By Sarah Begley
December 24, 2016
IDEAS
Sarah Begley is a staff writer for TIME.

Letters to a Young Muslim

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

By Omar Saif Ghobash

The United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to Russia writes a series of letters to his son raising questions about how to be a good Muslim in the 21st century. While examining the lure of extremism for some young Muslims, he makes the case for moderates to come together and forge a path forward that is true to the religion yet adaptive to contemporary realities.

Out Jan. 3


Difficult Women

Grove Press

By Roxane Gay

The author of Bad Feminist and An Untamed State returns with a collection of stories about women in a hostile world, coping with everything from duplicitous husbands to sexual assault.

Out Jan. 3


Transit

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

By Rachel Cusk

In the second installment of a trilogy that began with Outline, Cusk’s reticent, observant narrator once again creates a series of profiles in miniature through her conversations with friends, strangers and family members—all the while remaining opaque to the reader herself.

Out Jan. 17


Homesick for Another World

Penguin Press

By Ottessa Moshfegh

The acclaimed short-story writer returns to the form after the success of her novel Eileen (a finalist for the Man Booker Prize) with stories about loners, losers, misfits and creeps, depicted with humor though their situations are pathetic, if not tragic.

Out Jan. 17


Autumn

Pantheon

By Ali Smith

The author of How to Be Both kicks off a new tetralogy of interconnected though independent novels arranged around the seasons. The story explores the nature of time and the cyclical forces of culture.

Out Feb. 7


Amiable With Big Teeth

Penguin Classics

By Claude McKay

A newly-discovered final novel by Harlem Renaissance author Claude McKay is finally seeing publication, decades after it was written. The story documents conflict among black intellectuals in the late 1930s as Communists and black nationalists grapple over international conflicts.

Out Feb. 7


Six Four

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

By Hideo Yokoyama

In this Japanese crime novel, massively celebrated in its home country, a former detective who once investigated the kidnapping of a young girl now has his own daughter go missing. Against his wishes, he’s forced to revisit the case that went so wrong.

Out Feb. 7


Lincoln in the Bardo

Random House

By George Saunders

The short story master (Tenth of December, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline) goes long-form with a novel about Abraham Lincoln’s trips to his son’s grave. While the sitting president mourns his son’s death, spirits around the cemetery observe him in grief.

Out Feb. 14


South and West: From a Notebook

Knopf

By Joan Didion

The legendary essayist, novelist and memoirist (The Year of Magical Thinking; Slouching Toward Bethlehem; Play It As It Lays) opens up her notebooks from 1970 and 1976 to reveal her thinking on interviews about the American South, California and the Patty Hearst trial.

Out March 7


Exit West

Riverhead Books

By Mohsin Hamid

Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist) depicts an unnamed Muslim city where war is breaking out as two young people are falling in love. As the fighting intensifies and the casualties mount, the young couple learns of enchanted doors that transport people out of the city and into safer parts of the world. But when they arrive in these Western cities, they must deal with new kinds of hostility.

Out March 7


White Tears

Knopf

By Hari Kunzru

Two white music enthusiasts find themselves on a dark and mysterious journey after posting a phony recording on the internet: they present it as a lost recording of a 1920s blues musician, though it was made in a park in the current day. But a collector gets in touch to reveal that the recording is actually real.

Out March 14


American War

Knopf

By Omar El Akkad

El Akkad’s debut novel imagines a Second American Civil War breaking out in 2074. When a Louisiana girl at a displaced persons camp is approached by an official, she doesn’t realize what violence and controversy she’s getting herself into.

Out April 4


What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky

Riverhead Books

By Lesley Nneka Arimah

This debut story collection depicts family, friends and lovers in crisis: ghosts, floods and a child woven from hair all appear.

Out April 4


Anything Is Possible

Random House

By Elizabeth Strout

The Pulitzer-winning author of Olive Kitteridge presents another portrait-of-a-community-as-novel; this time, the characters featured originally appeared in this year’s critically acclaimed My Name Is Lucy Barton.

Out April 25


The Secrets of My Life

Grand Central Publishing

By Caitlyn Jenner

The transgender icon shares the details of her life, from her accomplishments as an Olympic athlete to her highly public (and publicized) transition.

Out April 25


The H Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness

Nation Books

By Jill Filipovic

The feminist writer investigates what women need to be happy, and how structural problems prevent them from fulfilling those needs. Through conversations with individual women, she suggests solutions and policies that will even the playing field and give women more time to pursue joy.

Out May 2


Into the Water

Paula Hawkins attends the Edinburgh International Book Festival on August 13, 2016 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Awakening—Getty Images

By Paula Hawkins

The bestselling author of The Girl on the Train will release a new psychological thriller; this time, the victims are a single mother and a teenage girl who are found dead at the bottom of a river.

Out May 2


House of Names

Scribner

By Colm Tóibín

The Irish author (Brooklyn, The Master) retells the story of Clytemnestra, ruling ancient Mycenae in her husband King Agamemnon’s absence and plotting to kill him when he returns from Troy.

Out May 9


Men Without Women

Knopf

By Haruki Murakami

The frequent Nobel contender (Norwegian Wood, 1Q84) will publish a humorous story collection about men on their own.

Out May 9


You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

Little, Brown and Company

By Sherman Alexie

The versatile author (Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven) has written a memoir about his mother, a loving yet abusive figure who elicited complex feelings. After her death at the age of 78, Alexie will pay tribute to her with 78 essays and 78 poems.

Out June 13


The Seventh Function of Language

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

By Laurent Binet

Binet (HHhH) begins his new novel with a premise that is at once highbrow and ridiculous: What if Roland Barthes’ death was not an accident, but a murder? The plot that unfolds involves Jacques Derrida, Umberto Eco and the search for a lost manuscript.

Out Aug. 1


Three-Fifths a Man: A Graphic History of the African American Experience

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

By Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón

This graphic history presents the major events of the African-American experience, from slaves arriving at Jamestown to the successes of the Civil Rights movement.

Out Sept. 12


Hit Refresh

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at the 2016 Microsoft Annual Shareholders Meeting at the Meydenbauer Center November 30, 2016, 2016 in Bellevue, Washington.
Stephen Brashear—Getty Images

By Satya Nadella

The Microsoft CEO shares his own story and reflects on his company’s progress and mission to constantly evolve in an ever-changing world.

Out Nov. 15

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