CLMP’s Year-End Roundup: Fiction of 2021

Throughout 2021, CLMP has been gathering monthly lists of the books forthcoming from our member presses. We’re excited to share this year-end roundup of dozens of novels, short story collections, and novellas published in 2021 by independent literary publishers! Browse below for memoirs, essay collections, and other works of nonfiction, and read our year-end roundups for nonfiction, poetry, and other genres as well!


Here Lies a Father by Mckenzie Cassidy
Akashic Books / Kaylie Jones Books | January 5, 2021
This debut novel “examines the long-term effects shameful secrets have on a family, and how difficult it is for a young man to reconstruct his own sense of right and wrong.”

Bellevue Literary Press | January 5, 2021
This novel about J. D. Salinger, “grounded in biographical fact,” follows “a devastated young man on his way to becoming the mythical figure behind a novel that has marked generations.”

Divine Justice by Joanne Hichens
Catalyst Press | January 12, 2021
According to David Swinson, this novel set in South Africa is “a no-nonsense, walloping thriller, with an intoxicating and smart protagonist.”

Bug by Giacomo Sartori
Restless Books | February 2, 2021
Translated from the Italian by Frederika Randall, this novel is “a madcap story of family dysfunction, (dis)ability, intelligent robots, bees, and a family of misfit savants living outside the bounds.”

Eleven Sooty Dreams by Manuela Draeger
Open Letter | February 9, 2021
Translated from the French by J. T. Mahany, this novel follows “a group of young leftists trapped in a burning building after one year’s Bolcho Pride parade.”

Right Guy, Wrong Time: A #MeToo Love Story by Louise MacGregor
Frayed Edge Press | February 23, 2021
This novel is an “offbeat feminist romance… dealing empathetically with sexual dysfunction, the ubiquity of rape culture, and what recovery can look like in the #MeToo era.”

The City of Good Death by Priyanka Champaneri
Restless Books | February 23, 2021
Winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, Champaneri’s debut novel “brings us inside India’s holy city of Banaras, where the manager of a death hostel shepherds the dying who seek the release of a good death.”

M-theory by Tiffany Cates
Baobab Press | March 2, 2021
In this novel, Cates “layers America’s societal, spiritual, and moral tensions in a plot that travels through the streets and elevated tracks of Chicago, creating a riveting thriller with an endearing love story at its beating heart.”

FEM by Magda Cârneci
Deep Vellum | March 2, 2021
Translated by Sean Cotter, this “lyrical, feminist novel that exploded onto the Romanian literary scene” follows “a 21st-century Scheherazade.”

From Nowhere to Nowhere by Bekim Sejranović
Sandorf Passage | March 2, 2021
In this novel translated by Will Firth, an unnamed narrator “travels to Croatia and Norway, trying to reclaim a sense of self he isn’t sure he ever possessed in the first place.”

HER HERE by Amanda Dennis
Bellevue Literary Press | March 9, 2021
Dennis’s debut novel “is an existential detective story with a shocking denouement that plumbs the creative and destructive powers of narrative itself.”

Out of the Cage by Fernanda García Lao
Deep Vellum | March 9, 2021
In this novel translated by Will Vanderhyden, Lao “creates a complex, intelligent, and subversive theater of the absurd.”

The President Shop by Vesna Maric
Sandorf Passage | March 9, 2021
According to Catherine Lacey, this novel asks, “Does every family, or country, contain an axis, around which the rest of it spins? Can you hear the voice of a stone? How clearly can anyone see the past or future? For which tyrannies have we been unwittingly waving flags?”

I is Another: Septology III-V by Jon Fosse
Transit Books | March 17, 2021
The second installment of Fosse’s Septology “is an exquisite metaphysical novel about love, art, God, friendship, and the passage of time.”

Subdivision by J. Robert Lennon
Graywolf Press | April 6, 2021
In Lennon’s latest novel, “an unnamed woman checks into a guesthouse in a mysterious district known only as the Subdivision.”

