West Bloomfield Township Public Library
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New Fiction (Spring 2021)

New fiction titles that will be released in the spring of 2021.

The committed by Viet Thanh Nguyen

"The astonishing sequel to The Sympathizer, winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, The Committed follows the "man of two minds" as he comes to Paris as a refugee. There he and his blood brother Bon try to escape their pasts and prepare for their futures by turning their hands to capitalism in one of its purest forms: drug dealing. No longer in physical danger, but still inwardly tortured by his reeducation at the hands of his former best friend, and struggling to assimilate into a dominant culture, the Sympathizer is both charmed and disturbed by Paris. As he falls in with a group of left-wing intellectuals and politicians who frequent dinner parties given by his French Vietnamese "aunt," he finds not just stimulation for his mind but also customers for his merchandise-but the new life he is making has dangers he has not foreseen. Both literary thriller and brilliant novel of ideas, The Committed is a blistering portrayal of commitment and betrayal that will cement Viet Thanh Nguyen's position inthe firmament of American letters"--

Accidentally engaged by Farah Heron

"Reena Manji doesn't love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall--with hopes that Reena will marry him. But Nadim's not like the other Muslim bachelor-du-jours that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren't enough, the man appears to love eating her sourdough creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? When Reena's career takes a nosedive, she decides to follow her heart by entering a video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams. The one problem? It's couples only. Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter the contest, but as cooking at home together brings them closer and her family gets wind of the situation, Reena can't help thinking her faux fiancae might just be the real deal"--

What's mine and yours : a novel by Naima Coster

When a county initiative in the Piedmont of North Carolina forces the students at a mostly black public school on the east side to move across town to a nearly all-white high school on the west, the community rises in outrage. For two students, quiet and aloof Gee and headstrong Noelle, these divisions will extend far beyond their schooling. As their paths collide and overlap over the course of thirty years, their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that shape thetrajectory of their lives. On one side of the school integration debate is Jade, Gee's steely, single, black mother, grieving for her murdered partner, and determined for her son to have the best chance at a better life. On the other, is Noelle's enterprising mother, Lacey May, who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. The choices these mothers make will resound for years to come. And twenty years later, when Lacey's daughters return home to visit her in hospital, they're forced to confront the ways their parents' decisions continue to affect the life they live and the people they love.

The lowering days : a novel by Gregory Brown

Growing up in a riverside region of 1980s Maine, three brothers from the Penobscot Nation find their childhood innocence shattered by a nearby paper mill fire that divides their community.

Lightseekers : a novel by M Kayode

When Dr. Philip Taiwo is called on by a powerful Nigerian politician to investigate the public torture and murder of three university students in remote Port Harcourt, he has no idea that he's about to be enveloped by a perilous case that is far from cold. Philip is not a detective. He's an investigative psychologist, an academic more interested in figuring out the why of a crime than actually solving it. But when he steps off the plane and into the dizzying frenzy of the provincial airport, he soon realizes that the murder of the Okriki Three isn't as straightforward as he thought. With the help of his loyal and streetwise personal driver, Chika, Philip must work against those actively conspiring against him to parse together the truth of what happened to these students

Sparks like stars : a novel by Nadia Hashimi

Adopted from Afghanistan forty years earlier by an American diplomat in the aftermath of a coup and assassination, Aryana has a chance encounter with the soldier who saved her life and killed her family.

Justine : a novel by Forsyth Harmon

Ali is a lonely teenager living with her grandmother on Long Island and becomes drawn to Justine, a seductive but troubled cashier who takes Ali under wing, but as Ali's fixation with her grows, her inability to connect with her newfound idol leads to a series of events that will forever change their lives.

