eight exciting titles released this month
November is going to be a month of biographies.
From the memoirs of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and Will Smith to books examining the life of American literary critic Elizabeth Hardwick, The talented Mr. Ripley author Patricia Highsmith and Pablo Picasso, this month’s book releases are full of biographical titles.
But there is also a lot of fiction to look forward to.
Catalog of a private life, an English translation of the short stories by Libyan novelist Najwa Binshatwan will be released in November as well as a new novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Louise Erdrich.
Here are the eight novels to add to your reading list this month.
Contemporary artist Weiwei has been an open critic of China. The artist grew up in the far northwest of China due to his father’s exile. Weiwei’s father, poet Ai Qing, was sentenced during the anti-right movement, resulting in his family being sent to a labor camp in 1958, when Weiwei was one year old. They were then exiled to northern Xinjiang, where they lived for over 15 years.
In 1000 years of joys and sorrows, Weiwei sheds light on this experience, taking a retrospective look at the history of China, while ruminating on his own artistic practice.
Published by Crown, the book will be released on Tuesday.
Erdrich’s latest novel is a ghost story. A Minneapolis bookstore specializing in works by Indigenous authors is haunted by the mind of one of its most irritating customers. “Flora dies on the Day of the Dead, but she just won’t leave the store,” the book’s blurb read. “Tookie, who landed a job as a book seller after years of incarceration that she survived reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while trying to figure out everything that goes on in Minneapolis for a while. year of mourning, astonishment, isolation and angry calculations.
The novel, published by Harper, will be released on Tuesday, November 9.
Smith is no stranger to audiences, having been in the limelight since his hit TV show in 1990. The prince of Bel-Air. But in his new memories Will, the actor and rapper promises to share a new side.
The book originates from Smith’s childhood in West Philadelphia, retracing a “deep journey of self-knowledge” through the worlds of music and Hollywood. A trailer for a YouTube series, Best shape of my life, debuting on Monday, November 8, which was largely filmed in Dubai, shows Smith reading excerpts from his memoir to his family, including children Trey, Jaden and Willow Smith.
Published by Penguin Press, Will goes on sale Tuesday, November 9.
Highsmith, author of psychological thrillers including Strangers on a train and the series of novels featuring the character Tom Ripley, was famous for his privacy. But she ritually kept a journal and a notebook to record her day and find ideas for her work.
Highsmith expressed his wish for his journals to be published posthumously, before his death in 1995 at the age of 74. Its longtime editor Anna von Planta then began sifting through 8,000 pages of Highsmith’s personal writings, extracting her most insightful entries in this volume.
The book is published by Liveright and will be released on Tuesday, November 16.
This is the first biography of the American critic and short story writer Hardwick. The author of the semi-autobiographical novel of 1979 Sleepless nights was often overshadowed by her marriage to poet Robert Lowell, but was a literary force in itself. Splendid Intelligence by Cathy Curtis traces Hardwick’s life from her early years in Kentucky until her move to New York City, where she met and befriended cultural figures Susan Sontag, Elizabeth Bishop and Mary McCarthy.
Posted by WW Norton, Splendid Intelligence will be released on Tuesday, November 16.
Bintshatwan caught the attention of the region when she became the first Libyan to win the International Prize for Arab Fiction in 2017. Author of four novels, she is also acclaimed for her shorter works. Translated by Sawad Hussain, Catalog of a private life compiles eight stories that highlight the effects of the civil war on Libyan society. The stories, originally published in Arabic in 2018, often touch the absurd while examining the fragile lines between betrayal and loyalty, cruelty and tenderness.
Catalog of a private life is published by Dedalus Books and will be released on Wednesday, November 17.
The fourth and final installment of John Richardson’s very detailed examination of the life of Pablo Picasso will be published two years after the author’s death. The book captures one of Picasso’s most prolific and troubled periods – the years between the Spanish Civil War and WWII, as the Spanish painter completed some of his most recognizable works, including Guernica, as well as his portraits of Dora Maar and Marie Therese Walter.
Posted by Knopf, A life of Picasso IV will be released on Tuesday, November 16.
Famous for her succinct storytelling and surgical precision prose, Lydia Davis is also acclaimed for her translations of French classics, including Gustave Flaubert. Madame Bovary and that of Marcel Proust Path of Swann. In Try two, the American author writes about what drew her to translation while reflecting on the overlapping relationships between the different languages. The book follows the 2019 collection Testing, which compiles five decades of Davis’ essays, commentaries, and lectures.
Try two is published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and goes on sale Tuesday, November 30.
Update: November 1, 2021, 6:21 a.m.