A River Called Time by Courttia Newland
Akashic Books | April 6, 2021
According to Wired, this speculative novel set in parallel Londons “imagines a world where colonialism never happened at all.”

Aviary by Deirdre McNamer
Milkweed Editions | April 13, 2021
McNamer’s latest novel explores “grief, the mystery of others, and the complexities of old age.”

The Book of Otto and Liam by Paul Griner
Sarabande Books | April 13, 2021
According to George Saunders, Griner’s novel “has something important to teach us about our dangerous national addictions to violence, hostile projection, and political polarization.”

Trafik by Rikki Ducornet
Coffee House Press | April 13, 2021
According to Brian Evenson, Ducornet’s novel is “a startlingly original look at a post-human and non-human pairing wandering through space while obsessed with the scattered fragments of a world they never knew.”

The Groundhog Forever by Henry Hoke
WTAW Press | April 27, 2021
According to Kimberly King Parsons, Hoke’s debut is a “radiant, shapeshifting novel about fame, friendship, the ecstasy and agony of repetition, and The Divine Bill Murray.”

We, Jane by Aimee Wall
Book*hug Press | April 27, 2021
According to Lisa Moore, this debut novel explores “love between women, reproductive rights, rural Newfoundland and a brave, absolutely fierce feminism.”

Hashtag Good Guy With a Gun by Jeff Chon
Sagging Meniscus | May 1, 2021
“A black-hearted satire of our new reality,” Chon’s debut novel explores “how we convince ourselves of horrible absurdities, rather than face something even more disturbing: our own essential truth.”

AHAB (Sequels) by Pierre Senges
Contra Mundum | May 6, 2021
Translated by Jacob Siefring and Tegan Raleigh, this novel is “the true continuation of the adventures of Ahab, self-described captain, survivor of his last fight against a giant fish.”

In Concrete by Anne Garréta
Deep Vellum | May 11, 2021
Translated by Emma Ramadan, Garréta’s newest novel is “a feminist inversion of a domestic drama crossed with Oulipian nursery rhyme.”

One Kind Favor by Kevin McIlvoy
WTAW Press | May 18, 2021
According to Karen E. Bender, McIlvoy’s latest book “looks at the brutality of racial injustice in a North Carolina town with a powerful sense of place and clarity and insight.”

Ere the Cock Crows by Jens Bjørneboe
Frayed Edge Press | May 25, 2021
Translated by Esther Greenleaf Mürer, this novel “follows the ethical quandaries–or not–of Germans involved in Nazi concentration camps and human medical experiments in World War II.”

Winter in Bellapalma by Jens Bjørneboe 
Frayed Edge Press | May 25, 2021
This comic novel, translated by Esther Greenleaf Mürer, “follows the exploits of a community of expatriates living off-season in a small Italian fishing village.”

Catch the Rabbit by Lana Bastašić
Restless Books | June 1, 2021
Winner of the 2020 European Union Prize for Literature, Bastašić’s debut novel is “a modern-day Alice in Wonderland set in post-war Bosnia, in which two young women plunge into the illusive landscape of their shared history.”

Bone Broth by Lyndsey Ellis
Hidden Timber Books | June 1, 2021
Ellis’s debut novel “excavates the social and familial issues that one Black family and their loved ones must navigate in order to survive.”

Madame Livingstone by Christophe Cassiau-Haurie
Catalyst Press | June 8, 2021
Illustrated by Barly Baruti and translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger, Madame Livingstone is “a historical fiction story of adventure and friendship against the backdrop of World War I.”

Angels Unaware by Lisa DeAngelis
Regal House Publishing | June 8, 2021
According to Hope Clark, in this novel DeAngelis “infuses a poor mining town in the thirties into the very wallpaper of this story of Darcy Willickers as she recants the intricacies of her life.”

