Best New Fiction: June 2014


Best New Fiction is a monthly segment dedicated to highlighting the most interesting and noteworthy releases that will be published over the next thirty days.

Summer_House_With_Swimming_PoolSummer House With Swimming Pool
By Herman Koch
Translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett
400 Pages
ISBN 9780804138819

Herman Koch (The Dinner) seems to have a knack for creating characters that are ever so slightly deranged. They could be your neighbor, your best friend, or in this case perhaps even your family physician.

Marc Scholosser is a general practitioner to the stars, but he never really gets swept away by all their glitz and glamor…that is until he meets actor Ralph Meier and becomes infatuated with his wife Judith. As a result, Marc packs his own wife and two young daughters up for a summer vacation that none of them will ever forget. How young is too young? Where do you draw the line between that which is decent and that which is obscene? Another controversial thriller, once again translated expertly by Sam Garrett.

Release Date: June 3rd (United States)

By Tim Winton
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
432 Pages
ISBN 9780374151348

Award winning Australian author Tim Winton (Cloudstreet) returns with new novel about a broken man struggling to find a way back after being disgraced by scandal.

Tom Keely was a mega-successful environmental activist, now he’s unemployed, divorced, and on his own with a staggering chemical dependency. He’s tried hard to live up to the name of his great father and has failed miserably, but when a woman and boy in need of his help appear, can he pull himself together and rise to the occasion? Tim Winton is a literary FORCE, and Eyrie seems poised to earn him his third Man Booker nomination.

Release Date: June 10th (United States)

Natural_HistoriesNatural Histories
By Guadalupe Nettel
Translated from the Spanish by J.T. Lichtenstein
Seven Stories Press
128 Pages
ISBN 9781609805517

Voted one of the most important Latin American writers under the age of 39 in 2006, Guadalupe Nettel makes her English language debut with Natural Histories, a collection of five stories centering on the darker side of humanity.

Winner of the Ribera del Duero International Award for Short narratives, this slim collection explores human behavior through the eyes of the inhuman and forces us to face our true hidden natures. Is our intelligence a blessing or a curse? Do animals really know best?

Release Date: June 10th (United States)

The-Fever-Megan-AbbottThe Fever
By Megan Abbott
Little, Brown and Company
320 Pages
ISBN 9780316231053

Megan Abbott (Dare Me) returns with a novel that Karli describes as: “…in typical Megan Abbott fashion, the characters are cryptic and details are elusive, which maintains a perfect air of suspense and anticipation throughout the novel.  This is where Abbott really impresses me as an author.  Beyond plot and dialogue, each of her novels seem to contain an atmosphere of sorts – a dreamy, sinister feeling that nothing is what it seems and everyone is harboring a secret.”

Release Date: June 17th (United States)

La_GrandeLa Grande
By Juan Jose Saer
Translated from the Spanish by Steve Dolph
Open Letter Books
497 Pages
ISBN 9781934824214

Juan Jose Saer’s (1937-2005) Scars was the very first Open Letter title that I ever read, purely by chance, and man was it an amazing place to start.

La Grande, Saer’s final novel, takes place over a six day span, yet cleverly bounces between the past and present as it explores themes of sex, politics, and art. Filled with dozens of characters, and throbbing with pain of memories from the Dirty War, Saer’s Argentina pulses from the energy of lives that are reaching, scratching, and clutching for some greater sense of purpose.

Release Date: June 17th (United States)

By Cesar Aira
Translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver

New Directions
96 Pages
ISBN 9780811221108

Cesar Aira (Shantytown) has published over seventy (!) books. Conversations is his tenth in translation from New Directions.

How does a gold Rolex end up on the wrist of a TV soap opera star’s lowly goatherd? This absurd question sparks alarm in two men having a conversation in an outdoor cafe and leads to a massive amount of hilarity. Floating goats, killer algae and water that dehydrates are all in abundance as Aira skillfully blends real world sensibilities with cinematic wonder.

Release Date: June 26th (United States)

Waiting_For_The_ElectricityWaiting for the Electricity
By Christina Nichol
Overlook Press
336 Pages
ISBN 9781468306866

Meet Slims Achmed Makashvili, a maritime lawyer living in the country of Georgia who dreams of something better after the Communists disappear. He writes letter to Hilary Clinton, urging her to bring the promise of the American dream to his homeland.  When he evenuanlly wins an internship in San Francisco, Makashvili will witness first-hand the differences between the two cultures, and realize that perhaps his hopes don’t quite align with the realities of American life.

Release Date: June 26th (United States)

What books are you looking forward to reading in June?

About Aaron Westerman

Aaron Westerman is the Manager of Web Architecture for a national human services organization. When he's not busy tearing sites apart and rebuilding them, he spends his ever shrinking free time trying to keep up with his twins, reading works of translated literature, and watching far too many Oscar nominated movies.