November 2021: Discover Previews
Selected by Natasha Onwuemezi

There are a lot of wonderful titles from incisive poetry presses, impressive indies and energetic translated fiction publishers in this month’s preview.

Highlights in fiction are Seesaw, an “energetic comedy of cultural dislocation” by Timothy Ogene (Swift Press), The Song of Youth by Montserrat Roig (Fun d’Estampa Press) in which the author uses language as a weapon against political and social “dismemory”, and John Edgar Wideman’s collection of stories Look for Me and I’ll Be Gone (Canongate), which provides an essential insight into the state of America today.

In non-fiction, there’s an exploration of the social history of Britain and Ireland peatlands, a guide to Black skin from Dija Ayodele, first-hand accounts of tree-felling protests in Sheffield—and Will Smith, with a self-help memoir written with Mark Manson, author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F *ck. There is a wealth of fantastic poetry too, including The Bible II, Wild Imperfections: A Womanist Anthology and That day she’ll proclaim her chronicles.

That all said, this preview is sorely lacking in children’s titles—so this is a reminder to children’s publishers that this preview exists and that you should submit to it.


Browse November 2021: Discover Previews

  • Fiction

    My Father's Notebook

    by Kader Abdolah

    A father-son tale set amid the tumultuous history of 20th-century Iran, written by an Iranian novelist in exile, is the latest addition to the publisher's Canons series. For fans of Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age.

    Canongate Canons, £9.99, 4th November 2021, 9781786898982
  • Fiction

    Brickmakers

    by Selva Almada

    Reminiscent of the pace in William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway's prose, Almada's second novel is a rural tragedy in the great American tradition. It is a story of love and violence that begins almost at its end, just a little after the two main characters have faced off in a knife fight.

    Charco Press, £9.99, 2nd November 2021, 9781913867065
  • Fiction

    Somebody Loves You

    by Arshi, Mona

    This is the fiction dbut of Arshi, who won the Forward Prize for her first poetry collection. It follows Ruby, who gives up talking at a young age, and is an exploration of how we choose or refuse to tell the stories that shape us.

    And Other Stories, £11.99, 16th November 2021, 9781913505165
  • Fiction

    Address Book

    by Neil Bartlett

    A new work of fiction by the Costa-shortlisted author of Skin Lane. It chronicles major developments in recent queer history, from a dancing queen taking ownership of his life at the height of the AIDS epidemic to a civil partnership celebration in a high-rise housing development.

    Inkandescent, £9.99, 4th November 2021, 9781912620128
  • Fiction

    I'm Waiting For You

    by Kim Bo-Young

    Through two pairs of interlinked stories, Bo-Young explores the driving forces of humanity: love, hope, creation, destruction and the very meaning of existence. A collection of short fiction by a celebrated South Korean author, available in English for the first time.

    HarperCollins, £8.99, 11th November 2021, 9780008433833
  • Fiction

    Britannia Street

    by Beth Cox

    Moving between past and present, through parallel stories of family disintegration and exploring how secrets resonate with shame down through the generations, Britannia Street is a story of how a woman carries trauma to her family and the wider world.

    Cinnamon Press, £10.99, 15th November 2021, 9781788649339
  • Fiction

    All the Places that Were Hurt

    by Mish Cromer

    Cromer's latest novel of love, friendship and the healing power of the natural environment explores the impact of family, trauma and loss, and the "powerful need we all have to find the place where we belong".

    Cinnamon Press, £10.99, 15th November 2021, 9781788649308
  • Fiction

    Of Solids and Surds: Notes for Noel Sturgeon, Marilyn Hacker, Josh Lukin, Mia Wolff, Bill Stribling, and Bob White

    by Samuel R Delany

    Part of the publisher's Why I Write series, this book from Delany chronicles his struggle with dyslexia, the evolution of his gay and Black identity during the AIDS crisis, and his experiences and relationships through five decades as a writer.

    Yale University Press, £12.99, 9th November 2021, 9780300250404
  • Fiction

    The Crossword Solver

    by Andrew Dutton

    In The Crossword Solver, the "pub is the hub", and the hub of the pub is Pilot Ken, first to arrive and last to leave every drinking day. When Ken's posse is exiled from the pub by a hostile landlord who ousts the regulars in an attempt to "revive" the pub, we travel with them on their fruitless tour in search of a new home.

    Cinnamon Press, £10.99, 15th November 2021, 9781788649292
  • Fiction

    Happy Stories, Mostly

    by Norman Erikson Pasaribu

    Inspired by Simone Weil's concept of "decreation", and drawing on Batak and Christian cultural elements, Erikson Pasaribu's stories put queer characters in situations and plots conventionally filled by hetero characters. It is a blend of science fiction, absurdism and alternative-historical realism that is aimed at "destabilising the heteronormative world and exposing its underlying rot".

    Tilted Axis Press, £9.99, 2nd December 2021, 9781911284635
  • Editors choice
    Biography/memoir

    I Live a Life Like Yours: A Memoir

    by Jan Grue

    First published in Norway, where it was hailed as a major milestone in non-fiction, this book is poised to re-write common misconceptions of disability, the body and desire. The author was prompted to write this memoir when he inherited a huge raft of his own childhood medical records, documents in which he could barely recognise himself. An insightful and beautiful memoir of disability.

    Pushkin Press, £14.99, 4th November 2021, 9781782276555
  • Editors choice
    Current affairs

    Underneath

    by Martin Hayes

    Hayes' third Smokestack collection is an ode to the "invisible workers everywhere who hold up the sky"-specifically the couriers and support staff who have been working 15-hour days to distribute PPE and Covid test kits up and down the UK. The pandemic has forced a lot of us to confront the idea of living to work and Hayes' collection perfectly captures the malaise and ennui associated with working life.

    Smokestack Books, £8.99, 1st November 2021, 9781838465315
  • Editors choice
    Fiction

    Pity the Beast

    by Robin McLean

    Described as a "mind-melting feminist Western", Pity the Beast is a tale of sexual violence and vengeance that follows a woman who is chased into the mountains by a posse of tormentors after cheating on her husband. With echoes of Gabriel Tallent's My Absolute Darling and for fans of Cormac McCarthy, McLean's dbut is an unsentimental portrait of a rural community and the harsh, beautiful landscape it inhabits.

    And Other Stories, £14.99, 2nd November 2021, 9781913505141
  • Editors choice
    Fiction

    The Selfless Act of Breathing

    by JJ Bola

    Bola's insightful,intimate and lyrical work has been entrancing readers; he has published three collections of poetry, and his dbut novel followed in 2017. His second novel tackles mental health, police brutality and the power of love as the protagonist seeks to find his place within a world that is complicated and unwelcoming. Reminiscent of Paul Beatty and Ralph Ellison, this is Dialogue's lead fiction title for 2021.

    Dialogue Books, £14.99, 4th November 2021, 9780349702070
  • Editors choice
    Literary

    Queer Life. Queer Love: An anthology

    by Golnoosh Nour

    Dedicated to the memory of Lucy-Jack Reynolds, the trans daughter of Muswell Press publisher Sarah Beal, this anthology comprises 25 stories, non-fiction pieces, flash fiction and poetry intended to capture the "best of queer writing today".

    Muswell Press, £9.99, 4th November 2021, 9781838110161