Daybook from Sheep Meadow by Peter Dimock
Deep Vellum | June 8, 2021
Dimock’s latest novel is a “breakdown of America’s imperialist history” told through a historian’s notebook entries.

Skye Papers by Jamika Ajalon
Feminist Press | June 8, 2021
Ajalon’s debut novel is “a portrait of young Black artists in the 1990s London underground, whose existence is threatened by the rise of state surveillance.”

Never Say Never by Justine Manzano
Sword and Silk Books | June 15, 2021
In the inaugural title from Sword and Silk Books, a woman “is forced to decide if she’ll choose her goddess-given fate, or risk it all for the wrong-but-right guy.”

Yearning for the Sea by Esther Seligson
Frayed Edge Press | June 15, 2021
Translated by Selma Marks, this book by the celebrated Mexican writer is “a feminist retelling of Homer’s Odyssey that centers Penelope and her feelings of loss and desire.”

The Union of Synchronized Swimmers by Cristina Sandu
Book*hug Press | June 22, 2021
Winner of the 2020 Toisinkoinen Literary Prize, this novel is, according to Lindsay Zier-Vogel, “a deeply moving story about six women who dare to dream bigger than their muddy river.”

Che and the Calaway Girls by Nora Seton
Regal House Publishing | June 29, 2021
In this debut novel, a mother “must protect her daughter from present threats as well as from a legacy of suffering—all amid the turbulence of an oncoming hurricane.”

ELPASO: A Punk Story by Benjamin Villegas
Deep Vellum | June 29, 2021
Translated from the Spanish by Jay Noden, this novel “explores the history of a Texas border-town punk band that is too good to be true.”

Class Dismissed by Kevin M. McIntosh
Regal House Publishing | July 1, 2021
According to Lisa Borders, this debut novel “explores the triumphs and tragedies of teaching—and the Kafkaesque bureaucracy that one gifted New York City public school teacher finds himself in.”

Tooth of the Covenant by Norman Lock
Bellevue Literary Press | July 6, 2021
The eighth stand-alone book in The American Novels series “probes storytelling’s depths to raise history’s dead and assuage the persistent ghost of guilt.”

Lone Star by Mathilde Walter Clark
Deep Vellum | July 20, 2021
Translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken and K. E. Semmel, this novel “splices the vast expanse of Texas with a daughter’s desire to reconnect with her aging father.”

Temporary Shelter by Olena Jennings
Červená Barva Press | August 4, 2021
According to Olga Livshin, in this novel “Jennings envisions Anna Akhmatova struggling against gender expectations and heteronormativity—even among fellow bohemians in 1910s St. Petersburg.”

Four Minutes by Nataliya Deleva
Open Letter Books | August 17, 2021
Translated by Izidora Angel, this novel centered around an orphan in post-Communist Bulgaria “takes a difficult, uncompromising look at modern life in Eastern Europe.”

Child in the Valley by Gordy Sauer 
Hub City Press | August 24, 2021
This debut novel is “a gorgeously rendered tale cut from the turmoil of a fledgling America,” offering “a modern, incisive look into the complexities of masculinity, isolation, and the impenetrable nature of greed.”

Jane of Battery Park by Jaye Viner
Red Hen Press | August 31, 2021
According to Jennie Melamed, Viner’s novel “has the propulsiveness and gripping plot twists of a thriller but also meditates deeply on loss, belonging, and redemption.”

Moon and the Mars by Kia Corthron
Seven Stories Press | August 31, 2021
Corthron’s novel is “an exploration of NYC and America in the burgeoning moments before the start of the Civil War through the eyes of a young, biracial girl.”

In the Neighborhood of Normal by Cindy Maddox
Regal House Publishing | September 1, 2021
In this novel, “Eighty-two-year-old Mish Atkinson from Fair Valley, West Virginia, is determined she’s going to make something of the time she has left on this earth.”

Insignificance by James Clammer
Coach House Books | September 7, 2021
This lyric novel is “a day-in-the-life of a plumber whose troubles are all coming to a head.”

