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STARRED REVIEW
January 02, 2023

2023 preview: Most anticipated fiction

A year of great fiction is just around the bend! Discover the 38 books we’re most excited to read.
STARRED REVIEW
January 02, 2023

2023 preview: Most anticipated fiction

A year of great fiction is just around the bend! Discover the 38 books we’re most excited to read.
January 02, 2023

2023 preview: Most anticipated fiction

A year of great fiction is just around the bend! Discover the 38 books we’re most excited to read.
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Thanks to new releases from Colson Whitehead, Lauren Groff, Abraham Verghese, Mary Beth Keane, Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Acevedo and more, we can’t wait for 2023 reading to begin.

The Faraway World book cover

The Faraway World by Patricia Engel

Avid Reader | January 24

When it came out in 2021, Colombian American writer Patricia Engel’s fourth novel, Infinite Country, got a ton of positive attention (from Reese’s Book Club, Book of the Month and more) and instantly hit the New York Times bestseller list. This cool follow-up collection includes nine of Engel’s best short stories, all previously published, and one new tale that’s never been published before.

The World and All That It Holds by Aleksandar Hemon

MCD | January 24

Bosnian American author, screenwriter and critic Aleksandar Hemon has been a finalist for the National Book Award twice (for Nowhere Man and The Lazarus Project), collaborated with Lana Wachowski and David Mitchell on The Matrix Resurrections, frequently writes for The New Yorker and has earned a whole host of literary awards and prizes. His next novel, which opens with the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, is an epic saga centered on two lovers who do their best to survive the trenches of World War I.

Maame book cover

Maame by Jessica George

St. Martin’s | January 31

This debut novelist comes to us from the editorial department of Bloomsbury UK, which means she’s got industry know-how to back up her Queenie-style novel about a Ghanaian British woman who’s making a life for herself amid familial difficulties, workplace racism and the day-to-day ups and downs of friendship and love.

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated by Daisy Rockwell

HarperVia | January 31

Tomb of Sand was the first Hindi novel to even be nominated for the International Booker Prize, which makes Geetanjali Shree’s win even more wonderful. At more than 600 pages, it’s an absolute door stopper that follows the story of an 80-year-old woman whose children do their best to shake her from her depression after the death of her husband. Nothing helps—until a cane covered in butterflies seems to work magic, pulling Ma into a series of adventures.

Essex Dogs book cover

Essex Dogs by Dan Jones

Viking | February 7

The bestselling author and historian (Powers and Thrones, Crusaders, The Templars) makes the leap to fiction with a novel about the Hundred Years’ War. The first installment of a trilogy, it promises to be a well-researched, intimate look into medieval warfare from the perspectives of the soldiers themselves.

Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes

Pamela Dorman | February 7

British author Jojo Moyes’ 2019 historical novel, The Giver of Stars, transported readers to Depression-era Kentucky for a heartwarming story about packhorse librarians. For her next book, she’s returning to the realm of escapist contemporary fiction—and more specifically, the flirty world of Paris for One. An adaptation of a story from that collection, Someone Else’s Shoes follows two women whose lives are changed when they accidentally swap gym bags and literally have to walk in each other’s shoes.

A Spell of Good Things book cover

A Spell of Good Things by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

Knopf | February 7

Nigerian author Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s 2017 debut novel, Stay With Me, was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction (now called the Women’s Prize for Fiction) and received the 9mobile Prize for Literature and the Prix Les Afriques. We’ve been looking forward to her follow-up for a long time, even putting it on last year’s list of most anticipated fiction in an attempt to manifest it. Finally, it’s here! Adébáyọ̀ takes us back to Nigeria for a story of two families divided, the two young people who connect them and the power structures of the political system that surround them.

Victory City by Salman Rushdie

Random House | February 7

The next novel from literary icon Salman Rushdie comes bittersweetly, as a horrifying attack on the author’s life last autumn will undoubtedly cast a shadow over the publication. Victory City is nevertheless a welcome return to the realm of the fantastical (like in Midnight’s Children and Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights) after Rushdie dabbled in contemporary satire for his last few works. Styled after classic Sanskrit epics, it tells the story of a woman who, with help from a goddess, calls forth the existence of Bisnaga—literally “victory city.”

