Katie Kitamura, Zakiya Dalila Harris, and more authors pick their most anticipated books of 2022
A new year means a new crop of titles hitting bookshelves everywhere.
To fill our reading lists with some of 2022's literary magic, we went to the authors behind some of our favorite 2021 books. Zakiya Dalila Harris' The Other Black Girl, YZ Chin's Edge Case, and Kathy Wang's Imposter Syndrome all brought exciting plot twists to the workplace. Adriana Herrera and Farah Heron delivered two of last year's best romance novels with One Week to Claim It All and Accidentally Engaged. We thought there should be an award for Best Book You Can Read in a Day and it should go to Open Water, by Caleb Azumah Nelson. And Robert Jones Jr.'s The Prophets and Katie Kitamura's Intimacies also landed on our best books of the year.
Here are the books those authors can't wait for readers to get their hands in the months ahead.
Brown Girls, by Daphne Palasi Andreades (out now)
Daphne Palasi Andreades's vibrant novel-in-vignettes follows a group of friends as they laugh, learn, grow, and dream in Queens. What really excites me about Brown Girls — besides its gorgeous cover, and the fact that it's narrated by an enticing collective voice — is that the author was born and raised where the story takes place. This daring debut feels refreshingly unique, and one that only Andreades herself could craft. —Zakiya Dalila Harris
Yonder, by Jabari Asim (out now)
I'm a sucker for stories that place love between Black people at the center of settings where, traditionally, Black love was thought impossible or unimaginable. I'm particularly drawn to books that re-examine that dreadful period in American history that we think we already know everything about — antebellum slavery — to reveal the layers, testimonies, and nuances that had previously been ignored. And to have this all drawn magnificently by the brilliant Jabari Asim makes this an absolute must-read for me. —Robert Jones Jr.
The Swimmers, by Julie Otsuka (Feb. 22)
Julie Otsuka's novels are slim but infinitely capacious, grappling with questions of loss, community, and trauma. Beneath their calm surface, currents and riptides abound. I'm excited to read her new novel The Swimmers, which turns on a mother-daughter relationship and the community gathered around a public swimming pool. —Katie Kitamura
Secret Identity, by Alex Segura (March 15)
Carmen Valdez moves to New York City with dreams of breaking into the comic book industry. But after she ghostwrites a successful comic book, a colleague of hers is murdered, and she's pulled into a whodunnit of the most mysterious proportions. A unique fusion of noir and comic books set against the gritty backdrop of 1970s New York, Secret Identity is the kind of page-turner I know I'll binge-read… and then (hopefully!) binge-watch when it's inevitably made into a TV show. —Zakiya Dalila Harris
Vagabonds, by Eloghosa Osunde (March 15)
I'm in awe of Osunde's writing and have loved reading her column for The Paris Review, Melting Clocks. I can't wait for others to delve into the joyous, defiant world she has rendered for her debut novel, Vagabonds. —Caleb Azumah Nelson
Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell, by Taj McCoy (March 22)
When early reviews said don't read this book hungry, I knew this book was for me! Plus it's about home renovation with an HGTV-loving heroine? Yes! The food and the kitchen renovation aspect (the hero is a contractor!) of this story drew me in, but also the promise of strong female friendships, body positivity, and self-actualization. And the cover is so striking. I cannot wait to read this book! —Farah Heron
The Wedding Crasher, by Mia Sosa (April 5)
What's a groom to do after a perfect stranger ruins his nuptials? Ask her to be his fake girlfriend, of course! The Wedding Crasher is a frothy, hilarious, steamy rom-com with poignant moments of vulnerability that reaffirms Mia's masterful ability to deliver genuine humor in deeply romantic stories brimming with Afro-Brazilian culture. —Adriana Herrera
Forbidden City, by Vanessa Hua (April 19)
I loved Hua's first novel, A River of Stars, and so I'm looking forward to reading her newest novel, about a teenage protege of Mao Zedong who rises in his ranks to become a heroine of the Cultural Revolution. I'm looking forward to reading and learning more about one of the most important moments of our recent global history. The book sounds absolutely fascinating. —Kathy Wang
All the Lovers in the Night, by Mieko Kawakami (May 3)
I'm looking forward to Mieko Kawakami's All the Lovers in the Night, translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd. Europa Editions has been steadily bringing Kawakami's work into English, and the stellar Breasts and Eggs and Heaven have made clear to English-language readers why she is so celebrated in Japan. In the skilled hands of Bett and Boyd, Kawakami's prose in instantly recognizable — immediate, incisive, and unfailingly honest. —Katie Kitamura
Neruda on the Park, by Cleyvis Natera (May 17)
I'm a firm believer that one cannot separate art from politics, no matter how hard one tries. So when a writer accepts this and leans into the connection, I think what is eventually produced is the kind of magic that creates a classic, canonical work. I think Cleyvis Natera's extraordinary debut about displacement and discovery, family and rebirth, will cast just that sort of spell. There's so much complexity to mine in the Afro-Dominican tradition, and I'm excited for what she will reveal. —Robert Jones Jr.
She Is Haunted, by Paige Clark (May 17)
Many Elizabeths appear in Paige Clark's collection. They are zany, tender, slyly wise, and always enchanting. I laughed! I cried! And I winced knowingly along as they plunge into the mysteries of diasporic identity, intimacy, and loss. Mothers and daughters come together, fall apart. Lovers charm and feint. They haunt me, in the best possible way. —YZ Chin
Counterfeit, by Kirstin Chen (June 7)
I've read both of Chen's earlier novels (Soy Sauce for Beginners and Bury What You Cannot Take), and so I'm excited to read her latest novel, centered on two women who partner on a global counterfeit luxury handbag business. I always wish there was more fashion in novels — I could read chapters that are just descriptions of clothing — so this is going to be my fun read of early summer! —Kathy Wang
Big Chicas Don't Cry, by Annette Chavez Macias (Aug. 9)
Romance author Sabrina Sol's women's fiction debut follows the lives and bonds of Mexican American cousins Mari, Erica, Selena, and Gracie over 15 years. In the vein of the show Vida, this family story is sweeping and intimate all at once. It is the kind of book that I'm hoping to see more in contemporary fiction. —Adriana Herrera
Sophie Go's Lonely Hearts Club, by Roselle Lim (Aug. 16)
I was lucky enough to see an early version of this, and can't wait to read the finished book! I adore Roselle's lyrical prose and vibrant settings, and her newest is a standout for me because it's set in my hometown of Toronto! It's about matchmaking, found family, and, of course, love. But more than that, this book beautifully evokes the feeling of loss, loneliness, and finally, redemption. An emotional story about coming to terms with perceived failures, overcoming emotional abuse, and learning to love oneself. —Farah Heron
People Person, by Candice Carty-Williams (Sept. 6)
This triumph of a novel had me gripped from its first few pages. It was a real joy to delve into this tender, humorous portrait of the complexities of sibling relationships. Every character was rendered with real consideration and care. I couldn't put it down. —Caleb Azumah Nelson
Which Side Are You On, by Ryan Lee Wong (Oct. 4)
This book! In Ryan Lee Wong's hard-hitting and witty novel, two generations of Asian American political activists negotiate their relationships with movements, history, L.A., and one another. Wong handles his narrator's earnestness with understated brilliance — especially when he skewers that very same sincerity. Sure to spark conversations. —YZ Chin