Imminence by Mariana Dimópulos
Transit Books | September 7, 2021
According to J. M. Coetzee, this novel translated from the Spanish by Alice Whitmore is, “with its caustic vignettes of male vanity and its subtle self-mockery… playful on the surface, dark and disturbing in its depths.”

Children of Dust by Marlin Barton
Regal House Publishing | September 10, 2021
This is a novel “about the relationship between two women, allied against a formidable and violent man with secrets of his own, and it is also a complex look at race, violence, and the ways in which stories get passed down to future generations.”

In Madison’s Cave by Douglas Anderson
Frayed Edge Press | September 14, 2021
This experimental epistolary novel “considers early American history, government & politics, education, race relations, and other themes that still resonate in modern American life.”

Margaret and the Mystery of the Missing Body by Megan Milks
Feminist Press | September 14, 2021
This novel “reimagines nineties adolescence—mashing up girl group series, choose-your-own-adventures, and chronicles of anorexia—in a queer and trans coming-of-age tale like no other.”

Sinking Islands by Cai Emmons
Red Hen Press | September 14, 2021
Following a scientist with the power to influence Earth’s natural forces, this novel “explores how we might become more attuned to the Earth and act more collaboratively to solve the enormity of our climate problem.”

A Line of Driftwood: The Ada Blackjack Story by Diane Glancy
Turtle Point Press | September 14, 2021
Glancy’s retelling of a 1921 Arctic expedition—of which a young Inupiat woman named Ada Blackjack was the lone survivor—is “the story of a woman facing danger, loss, and unimaginable hardship, yet surviving against the odds where four ‘experts’ could not.”

Beauty Salon by Mario Bellatin
Deep Vellum Publishing |  September 21, 2021
Bellatin’s novel, translated from the Spanish by David Shook, is an “earth-shattering allegory of plague that brought him to his cult status as auteur of Latin America’s most singular literary vision.”

Suture by Nic Brewer
Book*hug Press | September 21, 2021
Brewer’s debut novel “shares three interweaving stories of artists tearing themselves open to make art.”

Last Words on Earth by Javier Serena
Open Letter | September 21, 2021
Translated from the Spanish by Katie Whittemore, this novel “looks at the price—and haphazard nature—of fame through the lens of a Bolaño-esque writer who persevered just long enough to be transformed out of obscurity into a literary legend right at the end of his life.”

EM by Kim Thúy
Seven Stories Press | September 28, 2021
Translated by Sheila Fischman, this novel about two siblings “born into the havoc of the Vietnam War” is “a poetic story steeped in history, about those most impacted by the violence and their later accomplishments.”

Redshift, Blueshift by Jordan Silversmith
Gival Press | October 1, 2021
According to Seth Brady Tucker, this debut novel is “a philosophical and metaphysical delight, a mystery that both the narrator and the reader must unpack.”

Imagine a Death by Janice Lee
Texas Review Press | October 4, 2021
Lee’s novel “examines the ways in which our pasts envelop us, the ways in which we justify horrible things in the name of survival, all of the horrible and beautiful things we are capable of when we are hurt and broken, and the animal (and plant) companions that ground us.”

Phototaxis by Olivia Tapiero
Nightboat Books | October 5, 2021
Translated from the French by Kit Schluter, Phototaxis is a fragmentary, darkly-humorous apocalyptic text from a leading young voice from Montréal.

Because Venus Crossed an Alpine Violet on the Day that I Was Born by Mona Høvring
Book*hug Press | October 5, 2021
Translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson and Rachel Rankin—and winner of the Norwegian Critics’ Prize for Literature—this novel is, according to Aimee Wall, a “luminous tale of the ‘burdensome tenderness’ between sisters and the emotional tumult of breaking free.”

The Original Glitch by Melanie Moyer
Lanternfish Press | October 5, 2021
Moyer’s novel follows a grad student attempting to manage a malevolent artificial intelligence “determined to escape his enclosure to wreak havoc on the outside world.”

