Also published on this date: Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, April 12, 2023

April 12, 2023 Dedicated Issue: S&S Fall Preview

Simon & Schuster: You're Invited to the Fall Preview 2023

Editors' Note

Simon & Schuster Fall Preview

With support from the publisher, Shelf Awareness features the Simon & Schuster Fall Preview, to be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 9 and 10, for an hour each day, highlighting authors and illustrators and their upcoming books.

Simon & Schuster: Join us for a virtual panel featuring Nicole Walters

Books & Authors

You're Invited to the Simon & Schuster Fall 2023 Preview!

We are proud to announce this year's Simon & Schuster Fall Preview—a two-day virtual event that offers booksellers, librarians, publishing professionals, and tastemakers an exclusive sneak preview of the biggest books from Simon & Schuster fall lists.

On day one of the Preview, Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp will kick off the hour and introduce five adult titles: inspiring debuts and noteworthy picks in both fiction and nonfiction. Then each pair of authors and editors will reveal the stories behind the stories.

Day two of the Preview shines a spotlight on books from the Children's division. The powerhouse event features acclaimed authors, illustrators, and creators for readers of all ages.

From must-read novels to heartfelt memoirs to laugh-out-loud graphic novels—these are the titles everyone will be buzzing about this fall.

Simon & Schuster: Join us for a virtual panel featuring Jason Reynolds + Jerome & Jarrett Pumphrey

Adult Author Fall Preview

The Adult Author Fall Preview will be held on Tuesday, May 9, from 2:00–3:00 PM ET. The following five titles—including a powerful, insightful novel, a collection of thought-provoking essays, and intimate memoirs about three very different roads to self discovery—will be featured. Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp will kick off the event and introduce the titles.

Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger, and Higher Education by Stephanie Land (Atria/One Signal Publishers, $28, 9781982151393, November 7), in conversation with Julia Cheiffetz.

When Stephanie Land set out to write her memoir Maid, she never could have imagined what was to come. Handpicked by President Barack Obama as one of the best books of 2019, it was called "an eye-opening journey into the lives of the working poor" (People). Later, it was adapted into the hit Netflix series, Maid, which was viewed by 67 million households and was Netflix's fourth most-watched show in 2021, garnering three Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Stephanie's escape out of poverty and abuse in search of a better life inspired millions.

Class is a gripping memoir about college, motherhood, poverty, and life after Maid. Land takes us with her as she finishes college and pursues her writing career. Facing barriers at every turn including a byzantine loan system, not having enough money for food, navigating the judgments of professors and fellow students who didn't understand the demands of attending college while under the poverty line—Land finds a way to survive once again, finally graduating in her mid-thirties.

Stephanie Land

Class paints an intimate and heartbreaking portrait of motherhood as it converges and often conflicts with personal desire and professional ambition. Who has the right to create art? Who has the right to go to college? And what kind of work is valued in our culture? In clear, candid, and moving prose, Class grapples with these questions, offering a searing indictment of America's educational system and an inspiring testimony of a mother's triumph against all odds.

Stephanie Land's work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and many other outlets. Her writing focuses on social and economic justice and parenting under the poverty line. She is a frequent speaker at colleges and national advocacy organizations. Find out more at @Stepville or

Julia Cheiffetz is Vice President and Publisher of Atria Books and One Signal. She founded the One Signal Publishers imprint in 2018 with the goal of "discovering untold stories, elevating unique voices, and celebrating hidden figures." Recent books include the national bestseller Keep Moving by the award-winning poet Maggie Smith, instant New York Times bestseller Hoax by CNN anchor Brian Stelter, and Ida B. the Queen by Michelle Duster.

Julia Cheiffetz

Before joining Simon & Schuster, Julia was Executive Editor at HarperCollins, where she published numerous New York Times bestsellers and award-winning books, including Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik, Forward by soccer legend and activist Abby Wambach, Unbelievable by NBC Correspondent Katy Tur, Rabbit: A Memoir by Patricia Williams, an NAACP Image Award finalist, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, Devil in the Grove by Gilbert King, winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction, called "a richly detailed chronicle of racial injustice" by the prize's committee. Julia spent the first six years of her publishing career at Random House.

Creep: Accusations and Confessions by Myriam Gurba (Avid Reader Press/S&S, $27, 9781982186470, September 5), in conversation with Lauren Wein.

From the acclaimed author of Mean, and one of our fiercest, foremost explorers of intersectional Latinx identity, this ruthless and razor-sharp essay collection tackles the pervasive, creeping oppression and toxicity that has wormed its way into society—in our books, schools, and homes, as well as the systems that perpetuate them.

A creep can be a singular figure, a villain who makes things go bump in the night. Yet creep is also what the fog does—it lurks into place to do its dirty work, muffling screams, obscuring the truth, and providing cover for those prowling within it.

