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Your Jewish Fall Fiction Preview

Ten new novels to know

Marc Tracy
July 07, 2010
When you work at a magazine, you get advance copies.(The author)
When you work at a magazine, you get advance copies.(The author)

Borrowing from one round-up in The Millions and another in The Second Pass, here are some superlative forthcoming books.

Most Anticipated: Though Jonathan Franzen isn’t Jewish, Freedom—his first novel since 2001’s massively acclaimed The Corrections—features a character who is the son of a bigwig Jewish neoconservative (September).

The One You’re Most Likely To Read: Adam Langer’s The Thieves of Manhattan. Short, fun, and about New York’s literary scene (July).

Most Charming: Allegra Goodman’s The Cookbook Collector. She’s a very charming writer: here, read her New Yorker stuff while you wait (July).

Longest: Adam Levin’s two-volume debut The Instructions (sounds like this, which sounds like this) stretches the tale of a 10-year-old named Gurion Maccabee (I get it, I guess?) over 900 pages. Please allow me to be the first to call Levin “The Josh Cohen of the McSweeney’s set” (November).

Roth: He gets his own category—a new novel from him has become as reliable as your annual Woody fix. This one’s called Nemesis, and it’s set in Idaho, Singapore, and Turkmenistan, among other exotic locales. Just kidding, it’s set in Newark (October).

Most Tablet Magazine-y: Contributing editor Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story (end of July).

Most Israeli: To the End of the Land is the much-awaited new offering from David Grossman, one of the masters of his unusually talented generation of Israeli novelists (September).

Most Likely To Have a Decemberists Song Written About It: False Friends, by Myla Goldberg (October).

Most Park Slope: The Great House, by Nicole Krauss.

Best Description: According to the publisher, Cynthia Ozick’s new novel (!), Foreign Bodies, is a retelling of Henry James’ The Ambassadors, which is one of the 27 novels he wrote about Americans abroad. The catch? “The plot is the same, the meaning is reversed.”

The plot is the same, the meaning is reversed? I’m pretty sure that’s the official motto of all Jewish-American novelists.

Marc Tracy is a staff writer at The New Republic, and was previously a staff writer at Tablet. He tweets @marcatracy.