Spring Books – VirginiaLiving.com

Here are some notable Southern books coming out this Spring.


University of Virginia-alum alexis schaitkin follows up her New York Times Remarkable Book, Saint X with Else where (Celadon Books, $26.99).

Her publisher says: “Vera grows up in a small town, removed and isolated, pressed up against the mountains, cloud-covered and damp year-round. This town, fiercely protective, brutal and unforgiving in its adherence to tradition, faces a singular affliction: some mothers vanish, disappearing into the clouds. It is the exquisite pain and intrinsic beauty of their lives; it sets them apart from people elsewhere and gives them meaning.”

Buy a copy at The Bookshop.


Virginia-born author adriana trigiani‘s The Good Left Undone (Dutton Books, $28) is a lush, immersive historical novel about three generations of Tuscan artisans with one remarkable secret.

Her publisher says: “Matelda, the Cabrelli family’s matriarch, has always been brusque and opinionated. Now, as she faces the end of her life, she is determined to share a long-held secret with her family about her own mother’s great love story : with her childhood friend, Silvio, and with dashing Scottish sea captain John Lawrie McVicars, the father Matelda never knew… In the halcyon past, Domenica Cabrelli thrives in the coastal town of Viareggio until her beloved home becomes unsafe when Italy teeters on the brink of World War II.Her journey takes her from the rocky shores of Marseille to the mystical beauty of Scotland to the dangers of wartime Liverpool—where Italian Scots are imprisoned without cause—as Domenica experiences love, loss, and grief while she longs forhome.

Buy a copy at The Bookshop.


Stacy Hackney grew up in Virginia, currently living in Richmond, and The Sisters of Luna Island (Simon & Schuster, $17.99) is her second middle-grade book for fans of magic and adventure.

Her publisher says: “Twelve-year-old Marigold Lafleur is the last of a long line of aromages: witches who blend scents into practical charms using aromagic. But ever since a terrible accident injured her father and damaged Luna Island, Marigold and her sisters , Birdie and Lou, have vowed to abandon their family legacy and mama’s way of life. Shunned by their neighbors and overlooked by their parents, Marigold relies on her big sisters above all else.”

Buy a copy at The Bookshop.

*See our interview with the author come out this month*


Andrew Holleran taught creative writing at American University in Washington, DC for many years and his latest novel, The Kingdom of Sand (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27) comes 13 years after his previous one.

His publisher says: “The Kingdom of Sand features a nameless narrator who has survived the death of his friends to AIDS and the loss of his parents to old age and tragedy. Now he must witness the slow demise of a friend just a shade older than he is. Semi-anonymous sexual encounters, gallows humor, and classic films are his tools for staving off the dying of the light. In prose that’s in turn mordantly funny and hauntingly elegiac, Andrew Holleran takes the reader from a video porn shop off Route 301 to the memory of parties in Washington, DC, filled with handsome young men, to the lonely facades of rural Florida.”

Buy a copy at The Bookshop.


Ashleigh Bell Pedersen currently lives in Austin, Texas but her debut novel The Crocodile Bride (Hub City Press, $26.00), focuses on a swampy summer in 1982 in the one-road town of Fingertip, Louisana.

Her publisher says: “During a hot summer of June moods, grubworms, and dark storms, Sunshine discovers stones in her chest – and learns the dangers her coming-of-age will bring about in the yellow house she shares with her father. Without the vocabulary to comprehend Billy’s actions or her own changing body, Sunshine turns to an apocryphal story passed down from her grandmother: in the dark waters of the Black Bayou lives a crocodile with an insatiable appetite and a woman with a mysterious healing gift. summer unspools, she turns to the one person who will need no explanation of the family secrets she carries—the crocodile bride.”

Buy a copy at The Bookshop.


Though growing up in Georgia, Taylor Brown has lived in North Carolina, Buenos Aires, and San Francisco. His novel of him, Wingwalkers (St. Martin’s Press, $27) captures the essence of a bygone era and sheds light on the motivations of one of America’s greatest authors.

