Monday, May 18, 2009

Upcoming Releases for 2009

This week we'll take a step away from my collection and take a look at what releases are on the horizon in the book world.

Coming June 2nd is what might be the final release from John Updike (unless they unearth some unseen manuscripts): a collection called My Father's Tears and Other Stories.

Later in the summer is William T. Vollmann's Imperial. This book is going to be massive--over 1300 pages! First off, this might have the highest jacket price I've ever seen...this one lists for a steep $55.00. Regardless, I'm excited about the book: it's a chronicle of south-west America and the tensions between the US-Mexican border. I'm a big Vollmann fan and amazed at the areas of his expertise.

Those of you who have seen Vollmann's other works know that he often includes photographs and drawings with his text. Poor People, for instance, had about 100 pages of photographs in an afterword. Sure, Vollmann is a better writer than he is a photographer, but the quality of his photography is not really the point. It's more about proof; the fact that there is concrete documentation of Vollmann's exploits give his books even more of an impact. Powerhouse Books (left cover) will release a companion volume of Vollmann's Imperial photography the same week Viking's 1300 page Imperial hits shelves.

August will see the release of Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon and The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolano.

Coming in September is Richard Powers's Generosity: An Enhancement. Also in September US stores will finally get the latest work of the great Kazuo Ishiguro: Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall.

The Ishiguro opens up something that bothers me quite a bit as a book collector. Nocturnes actually came out about 2 weeks ago in the UK. Why will it take over 4 months for the book to come out in the US? It's always frustrating. Now, in my search for a UK edition of Nocturnes, I found that the book was also released as a limited edition for UK audiences. The books are signed, slipcased, and while I don't think they're numbered I've read that they only printed 2000 copies. My copy should arrive any day now, and you can get yours too:

Ishiguro is really one of the great living literary authors of our time. This is a no-brainer for any collector and this will certainly be worth quite a bit more down the line than the $40 it'll cost you now.

Finally, two big ones just showed up on Amazon slated for release in November. Philip Roth's thirtieth book (!!) The Humbling is a short novel about the late-life crisis of a critically acclaimed stage actor. Love the Milton Glaser cover.

Also scheduled for November is the mythical, fire-proof Nabokov manuscript, The Original of Laura.


An exciting year in books! Here's a recap, with dates. These dates will surely change as we get closer to the release date.

My Father's Tears and Other Stories by John Updike, June 2, 2009

Imperial (Photography supplement by PowerHouse), July 21, 2009
Imperial by William T. Vollmann, July 30, 2009

Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon, August 4, 2009
The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolano, August 4, 2009

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall by Kazuo Ishiguro, September 22, 2009
Generosity: An Enhancement, Richard Powers, September 29, 2009

The Humbling by Philip Roth, November 2, 2009
The Original of Laura, Vladimir Nabokov, November 3, 2009

I'd like to ask people to follow the blog on the column on the right if you like what you've been reading. Please leave comments on the posts, too. I've got a slowly growing column of links on the right--if you'd like to be featured please get in touch and we'll talk.


  1. Thank you for the list of upcoming releases.
    It's exciting to look forward to the great reads you have listed. Thank you so so so much

  2. Hi, thanks so much for your comment-- you're very welcome! It's looking to be a great year in books.

    Hope you stop by again soon!


  3. I enjoy your blog.