Most anticipated nonfiction of 2024

From stirring investigations to dazzling memoirs, searing cultural criticism to deeply researched histories, our nonfiction cups overfloweth in 2024.
Available 1/16/2024

The newest title in the Yale University Press Black Lives series, John Lewis: In Search of the Beloved Community is the first comprehensive biography of the titular civil rights icon and congressman. Drawing on archival materials and interviews with Lewis and his friends, family and associates, Raymond Arsenault offers an essential, mesmerizing narrative of a man who never lost sight of his vision for a just society, and whose legacy continues to inspire generations to “get in the way.”

Available 1/23/2024

In 1911, 12 Black men were delivered to the forest in rural Maryland and began building their new residence, the State Hospital for the Negro Insane. During its near century of existence, the hospital (re-named Crownsville) held patients in prisonlike conditions without offering them adequate medical attention, food, space or safety. In Madness: Race and Insanity in a Jim Crow Asylum, Emmy-winning journalist Antonia Hylton summoned extensive archival research and conducted dozens of interviews with former patients and staff, as well as their descendants, to offer an unsparing reckoning with history.

Available 2/20/2024

Leslie Jamison, author of The Empathy Exams and The Recovering, is back with a new memoir, Splinters, in which she reflects on early motherhood in tandem with her relationship with her own mother. Sharp and honest, Jamison tries to reconcile the person she is with the stories she has internalized about herself, and in doing so, she shares a perspective on motherhood that teems with insight.

Available 2/27/2024

Novelist, essayist, humorist and critic Sloane Crosley shows a remarkable willingness to face the dark questions that follow a suicide.

Available 3/05/2024

We love a reinvention story almost as much as we love drag. Long before Her Highness RuPaul set the stage for his outrageously popular “Drag Race,” he was a poor, queer kid in San Diego. He found escape, acceptance and family in performance . . . and, much later, fame, fortune and 12 Emmy awards. The House of Hidden Meanings promises to be a vulnerable self-portrait of a queer icon.

Available 3/12/2024

Morgan Parker is the author of three poetry collections, among them Magical Negro, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. She turns to prose with You Get What You Pay For, an essay collection that brims with perspective and self-awareness as she braids episodes from her life with searing cultural critique.

Available 3/19/2024

History will remember the four hours that a woman testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee as it considered the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court. In her long-awaited memoir, Christine Blasey Ford recounts her decision to publicly accuse the justice of sexual assault, the overwhelming aftermath and how she’s continued to persevere since.

Available 3/19/2024

Saying “no judgment” is a cover for our desire to judge, posits Lauren Oyler. As a cultural critic for the New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s and other such publications, Oyler is in the business of judging, and she doesn’t hold back in her debut collection of essays. TED Talks, Goodreads reviewers, the “vulnerability” trend, that thing Martin Scorsese said about Marvel—her takes would be dizzying if she were not so skilled in constructing solid arguments that deepen our understanding of cultural criticism. No Judgment is deeply funny and wise.

Available 3/19/2024

Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s Harvard introductory course in African American Studies is legendary. Who among us would hesitate to attend a lecture with the award-winning filmmaker, literary scholar, journalist and cultural critic? The Black Box distills the lessons of the seminar as Gates tracks the Black authors who have sought self-definition through writing across genres to create places of belonging.

Available 3/19/2024

In 2022, the Iranian religious police beat a woman to death for not wearing a hijab in accordance with their oppressive, draconian laws. People in Iran and around the world took to the streets in protest. Their rallying cry, “Woman, Life, Freedom,” is the title of celebrated French-Iranian graphic novelist (Persepolis) Marjane Satrapi’s new work of nonfiction. Satrapi gathered essays by journalists, activists, academics, artists and writers from around the world to depict the historic uprising, and paired them with illustrators from Iran and Europe to bring their words to life.

Available 3/19/2024

The election of Donald Trump to the highest office in the land had many Americans questioning their choices. Sarah McCammon, NPR political correspondent and co-host of “The NPR Politics Podcast,” found herself at a tipping point. In The Exvangelicals, she writes about growing up in an evangelical church and leaving it. Intertwining journalism with memoir, McCammon sheds light on a religious movement that is on the brink.

Available 3/26/2024

In the first section of this book Hanif Abdurraqib addresses his readers directly as “beloveds.” As is always the case with the poet and cultural critic, you know you are in safe hands that will bear you through both joy and pain. This book is about basketball. But it is also about what he calls “close readings of pleasure,” his father, belonging and grace. As in the National Book Award finalist A Little Devil in America, Abdurraqib imbues the things he loves—A Tribe Called Quest, Black performance, playing spades—with prayerful universality and ease.

Available 4/16/2024

More than 30 years after an Iranian leader called for his assassination, master storyteller and literary icon Salman Rushdie was repeatedly stabbed at a public appearance in 2022, suffering life-threatening wounds. He describes the attack and his recovery in Knife. Rushie has called it “a necessary book for me to write: a way to take charge of what happened, and to answer violence with art.”

Available 4/23/2024

At the height of her career, Barbara Walters dominated broadcast journalism. Her legendary interviewing style enlightened viewers with knowledge of public figures as diverse as Fidel Castro, Katharine Hepburn, Monica Lewinsky and Mike Tyson. Susan Page’s biography, The Rulebreaker, explores the icon’s ambition, accomplishments, family life and legacy. Page, the longtime Washington bureau chief of USA TODAY, conducted 150 interviews and reviewed extensive archival material to construct an authoritative account of the trailblazer’s life and work.