His publisher says: “Wingwalkers is one-part epic adventure, one-part love story, and one large part American history. The novel braids the adventures of Della and Zeno Marigold, a vagabond couple that funds their journey to the west coast in the middle of the Great Depression by performing death-defying aerial stunts from town to town, together with the life of the author (and thwarted fighter pilot) William Faulkner, whom the couple ultimately inspires during a dramatic air show.”

But a copy at The Bookshop.


Memphis-based author Tara M Stringfellow‘s new memphis (Dial Press, $27) traces three generations of a Southern family and a daughter’s discovery of the power she has over history and her inheritance.

Her publisher says: “In the summer of 1995, ten-year-old Joan, her mother, and her younger sister flee her father’s violence, seeking refuge at her mother’s ancestral home in Memphis. Half a century ago, Joan’s grandfather built this majestic house in the historic Black neighborhood of Douglass—only to be lynched days after becoming the first Black detective in Memphis.This wasn’t the first time violence altered the course of Joan’sfamily’s trajectory, and she knows it won’t be the last Longing to become an artist, Joan pours her rage and grief into sketching portraits of the women of North Memphis—including their enigmatic neighbor Miss Dawn, who seems to know something about curses.”

Buy a copy at The Bookshop.


Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert calls Mary Laura Philpott “a writer, artist, and creator of singular spark and delight.” Her new book Bomb Shelter (Atria Books, $27) comes out this April.

His is publisher says: “A lifelong worrier, Philpott always kept an eye out for danger, a habit that only intensified when she became a parent. But she looked on the bright side, too, believing that as long as she cared enough, she could keep her loved ones safe.Then, in the dark of one quiet, pre-dawn morning, she woke up abruptly to a terrible sound—and found her teenage son unconscious on the floor.In the aftermath of a crisis that darkened her signature sunny spirit, she wondered: If this happened, what else could happen? And how do any of us keep going when we can’t know for sure what’s coming next?.”

Buy a copy at The Bookshop.


Born in the mountains of North Carolina, ER. Cathy Daniels‘ new book Live Caught (Black Lawrence Press, $22.95) follows Lenny as he tries to escape his family and the power struggles he entangles himself in.

Her publisher says: “Live Caught is a survival adventure which dives deep into the mystifying relationship between hope and choice, and examines the peril of remaining in an untenable situation rather than taking that terrifying first step toward change. Lenny takes that step, and then another and another in his journey back toward his abusers and the unlikely prospect of family reconciliation.”

Buy a copy at The Bookshop.


University of Pennsylvania professor Joan DeJean‘s fascinating history book, Mutinous Women (Basic Books, $32) reveals the history of the rebellious Frenchwomen who were exiled to colonial Louisiana.

Her publisher says: “In 1719, a ship named La Mutine (the mutinous woman), sailed from the French port of Le Havre, bound for the Mississippi. It was loaded with urgently needed goods for the fledgling French colony, but its principal commodity was a new kind of export: women. Falsely accused of crimes, these women were, prisoners shackled in the ship’s hold. Of the 132 women who were sent this way, only 62 survived. But these women carved out a place for themselves in the colonies that would have been impossible in France, making advantageous marriages and accumulating property.”

Buy a copy at The Bookshop.


southern author Diane C. McPhail‘s new novel The Seamstress of New Orleans (John Scognamiglio Book, $26) tells of two strangers separated by background but bound by an unexpected secret.

Her publisher says: “The year 1900 ushers in a new century and the promise of social change, and women rise together toward equality. Yet rules and restrictions remain, especially for women like Alice Butterworth, whose husband has abruptly disappeared. Desperate to make a living for herself and the child she carries, Alice leaves the bitter cold of Chicago far behind, offering sewing lessons at a New Orleans orphanage.”

Buy a copy at The Bookshop.

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