Put on your sunglasses, folks. It’s a shiny new year out there.
Say what you will about 2020, it was a great year for books. How’s 2021 looking? Here are some titles we are looking forward to in the first four months.
• “The Great Gatsby: A Graphic Novel Adaptation,” by K. Woodman- Maynard (Candlewick, Jan. 5)
Woodman-Maynard has woven excerpts from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous novel throughout mystical and haunting watercolors.
• “That Old Country Music,” by Kevin Barry (Doubleday, Jan. 12)
Irish writer Barry, winner of the Dublin Literary Award and the Goldsmiths Prize, returns with his third collection of stories that blend humor and pathos, beauty and sorrow.
• “Aftershocks,” by Nadia Owusu (Simon & Schuster, Jan. 12)
Whiting Award-winner Owusu writes about her peripatetic childhood, following her father — a United Nations official — from Africa to Europe to America and back again, while her Armenian mother disrupts her life by abandoning her and then returning.
• “Reel Bay: A Cinematic Essay,” by Jana Larson (Coffee House Press, Jan. 19)
Inspired by a news story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, filmmaker and writer Larson set out to plumb the mystery of a Japanese woman who was found dead in rural North Dakota.
• “How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House,” by Cherie Jones (Little, Brown, Feb. 2)
The story of interconnected lives — rich, poor, workers, criminals — in a Barbados beach town.
• “As You Were,” by David Tromblay (Dzanc Books, Feb. 16)
This tough and painful coming of age memoir by Tromblay tells of growing up on the Fond du Lac Reservation outside of Duluth with an abusive, alcoholic father.
• “Radiant,” by Liz Heinecke (Grand Central, Feb. 16)
Heinecke delves into the lives and friendship of Madame Marie Curie and dancer Loie Fuller.
• “Three Ordinary Girls,” by Tim Brady (Kensington Books, Feb. 23)
The subtitle of this exciting book of nonfiction says it all: “The Remarkable Story of Three Dutch Teenagers Who Became Spies, Saboteurs, Nazi Assassins and WWII Heroes.”
• “The Committed,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press, March 2)
The long-awaited sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Sympathizer” takes place in Paris, where the Sympathizer and his brother Bon turn to drug-dealing and fall in with a group of left-wing intellectuals.
• “Klara and the Sun,” by Kazuo Ishi-guro (Alfred A. Knopf, March 2)
In his first book since winning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2017, Ishiguro brings readers to a futuristic world where Klara, a solar-powered robot, awaits a human friend.
• “The Seed Keeper,” by Diane Wilson (Milkweed Editions, March 9)
A multigenerational novel by Dakota writer Wilson, telling the story of women forced to leave their traditional way of life and then returning.
• “How Beautiful We Were,” by Imbolo Mbue (Random House, March 9)
Set in a fictional African village, the new book by the author of the award-winning “Behold the Dreamers” is the story of an American oil company and the poisonous damage it is wreaking on the village.
• “Northern Light,” by Kazim Ali (Milkweed Editions, March 9)
As a child, Ali lived in a small Canadian town while his father worked on the construction of a hydroelectric dam. But when he returns to Manitoba as a grown man, Ali sees the damage his father’s work inflicted on the Native community nearby.
• “The Wild Silence,” by Raynor Winn (Penguin, April 6)
The sequel to the bestselling memoir “The Salt Path” tells the story of what happened to Raynor and her ailing husband, Moth, after their long walk was over.
• “The Youngest Boy,” stories by Jim Heynen (Holy Cow! Press, April 13)
These parables by Heynen dovetail with his previous “boy stories,” but focus on the very youngest.