The Gold Persimmon by Lindsay Merbaum
Creature Publishing | October 5, 2021
In this experimental novel that “explores sexuality, surveillance, and the very nature of storytelling,” two characters “find themselves trapped in dual narratives.”

Divine Child by Tatjana Gromača
Sandorf Passage | October 12, 2021
Translated by Will Firth, this novel “confronts the forces that batter an individual in a time of economic crisis and rabid nationalism” and “speaks to the destinies of women in Balkan and Eastern European societies, rendering a new perspective on European post-communist literature.”

Underneath by Lily Hoang
Red Hen Press | October 12, 2021
This fictionalized true-crime novel “attempts to understand how feelings of powerlessness, the residue of trauma, and the need to find justice in a world that refuses to give a fat body justice finds its only respite through murder.”

Look at Us by T. L. Toma
Bellevue Literary Press | October 12, 2021
Toma’s novel is a “captivating, trenchant portrait of class and sexual dynamics” that “reveals just how fragile our social arrangements really are.”

Life Sciences by Joy Sorman
Restless Books | October 12, 2021
Translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud, this novel “boldly investigates the female condition, bodily autonomy, and the failings of modern medicine as one young woman confronts a centuries-old, matrilineal curse.”

Ghosts of America by Caroline Hagood
Hanging Loose Press | October 15, 2021
In Hagood’s first novel, “a sexist male novelist undergoes a peculiar transformation after being haunted by the ghosts of the women he has miswritten, Jackie Kennedy and Valerie Solanas.”

Tiki Man by Thomas M. Atkinson
Regal House Publishing | October 15, 2021
According to Devin Murphy, this novel’s characters are “indelible among the world of gambling ships, charter boats, and the shadow of correctional facilities rendered so shimmering yet gritty.”

High by Mary Sullivan 
Regal House Publishing | October 25, 2021
According to Vanessa Diffenbaugh, High “tells the story of fourteen-year-old Ceti’s struggle to soar even as she lives through her mother’s life-threatening addiction.”

The Night by Rodrigo Blanco Calderon
Seven Stories Press | November 2, 2021
Switching between crime fiction and metafiction, this novel translated by Daniel Hahn and Noel Hernandez Gonzalez is “a political novel about the financial crisis and socio-political division in Venezuela from 2008 to 2010.”

I am writing you from afar by Moyna Pam Dick
Black Sun Lit | November 2, 2021
The second title in Dick’s Evasions Trilogy “explores ardent yearning via minimalist abstraction, dense speculation, and minxy, vulnerable saints.”

The Interim by Wolfgang Hilbig
Two Lines Press | November 2, 2021
Translated from the German by Isabel Fargo Cole, this novel “interrogates with bitter wit and singular brilliance the detritus of twentieth-century life: addiction, consumerism, God, pay-per-view pornography, selfishness, statelessness, and above all else, the writer’s place in a ‘century of lies.’”

Brickmakers by Selva Almada
Graywolf Press | November 2, 2021
Translated from the Spanish by Annie McDermott, Almada’s second novel “is an unforgettable portrayal of characters who initially seem to stand in opposition, but are ultimately revealed to be bound by their similarities.”

A Guardian Angel Recalls by Willem Frederik Hermans
Archipelago Books | November 16, 2021
Translated from Dutch by David Colmer, this novel explores “a nightmare in which even expressions of empathy and humanity are edged out by cynicism and cruelty.”

Buffalo Dope by Joseph Sigurdson
Thirty West Publishing House | November 26, 2021
Sigurdson’s debut “is a dark comedy novel about Bobby Washburn, a weed dealer who lives with his mom.”

Autumn Rounds by Jacques Poulin
Archipelago Books | November 30, 2021
Translated from French by Sheila Fischman, this novel is “a tender travelogue punctuated by picnics, sandy coves, and the voices of Billie Holiday, Gabrielle Roy, and Anne Hébert.”

