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Our 50 Most Anticipated Summer 2022 Literary Fiction Books

If you’re looking for books that are more character-driven than plot-driven.

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Best New Summer 2022 Literary Fiction Books

Summertime is synonymous with lazy days lounging by the pool, soaking up the sun. But for book lovers, summer is about one thing and one thing only: reading. We’ve put together a list of 50 literary fiction books we can’t wait to read in summer 2022. Whether you’re looking for a page-turner or a beach read, we’ve got you covered. So put on your sunscreen and get ready to dive into some amazing stories!

Summer 2022 Literary Fiction Books

Holding Her Breath by Eimear Ryan

A keenly observant and “whip smart” (Sunday Telegraph) debut novel, following a former competitive swimmer and granddaughter of a famous Irish poet as she comes of age in the shadow of her family’s tragic past, perfect for fans of Sally Rooney, Lily King’s Writers & Lovers, and Elif Batuman’s The Idiot.

An Island by Karen Jennings

LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE • A “powerful” (The Guardian) novel about a lighthouse keeper with a mysterious past, and the stranger who washes up on his shores—the American debut of a major new voice in world literature.

Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach

A dazzlingly unconventional love story for readers of Ask Again, Yes and Tell the Wolves I’m Home

The Colony by Audrey Magee

In 1979, as violence erupts all over Ireland, two outsiders travel to a small island off the west coast in search of their own answers, despite what it may cost the islanders.

We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies by Tsering Yangzom Lama

For readers of Pachinko and We Need New Names, the compelling and profound story of a Tibetan family’s journey through exile.

New Summer 2022 Literary Fiction Books

Dr. B. by Daniel Birnbaum, Translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner

The former director of the Museum of Modern Art in Stockholm makes his literary debut with this dramatic and riveting novel of book publishing, émigrés, spies, and diplomats in World War II Sweden based on his grandfather’s life.

Neruda on the Park by Cleyvis Natera

An exhilarating debut novel following members of a Dominican family in New York City who take radically different paths when faced with encroaching gentrification.

City of Orange by David Yoon

This imaginative and affecting new novel is beloved, bestselling, and award-winning author David Yoon at his finest: thought-provoking and heart-piercing, by turns funny and challenging, and at all times deeply human.

Either/Or by Elif Batuman

From the acclaimed and bestselling author of The Idiot, the continuation of beloved protagonist Selin’s quest for self-knowledge, as she travels abroad and tests the limits of her newfound adulthood

The Evening Hero by Marie Myung-Ok Lee

A sweeping, lyrical novel following a Korean immigrant pursuing the American dream who must confront the secrets of the past or risk watching the world he’s worked so hard to build come crumbling down.

Best New Summer 2022 Literary Fiction Books

Sleepwalk by Dan Chaon

A high speed and darkly comic road trip through a near future America with a big hearted mercenary, from beloved and acclaimed novelist Dan Chaon

Avalon by Nell Zink

A profound and singular story about a young woman searching for her place in the world, from one of America’s most original voices.

Planes by Peter C Baker

An urgent, fiercely intelligent debut novel that goes deep inside the daily lives of two women—one in Rome, the other in North Carolina—to tell a story about the powerful interconnections, both personal and political,  that exist beneath the surface of our world.

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour

The debut adult novel by the bestselling and award-winning YA author Nina LaCour, following two women on a star-crossed journey toward each other, perfect for fans of Writers and Lovers.

The Hop by Diana Clarke

From the author of Thin Girls, a page-turning feminist novel that tells the story of how a poor girl coming of age in rural New Zealand grows to be a sex icon, the face of a movement, and a mother, all at the same time.

Book List - Summer 2022 Literary Fiction Books

The Lovers by Paolo Cognetti, Translated by Stanley Luczkiw

As a romance blooms in an isolated Italian Alpine town fate and free will shape the lives of many in this gorgeously written novel from the internationally bestselling author of The Eight Mountains.

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez

An evocative drama about a woman who’s caught leading a double life after one husband murders the other, and the true-crime writer who becomes obsessed with telling her story—this masterful work of literary suspense marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

Woman of Light by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

A dazzling epic of betrayal, love, and fate that spans five generations of an Indigenous Chicano family in the American West, from the author of the National Book Award Finalist Sabrina & Corina.

The Midcoast by Adam White

The story of a family of lobstermen who skyrocket from poverty to wealth, a local writer obsessed with their rise, and the small-town secrets that bind them all together.

Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

A dazzling, unforgettable novel about a young black woman who walks the streets of Oakland and stumbles headlong into the failure of its justice system—a debut that announces a blazingly original voice.

Must Read Summer 2022 Literary Fiction Books

Just by Looking at Him by Ryan O’Connell

From the star of Peacock’s Queer as Folk and the Netflix series Special comes a darkly witty and touching novel following a gay TV writer with cerebral palsy as he fights addiction and searches for acceptance in an overwhelmingly ableist world.

The Kingdom of Sand by Andrew Holleran

Andrew Holleran’s unique literary voice is on full display in this poignant story of lust, dread, and desire—the first novel in thirteen years from one of the most acclaimed gay authors of our time.

The Girls in Queens by Christine Kandic Torres

A writer brimming with talent makes her exciting literary debut with a tale of two Latinx women coming of age in Queens, New York, an emotionally resonant novel infused with the insight, power, and poignancy of Angie Cruz’s Dominicana, Jacqueline Woodson’s Another Brooklyn, and Sally Rooney’s Conversations with Friends. 

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history.

Body Grammar by Jules Ohman

A coming-of-age queer love story set in the glamorous but grueling world of international modeling—a radiant debut by a talented new writer.

