Books from independent presses and university presses continue to offer some of the most exciting writing available today. These houses are not afraid to publish works in translation; to offer new ways of thinking about science, history, and economics; or to use a book as a way to make a statement on an important topic such as the environment. They even give a new gloss to memoirs. This year we considered more than 200 submissions from small presses and university presses, along with recommendations from booksellers and PW’s reviews editors, to come up with our picks for some of the best books for adults and children that are just out or scheduled to publish later this fall.
See What I Have DoneSarah Schmidt (Aug., $26, hardcover)
In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.
Reservoir 13 Jon McGregor (Oct., $16.95, trade paper)
"A wonderful book. [Jon McGregor]'s an extraordinary writer, unlike anyone else." ―Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train and Into the Water
Midwinter in an English village. A teenage girl has gone missing. Everyone is called upon to join the search. The villagers fan out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on what is usually a place of peace. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed.
The Stone Building and Other Places Asli Erdogan, trans. from the Turkish by Sevinç Türkkan (Nov., $14.95, trade paper)
"Beautifully written and honestly told, as tender as the tulip gardens of Istanbul and as brave as the human heart."--Elif Safak, author of The Forty Rules of Love
Three interconnected stories feature women whose lives have been interrupted by forces beyond their control. Exile, serious illness, or the imprisonment of one's beloved are each met with versions of strength and daring, while there is no undoing what fate has wrought. These atmospheric, introspective tales culminate in an experimental, multi-voiced novella, whose "stone building" is a metaphor for the various oppressive institutions―prisons, police headquarters, hospitals, and psychiatric asylums―that dominate the lives of all of these characters. Here is a literary distillation of the alienation, helplessness, and controlled fury of exile and incarceration―both physical and mental―presented in a series of moving, allegorical portraits of lives ensnared by the structures of power.
Marita Lorenz (Sept., $27.95, hardcover) Soon to be a motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence, 25,000-copy announced first printing
Born in Germany at the outbreak of WWII and incarcerated at Bergen-Belsen, Marita Lorenz met and fell in love with Fidel Castro, whom she was recruited by the CIA to assassinate. “Marita herself calmly tells you she’s been shot at, poisoned, firebombed, drugged, pistol-whipped, and dumped in the Amazon rainforest to die. If not an entirely glamorous life, it has certainly been one with all peaks and no valleys,” Vanity Fair writes.