In Case of Emergency by Mahsa Mohebali
Feminist Press | November 30, 2021
In this Iranian novel translated by Mariam Rahmani, “a spoiled and foul-mouthed young woman looks to get high while her family and city fall to pieces.”

Nearing the End by Jiri Klobouk
Rain Mountain Press | December 1, 2021
According to Stephanie Dickinson, Klobouk “bends and stretches metaphor and simile, he creates his own pigeon English. A stew of Czech, Japanese, and English phraseology that he uses to tell this wildly imaginative, dark, and pleasurable tale.”

An Impossible Love by Christine Angot
Archipelago Books | December 14, 2021
Translated by Armine Kotin Mortimer, this novel “describes the inevitable encounter of two young people at a dance in the early 1950s: Rachel and Pierre, her mother and father.”


Thanassis Valtinos: Early Works by Thanassis Valtinos
Laertes Books | January 27, 2021
Translated by Jane Assimakopoulos and Stavros Deligiorgis, this volume “collects two groundbreaking novellas that altered the trajectory of Greek fiction, together with two autobiographical short stories.”

Disintegration in Four Parts by Jean Marc Ah-Sen, Emily Anglin, Devon Code, and Lee Henderson
Coach House Books | June 1, 2021
In this collection, “four authors each write a novella considering the concept of purity, all from astonishingly different angles.”

From the Caves by Thea Prieto
Red Hen Press | August 10, 2021
Set after an environmental catastrophe, this novella “presents the past, present, and future in tandem, reshaping ancient and modern ideas of death and motherhood, grief and hope, endings and beginnings.”

Short Fiction Collections

Something Like Hope & Other Stories by William Cass
Wising Up Press | January 1, 2021
The stories in this collection of short fiction follow characters who are “in ways large and small constantly making and remaking their commitment to hope, or something far more like it than not.”

Prayer for the Living by Ben Okri
Akashic Books  | February 2, 2021
This short story collection from Booker Prize–winning Okri “blurs parallel realities and walks the line between darkness and magic.”

Wild Swims by Dorthe Nors
Graywolf Press  | February 2, 2021
Translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra, this short story collection “plumbs the depths of the human heart, from desire to melancholy and everything in between.”

COME ON UP by Jordi Nopca
Bellevue Literary Press | February 9, 2021
According to Colm Tóibín, the short stories in this collection—translated from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem—”capture the unease of the times and the flux of contemporary life in Barcelona.”

The Man Who Loved His Wife by Jennifer Anne Moses
Mayapple Press | March 2, 2021
In this short fiction collection, Moses “captures singularly Jewish and wholly human characters as they live and breathe through their stories.”

Big Bad by Whitney Collins
Sarabande Books | March 16, 2021
Winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction, this debut collection of short stories is “part domestic horror, part flyover gothic.”

Moss Covered Claws by Jonah Barrett
Blue Cactus Press | March 18, 2021
The debut short story collection “is filled with tales of anxiety-feeding demons, anti-fascists that travel dimensions, and the vengeful spirits of dead seabirds.”

Farthest South & Other Stories by Ethan Rutherford
Deep Vellum Publishing | March 23, 2021
This new collection features stories “about family and home that are at the same time fevered, personal, and explicitly engaged with their own telling.”

Let Me Think by J. Robert Lennon
Graywolf Press | April 6, 2021
The stories in this collection, “most no more than a few pages, are at once experimental and compulsively readable, the work of an expert craftsman who can sketch whole lives in a mere handful of lines.”

Face: One Square Foot of Skin by Justine Bateman
Akashic Books | April 6, 2021
In this book of fictional vignettes, Bateman “examines the aggressive ways that society reacts to the aging of women’s faces.”

The Violence Almanac by Miah Jeffra
Black Lawrence Press | April 19, 2021
According to Dan Chaon, this collection of short fiction is “formally inventive, transgressive, darkly funny at times, deeply moving at others.”

