You know the saying, March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Publishers are in beast mode, unleashing tablet-worthy titles by the giga-load. It’s a lot to sort through, we know. Lucky for you, we’ve done the dirty work already and selected a handful of the best new books you simply must devour this month.
Blackass, by A. Igoni Barrett (March 1)
Franz Kafka wrote about a dude who woke up one day to a monstrous bugaboo starring back at him in the mirror. Here, A. Igoni Barrett may be on to another quite seminal piece of work. Meet Furo Wariboko, a born and bred Nigerian who wakes up one day with light skin, green eyes, and red hair. Yes, he’s a white man and the country is now his oyster. ‘Cept fo’ that black behind still attached to his backside. Barrett’s satire is funny, it’s fierce, it’s one man’s search for an identity that goes deeper than the color of his skin, and it’s a brilliant tale to which we can all relate.
The Passenger, by Lisa Lutz (March 1)
Fans of Orphan Black who are awaiting the series’ return in April should get their fix with the latest from the author of the New York Times bestselling Spellman Files series. In Lisa Lutz’s The Passenger, one woman traverses the country adopting and shedding identities in an effort to outrun her past. Packed with action and suspense, Lutz’s psychological tug-of-war is one battle you want to engage in.
Innocents and Others: A Novel, by Dana Spiotta (March 8)
National Book Critics Circle Award finalist (for Stone Arabia) Dana Spiotta follows up the critical acclaim from her first three books with Innocents and Others, a neoteric novel about best friend filmmakers Meadow and Carrie whose friendship is tested when they meet a woman with quite a, shall we say, stimulating, occupation. Let’s just say, for a good time, call Jelly.
The Association of Small Bombs, by Karan Mahajan (March 22)
Proving himself a powerful voice in contemporary literature, acclaimed writer Karan Mahajan takes on a very timely subject in his latest novel: terrorism. In a story that focuses not just on the actual act of terrorism but the searing aftershock it ignites, The Association of Small Bombs explores violence through the eyes of Mansoor, a bomb survivor; Ayub, the activist he meets in Delhi; and Shockie, the bomb maker who’s given his life for his country. It’s an explosive read to say the least.
Hold Still, by Lynn Steger Strong (March 21)
A mother’s love knows no bounds. Or does it? In Hold Still, the raw and arresting debut from Lynn Steger Strong, tragedy puts the relationship between a mother and her twenty-something daughter through the ringer. When Maya sends her daughter, Ellie, to Florida to baby-sit a friend’s child, Ellie makes a mistake that threatens to shred the tie that binds. Your heart will ache, your eyes will water, and you just may want to call home upon completion.