Books

13 New Books Coming in August

Gurnah, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature last year, often deals with themes of exile and displacement in his writing. His latest novel, set in East Africa under German rule in the 1900s, follows three characters: Ilyas, who joins the German troops; his sister, Afiya, who is raised by his best friend after he leaves; and Hamza, another former soldier who returns from the war and falls in love with Afiya.

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One of Edie Sedgwick’s sisters dives into the star’s life and career in this deeply personal history. “I’m trying to figure out exactly what happened when Edie got together with Andy [Warhol],” she writes. “I want to understand what he was up to, because right now it seems to me that when the two of them got together something was set in motion that led to the present that we are all living out.”

First published in Japan in 2003, and newly available here, this collection offers plenty of Yoshimoto’s signature themes: lonely women, betrayal, relationship upsets — and grace, too.

In this debut novel, the only woman in her Tokyo office fakes a pregnancy to avoid undesirable tasks at work. As she gets deeper into the lie (disguising a growing belly, tracking the development of her “baby”), the story takes on an utterly absurd dimension — all the best to explore discrimination and double standards.

In her heyday, Kiki de Montparnasse was a star in Paris’s bohemian quarter: a Surrealist film star, a celebrated painter and an incandescent nightclub star. But now, she’s often eclipsed by her relationship with Man Ray. This biography reminds readers of her artistic achievements in her own right — she may have been Man Ray’s muse, but that’s not all — and delves deeper into their relationship.

In this latest novel by the author of “Exit West,” Anders, a white man, wakes up to realize his skin color has changed to “a deep and undeniable brown.” As more people in the community start to undergo similar transformations, it sets off a reckoning about power and justice.

In 1940s Los Angeles, Maria works as a producer for a foundering film studio after fleeing Italy years earlier. Her boss, Artie, is down on his luck: Money is running out, he’s at odds with his business partners — and that was before he was summoned to testify in front of Congress. As World War II breaks out, the studio becomes a refuge for all manner of exclusions — actors, writers, émigrés.

What happens when the parent-child relationship is inverted? Tillman, a novelist and critic, cared for her mother as she neared death, and in this book she captures her shifting feelings and responsibilities in unsparing detail.

In this novel, a Chicago comedian contends with an unthinkable tragedy: A sinkhole opens up under the Art Institute, killing nearly his entire family. In the midst of his grief, he intersects with a longtime fan who works at the mayor’s office. There is plenty of heartache, city politicking and humor — as well as moving passages from the point of view of a neurotic parrot.”

In this debut novel, a queer young Black man leaves behind his comfortable family life in Indianapolis and heads to New York in the 1980s, which provides a thrilling, occasionally enraging, political and social backdrop for his coming-of-age.

Macy’s 2018 book, “Dopesick,” traced Purdue Pharma’s role in the opioid crisis. Here she focuses on the people fighting overdoses on the front lines — nurse practitioners, ministers — who refuse to stigmatize addiction.

Carrère had hoped to write “a subtle little book on yoga,” he notes in this semi-autobiographical new novel. But the story is about far more: the dissolution of his romantic relationship; depression and other private sorrows; And, ultimately, how meditation and writing inform one another.

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