The Heat Death of the Universe, and Other Stories by Pamela Zoline
McPherson & Company | April 22, 2021
Zoline’s debut short fiction collection, rereleased in a paperback edition, is, according to Kirkus Reviews, “weird, challenging, distinctive, jolting: a polymathic product of fine writing, mordant commentary, and subtle thinking.”

Love Like Water, Love Like Fire by Mikhail Iossel
Bellevue Literary Press | May 4, 2021
The twenty stories in this collection “of Soviet childhood and adulthood, dissidence and subsequent immigration, are filled with wit and humor even as they describe the daily absurdities of a fickle and often perilous reality.”

Alien Stories by E.C. Osondu
BOA Editions | May 11, 2021
Winner of the BOA Short Fiction Prize, this collection of eighteen short stories, “each centered around an encounter with the unexpected,” explores “what it means to be an alien.”

Erase and Rewind by Meghan Bell
Book*hug Press | May 18, 2021
“Told from the perspective of various female protagonists,” the stories in this collection address “rape culture, sexism in the workplace, uneven romantic and platonic relationships, and the impact of trauma under late-stage capitalism.”

Turmeric & Sugar: Stories by Anna Vangala Jones
Thirty West Publishing House | May 18, 2021
According to Tananarive Due, this debut short fiction collection “twines the mundane with the magical, heartache with hope, loss with love.”

Eruptions of Inanna: Justice, Gender, and Erotic Power by Judy Grahn
Nightboat Books | May 25, 2021
In her latest book, Grahn “illuminates eight dramatic stories exploring the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna’s power and relevance for contemporary queer feminist audiences.”

On the Origin of Species and Other Stories by Bo-Young Kim
Kaya Press | May 25, 2021
This debut English-language collection “makes available for the first time in English some of Kim’s most acclaimed stories, as well as an essay on science fiction.”

Honey Mine by Camille Roy
Nightboat Books | June 29, 2021
Edited by Lauren Levin and Eric Sneathen, this short fiction collection “unfolds as both excavation and romp, an adventure story that ushers readers into a lesbian writer’s coming of age.”

Waiting for Fear by Oğuz Atay
Contra Mundum Press | June 30, 2021
Translated from the Turkish by Fulya Peker, this short fiction collection “traces the existential conflicts of different ‘selves’ struggling to survive, and peels away the layers of each isolated and alienated persona.”

Big Dark Hole and Other Stories by Jeffrey Ford
Small Beer Press | July 6, 2021
Ford’s short story collection “is about those big, dark holes that we find ourselves once in a while and maybe, too, the big dark holes that exist inside of us.”

Variations on the Body by María Ospina
Coffee House Press | July 6, 2021
Translated by Heather Cleary, the short stories in this collection “illustrate the intersecting lives of women on various peripheries of society in and around Bogotá, Colombia.”

Little Bird by Claudia Ulloa Donoso
Deep Vellum | July 20, 2021
Translated from the Spanish by Lily Meyer, this collection is “comprised of magical short stories and texts that explore the strangeness of everyday life.”

Spirits Abroad: Stories by Zen Cho
Small Beer Press | August 9, 2021
Spirits Abroad is an expanded edition of Zen Cho’s Crawford Award–winning debut collection of short stories “that weave between the lands of the living and the lands of the dead.”

Donuts in Space by Jerica Taylor
Gasher Press | September 1, 2021
A series of linked flash pieces, Donuts in Space “is about a stress-baking human and her new life after the catastrophic crash of her ship from Earth.”

The Hard Life of a Stone by Marvin Cohen
Sagging Meniscus | September 15, 2021
This collection of stories “centers around philosophical themes: the awareness of existence and experience, of reality and truth, and the relativity of time and place.”

Getaway by Glen Pourciau
Four Way Books | September 15, 2021
The characters in these short stories “inhabit a world dominated by interior voices revealing fragmented selves.”

