Dan Chaon's 6 favorite newly released books
The author recommends works by Anne Tyler, Emily St. John Mandel, and more
In Dan Chaon's new novel, Sleepwalk, an easygoing mercenary is pulled into a mystery when he's contacted by a woman who claims to be his daughter. Below, the author of Ill Will and You Remind Me of Me recommends six other new books.
French Braid by Anne Tyler (2022)
This has already been a stellar year for books, with new work from greats like Jennifer Egan, Jean Thompson, and Marlon James. But I was particularly thrilled to see a new book from Anne Tyler, whose work I've loved since I read Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant in college. Tyler, now 80, weaves together the lives of a Baltimore family over decades, and her insights are as incisive, funny, and moving as ever. Buy it here.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (2022)
I love the fearlessness and insistent humanity of Mandel's work. Her new book — a kind of companion to her 2014 best-seller, Station Eleven — is an ambitious, time-traveling puzzle box about the ways in which we humans are always living at the end of the world. Buy it here.
The Evening Hero by Marie Myung-Ok Lee (2022)
Toggling between mid-20th-century Korea and today's American Midwest, this sweeping epic centers on the life of an immigrant doctor but spans out to provide a moving vision of modern history and the people who are caught in its terrible, grinding gears. Buy it here.
Devil House by John Darnielle (2022)
This is not so much a horror novel as it is a meditation on our obsession with True Crime and our desire to put people into categories. There are passages throughout of astonishing vividness, but it was a chapter that assumes the perspective of the mother of a murder victim that left me breathless. Buy it here.
Now Do You Know Where You Are by Dana Levin (2022)
Levin is one of my favorite contemporary poets, and her new book is one of her best — a complex portrait of what it's like to live in contemporary America, which I feel I will be learning from for years to come. Buy it here.
Ghosts Caught on Film by Barrett Bowlin (2022)
This collection of stories, the author's first book, blew me away with its strange vision of anxious and tormented characters caught up in surreal situations, tightrope-walking a delicate line between horror and satire and heartbreak: not unlike 2022 itself. Buy it here.
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