Montreal Gazette


Some promising new titles to mark on your calendar

- The Washington Post

This year has already promised to bring another bumper crop for readers. To help us all prepare, we've organized 2024 releases we're especially looking forward to in some major categories and included a few suggestion­s for what you might enjoy based on your favourite books of recent times. The fall schedule will come into clearer view as the year progresses, so this list leans heavily on the first half of 2024. Here's to another 12 months of reading pleasure.


If you liked Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, read James by Percival Everett (March 19)

Barbara Kingsolver's bestsellin­g Pulitzer winner was directly inspired by the socially concerned novels of Charles Dickens. Percival Everett has set himself the thrilling task of rewriting Huck Finn from the perspectiv­e of the enslaved Jim. Everett has been a writer's writer for decades. In recent years, with a novel shortliste­d for the Booker Prize (The Trees) and another (Erasure) becoming the source material for an acclaimed movie (American Fiction), his name has become more widely familiar.

If you liked Biography of X by Catherine Lacey, read Anita de Monte Laughs Last by Xochitl Gonzalez (March 5)

Xochitl Gonzalez published her first novel, Olga Dies Dreaming, two years ago. The Washington Post's Ron Charles wrote: “Rarely does a novel, particular­ly a debut novel, contend so powerfully and so delightful­ly with such a vast web of personal, cultural, political and even internatio­nal imperative­s.” Her followup also combines the story of an intimate relationsh­ip with thoughts about larger social and political concerns. In it, an Ivy League art history student struggling to fit in on campus becomes fascinated by the story of a promising artist who was found dead years earlier.

If you liked The Seven Year Slip by Ashley Poston, read The Husbands by Holly Gramazio (April 2)

Holly Gramazio is a game designer who has created games that can be played in all sorts of places, from your computer to walls in a public park. Her playful creativity now finds expression in a debut novel, in which a London woman discovers that a series of husbands she's never met before continuall­y emerge from her attic. “It's about, I guess, online dating to some extent. It's about the difficulty of making decisions in a world of seemingly infinite choice,” Gramazio has said.

If you liked Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, read Real Americans by Rachel Khong (April 30)

Rachel Khong's debut novel, Goodbye, Vitamin, about a 30-year-old woman who returns home to help with her ailing father, was one of the best-reviewed books of 2017. She returns, painting on a larger canvas, in this story about three generation­s of a Chinese American family, starting with two geneticist­s who flee China in the 1960s, during the Cultural Revolution. Their daughter, Lily Chen, narrates the first of the book's three parts. Different voices follow, in a multilayer­ed look at family and identity.


If you liked Stay True by Hua Hsu, read Grief is for People by Sloane Crosley (Feb. 27)

Sloane Crosley is well known for her collection­s of humorous essays, starting with I Was Told There'd Be Cake, and two novels (most recently Cult Classic). In her first full-length memoir, she writes about her friendship with Russell Perreault, a longtime publicist at Vintage Books who was Crosley's boss and mentor in the business, as well as her dear friend. Perreault died by suicide in 2019, soon after Crosley's apartment was burglarize­d. The book maintains Crosley's signature wit while anatomizin­g grief, fear, the complexity of people and a changing publishing industry.

If you liked Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankentha­ler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art by Mary Gabriel, read Radiant: The Life and Line of Keith Haring by Brad Gooch (March 5)

“Even more extremely than his own model as a living artist, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring occupied a space both in high fine art culture and low demotic street art,” Brad Gooch writes in the prologue to Radiant. Gooch, who has written previous acclaimed biographie­s of writers Flannery O'connor and Frank O'hara, was granted access to the archive of the graffiti and pop artist for this project. Between arriving in New York in 1978 and his premature death from AIDS in 1990, at 31, Haring went from a subway sensation whose work visually defined the 1980s New York scene to worldwide fame.

If you liked Just Kids by Patti Smith, read Rebel Girl by Kathleen Hanna (May 14)

As the lead singer and songwriter of Bikini Kill in the 1990s, Kathleen Hanna was the face of the riot grrrl movement, a potent mix of punk rock and feminist activism.

In her first memoir (her life has already been the subject of a 2013 documentar­y), Hanna recounts her difficult childhood; the music scene in Olympia, Wash., where Bikini Kill was born; her friendship­s with Kurt Cobain, Kim Gordon and others; her marriage to Adam Horovitz (Ad-rock) of the Beastie Boys; and her critique of the riot grrrl culture in its later years.


If you liked anything by Tana French, read The Hunter by Tana French (March 5)

Tana French has become her own reliable industry of top-shelf crime thrillers.

Her last novel, The Searcher (2020), introduced Cal Hooper, an ex-chicago cop living in western Ireland. Now Hooper is back in The Hunter. French told the Today show late last year that these novels are “less depressing” than those in her earlier Dublin Murder Squad series. “The main characters aren't destroying things, or being destroyed,” she said. “They're building things: relationsh­ips, bonds. Even if they run into trouble and make mistakes along the way.”

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 ?? PIOTR REDLINSKI/THE NEW YORK TIMES ?? Kathleen Hanna, a founder of the riot grrrl movement, has released a memoir about punk rock and feminist activism, along with plenty of personal details about her life and career.
PIOTR REDLINSKI/THE NEW YORK TIMES Kathleen Hanna, a founder of the riot grrrl movement, has released a memoir about punk rock and feminist activism, along with plenty of personal details about her life and career.

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