7 new books to add to your April reading list

7 new books to add to your April reading list

From Julia Alvarez’s “Afterlife” to Sara Sligar’s “Take Me Apart,” here is what we’re looking forward to reading this April.

“Afterlife,” by Julia Alvarez
Available April 7

Author Julia Alvarez is back with her first novel in nearly 15 years. The story revolves around an immigrant writer named Antonia Vega who is faced with a series of life events she must overcome — from the sudden death of her husband to the disappearance of her sister. In an essay titled “Living in Afterlife,” Alvarez states the new novel is her first “written as an elder.”

“I’ve been preparing myself, you know, befriending a world that is closing in on being the world without me,” she writes. “I call it ‘living the afterlife.’ If Scheherazade — a plucky woman with a crafty plan, who kept herself alive in the sultan’s court — was my first muse and model as a young storyteller, who will be my muse for this time in my own and in our planetary life? I write to find out.”

“A Girl’s Story,” by Annie Ernaux
Available April 7

Written by French memoirist Annie Ernaux, “A Girl’s Story” finds the author unraveling the summer of 1958 when she was overpowered by a man, resulting in a lingering trauma that affected the rest of her young adulthood. A prolific writer, Ernaux has authored a body of influential work, including the recently published “The Years,” which was shortlisted for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. “A Girl’s Story” was translated into English by Alison L. Strayer.

“Breasts and Eggs,” by Mieko Kawakami
Available April 7

Mieko Kawakami’s highly anticipated novel “Breasts and Eggs” meditates on womanhood in Japan by charting the stories of three women. Related by familial bonds, the characters each confront their own unique anxieties and pressures while pushing against patriarchal norms. The new release was originally published as a short novella, which garnered the praise of writers Yōko Ogawa and Haruki Murakami. This version marks the author’s first novel to be published in English. The work is translated by Sam Bett and David Boyd.

“Me & Patsy Kickin’ Up Dust: My Friendship with Patsy Cline,” by Loretta Lynn
Available April 7

Looking for a heartfelt dive into the friendship of two iconic country singers? Legend Loretta Lynn chronicles her relationship with Patsy Cline, who broke ground as a powerhouse performer in a male-dominated field. With the 1960s as a backdrop, Lynn divulges intimate details about the inspiration she found in Cline, both in life and music.

“Chosen Ones,” by Veronica Roth
Available April 7

Veronica Roth splashed into the mainstream with her bestselling “Divergent” series. Written for young adults, the tale was adapted for screen for a blockbuster slate of films starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James. Now, the author is back with a villainous novel. The story follows the fate of five adults (collectively called the “Chosen Ones”) who must deal with the fallout of defeating the “Dark One” when they were teenagers. Fans won’t have to imagine what this world might look like for long; the film rights to the book have already been sold to Eric Feig’s company Picturestar.

“How Much of These Hills Is Gold,” by C Pam Zhang
Available April 7

C Pam Zhang’s much-anticipated debut begins with the death of Ba, quickly making the book’s two main characters, Sam and Lucy, orphans. The children of immigrants in a land blighted by the American gold rush, Sam and Lucy face the trials of navigating a hostile world. Embroidered with the dusty realities of prospecting, the book questions the idea of home and is framed by the epigraph, “This land is not your land.”

“Take Me Apart,” by Sara Sligar
Available April 28

Sara Silgar’s “Take Me Apart” charts the suspenseful journey of an ex-journalist named Kate who finds herself in California archiving the estate of a famous photographer named Miranda. The novel takes a turn when Kate runs across Miranda’s diary, throwing the archivist into a web of obsession and secrets. Read if you like mysteries set in the art world.

[Want more insights into books? Check out the PBS Digital Studios series “It’s Lit.“]