Debuts with Credentials | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2018

Holmes, JM. How Are You Going To Save Yourself. Little, Brown. Aug. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9780316514880. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316514873. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316412490. Downloadable. LITERARY
In these linked stories, both harrowing and funny, Holmes clarifies what it’s like to be young, black, and male in America. Set in Pawtucket, RI, the stories are narrated mostly by good buddies Dub, Rolls, Rye, and Gio, with Gio set apart by his Ivy League aspirations and mixed-race identity—he has a white mother and a black father who suffered a life-changing injury as an NFL player. Holmes, who won a fellowship to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, is getting a big push.

Kim, Crystal Hana. If You Leave Me. Morrow. Aug. 2018. 432p. ISBN 9780062645173. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062645203. LITERARY
Inspired by events in her grandmother’s life, Kim introduces us to Haemi Lee, who flees to a refugee camp with her widowed mother and brother when Communist-backed troops from the North invade her hometown in 1950s Korea. Meeting with childhood friend Kyunghwan lifts her spirits, but though she loves him she’s drawn to the security offered by his wealthy cousin Jisoo, with long-term ramifications for everyone. With a 75,000-copy first printing; Kim won PEN America’s Story Prize for Emerging Writers.

Ling Ma. Severance. Farrar. Aug. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780374261597. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374717117. LITERARY
Winner of the 2015 Graywolf SLS Prize, awarded to the best novel excerpt from an emerging writer, Ling Ma now presents the full work, which lampoons workaholism and apocalyptic sagas in equal measure. Candace Chen is an obsessive worker stuck in her routine who barely notices when Then Shen Fever starts emptying New York. But soon she’s posting her photographs of deserted city streets as the anonymous blogger NY Ghost. The people who come to rescue her are even bigger trouble.

Maisano, Paul Matthew. Bindi. Little, Brown. Aug. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780316509480. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316509466. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316476775. Downloadable. LITERARY
When eight-year-old Birendra’s mother dies in India several years after his father, a letter is quickly dispatched to his mother’s twin sister, Nayana, in West London. But the letter is misdelivered, and Birendra is adopted (and nicknamed Bindi) by Los Angeles–based Madeline, who visited his orphanage in India after despairing of ever getting pregnant. Now the stage is set for drawn swords between the two women in the world who love Bindi the most. With a 30,000-copy first printing and comparisons to the recent film Lion.

Markley, Stephen. Ohio. S. & S. Aug. 2018. 496p. ISBN 9781501174476. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501174490. LITERARY
In 2013, four former classmates return to small-town New Canaan, OH, now defined by recession, opioid addiction, racial tension, ongoing war in the Middle East, and the country’s locked-horns politics. Doctoral candidate Stacey girds for conflict with her former lover’s mother, quiet veteran Dan is dining with his high school sweetheart, alcohol- and drug-addicted activist Bill carries a mysterious package, and Tina will meet the former captain of the football team to explosive effect for them all. Big in-house love.

Barbara Hoffert About Barbara Hoffert

Barbara Hoffert (, @BarbaraHoffert on Twitter) is Editor, LJ Prepub Alert; past chair of the Materials Selection Committee of the RUSA (Reference and User Services Assn.) division of the American Library Association; and past president, treasurer, and awards chair of the National Book Critics Circle.

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