I Have Some Questions for You book cover

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

Viking | February 21

Rebecca Makkai’s previous novel, The Great Believers, received a lot of positive attention in 2018 and even earned a Stonewall Book Award. Her fourth novel pursues questions of memory and complicity through the story of a film professor and podcaster who has been asked to teach at her former New Hampshire boarding school. Upon her return, she is drawn back into the 1995 murder of a classmate, for which the school’s athletic trainer, Omar, was convicted.

Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

FSG | March 7

Eleanor Catton MNZN (that’s right—she has a New Zealand Order of Merit) is the author of the internationally bestselling The Luminaries (winner of the Man Booker Prize) and The Rehearsal (winner of the Betty Trask Prize, which is awarded to first novels written by authors under the age of 35 who reside in a current or former Commonwealth nation). As a screenwriter, she adapted The Luminaries for a miniseries and Jane Austen’s Emma for feature film (the one starring Anya Taylor-Joy’s nosebleed). Her next novel is a work of climate fiction about a guerrilla gardening group invited to work some abandoned farmland that has been purchased by a billionaire who claims he’s building an end-times bunker.

The Farewell Tour book cover

The Farewell Tour by Stephanie Clifford

Harper | March 7

Considering that Daisy Jones & The Six was so obviously a nod to Fleetwood Mac, we have been hoping for a few more books in the music novel trend to honor the old timers, the originals, the classics. Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn and other grand dames of country music come to mind when we think about Lillian Waters, the singer at the heart of the next novel from Stephanie Clifford, the author of Everybody Rise. Set in the 1980s, The Farewell Tour follows Lillian on her final tour—and through the many events of her life, all the way back to her humble beginnings.

Old Babes in the Wood by Margaret Atwood

Doubleday | March 7

Soothsayer Margaret Atwood returns to short fiction with her first collection since 2014’s Stone Mattress. Six of the 15 stories have been previously published (some having appeared in The New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine), and the collection is anchored by seven tales that follow married couple Tig and Nell, who at this point are old friends to longtime readers of Atwood.

Dust Child book cover

Dust Child by Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai

Algonquin | March 14

Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai is a literary luminary in Vietnam, and now she’s making waves stateside, beginning with her critically acclaimed English-language debut, The Mountains Sing (2020). Inspired by the author’s own work reuniting Amerasian children with their family members, her next novel moves between past and present Vietnam to explore the long-term effects of the Vietnam War through the stories of two Vietnamese sisters, an American GI and the child of a Black American soldier and a Vietnamese woman.

The London Séance Society by Sarah Penner

Park Row | March 21

Sarah Penner’s first novel, The Lost Apothecary, was a huge hit, earning bestseller slots in both hardcover and paperback, and the rights have already been sold to Fox. Her highly touted second book returns to London for a Victorian mystery filled with seances, mediums, cults and secret societies. 

Chain-Gang All-Stars book cover

Chain-Gang All-Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Pantheon | April 4

It’s a big deal when a short story collection becomes an instant New York Times bestseller, and doubly so when it’s a debut, as in the case of Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s devastating and surreal Friday Black. One of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honorees, Adjei-Brenyah will publish his first novel this spring, and the premise is everything we could hope for: Two female gladiators fight for their freedom from a private prison system modeled after our own American system.

The House Is on Fire by Rachel Beanland

Simon & Schuster | April 4

The author of Florence Adler Swims Forever, winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction, returns with a second novel that’s been building buzz for almost a year. The House Is on Fire follows four characters over the course of three days in the aftermath of the real-life 1811 theater fire in Richmond, Virginia—the deadliest disaster in American history at that time.

Panther Gap book cover

Panther Gap by James A. McLaughlin

Flatiron | April 4

James A. McLaughlin’s debut novel, Bearskin, won the 2019 Edgar Award for Best First Novel, and for his sophomore outing, he’s sticking with wilderness-set literary thrillers. Panther Gap follows two adult siblings who are brought back to the Colorado ranch of their childhood by the prospect of an inheritance from their grandfather, and they’re quickly sucked into a dangerous game that involves drug cartels, domestic terrorism and more.

Homecoming by Kate Morton

Mariner | April 4

Every single Kate Morton novel has been a bestseller, so five years is a long time for her fans to wait for a follow-up to The Clockmaker’s Daughter. Morton’s upcoming family saga has been compared to The Lake House, her “most successful book to date,” because of the crime at the story’s center. It’s about a woman who discovers a connection between her family history and the fictional “Turner Family Tragedy of Christmas Eve, 1959.”