Available 4/23/2024

Award-winning journalist Tracie McMillan’s The White Bonus asks, “When people of color are denied so much, what are white people given?” McMillan, who is white, investigates her own family’s wealth alongside four other white families, tethering her research to analysis about institutions and systems that privilege whiteness.

Available 4/30/2024

In this cultural and biological history, Aarathi Prasad explores silk through its many metamorphoses. Silk investigates the fabric’s biology as well as its ancient roots, role in communities and trade, modern uses in medicine and pharmaceuticals, and potential to be a sustainable alternative to plastics. Significantly, Prasad sought to uncover the role that women have played in the cultivation of silk. The author’s curiosity is contagious, and as the history unfolds, she shows us that there is much more to silk than its materiality—this “ancient material with a surprisingly technological future” can teach us much about civilization and humanity.

Available 4/30/2024

Erik Larson’s books are comprehensively researched, vividly rendered and narratively spry—sometimes reading more like novels than nonfiction. He’s a master at creating suspense, be it in the cramped quarters of a submarine, a stately garden or a municipal planning meeting. The bestselling author of The Devil in the White City returns with an account of the five tense months before the Civil War, when President Lincoln tried in vain to avert a cataclysm from happening in the first year of his presidency. The Demon of Unrest promises to be a political horror story with teeth.

Available 5/7/2024

Chicago poet and middle grade author Julian Randall blends memoir with the life story of his grandfather, along with reflections on pop culture phenomenons like Jordan Peele and Into the Spiderverse, in The Dead Don’t Need Reminding. MacArthur recipient and Heavy author Kiese Laymon has this to say about Randall’s nonfiction debut: “I don’t need a decade to know Randall has made a forever classic.”

Available 5/7/2024

The Fairbanks Four tells the story of four young Athabaskan men who were convicted of murdering a white teenager in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1997. As was the case with The Central Park Five, the men were railroaded by local police and served decades in prison for a crime they didn’t commit. Brian Patrick O’Donoghue narrates the details of their harrowing story and that of the community members who rallied around them.

Available 6/11/2024

You know it, we know it: Most dating books belong in the trash. Clouded by old-fashioned, patriarchal norms and expectations, they seem to hold little value to those of us dating in 2024. But proven matchmaker Lily Womble’s Thank You, More Please promises something more: A fresh perspective on dating that advises you to trust your gut and find joy.

Available 6/11/2024

The best music critics balance accessible writing with their own obsessive attention to the history and analysis of sound. Author and NPR music critic Ann Powers has been laying it on the line for decades, and her upcoming biography of Joni Mitchell is sure to earn the author more admiring fans. Drawing on extensive archival research and interviews with Mitchell’s peers, Traveling: On the Path of Joni Mitchell examines not just the artist’s life and music, but also the competing nature and, at times, kinship, of biography and fandom.

Available 6/4/2024

Chelsea Devantez is the host of podcast “Glamorous Trash”—in which “we make treasure out of pop culture garbage”—and former head writer on “The Problem with Jon Stewart.” Her memoir, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: (But I’m Going to Anyway), promises plenty of TMI and should be quite a romp.

Available 7/15/2024

James Patterson and Peter de Jonge have collaborated before on Miracle at St. Andrews and other novels about golf, and they join forces again with a biography that documents the rise and fall of Tiger Woods.

Available 8/06/2024

Eliza Griswold won a 2019 Pulitzer for Amity and Prosperity, which chronicled the devastating impact of fracking in a small Pennsylvania town. Now, the journalist and poet turns her attention to Circle of Hope, a progressive Anabaptist church that relies on both scripture and public protest as articles of faith. Circle of Hope: A Reckoning with Love, Power, and Justice in an American Church follows the congregation’s reckoning with the pandemic, our country’s religious landscape and internal rifts as it fights for its survival.

Most anticipated by genre

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Book jacket image for LatinoLand by Marie Arana

LatinoLand

Reporter Marie Arana paints a thoughtful portrait of how Latinos have shaped—and been shaped by—the United States in this punchy cultural history.

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Book jacket image for Language City by Ross Perlin

Language City

Language City reveals the New Yorkers working to save their endangered mother tongues, and offers a new way of viewing language.

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Book jacket image for Sito by Laurence Ralph

Sito

Sito is a harrowing, impactful account of a teenager caught in a cycle of violence and the juvenile justice system that failed him.

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Book jacket image for Splinters by Leslie Jamison

Splinters

Leslie Jamison is back with a memoir about her first years of parenting and the unraveling of her marriage, rendered in her signature elegant, sensuous prose.

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Book jacket image for Slow Noodles by Chantha Nguon

Slow Noodles

In her memoir, Slow Noodles, Cambodian writer Chantha Nguon survives the terror of the Khmer Rouge and keeps her family recipes intact.

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Book jacket image for House Cat by Paul Barbera

House Cat

In House Cat, Paul Barbera makes his second fur-ay into sumptuous interiors and the distinctive felines who dominate them.

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Book jacket image for Secrets of the Sun by Mako Yoshikawa

Secrets of the Sun

In her kaleidoscopic memoir, Secrets of the Sun, Mako Yoshikawa pursues the mysteries of her brilliant, abusive father’s mind after his death.

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Book jacket image for Combee by Edda L. Fields-Black

Combee

Edda L. Fields-Black’s revelatory Combee narrates the 1863 Combahee River Raid, in which Harriet Tubman led Black soldiers to liberate more than 700 enslaved people.

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Medgar and Myrlie

Page by page, Joy-Ann Reid’s Medgar and Myrlie paints unforgettable portraits of Medgar and Myrlie Evers, two American heroes who faced American racism with unimaginable courage.

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