

Graywolf Press

Later, by Paul Lisicky

Lisicky's memoir immerses readers in the scene of '90s Provincetown, where a queer community reeling from trauma and a lack of acceptance searches for belonging, and where the AIDS crisis continues to reach terrifyingly far and wide. (March 17)

Orbit

The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin

The first novel from Jemisin since she made history at the Hugo Awards with the ending to her decade-defining Broken Earth trilogy? Set in an alternate-version New York and kicking off a new series? Yeah, we're there. (March 24)

HarperCollins

The Everlasting, by Katy Simpson Smith

A tricky, ambitious examination of love in Rome that weaves between four centuries and follows four characters, asking big questions while finding grace in small lives. (March 24)

Knopf Doubleday

The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel

It's another haunting, elegiac novel from the Station 11 author, this time following a brother and a sister wading through loss and shock as two major events — an international Ponzi scheme collapse and a mysterious disappearance at sea — hurtle them in heartbreaking but gorgeous directions. (March 24)

Algonquin Books

Tigers, Not Daughters, by Samantha Mabry

The National Book Award-nominated author spins another hauntingly moving tale of teenhood with this story of sisters mourning one of their own, only to realize she might still be walking among them… somehow. (March 24)

Harper

Valentine, by Elizabeth Wetmore

Wetmore's gritty take on violence, gender, and class in a Texas oil town circa 1976 has Elizabeth Gilbert asking, "How can a writer burst out of the gate with this much firepower and skill?" Lots of noise being made about this one. (March 31)

Knopf Doubleday

Wow, No Thank You, by Samantha Irby

Samantha Irby may be spending more time in L.A., but she's still the same old "cheese fry-eating slightly damp Midwest person." (Her words, not ours.) This much is clear in her riotous new book of bad dates, worse food experiences, and general befuddlement at the world. (March 31)

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