The 13 New Fiction Books Everyone Will Be Obsessed With In April

by Melissa Ragsdale

T.S. Eliot wrote that April is the cruelest month, but I think maybe he just needed a good book. Luckily for you, there are more than enough fiction new releases coming this April to keep you from falling into Eliot's headspace.

This month, many of the biggest authors in the game are releasing new books. Imagine these names on a grand marquee in big, flashing lights: Meg Wolitzer! Sarah Shepard! Julian Barnes! Jo Nesbo! Madeline Miller! Curtis Sittenfeld! Don't you want to get your hands on their newest reads right now? And, even better, with each of these books, the author is delivering something wonderfully fresh for their readers to devour.

Ghost towns, mythical witches, and gritty mysteries are all here to pique your curiosity. And of course, this month, authors are delivering plenty of writing on that elusive thing called life. But whether it's a realistic story or a supernatural one, each one of these books is going to open up your mind and your heart in fascinating ways. This month, I challenge you to pick up a book that will show you something new. Who knows what you might discover? Here are the 13 fiction books to look forward to this April:

'The Female Persuasion' by Meg Wolitzer (April 3; Riverhead)

Meg Wolitzer is one of the literary world's living titans, and her latest novel, The Female Persuasion, is a prescient story about "empowerment feminism," female mentorship, and the brutal, complex truth about the women's equality movement.

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'America Is Not the Heart' by Elaine Castillo (April 3; Viking)

Hero de Vera, disowned by her parents, arrives in the Bay Area from the Philippines, and is taken in by her uncle, his wife, and their inquisitive daughter. This book shines a light on the political violence that rocks the Philippines in the '80s and '90s, and examines the complicated communities that formed in America as a result of the unrest.

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'Sodom Road Exit' by Amber Dawn (April 3; Arsenal Pulp Press'

After dropping out of college, Starla returns to live with her overbearing mother in Crystal Beach, a lakeside village on its last leg. Not long after she arrives, she's drawn drawn into a supernatural mystery that leads her charging ahead into dangerous and unknown territory.

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'How to Be Safe' by Tom McAllister (April 3; Liveright)

A gutting, shocking novel that circles a small-town tragedy, How to Be Safe is one of the most highly acclaimed novels of the year thus far. When she becomes the primary suspect in a school shooting, English teacher Anna Crawford is suddenly subjected to cruel, relentless scrutiny, sexism, and judgment — even after she's exonerated of the crime.

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'Circe' by Madeline Miller (April 10; Little, Brown and Company)

If you loved Madeline Miller's retelling of The Iliad in The Song of Achilles, you'll definitely want to pick up her new book, Circe, a retelling of the story of the daughter of Helios. When Circe discovers she has extreme witching abilities, she struggles to keep her powers a secret. Eventually, however, her powers are exposed, and Zeus banishes her to a small, abandoned island, where she must learn what it means to stand alone as a woman.

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'Heads of the Colored People' by Nafissa Thompson-Spires (April 10; Atria)

Exploring "the concept of black identity in this so-called post-racial era," this short story collection is filled with characters that will your win your heart in a matter of words. This book is a must-read for spring.

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'Macbeth' by Jo Nesbo (April 10; Hogarth)

The latest installment of the Hogarth Shakespeare Project, Macbeth by famed Norwegian crime writer Jo Nesbo is somehow darker and grittier than the source material. Set in a small town, the book circles the personal and professional life of an ambitious police officer as he navigates the seedy underbelly of the place he's vowed to protect.

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'Though I Get Home' by YZ Chin (April 10; The Feminist Press at CUNY)

Set in Malaysia, this short story collection is tied together by one woman: Isabella Sin, who is arrested for protesting and finds herself transformed in Malaysia's most notorious detention center.

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'The Magnificent Esme Wells' by Adrienne Sharp (April 10; Harper)

Young Esme Wells, the daughter of a small-time gangster, isn't afraid of a little adventure and a little glamour. Over the course of two decades, Esme relentlessly pursues her dream of being a star — even after she realizes that the costs of her dream might be steeper than she realized.

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'The Elizas' by Sara Shepard (April 17; Atria)

At the opening of this thriller from the author of Pretty Little Liars, a debut novelist is found alive at the bottom of a hotel pool. Her family believes it was another suicide attempt, but she insists that someone pushed her — and tried to kill her. As she tries to discover the truth, her real life drama gets entangled with the story happening in her novel — until she can no longer tell what's real and what's fiction.

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'Disoriental' by Négar Djavadi (April 17; Europa Editions)

Freshly translated into English, this book has already won one of France's major literary prizes: Le Prix du Roman-News. The novel follows Kimiâ Sadr, who migrated from Iran to France when she was 10 years old. Now, 25 years old, she must reckon with the memories and horrors of her past.

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'The Only Story' by Julian Barnes (April 17; Knopf)

Man Booker Prize winner Julian Barnes is back in April with a tender, painful love story between a 19-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman — from beginning to end.

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'You Think It, I Say It' by Curtis Sittenfeld (April 24; Random House)

You probably recognize Curtis Sittenfeld as the author of Eligible and Prep. This April, the author is back with a collection of witty and eye-opening stories, all starring women who are brash, imperfect, judgmental, and very, very real.

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