Greek Lessons book cover

Greek Lessons by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith and Emily Yae Won

Hogarth | April 18

From the South Korean author of The Vegetarian, winner of the International Booker Prize, comes another haunting slim novel, this one about the bond that forms between a man losing his sight and a woman losing her voice.

Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club by J. Ryan Stradal

Pamela Dorman | April 18

Doubling down on the down-home Midwestern goodness of his first two novels, Kitchens of the Great Midwest and The Lager Queen of Minnesota, bestselling author J. Ryan Stradal spins another yarn to warm the heart. It’s the story of a married couple who come from two very different restaurant families, so we’re expecting stick-to-your-stomach casseroles, wild rice and walleye, polka bands and lots of feelings.

The Covenant of Water book cover

The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

Grove | May 2

Readers who loved Abraham Verghese’s major word-of-mouth hit, Cutting for Stone, have waited more than a decade for this follow-up, and its ambitious length (700+ pages) and epic premise certainly provide some context as to why it took so long to appear. Drawing early comparisons to Pachinko, The Covenant of Water spans from 1900–1977 and follows three generations of a family living in the coastal town of Kerala, India. But this family has a particular problem: In every generation, at least one member of the family dies by drowning.

The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

Scribner | May 2

With her novel Ask Again, Yes, Mary Beth Keane solidified her place among the family drama greats like Celeste Ng, Emma Straub, Brit Bennett, Laurie Frankel and Dani Shapiro. Keane’s next novel unfolds during one week in the life of a married couple whose partnership has hit rough waters. He’s the new owner of the Half Moon bar, and she’s grappling with the possibility that, after years of trying to conceive, she may not get to be a mother. And then a bar patron goes missing and a blizzard hits the town. We expect great characters, sharp detail and emotional devastation.

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece book cover

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece by Tom Hanks

Knopf | May 9

Sure, Tom Hanks is the Academy Award-winning actor and the best 1990s rom-com hero (fight me, Hugh Grant), but more importantly, he’s also the bestselling author of the short story collection Uncommon Type. Hanks’ first novel, the ambitiously titled The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece, moves from 1947 to 1970 to the present day as it follows the process of transforming a little comic book into a “star-studded, multimillion-dollar superhero action film.” The novel will include three eight-page comic books, all written by Hanks and illustrated by Robert Sikoryak.

The Guest by Emma Cline

Random House | May 16

Emma Cline followed up her bestselling 2016 debut novel, The Girls, with a story collection in 2020 (Daddy) that got a ton of attention, so we expect similar excitement for her second novel, The Guest. Con artists, hustlers and social media scammers continue to be hot right now, particularly in film and TV (think Elizabeth Holmes, that Fyre Festival bro, Anna Delvey and Adam Neumann), and this is the kind of character at the heart of Cline’s next book, though refreshingly, it seems like she might not be a total sociopath.

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang

William Morrow | May 16

We really love an angry publishing novel (The Other Black Girl was one of the best in this, the era of the Great Resignation), so we’re looking forward to R.F. Kuang’s shift into contemporary literary fiction after her mind-blowing work in fantasy. (Babel was one of our Top 10 Books of 2022, and her Poppy War series continues to get tons of love.) The brilliantly titled Yellowface is the story of a bestselling author who is pretending to be Asian American and who stole her masterwork from an actual Asian American woman.

The Late Americans book cover

The Late Americans by Brandon Taylor

Riverhead | May 23

Brandon Taylor’s 2020 debut, Real Life, rocketed him into the center arena of literary fiction, and he has maintained his spot through his brilliant voice, which he shares via his viral Substack newsletter, “Sweater Weather.” In 2021 he followed up that first book with a bestselling story collection, Filthy Animals, and now he’s delivering another novel, The Late Americans, which follows a group of friends and lovers living in Iowa City, Iowa.

Good Night, Irene by Luis Alberto Urrea

Little, Brown | May 30

We’ve been fairly patient about getting another novel from Luis Alberto Urrea, whose 2018 novel, The House of Broken Angels, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Urrea’s next novel shifts away from his typical terrain of first- and second-generation stories centered on the U.S.-Mexico border to explore a different element of his heritage. Good Night, Irene is inspired by the author’s mother’s experiences during World War II, when she worked with the American Cross and was present for the liberation of Buchenwald.

