The Books Everyone Will Be Talking About All September Long

From The Lying of Adults to Transcendent Kingdom.

Fall 2020 has a spate of great new books for you to check out. Kicking things off right, the most anticipated books of September 2020 include brand-new collections of poetry and short fiction, heartbreaking literary novels, and tense thrillers. Whether you’re most excited about Marilynne Robinson’s Jack or Ruth Ware’s One by One, you’ll find everything you’re looking for and more here.

The first week of the month starts with new arrivals from Emma Cline, Elena Ferrante, and Yaa Gyasi — you know, the authors of The Girls, My Brilliant Friend, and Homegoing. But nothing slows down in the weeks to follow, as Susanna Clarke, Sigrid Nunez, and Claudia Rankine join the chorus of great voices waiting for you this month.

The 26 most anticipated books of September 2020 have a little something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for some dark academia, a spooky thriller, or a more lighthearted read, this month’s new releases have you covered.

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Sep. 1

A collection of nine stories from the author of Madeleine Is Sleeping, Sarah Shun-lien Bynum’s Likes explores the weirdness of contemporary life, from social media to the gig economy.

Sep. 1

In this new collection from the author of The Girls, you’ll find 10 stories examining the dark underbelly of modern society, with characters who go into hiding, go into rehab, and go on the lam.

Sep. 1

An all-new standalone novel from the author of My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante’s The Lying Life of Adults centers on a young woman experiencing an identity crisis. Giovanna’s father tells her that she looks like her Aunt Vittoria, a mysterious relative her parents seem to hate. Unable to see the resemblance, Giovanna goes searching for an identity of her own in Naples.

Sep. 1

After Gifty’s beloved brother died of a drug overdose, their mother sank into a deep, suicidal depression, and now refuses to leave her bed. Studying for her PhD, Gifty searches for answers to the mystery of her family’s disintegration, all the while feeling herself pulled back toward the religious organizations of her childhood.

Mina Lee is dead. Her daughter, Margot, only found out when she returned home to L.A.’s Koreatown after losing touch with her mother. As Margot seeks out answers to the mystery of a mother she may not have truly known at all, The Last Story of Mina Lee moves between her search and an examination of the first year Mina spent in the city.

Sep. 1

Gina LaManna’s Three Single Wives centers on a book club that has just turned murderous. Three women gather to drink wine and gossip, but when one reveals a philandering husband, all three begin to plot. Now someone is dead, and the three women at the heart of LaManna’s novel all have secrets to keep.

Sep. 1

Kirabo has grown up surrounded by strong women, including her grandmother and aunts, but she doesn’t know who her mother is. As she begins to ask questions about her origins, Kirabo feels pulled in different directions, and finds herself growing close to a local witch who knows her mother’s identity.

Sep. 1

Afi’s husband Elikem is wealthy, successful, and able to provide for both her and her mother. There’s just one problem: Afi and Elikem are only married because his previous — and possibly current — paramour did not have his mother’s approval. Living the high life in Accra, small-town girl Afi must decide whether the comfort is worth her husband’s continued absence in His Only Wife.

Sep. 1

Jennifer K. Sweeney’s lauded new poetry collection lands in stores this month. Bringing issues facing a threatened natural world together with universal experiences and timely problems, Foxlogic, Fireweed is one of the year’s must-read books of poetry.

Sep. 1

Set near the Scottish coast, Evie Wyld’s The Bass Rock follows three women as they attempt to blaze their own trails after experiencing patriarchal violence. Mourning her recently deceased father, Viviane works to get her grandmother’s haunted home in order. Years ago, her grandmother, Ruth, reckoned with infertility while caring for another woman’s children. And hundreds of years before Ruth, an accused witch named Sarah ran away from certain death toward what she hoped was safety.

Sep. 8

Jenny Bhatt’s debut collection of short fiction moves between members of the Indian diaspora, pausing to examine the experiences of ordinary people as they go against the grain to make their way through life.

Sep. 8

Toni Jensen grew up around guns. But bird-hunting with her father was a much different experience than staring down bored barrels at Standing Rock. A new and much-needed voice, Métis author Jensen shares her deepest thoughts and most emotional experiences in Carry.