Summer 2022 Literary Fiction Books Roundup

Hurricane Girl by Marcy Dermansky

A propulsive and daring new novel by the author of Very Nice about a woman on the run from catastrophe, searching for love, home, a swimming pool, and for someone who can perhaps stop the bleeding from her head.

Thrust by Lidia Yuknavitch

As rising waters—and an encroaching police state—endanger her life and family, a girl with the gifts of a “carrier” travels through water and time to rescue vulnerable figures from the margins of history.

The Burning Season by Alison Wisdom

The acclaimed author of We Can Only Save Ourselves returns with an urgent and unsettling story that journeys into the heart of religious fanaticism and cult behavior as it probes one woman’s struggle to define life on her own terms.

Swanfolk by Kristin Omarsdottir, Translated by Vala Thorodds

Like a modern Midsummer Night’s Dream, an ethereal and haunting novel about a young spy who enchanted by a species of half-swan, half-human creatures—an obsession that ultimately leads her to question her own existence—and sanity.

The Earthspinner by Anuradha Roy

From the critically acclaimed, Booker Prize-nominated author of Sleeping on Jupiter and All the Lives We Never Lived, an incisive and moving novel about the struggle for creative achievement in a world consumed by growing fanaticism and political upheaval.

Literary Fiction Books - Summer 2022

The Displacements by Bruce Holsinger

An adrenaline-fueled story of lives upended and transformed by an unprecedented catastrophe.

Human Blues by Elisa Albert

From an author whose writing has been praised as “blistering” (The New Yorker), “virtuosic” (The Washington Post), and “brilliant” (The New York Times) comes a provocative and entertaining novel about a woman who desperately wants a child but struggles to accept the use of assisted reproductive technology—a hilarious and ferocious send-up of feminism, fame, art, commerce, and autonomy.

Harry Sylvester Bird by Chinelo Okparanta

From the award-winning author of Under the Udala Trees and Happiness, Like Water comes a brilliant, provocative, up-to-the-minute satirical novel about a young white man’s education and miseducation in contemporary America.

Fire Season by Leyna Krow

The propulsive story of three scheming opportunists—a banker, a conman, and a woman with an extraordinary gift—whose lives collide in the wake of a devastating fire in the American West.

Sirens & Muses by Antonia Angress

Four artists are drawn into a web of rivalry and desire at an elite art school and on the streets of New York in this magnificent debut for fans of Writers & Lovers and The Goldfinch.

Summer 2022 Literary Fiction

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

Let the games begin! From the New York Times best-selling author of The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry—a glorious and immersive novel about two childhood friends, once estranged, who reunite as adults to create video games, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives.

The Force of Such Beauty by Barbara Bourland

After a failed attempt at escape, the princess of a tiny kingdom begins to reevaluate her life.

Shmutz by Felicia Berliner

In this witty, provocative, and unputdownable debut novel a young Hasidic woman on a quest to get married fears she will never find a groom because of her secret addiction to porn.

All This Could Be Different by Sarah Thankam Mathews

From a brilliant new voice comes an electrifying novel of a young immigrant building a life for herself—a warm, dazzling, and profound saga of queer love, friendship, work, and precarity in twenty-first century America.

The Last White Man by Mohsin Hamid

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Exit West, a story of love, loss, and rediscovery in a time of unsettling change.

Summer Reading 2022 - Literary Fiction Books

Mercury Pictures Presents by Anthony Marra

The epic tale of a brilliant woman who must reinvent herself to survive, moving from Mussolini’s Italy to 1940s Los Angeles—a timeless story of love, deceit, and sacrifice from the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.

Delphi by Clare Pollard

For readers of Jenny Offill, Deborah Levy, and Olivia Laing, an exquisite debut novel about a classics academic researching prophecy in the ancient world, just as the pandemic descends and all visions of her own family’s future begin to blur.

Diary of a Void by Emi Yagi, Translated by David Boyd, Lucy North

A prizewinning, thrillingly subversive debut novel about a woman in Japan who avoids harassment at work by perpetuating, for nine months and beyond, the lie that she’s pregnant.

A Map for the Missing by Belinda Huijuan Tang

An epic, mesmerizing debut novel set against a rapidly changing post–Cultural Revolution China, A Map for the Missing reckons with the costs of pursuing one’s dreams and the lives we leave behind.

Mother In the Dark by Kayla Maiuri

A novel about family secrets and a volatile relationship between a mother and her daughters. When Anna’s sister calls with an urgent message, Anna doesn’t return the call. She knows it’s about their mother.

Best of Summer 2022 Literary Fiction

Mount Chicago by Adam Levin

From the award-winning author of Bubblegum and The Instructions, a bold novel about the absurdity, humor, and tragedy of survivorship.

The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings

Reminiscent of the works of Margaret Atwood, Shirley Jackson, and Octavia Butler, a biting social commentary from the acclaimed author of Lakewood that speaks to our times—a piercing dystopian novel about the unbreakable bond between a young woman and her mysterious mother, set in a world in which witches are real and single women are closely monitored.  

Touch by Olaf Olafsson

A mesmerizing, panoramic story of one man’s search to find a lover who suddenly disappeared decades before

Amy & Lan by Sadie Jones

The author of the highly acclaimed, bestselling novel The Uninvited Guests returns with a captivating coming of age story told by Amy and Lan, two children whose journey from innocence to moving experience is shaped by their families’ attempt at the pastoral dream on a farm, deep in the English countryside.

Paul by Daisy Lafarge

A sharp, timely debut about a young woman’s toxic relationship with an older man and her battle to free herself from the suffocating expectation to be “good.”

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?

Book List - Best New Summer 2022 Literary Fiction Books

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