Life after death : a novel by Sister Souljah

With her jail sentence coming to a close, Winter is ready to step back into the spotlight and reclaim her throne

Destined for you by Tracie Peterson

"After smallpox kills her mother and siblings, Gloriana Womack is dedicated to holding together what's left of her fractured family. Luke Carson arrives in Duluth to shepherd the arrival of the railroad and reunite with his brother. When tragedy strikes,Gloriana and Luke must help each other through their grief and soon find their lives inextricably linked"--

Brother, sister, mother, explorer : a novel by Jamie Figueroa

"In the tourist town of Ciudad de Tres Hermanas, in the aftermath of their mother's passing, two siblings spend a final weekend together in their childhood home. Seeing her brother, Rafa, careening toward a place of no return, Rufina devises a bet: if they can make enough money performing for privileged tourists in the plaza over the course of the weekend to afford a plane ticket out, Rafa must commit to living. If not, Rufina will make her peace with Rafa's own plan for the future, however terrifying it may be. As the siblings reckon with generational and ancestral trauma, set against the indignities of present-day prejudice, other strange hauntings begin to stalk these pages: their mother's ghost kicks her heels against the walls; Rufina's vanished child creeps into her arms at night; and above all this, watching over the siblings, a genderless, flea-bitten angel remains hell-bent on saving what can be saved"--FantasticFiction.com

How beautiful we were : a novel by Imbolo Mbue

We should have known the end was near.' So begins Imbolo Mbue's exquisite and devastating novel How Beautiful We Were. Set in the fictional African village of Kosawa, it tells the story of a people living in fear amidst environmental degradation wrought by a large and powerful American oil company. Pipeline spills have rendered farmlands infertile. Children are dying from drinking toxic water. Promises of clean up and financial reparations to the villagers are made--and ignored. The country's government, led by a corrupt, brazen dictator, exists to serve its own interest. Left with few choices, the people of Kosawa decide to fight the American corporation. Doing so will come at a steep price. Told through multiple perspectives and centered around a fierce young girl named Thula who grows up to become a revolutionary, How Beautiful We Were is a masterful exploration of what happens when the reckless drive for profit, coupled with the ghosts of colonialism, comes up against one village's quest for justice--and a young woman's willingness to sacrifice everything for the sake of her people's freedom

The recent east by Thomas Grattan

"A sweeping multigenerational novel following a family in East Germany as they fracture and come back together"--

My old home : a novel of exile by Orville Schell

"A uniquely experienced observer of China now gives us a novel that recounts the familiar but still mesmerizing events from the rise of Mao to the Tiananmen Square uprising, and the impact of that history on one father and son. At the center: Li Tongshu,one of the few Chinese citizens ever to graduate from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is married to Vivian Knight, a Chinese American violinist. Tongshu is drawn by Mao's promise "to build a new China," and by the enthusiasm so many other Chinese artists and scientists living abroad express at that prospect. The odds of Tongshu ever having a successful career as a performer in the US are small, and so when the new president of the recently established Central Academy of China offers him a teaching position, he decides to return home with his family. But now, Tongshu will be forced to contend with the erratic and unexpected shifts of a government determined to control the beliefs and convictions of the people; with suspicion of the Western culture that educated him; and with how the fortune and experience his son, Little Li, becomes caught up in the maelstrom of political and ideological upheaval that not only threatens to destroy his family, but that will ultimately destroy the essential fabric of Chinese society"--

The fourth child : a novel by Jessica Winter

Overcome by spiritual restlessness as her children gain independence, a devout Catholic adopts a child from Eastern Europe whose complicated needs estrange the woman from her biological children.

Waking Up Married by Reese Ryan

Their night on the town is a blank, but when Zora Abbott and Dallas Hamilton awaken in a Vegas hotel room, they’re man and wife. With news of the nuptials spreading virally, the high-profile best friends decide to stay married, temporarily. Maybe under the cover of marriage, Dallas can even make his best friend’s baby dream come true. But can their friendship survive their newly unleashed passions?

Sarahland : stories by Sam Cohen

"In SARAHLAND, Sam Cohen brilliantly (and often hilariously) explores the ways in which traditional stories have failed us, giving its cast of Sarahs new origin stories, new ways to love the planet and those inhabiting it, and new possibilities for life itself. In one story, a Jewish college girl named Sarah suffers from passively consenting to a form-life devoted to getting one's "mrs." degree. Yet another reveals a version of Sarah finally finding peace with her favorite local necrophiliac. A Buffy-loving Sarah continues her misguided search for self in a twin-- while probing fan culture. As the collection progresses, Cohen explodes this search for self, insisting that we have more to resist and repair than our own personal narrative. Readers watch as the ever-evolving "Sarah" gets recast: as a biblical trans woman, a lesbian literally growing roots, a being who transcends the earth as we know it. While Cohen presents a world that will clearly someday end, "Sarah" will continue. In each Sarah's refusalto adhere to a single narrative, she might even help build a better home for all of us, a place to live that demands no fixity of self, no plague of consumerism, no bodily compromise, a place called SARAHLAND"--

The arsonists' city by Hala Alyan

"A rich family story, a personal look at the legacy of war in the Middle East, and an indelible rendering of how we hold on to the people and places we call home"--

My heart : a novel by Semezdin Mehmedinoviac

An intimate work of autobiographical fiction traces the experiences of a writer who in the wake of a life-threatening heart attack reevaluates his past as a member of a Bosnian war refugee family.