Sep. 8

Rag author Maryse Meijer’s debut novel is The Seventh Mansion: a literary coming-of-age story about a young man with convictions that could destroy him. When he’s expelled from school after rescuing mink from a farm, Xie embarks on a path of radical activism and self-discovery. From his discovery of — and obsession with — the remains of a martyred Catholic saint, to his campaign to save a local forest, Xie’s journey grows increasingly fraught in this tense novel.

Sep. 8

In the wake of Graham’s death, Annie discovers her late husband’s betrayal in this absorbing novel from the author of Inventing the Abbots and The Senator’s Wife. After 30 years together, Annie and Graham had the picture-perfect life… or so she thought. Now forced to reckon with the knowledge of her late husband’s infidelity, the new widow finds herself falling apart in this gripping new novel.

Sep. 8

An illustrated collection of essays ruminating on the natural world, Aimee Nezhukumatathil’s new book is a feast for any reader. Hopping across the United States to visit important locations in the author’s life, World of Wonders examines kinship and belonging through vivid, thoughtful comparisons to our neighbors in the natural world.

Sep. 8

Just as Herman prepares to wrap up his vacation and return home to Paris with his family, tragedy strikes. His wife and child are nowhere to be found. Herman remains in the village as the other vacationers leave, and soon discovers that the little community is not what it appears to be.

Sep. 8

The Friend author Sigrid Nunez returns to store shelves this month with What Are You Going Through: a novel about life and death in the broadest terms. Nunez’s new book centers on an unnamed narrator whose terminally ill friend has just asked her to be present at her suicide. Floating through the days leading up to her friend’s life, the narrator is forced to consider her own life and mortality.

Sep. 8

From the author of Citizen: An American Lyric comes Just Us: An American Conversation. Claudia Rankine’s new book is another timely exploration of race and racism in the United States, examining who gets to be judged and who gets to just be.

Sep. 8

Thriller readers, take note! Ruth Ware’s One by One lands in stores this month, and you know you don’t want to miss it. When a handful of co-workers get snowed in during a company retreat, it’s all fun and games… until people start to turn up dead.

Sep. 15

The follow-up to Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is finally here! Piranesi follows its eponymous hero as he explores the strange and infinite house in which he is imprisoned. He’s looking for the secrets the Other has tasked him with finding, but what he will actually discover is anyone’s guess.

Sep. 15

A collection of autobiographical stories set during the Rwandan genocide, Igifu will tear out your heart and piece it back together again. Dealing with themes of poverty, starvation, and death, the stories in Scholastique Mukasonga’s new collection will haunt you long after you’ve finished reading.

Sep. 15

A new work of epic fantasy with ties to the Arthurian legends, Signe Pike’s The Forgotten Kingdom centers on Languoreth, a 6th-century Scottish woman whose son and husband have gone to face her brother in battle. In the aftermath, Languoreth and her brother emerge, forever changed by the horrors of the war.

Sep. 15

The newest book in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead series, Jack follows a young interracial couple as they navigate life in Jim Crow-era St. Louis. The children of preachers, Jack, an aimless white man, and Della, a Black schoolteacher, find themselves drawn to one another in a hostile world that only wants to tear them apart.

Sep. 22

Years ago, when her brother disappeared, Lucy made up a story. She’s been telling tales ever since, and now she gets paid to do so. But Lucy’s husband Dan has just vanished. Her stories have been read by readers everywhere, but now she’s in the spotlight, and she’s quickly losing ground.

Sep. 29

A young girl grows a tiger tail after hearing a fairy tale from her mother in this whimsical new novel. Bestiary centers on Daughter, a Taiwanese-American girl falling in love with another girl in her neighborhood, Ben. Puberty begins to awaken new powers and feelings in both of them, in this myth-twisting novel.

Sep. 29

A new collection of poetry about trauma and recovery, Render is a touching, raw book that seeks to crystallize all of our questions about hurt and healing, and reaches for answers where there may be none.

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