Looking for those books that are more character-driven than plot-driven? We have you covered with a list of bestselling authors you’re already acquainted with, and debut authors making their mark in the genre. So make space on your bookshelves, stop by your favorite indie bookstore, and make those library requests after you’ve browsed our most anticipated literary fiction books of winter 2022!
Bright Burning Things by Lisa Harding
A rising international literary star makes her American debut with this visceral, tender, and brave portrait of addiction, recovery, and motherhood, as harrowing and intense as Shuggie Bain.
Tell Me How to Be by Neel Patel
A darkly funny and heartbreaking debut novel about an Indian-American family confronting the secrets between them.
Velorio by Xavier Navarro Aquino
Set in the wake of Hurricane Maria, Xavier Navarro Aquino’s unforgettable debut novel follows a remarkable group of survivors searching for hope on an island torn apart by both natural disaster and human violence.
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
In this taut and explosive debut novel, one lapse in judgement lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance.
No Land to Light On by Yara Zgheib
Achingly intimate yet poignantly universal, No Land to Light On is the story of a family caught up in forces beyond their control, fighting for the freedom and home they found in one another.
The Stars Are Not Yet Bells by Hannah Lillith Assadi
Through the scrim of fading memory, an elderly woman confronts a lifetime of secrets and betrayal, under the mysterious skies of her island home.
Hades, Argentina by Daniel Loedel
Raising profound questions about the sometimes impossible choices we make in the name of love, Hades, Argentina is a gripping, ingeniously narrated literary debut.
None But the Righteous by Chantal James
Lyrical, riveting, and haunting from its opening lines, None But the Righteous is an extraordinary debut that signals the arrival of an unforgettable new voice in contemporary fiction.
To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
From the author of the classic A Little Life–a bold, brilliant novel spanning three centuries and three different versions of the American experiment, about lovers, family, loss, and the elusive promise of utopia.
Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson
Present Tense Machine by Gunnhild Øyehaug, translated by Kari Dickson
On an ordinary day in Bergen, Norway, in the late 1990s, Anna is reading in the garden while her two-year-old daughter, Laura, plays on her tricycle. Then, in one startling moment, Anna misreads a word, an alternate universe opens up, and Laura disappears. Twenty years or so later, life has gone on as if nothing happened, but in each of the women’s lives, something is not quite right.
The Antarctica of Love by Sara Stridsberg, translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner
The international star Sara Stridsberg returns with The Antarctica of Love, an unnamed woman’s tale of her murder, her brief life, and the world that moves on after she left it.
The Hummingbird by Sandro Veronesi, translated by Elena Pala
The #1 international sensation from a master of European literature–winner of Italy’s Premio Strega–a saga of a Florentine family from the 1960s to the present that brilliantly captures the power of history and the multi-faceted experience of life itself as it explores how we contend with uncontrollable forces that both buffet and buoy us.
Devil House by John Darnielle
From John Darnielle, the New York Times bestselling author and the singer-songwriter of the Mountain Goats, comes an epic, gripping novel about murder, truth, and the dangers of storytelling.
Defenestrate by Renee Branum
A wildly inventive, exhilarating debut narrated by a young woman meditating on her Czech ancestors’ falling curse, her twin brother’s fall from a window, and the malleable, breakable bonds keeping her family from falling apart.
A Previous Life by Edmund White
A daring, category-confounding, and ruthlessly funny novel from National Book Award honored author Edmund White that explores polyamory and bisexuality, ageing and love.
Mercy Street by Jennifer Haigh
The highly anticipated new novel by acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Haigh–“a gifted chronicler of the human condition” (Washington Post Book World)–is a tense, riveting story about the disparate lives that intersect at a women’s clinic in Boston.
What the Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris
In the vein of Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones and Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, a coming-of-age novel told from the perspective of eleven-year-old KB, as she and her sister try, over the course of a summer, to make sense of their new life with their estranged grandfather after the death of their father and disappearance of their mother.
Other People’s Clothes by Calla Henkel
A propulsive debut with a wicked sense of humor in which two American ex-pats obsessed with the Amanda Knox trial find themselves at the nexus of murder and celebrity in glittering late-aughts Berlin.
The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb
A riveting tale about a Black classical musician whose family heirloom violin is stolen on the eve of the most prestigious classical music competition in the world.
Vladimir by Julia May Jonas
A provocative, razor-sharp, and timely debut novel about a beloved English professor facing a slew of accusations against her professor husband by former students–a situation that becomes more complicated when she herself develops an obsession of her own.
Nightshift by Kiare Ladner
A haunting, compelling debut novel of complex female friendship and obsession, following one young woman’s decision to abandon her normal life and join the otherworldly, nocturnal existence of London’s nightshift workers.
A Very Nice Girl by Imogen Crimp
For fans of Luster and Sweetbitter, a razor-sharp debut novel about an ambitious young opera singer caught between devotion to her craft and an all-consuming affair with an older man.
Nobody’s Magic by Destiny O. Birdsong
In this glittering triptych novel, Suzette, Maple and Agnes, three Black women with albinism, call Shreveport, Louisiana home. At the bustling crossroads of the American South and Southwest, these three women find themselves at the crossroads of their own lives.
Chilean Poet by Alejandro Zambra, Megan McDowell
The internationally acclaimed author, heralded as one of the most important writers of his generation, returns with the most substantial work of his career: an emotionally captivating, very funny novel about fathers and sons, ambition and failure, and the many forms of family.
The Boy with a Bird in His Chest by Emme Lund
A heartbreaking yet hopeful novel about the things that make us unique and lovable, The Boy with a Bird in His Chest grapples with the fear, depression, and feelings of isolation that come with believing that we will never be loved, let alone accepted, for who we truly are, and learning to live fully and openly regardless.
The Selfless Act of Breathing by JJ Bola
A heartbreaking, lyrical story for all of those who have fantasized about escaping their daily lives and starting over. Written in spellbinding prose, with Bola’s trademark magnetic storytelling, The Selfless Act of Breathing takes us on a wild ride to odd but exciting places as Michael makes surprising new connections and faces old prejudices in new settings.
When I’m Gone, Look for Me in the East by Quan Barry
From the acclaimed author of We Ride Upon Sticks, a luminous novel that moves across a windswept Mongolia, as estranged twin brothers make a journey of duty, conflict, and renewed understanding.
Checkout 19 by Claire-Louise Bennett
Groundskeeping by Lee Cole
An indelible love story about two very different people navigating the entanglements of class and identity and coming of age in an America coming apart at the seams–this is an extraordinary debut about the ties that bind families together and tear them apart across generations (Ann Patchett, best-selling author of The Dutch House).
The Fell by Sarah Moss
From the award-winning author of Ghost Wall and Summerwater, Sarah Moss’s The Fellis a riveting novel of mutual responsibility, personal freedom, and the ever-nearness of disaster.
Are you looking forward to any of these books?
What literary fiction books are you looking forward to in 2022? What books would you add to the list?
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