Three, Walking by Nikia Chaney
Bamboo Dart Press | September 20, 2021
This chapbook of short fiction explores “three worlds in which three brave women push against the external structures of their strange worlds that almost work the same way as ours.”

Check Engine and Other Stories by Jennifer Companik
Thirty West Publishing House | September 24, 2021
This debut short fiction collection features ten stories exploring “duality in gender roles & expectations, married and unmarried, ghosts and death.”

Deadheading and Other Stories by Beth Gilstrap
Red Hen Press | October 3, 2021
The stories in Gilstrap’s collection “tell tales of the woebegone, their obsessions with decay, and the haunting ache of the region itself—the land of the dwindling pines, the isolation inherent in the mountains and foothills, and the loneliness of boomtowns.”

No Diving Allowed by Louise Marburg
Regal House Publishing | October 6, 2021
The 14 stories in this collection “are tales of regret and mercy, of bonds forged and frayed, and most of all our individual capacity to love even that which damns us.”

We Imagined It Was Rain by Andrew Siegrist
Hub City Press | October 12, 2021
Siegrist’s debut short fiction collection is “a love song to Tennessee…. imbued with tenderness, seriousness, and a deep understanding of the human spirit.”

Ground Scratchers by Gabriel Welsch
Tolsun Books | October 19, 2021
According to J. David Stevens, the characters in these stories “keep secrets, surrender to petty impulses, and too often let pride keep them from giving or receiving the compassion that could improve their lives.”

Horror and Huge Expenses by Robert Perišić
Sandorf Passage | October 26, 2021
Translated by Will Firth, this short story collection “unapologetically renders failure and loss, so often finding aching beauty in both, by pulling readers into the stray thoughts and moments upon which all of our lives are built, whether we realize it or not.”

Rare Encounters with Sea Beasts and Other Divine Phenomena by Nick Gregorio
Thirty West Publishing House | October 31, 2021
This collection of interconnected stories is “about loneliness and yearning and searching—sometimes for giant squid. It’s about the inability to properly understand friendships and love far too deep into a life.”

Make the Bear Be Nice by Stephen St. Francis Decky
Frayed Edge Press | November, 2021
In this fiction chapbook, a “homeless teen working nights cleaning movie theaters at a South Jersey cineplex forms an unlikely friendship with a former high-school classmate and his sister.”

The Sadness of Whirlwinds by Jim Peterson
Red Hen Press | November 2, 2021
The short stories in this collection “lead readers through inscrutable realms of both the known and the unknown, provoking them to challenge their own notions of love, death, truth, and reality.”

Eternal Night at the Nature Museum by Tyler Barton
Sarabande Books | November 2, 2021
The twenty stories in this collection are set “in a contemporary America blemished with loneliness and late-capitalism.”

All Shades of Iberibe by Kasimma
Sandorf Passage | November 2, 2021
The stories in this collection “effortlessly inhabit the dark, alluring, and beautiful spaces between mystical Nigerian traditions and our strange contemporary condition.”

Slug and Other Stories by Megan Milks
Feminist Press | November 9, 2021
This book of short fiction is “a deranged, otherworldly collection that disrupts conventional ideas about gender, genre, and queer identity.”

Mixed Company by Jenny Shank
Texas Review Press | November 16, 2021
In this short fiction collection—winner of the George Garrett Fiction Prize—Shank “reveals moments of grace and connection between people of her hometown, Denver.”

Jack Ruby and the Origins of the Avant-Garde in Dallas by Robert Trammell
Deep Vellum | December 7, 2021
In this short fiction collection, “Jack Ruby mythos loops between fact, fiction, and spectacle to satirize Dallas’ place on the world stage.”

This Is Not Your Country by Amin Ahmad
BkMk Press | December 7, 2021
Winner of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize, this short story collection follows Indian immigrants as they “discover that the journey to real belonging is much stranger than they had ever imagined.”