Literary Fiction | Prepub Alert, May 2024 Titles

R.O. Kwon returns to novels after a six-year break. Plus, a number of notable debuts.








Dyroff, Charlee. Loneliness & Company. Bloomsbury. May 2024. 288p. ISBN 9781639732081. $28.99. F

Set in a near-future NYC, Dyroff’s debut explores loneliness as a recent college grad conducts research for a secret government project, teaching an AI how to be a friend. The novel plumbs the edges of isolation and explores what humans will do to find connection.

Fontaine, Tessa. The Red Grove. Farrar. May 2024. 336p. ISBN 9780374605810. $28. F

Fontaine’s first novel, after the buzzy memoir The Electric Woman, is set in a protected and mysterious community, but still Luce’s mother goes missing. As Luce tries to figure out what happened, she discovers far more than she expected—about Red Grove, safety, and violence.

Grabowski, Alina. Women and Children First. SJP Lit: Zando. May 2024. 336p. ISBN 9781638930785. $28. F

From Sarah Jessica Parker’s imprint, this debut novel in stories explores grief in prismatic effect, limning the experiences of 10 women in a tiny costal Massachusetts town as they individually confront the death of a young woman at a house party, while the community as a whole reckons with the tragedy.

Grimaldi, Virginie. A Good Life. Europa. May 2024. 288p. tr. from French by Hildegarde Serle. ISBN 9798889660248. $28. F

Grimaldi, a best seller in Europe, makes her U.S. debut with the story of two estranged sisters who reunite in Basque Country when they clean out their grandmother’s house, recalling their childhood bond and exploring their current lives.

Kunrzu, Hari. Blue Ruin. Knopf. May 2024. 272p. ISBN 9780593801376. $28. F

Kunzru’s (Red Pill) COVID novel is also a portrait of an artist. Jay once made art but now, as the pandemic rages, lives out of his car and delivers groceries. A former lover, now married to Jay’s former best friend, invites him to stay on their lush estate. It becomes a site of reckoning.

Kwon, R.O. Exhibit. Riverhead. May 2024. 224p. ISBN 9780593190029. $28. F

Returning to novels after a six-year break, best seller Kwon (The Incendiaries) centers two artistic women who explore their desires and push the limits of their ambition. For one, their unexpected and revelatory meeting also limns the edges of a curse.

Lytle, Alana B. Man’s Best Friend. Putnam. May 2024. 320p. ISBN 9780593715024. $28. F

Debuting with a slightly surreal story that is BISACed as literary, psychological, and satire, Lytle spins out the story of El, a failed actor who willing trades her independence for the moneyed world a man named Bryce can offer. But the deal is not all that it seems, and sinister consequences loom.

Min, Juli. Shanghailanders. Spiegel & Grau. May 2024. 256p. ISBN 9781954118607. $28. F

The editor in chief and fiction editor of the Shanghai Literary Review debuts with a buzzy novel, subject of a six-way auction and with foreign rights selling fast. It flows backwards in time, starting in 2040 as it traces the fate of a Shanghai family through marriage, choices, and change.

Mogollon, Melissa. Oye. Hogarth: Crown. May 2024. 336p. ISBN 9780593594902. $29. F

Mogollon debuts with a coming-of-age comedy starring Luciana, the youngest in her large Colombian American family. All told over the phone during her senior year, the novel’s events include a hurricane, her grandmother moving into her room, and Luciana meeting her moment.

Mora, Nicolás Medina. América del Norte. Soho. May 2024. NAp. ISBN 9781641295642. $27. F

A winner of the 2023 n+1 Writers’ Fellowship debuts with a near-autofiction bildungsroman centered on Sebastián, who was raised in an elite Mexican family, graduates from Yale, and is accepted into the Iowa Writers Workshop. His gilded life is opened to new examination in the wake of the Trump administration’s immigration policies.

Nóyes, Anna. The Blue Maiden. Grove. May 2024. 240p. ISBN 9780802162809. $26. F

After her critically well-received collection Goodnight, Beautiful Women, Nóyes’s first novel is a Nordic gothic set in 1825 that showcases two sisters living on an island with a history of witchcraft, across the water from another island known as the home of witches. A missing mother, community rules, desires, and an alluring stranger mix.

O’Connor, Elizabeth. Whale Fall. Pantheon. May 2024. 224p. ISBN 9780593700914. $27. F

Set in 1938 on a Welsh Island, O’Connor’s debut explores isolation and self-discovery as a young woman, forced into adulthood by the death of her mother, yearns for life beyond the shores of her tiny community. When two English ethnographers arrive, community, family, and self are put on the precipice.

Schneck, Colombe. Swimming in Paris: A Life in Three Stories. Penguin Pr. May 2024. 240p. tr. from French by Lauren Elkin & Natasha Lehrer. ISBN 9780593655931. $27. F

Reverberating across three stories, Schneck, a best-selling award-winner in France, intimately surveys the world of a fiftysomething woman looking at her life at 17, at 50, and in between. As the woman reflects, Schneck explores a kaleidoscope of concerns, from bodily autonomy to love to loss.

Tang, Jiaming. Cinema Love. Dutton. May 2024. 304p. ISBN 9780593474334. $28. F

Subject of a bidding war in the U.S., and preempted in several European markets, Tang’s debut is a queer love story and an immigrant tale that spans across post-socialist China to contemporary NYC. Tang is a Center for Fiction Emerging Writers Fellow and works at Scribner.

Zyzak, Magdalena. The Lady Waiting. Riverhead. May 2024. 352p. ISBN 9780593542941. $28. F

Fast and funny, this caper full of wit and verve stars Polish émigré Viva, mysterious art gallerist Bobby Sleeper, and Bobby’s shadowy filmmaker husband. Viva gets seduced into their world, along with a plan involving a Vermeer masterwork, millions of dollars, and a host of ex-husbands. From the author of The Ballad of Barnabas Pierkiel

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