The phone booth at the edge of the world : a novel by Laura Imai Messina

"When Yui loses both her mother and her daughter in the tsunami, she begins to mark the passage of time from that date onward: Everything is relative to March 11, 2011, the day the tsunami tore Japan apart, and when grief took hold of her life. Yui struggles to continue on, alone with her pain. Then, one day she hears about a man who has an old disused telephone booth in his garden. There, those who have lost loved ones find the strength to speak to them and begin to come to terms with their grief. As news of the phone booth spreads, people travel to it from miles around. Soon Yui makes her own pilgrimage to the phone booth, too. But once there she cannot bring herself to speak into the receiver. Instead she finds Takeshi, a bereaved husband whose own daughter has stopped talking in the wake of her mother's death." -- Goodreads.com

The twilight zone : a novel by Nona Fernández

"It's 1984 in Chile, in the middle of the Pinochet dictatorship. A member of the secret police walks into the office of a dissident magazine and finds a reporter, who records his testimony. The narrator of Nona Fernández's mesmerizing and terrifying novel The Twilight Zone is a child when she first sees this man's face on the magazine's cover with the words "I Tortured People." His complicity in the worst crimes of the regime and his commitment to speaking about them haunt the narrator into her adulthood and career as a writer and documentarian. Like a secret service agent from the future, through extraordinary feats of the imagination, Fernández follows the "man who tortured people" to places that archives can't reach, into the sinister twilight zone of history where morning routines, a game of chess, Yuri Gagarin, and the eponymous TV show of the novel's title coexist with the brutal yet commonplace machinations of the regime."--Amazon

Body of stars : a novel by Laura Maylene Walter

"From debut novelist Laura Maylene Walter, a bold and dazzling exploration of fate and female agency in a world very similar to our own--except that the markings on women's bodies reveal the future"--

The dating plan by Sara Desai

"Without rules, these fake fiancaes might accidentally fall for each other in this romantic comedy by the author of The Marriage Game. Daisy Patel is a software engineer who understands lists and logic better than bosses and boyfriends. Ever the obedientdaughter, she always follows the rules, but the one thing she can't give her family is the marriage they expect. With few options left to her, and desperate to escape a parade of unwanted suitors, she asks her childhood crush to be her decoy fiancae. LiamMurphy is a venture capitalist with something to prove. When he learns that his inheritance is contingent on being married, he realizes his best friend's little sister has the perfect solution to his problem. A marriage of convenience will get Daisy's matchmaking relatives off her back and fulfill the terms of his late grandmother's will. If only her brother hadn't warned him away... Sparks fly when Daisy and Liam go on a series of dates to legitimize their fake relationship. Too late, they realize thatvery little is convenient about their arrangement. History and chemistry aren't about to follow the rules of this engagement"--

Silence is a sense : a novel by Layla AlAmmar

"A woman sits in her apartment in an unnamed English city, absorbed in watching the dramas of her neighbors through their windows. Traumatized into muteness after a long, devastating trip from war-torn Syria to the UK, she believes that she wants to sinkdeeper into isolation, moving between memories of her absent boyfriend and family and her homeland, dreams, and reality. At the same time, she begins writing for a magazine under the pseudonym "the Voiceless," trying to explain the refugee experience without sensationalizing it--or revealing anything about herself. Gradually, as the boundaries of her world expand, she has to make a choice: Will she remain a voiceless observer, or become an active participant in her own life and in a community that, despite her best efforts, is quickly becoming her own?"--

Red Island House : a novel by Andrea Lee

"Gorgeously evocative, Red Island House follows two decades in the life of Shay, an African-American professor whose husband Senna, a brash and wealthy Italian businessman, builds her a dream house in Madagascar"--