I Am Homeless if This Is Not My Home book review

I Am Homeless if This Is Not My Home by Lorrie Moore

Knopf | June 20

Lorrie Moore has kept us well-fed with her acclaimed short stories, but we’re excited to check out her first novel since A Gate at the Stairs (2009). I Am Homeless if This Is Not My Home is a ghost story spanning three decades, exploring grief and the unseen through “A teacher visiting his dying brother in the Bronx. A mysterious journal from the nineteenth century stolen from a boarding house. A therapy clown and an assassin, both presumed dead, but perhaps not dead at all.”

Little Monsters by Adrienne Brodeur

Avid Reader | July 11

Adrienne Brodeur, author of the bestselling memoir Wild Game, kicked off her publishing career by founding the fiction magazine Zoetrope: All-Story with filmmaker Frances Ford Coppola, so it was only a matter of time before she ventured into fiction. Her first novel, Little Monsters, draws from the biblical tale of Cain and Abel to explore the complicated family dynamics of an oceanographer father and his two grown children, all of whom live on Cape Cod.

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

Doubleday | July 18

Colson Whitehead, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, could write a grocery list and we’d elbow your grandma out of the way to be the first to read it. His 2021 novel, Harlem Shuffle, was a heist novel that also dedicated plenty of space to appreciating midcentury furniture, and we’re over the moon that it’s also the first in a trilogy. Whitehead’s Ray Carney is back this summer in Crook Manifesto.

Somebody’s Fool by Richard Russo

Knopf | July 25

Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo takes us back to the town of North Bath in upstate New York for the third time, 10 years after the death of Donald “Sully” Sullivan from Nobody’s Fool and Everybody’s Fool. Gentrification and the appearance of a dead body now plague North Bath, where Sully’s now-adult son, Peter, remembers his father’s legacy and grapples with his own relationship to parenthood.

Family Lore by Elizabeth Acevedo

Ecco | August 1

Elizabeth Acevedo became a superstar of young people’s literature after her YA novel The Poet X won the National Book Award, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award and the Carnegie Medal, among other awards. The adult fiction realm welcomes her with open arms this summer, when she’ll publish a family drama that spans past and present, Santo Domingo and New York City, to tell the epic story of a Dominican American family.

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

Riverhead | August 8

James McBride can do it all—short stories, biographies, a National Book Award-winning novel—but we’re especially partial to this big-hearted fiction kick he’s on. Following Deacon King Kong, McBride is sticking with stories of community secrets, this time in a small-town novel inspired by his own upbringing.

Prophet by Helen Macdonald and Sin Blaché

Grove | August 8

Beloved naturalist writer Helen Macdonald (H Is for Hawk, Vesper Flights) ventures into fiction along with first-time novelist Sin Blaché, and their collaboration has a creepy plot unlike anything we could’ve predicted. Set in England and America, Prophet follows a former MI6 agent and an American intelligence officer who join forces to investigate an ominous substance called Prophet, which seems to be using people’s memories against them.

Evil Eye book cover

Evil Eye by Etaf Rum

Harper | September 5

It seemed like everyone was talking about Etaf Rum’s debut novel, A Woman Is No Man, in the summer of 2019. Her follow-up returns to themes originally explored in her first book: the expectations and demands placed on Palestinian American women. This time, she’s focusing closely on the life of one wife and mother who must reconcile with her conservative family’s past.

The Vaster Wilds by Lauren Groff

Riverhead | September 5

Lauren Groff clearly loves us and wants us to be happy, because we’ve only had to wait two years since Matrix for her next novel, this one “a nail-biting survival story and a penetrating fable about trying to find new ways of living in a world succumbing to the churn of colonialism.”

Land of Milk and Honey by C Pam Zhang

Riverhead | September 29

C Pam Zhang’s daringly original debut novel, How Much of These Hills Is Gold, completely transformed the Western fiction genre with its magical tale of two Chinese American siblings trying to survive amid the American gold rush. We have high hopes for her follow-up: Set in the near future (just a bit further along in our planet’s demise), this speculative cli-fi novel follows a chef who takes a job on a decadent mountaintop colony.

Family Meal by Bryan Washington

Riverhead | October 10

No one captures the sorrow and beauty of a coming-of-age love story quite like Bryan Washington, so we are thrilled to hear that the author of Lot and Memorial is back this fall with another intimate novel that focuses on the lives of two young men.


Discover all of BookPage’s most anticipated books of 2023.


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