Lit Crush: The Books We're Most Excited For in 2018!

Some days, waiting for a new book's release is like waiting to step into a magical bookcase to explore the enchanted forest beyond. And some days, it's a stretch to justify the glossy, social media-friendly image. Today, both are true! The Grub office is gearing up for another winter freeze, and we're contemplating the books set for release in 2018 that we just can't wait to cosy up and hunker down with.


HR & Operations Manager Lauren is most looking forward to reading How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays, by Alexander Chee. She LOVED seeing him at the Muse and can't wait to see what other literary wisdom he will bestow upon us with this book. (Forthcoming in April from Mariner.)


Head of Faculty & Curriculum Dariel is really looking forward to Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Neighborhood (translated from Cinco Esquinas in Spanish), which has been described as a sensual political thriller set in 1990s Peru during Alberto Fujimori’s presidency. (Forthcoming in February from FSG.)


Youth Programs Manager Eson is eager to dig into Annihilation: A Novel (FSG, 2014) by Jeff VanderMeer. The story features an expedition of four women who return to a landscape where all the explorers before them completely unraveled or died. Bring on the disaster! (VanderMeer's latest novel, Borne, is out in April!)


Literary District Director Alysia is also looking forward to Alexander Chee's collection of essays How to Write an Autobiographical Novel. Chee's a singularly good essayist. She's also looking forward to novelist (and Muse 2018 presenter!) Porochista Khakpour's first memoir, Sick, about her struggles with Lyme disease (out from Harper Perennial in May).


Development Manager Alyssa is interested to read Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, edited by Roxane Gay (May, Harper Collins), and When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele (out today from Macmillan) and hopes her book club will be too!


When this post goes live, Muse & Events Coordinator Hanna will likely be reading Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, a book she’s been eagerly waiting for (out today from Little, Brown).


Artistic Director Christopher thought he'd have more time to read all those "Best of 2017" books. Instead, he's got his eyes on Joseph Cassara's debut novel, The House of Impossible Beauties (February, Ecco) about the Harlem ball scene in the '80s.


GrubWrites editor Sarah is also looking forward to reading Joseph Cassara's The House of Impossible Beauties and spending time, through fiction, with the real Xtravaganzas, the NY ball scene's first all-Latino house.

Senior Communications Manager Liz is looking forward to reading Zinzi Clemmons' What We Lose (Viking, 2017). She's hoping to finish it in time for Heidi Durrow's upcoming online book club.


Founder and Executive Director, Eve Bridburg is looking forward to two books coming out this very month: So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo (out today from Seal Press), and A Kind of Mirraculas Paradise: A True Story About Schizophrenia (January, Scribner), by Sandra Allen.


Director of Programs and Marketing Alison cannot possibly choose just one, so here is her list, but they are all different genres so it doesn't count: She cannot wait for Nicole Chung's memoir, All You Can Ever Know (Catapult, Fall), and also Nafissa Thompson-Spires' Heads of the Colored People (April, 37Ink), which she got to hear a bit of at Tin House and it ruled. The novel she is most looking forward to reading is Tayari Jones' An American Marriage (February, Algonquin), and as far as essays, she is also super excited for Alexander Chee's How to Write an Autobiographical Novel.


Administrative Assistant Erin is looking forward to What Are We Doing Here?: Essays (February, FSG), by one of her favorite writers and thinkers, Marilynne Robinson.


Ren, Grub's Programs Coordinator, is anxiously anticipating The Boneless Mercies (October, FSG) by April Genevieve Tucholke, as folklore retellings, gender-bending, and murder are a few of her favorite topics.


Sonya, Director of the Muse Conference & Advocacy, is reading M. Butterfly, the 1988 play by David Henry Hwang, and cannot believe she has never read it before. It's astonishing.


Missed an edition of Lit Hits? Fear not! Find the entire back catalogue of Grubbie-recommended titles right here.

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About the Author

Colwill is an instructor and manuscript consultant at GrubStreet, an associate editor at Bat City Review, and an MFA candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating a scholarship awardee of GrubStreet’s Novel Incubator program, Colwill found representation for her first novel, Before We Tear Our Selves Apart, with Robert Guinsler of Sterling Lord Literistic, which is currently on submission to publishing houses. She is the recipient of the Wellspring House Emerging Writer Fellowship, the Henry Blackwell Essay Prize, and a Crawley-Garwood Research Grant, and has received fellowships and support from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, The University of Texas at Austin, Boston College, Kansas State University, the Anderson Center for Disciplinary Studies, and GrubStreet. She was a finalist for the 2019 Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize, the 2019 Reynolds Price Award, the 2019 Far Horizons Fiction Award, the 2019 Disquiet International Literary Prize, and the 2019 Lit Fest Emerging Writer Fellowship. Colwill’s fiction is forthcoming in Granta and is anthologized in Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet (Press 53). She has served on the editorial team for Post Road magazine, The Conium Review,  Solstice Literary Magazine, and Pangyrus magazine. Colwill is a founding member of the  Back Porch Collective, a Boston-based group of writers. With members connected to Cuba, India, Albania, Atlanta, Bosnia, Miami, Jamaica, and the UK, they bonded over a common passion for global narratives and literature’s potential to create empathy and understanding across all geographical, political, and cultural borders. Hailing from Yorkshire, in the north of England, Colwill is determined to introduce the word “sozzard” to the American vernacular. For a full list of publications, projects, and services, please visit

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