A question mark is half a heart by Sofia Lundberg

"From the author of The Red Address Book Sofia Lundberg comes a captivating story about overcoming shame and guilt, about finding oneself and the truth-and in doing so, learning how to love"--

The art of losing by Alice Zeniter

"A gripping, multigenerational tale of a French Algerian woman, her family's past, and the legacies of colonialism"--

My friend Natalia : a novel by Laura Lindstedt

"One of Finland's most dynamic novelists bursts onto the American literary scene with this erotic story of an ambitious therapist's sessions with an unforgettable patient. Award-winning author Laura Lindstedt makes her Anais Nin-like US debut with this mesmerizing tale of one woman's potent affliction: Natalia cannot stop thinking about sex. Narrated by her unnamed, ungendered therapist, who leaps at the chance to employ their most experimental methods, My Friend Natalia offers a gripping examination of the power dynamics always present but rarely ever spoken about in therapy. "Something flared within me," the therapist notes. "And it wasn't exclusively sympathy.?.?.?.? It was more like a sudden experience of harmony, wholly inappropriate given the circumstances." By combining philosophy and literature, repressed childhood memories and explicitly unrepressed erotic experiences, their sessions quickly shed all inhibitions. As tension percolates, the therapist can't shake the question: What does Natalia really want? In prose charged with sharp banter and double entendres, My Friend Natalia takes a deconstructive approach to the self-help narratives of our times and announces Laura Lindstedt as a rare and unflinching literary talent"--

Libertie : a novel by Kaitlyn Greenidge

"Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her mother, a physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie will go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie feels stifled by her mother's choices and is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother, Libertie has skin that is too dark. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it--for herself and for generations to come"--

Bride Behind the Desert Veil by Abby Green

Sharif Marchetti is deliberate. Controlled. Especially in his strategic choice of a royal bride. So after surrendering to his instincts with a mystery woman, he must erase their desert encounter from his memory. Until they meet a second time…moments before they exchange wedding vows!

His Stolen Innocent's Vow by Marcella Bell

Helene d’Tierrza detests her corrupt father’s tainted legacy. It’s why she’s sworn never to wed or have children. That’s never been a problem for this strong-willed soldier. Until superrich Drake Andros makes his proposal!

Lurkers by Sandi Tan

"In a suburban LA neighborhood, a group of neighbors keep wary distance and at times collide, propelled by loneliness, desire, fury, and sorrow. Precocious Korean American sisters Mira and Rosemary find their world rocked by a suicide; a charismatic and creepy drama teacher grooms his students; an aging gay horror novelist fights loneliness; and a white mother and her adopted Vietnamese daughter deal with lifelong anger issues. Spanning decades, and bringing together a diverse and interlocking group of stories, Lurkers is a Los Angeles masterpiece, showing Sandi Tan's fiction to be as formidable and exciting as her filmmaking"--

Of women and salt by Gabriela Garcia

"A sweeping, masterful debut about a daughter's fateful choice, a mother motivated by her own past, and a family legacy that begins in Cuba before either of them were born In present-day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn more about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt. From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Of Women and Salt is a kaleidoscopic portrait of betrayals-personal and political, self-inflicted and those done by others-that have shaped the lives of these extraordinary women. A haunting meditation on the choices of mothers, the legacy of the memories they carry, and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them, this is more than a diaspora story; it is a story of America's most tangled, honest, human roots"--

Wild women and the blues by Denny S Bryce

In an award-winning debut novel, a sharecropper’s daughter navigates celebrity encounters, bootlegging and gangster activities in Jazz Age Chicago before sharing her story with a grieving film student nearly a century later

Knit, Purl, a Baby and a Girl by Hettie Bell

Poppy’s totally got this. She just needs a little encouragement, and a knitting group is the perfect place to start. Baby blankets, booties, tiny little hats—small steps toward her new life. But she feels like she’s already dropped a stitch when she discovers the knitting group is led by the charismatic Rhiannon.

The final revival of Opal & Nev : a novel by Dawnie Walton

"Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can't imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job--despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can bea star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar's amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records. In early seventies New York City, just as she'sfinding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal's bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth. Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo's most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatensto blow up everything."--
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