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5 Literary Releases We're Looking Forward To in 2022

And What You Can Read in the Meantime

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • December 29, 2021

Reading Ahead

As we usher in the new year, we are—as ever—eagerly anticipating the new books this year will bring. And 2022 is not letting us down! Every day this week, we're featuring genre-specific lists of five upcoming books we can't wait to get our hands on.

Today's focus is literary fiction and poetry! Here are five volumes available for pre-order, plus a previously published book with a similar vibe you can enjoy in the meantime.

To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara (Jan. 11)

It's been a long wait for fans of the author's 2015 award-winning, A Little Life! This symphonic follow-up marks a significant departure from her previous work, stitching together the stories of Americans living in alternate versions of the U.S. at three different time periods—1893, 1993, and 2093. The disparate characters are united across time by the qualities that make us human.

What to read now: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong (Apr. 5)

Written after the death of his mother, this collection from the award-winning poet explores many of the same visceral themes found in his powerful 2019 biographical novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. At once vivid, brave, and propulsive, these illuminating poems offer a testament to tenderness in the face of violence, a return and a forging forth all at once.

What to read now: Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

French Braid by Anne Tyler (Mar. 22)

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author returns in fine form doing what she does best—exploring the complex dynamics of family. It's 1959 and the Garretts are embarking on their first-ever vacation together. This family holiday will also be their last, its effects rippling through generations to come. Infused with warmth and humor, this insightful novel illuminates the kindnesses and cruelties of our daily lives.

What to read now: Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler

Violeta by Isabel Allende (Jan. 25)

Violeta comes into the world on a stormy day in 1920, the first girl in a family of five boisterous sons. Her life will be shaped by some of the most important events of history. Now, the 100-year-old Violeta shares her life story in the form of letters to someone she loves above all others, recounting devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, times of both poverty and wealth, terrible loss and immense joy.

What to read now: Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende

When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo (Mar. 1)

Set in Trinidad and Tobago, this radiant debut follows two unforgettable outsiders linked by their connection to the dead. Yejide is one of a line of women who have the power to usher the dead into the afterlife. Darwin is a devout Rastafarian whose poverty forces him to cast off his religion to become a gravedigger. When they come together, they must discover whether their love can rival the forces working against them.

What to read now: The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.

Hopefully there's something here that gets you excited! Next up: Five romances to fall in love with.

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Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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