In this instant-everything age, a book-lover’s greatest struggle — or, at least, one of the many — is waiting for a favorite author to publish a new book. (Fans of George R.R. Martin understand this particularly well, I hear.) Granted, novels come in all shapes and sizes, lengths and word counts, and the writers who write them certainly do so at different paces. Plus, writers are expected to do a whole lot more than just write these days: they teach, they give readings, they host workshops, and write newsletters, and march in the streets, and advocate for good causes, and tweet.
So, I get it. Writing novels ain’t easy business. And writers like Judy Blume and Lorrie Moore, John Updike and Joseph Heller, made readers wait decades for new writing — much longer than most of the authors on this list. Some authors: Sylvia Plath, Emily Brontë, Margaret Mitchell never even wrote second novels at all. But, with all that said, I’m a greedy reader and the writers on this list—writers who have sizable homes on my bookshelves—are just a few I’d love to see new fiction from. And, I’m guessing readers the world over would agree.
Here are 13 writers we’re just dying for new novels from. (But seriously, no pressure, guys. Or, like, maybe just a little pressure.)
The author of classics like the nonfiction narrative Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and the memoir An American Childhood, Annie Dillard is also the author of two novels: 1992’s The Living and 2007's The Maytrees. I’d say we’re all about ready for another one, no? In fact, Dillard has been so quiet of late, it prompted The Atlantic to publish an article in 2016 titled "Where Have You Gone, Annie Dillard?"
No one could accuse Roxane Gay of literary laziness. But between the essay collections, the short stories, the memoir, the graphic novel, the book reviews and literary criticism, the Tweets, and more, the writer hasn’t published a novel since An Untamed State, in 2014. Now I know, I know — that’s hardly a long time. But Gay has been putting out books like crazy so hopefully (please, please) she’ll have a full-length fiction on the way soon.
Anyone who has been following Elizabeth Gilbert on social media knows that the writer has had an awful lot going on in her life since she published The Signature of All Things in 2013 (including the 2015 nonfiction title, Big Magic). But I love her and miss her and The Signature of All Things was so totally weird and wonderful and I just want more Gilbert on my shelves, always.
According to The Harvard Gazette, author ZZ Packer — of the 2003 short story collection, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere — is “plotting her return”. The eight-story collection was Packer’s debut… aaaand we haven’t heard from her since. I don’t think I’m the first one to say: UM, IT’S ABOUT TIME. It’s been reported she’s hard at work on a novel — and we’d all really, really like to see it, please.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s last novel was published five whole years ago. (I mean fine, again, in the life of a novel that's not that long.) Since then she’s dedicated herself to brief but punch-packing feminist nonfiction — which I am totally loving. But after the sweeping success of Americanah, I’m just dying to see what fiction this amazing writer has up her sleeve next.
When the Neapolitan novels series came to its conclusion in 2014, with The Story of the Lost Child, the reading world heaved a collective sigh — what, after obsessing over the brilliant, mysterious Elena Ferrante for the lengthy, four-book series, was everyone going to read now? (Well, all her other novels, of course.) But those have been read now, too (most of them are quite a bit slimmer than My Brilliant Friend) and it's time for more. Not to be greedy or anything.
Busy dedicating herself to children’s books and one gorgeous nonfiction title, the writer responsible for In The Time Of Butterflies and How the García Girls Lost Their Accents gave us her latest new novel — Return to Sender — back in 2009. I don’t know about you, but every time I read Julia Alvarez I feel just a little bit more human. And the world could definitely use more of her writing right now.
Jade Sharma’s debut novel, Problems — which follows a refreshingly snarky, messy, willfully imperfect narrator around for 200-some pages — was one of my favorite books of 2016. And now I’m craving something more from her. Like, a big door-stopper of a book. Again, not to be greedy… Sharma is an online writing coach, and from what I've heard a stellar one, so, you know, the woman's busy.
The most quotable of authors (seriously, I’d venture a bet that there are more Cheryl Strayed-inspired tattoos than there are of any other writer) the Wild woman has already been wholly generous with her words. But her debut book, the novel Torch, was published in 2005, and I'm so eager to know if we can expect more fiction from one of the world’s favorite memoirists/advice columnists/podcasters/activists/humans. (And I’m saving space for more tats.)
Famous for writing the first draft of her mesmerizing fantasy novel, The Night Circus, during National Novel Writing Month, Erin Morgenstern has, it’s been said, participated in NaNoWriMo every year since 2003. That’s over a dozen potential novels drafted. So WHERE ARE THEY? Desperate readers want to know.
Dorothy Allison, the literary force behind the 1992 novel Bastard Out of Carolina, is reported to be working on a “long-in-progress new novel She Who.” At least, she was in an interview she gave five years ago! Is this one still in the works? Can I see it? Even just, like, the first 50 pages would probably hold me over.