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12 new books coming in February

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12 new books coming in February

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Epics by Olga Tokarczuk and Marlon James, long-awaited new novels by Sheila Heti and Julie Otsuka, Chuck Klosterman’s investigation of the 1990s and more.

New in print for February 2022: Epics by Olga Tokarczuk and Marlon James, long-awaited new novels by Sheila Heti and Julie Otsuka, Chuck Klosterman’s investigation of the 1990s and more. (The New York Times) The New York Times

‘Black Cake’, by Charmaine Wilkerson (Ballantine, February 1)

In this first film, an estranged brother and sister reunite after the death of their mother. His last wish for them? “I want you to sit down together and share the cake when the time is right. You’ll know when. Before the novel is finished, they’ll go over almost everything they know about the family.

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    The Book Club’s next reading is “Thank You, Mr. Nixon” by Gish Jen

“Black Cloud Rising,” by David Wright Faladé (Atlantic Monthly Press, February 22)

During the Civil War, thousands of former slaves joined the fight against Confederate forces. This novel imagines the life of one such soldier, Richard Etheridge, the son of a black woman who was enslaved by his father.

“The Books of Jacob”, by Olga Tokarczuk. Translated by Jennifer Croft. (Riverhead, February 1)

First published in Polish in 2014, the novel is inspired by the true story of Jacob Frank, an 18th-century Jewish mystic. Over 900 pages, Tokarczuk, who received the Nobel Prize in 2019, recounts the life and times of Frank and his followers as he travels across Europe, where he is welcomed as a messiah in some parts and ridiculed. like a charlatan in others.

“Chilean Poet”, by Alejandro Zambra. Translated by Megan McDowell. (Viking, February 15)

Zambra draws on Chile’s long literary tradition – Pablo Neruda, Roberto Bolaño and others – in this story of Gonzalo, his stepson Vicente, and the many ways poetry affects their lives.

“Mercy Street,” by Jennifer Haigh (Ecco, January 31)

Four lives converge at a women’s health clinic in Boston as anti-abortion rhetoric escalates. For longtime employee Claudia, the presence of protesters outside the office is nothing new, but as their protests become more unnerving and her personal life becomes even more unsatisfying, she eases her anxiety with marijuana. The novel jumps from his perspective to that of his dealer and two of his other customers: a gentle, lonely man who seeks community in a local church and online, and a virulently misogynistic anti-abortion activist.

“Moon Witch, Spider King”, by Marlon James (Riverhead, February 15)

The second installment in James’ epic fantasy trilogy, this book focuses on Sogolon the Moon Witch, one of the main characters from “Black Leopard, Red Wolf.” She tells her version of what happened in the first volume of the series as the book delves into its own origin story.

“The 90s,” by Chuck Klosterman (Penguin Press, February 8)

“Decades are about cultural perception, and culture can’t read a clock,” writes Klosterman, a journalist and cultural critic who has made pop culture and generational change his beat. In this book, he sets out to explain a decade that seems more distant than it really is, marked by the fall of the Berlin Wall and the anxiety of the year 2000.

“Pure Colour”, by Sheila Heti (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, February 15)

Part parable and part creation story, this novel by the author of “Motherhood” and “How Should a Person Be?” is a philosophical meditation on love and the long reverberations of heartbreak. Heti classifies individuals into three groups, depending on their primary purpose in life: aesthetic beauty, welfare of society, or devotional love for the people around them.

“Recitative”, by Toni Morrison (Knopf, January 31)

First published in 1983, this story follows the decades-long tangled friendship between Twyla and Roberta, who met as children in a shelter. Readers know that one woman is black and the other white, but Morrison hides which is which. She later called it “an experiment in stripping all racial codes from a narrative about two characters of different races for whom racial identity is crucial.”

“Swimmers”, by Julie Otsuka (Knopf, February 22)

In Otsuka’s third novel, a beloved local swimming pool is abruptly closed after a crack appears at the bottom. One of the regular swimmers, Alice – who has relied on her swimming routine to help stave off dementia – is overwhelmed by memories as her adult daughter tries to reconnect.

“Watergate: A New Story,” by Garrett M. Graff (Avid Reader Press, February 15)

Graff, journalist and historian, brings fresh perspective to the scandal that brought down Richard Nixon, focusing on the former president’s enablers and criminals in his outer orbit, as well as whistleblowers and investigators who have helped bring the crimes to light.

“Vladimir,” by Julia May Jonas (Avid Reader Press, January 31)

A teacher’s life is turned upside down after former students accuse her husband – who also teaches at the school – of sexual misconduct. As the investigation into his behavior deepens, the professor struggles with his own infatuation with a younger colleague.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

12 new books coming in February

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