Myriam Gurba

Through cultural criticism disguised as personal essay, Gurba studies the ways in which oppression is collectively enacted, sustaining ecosystems that unfairly distribute suffering and premature death to our most vulnerable. Yet identifying individual creeps, creepy social groups, and creepy cultures is only half of this book's project—the other half is examining how we as individuals, communities, and institutions can challenge creeps and rid ourselves of the fog that seeks to blind us.

With her ruthless mind, wry humor, and adventurous style, Gurba implicates everyone from Joan Didion to her former abuser, everything from Mexican stereotypes to the carceral state. Braiding her own history and identity throughout, she argues for a new way of conceptualizing oppression, and she does it with her signature blend of bravado and humility.

Lauren Wein

Myriam Gurba is a writer and artist. She is the author of the true crime memoir Mean, a New York Times Editors' Choice. Oprah Daily ranked Mean as one of the best LGBTQ books of all time. Publishers Weekly describes Gurba as having a voice like no other. Her essays and criticism have appeared in The Paris Review, Time, and 4Columns. She has shown art in galleries, museums, and community centers. She lives in Pasadena, California.

Lauren Wein oversees Avid Reader Press's fiction and memoir program. Earlier, she spent more than two decades as an editor—first at Grove Atlantic, where she also served as rights director, and then at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. At Avid Reader, she has published two Reese's Book Club selections—Group by Christie Tate and Infinite Country by Patricia Engel, both New York Times bestsellers. Other notable publications in recent years include Antoine Wilson's Mouth to Mouth (one of President Obama's favorite books of 2022), Julia May Jonas's Vladimir (a People, NPR, Washington Post, et al. best book of the year), Chloé Cooper Jones's Easy Beauty (Vulture‘s #1 memoir of the year, and a New York Times and Washington Post notable book of the year), and Lori Gottlieb's Maybe You Should Talk to Someone (a New York Times bestseller and an Amazon top ten book of the year).

Death Valley: A Novel by Melissa Broder (Scribner, $27, 9781668024843, October 24), in conversation with Kara Watson.

In Melissa Broder's astounding new novel, a woman arrives alone at a Best Western seeking respite from an emptiness that plagues her. She has fled to the California high desert to escape a cloud of sorrow—for both her father in the ICU and a husband whose illness is worsening. What the motel provides, however, is not peace but a path, thanks to a receptionist who recommends a nearby hike.

Out on the sun-scorched trail, the woman encounters a towering cactus whose size and shape mean it should not exist in California. Yet the cactus is there, with a gash through its side that beckons like a familiar door. So she enters it. What awaits her inside this mystical succulent sets her on a journey at once desolate and rich, hilarious and poignant.

Melissa Broder

This is Melissa Broder at her most imaginative, most universal, and finest. This is Death Valley, a darkly funny novel about grief that becomes a desert survival story.

Melissa Broder is the author of the novels Milk Fed and The Pisces, the essay collection So Sad Today, and five poetry collections, including Superdoom. She has written for The New York Times, Elle, and New York magazine's The Cut. She lives in Los Angeles. Follow her on Twitter @SoSadToday and @MelissaBroder and Instagram @RealMelissaBroder.

Kara Watson

Kara Watson is Executive Editor at Scribner and specializes in literary and book club fiction, suspense, memoir, narrative and practical nonfiction, and books about food and wine. Recent titles include the New York Times bestseller Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane, The Women in Black by Madeleine St John, The Startup Wife by Tahmima Anam, and Yours Cheerfully by AJ Pearce. Forthcoming projects include novels by Ethan Joella, Kate Manning, Joanna Cannon, and Jen Beagin; Anonymous Sex, edited by Hillary Jordan and Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan; Every Deep-Drawn Breath by Dr. Wes Ely; How to Talk When Kids Won't Listen by Joanna Faber and Julie King. Kara also works with Andrea Lee, Carole Johnstone, Liv Stratman, Carol Edgarian, Margareta Magnusson, Katy Butler, Dr. Wendy Mogel, Kristin Kimball, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Anne Willan, Shirley Corriher, and Tamar Adler, and oversees the F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway catalogs, as well as other key Scribner backlist.

How to Say Babylon: A Memoir by Safiya Sinclair (Simon & Schuster, $28.99, 9781982132330, October 3), in conversation with Dawn Davis.

With echoes of Educated and Born a Crime, How to Say Babylon is the stunning story of the author's struggle to break free of her rigid Rastafarian upbringing, ruled by her father's strict patriarchal views and repressive control of her childhood, to find her own voice as a woman and poet.

Throughout her childhood, Safiya Sinclair's father, a volatile reggae musician and militant adherent to a strict sect of Rastafari, became obsessed with her purity, in particular, with the threat of what Rastas call Babylon, the immoral and corrupting influences of the Western world outside their home. He worried that womanhood would make Safiya and her sisters morally weak and impure, and believed a woman's highest virtue was her obedience.

Safiya Sinclair

In an effort to keep Babylon outside the gate, he forbade almost everything. In place of pants, the women in her family were made to wear long skirts and dresses to cover their arms and legs, head wraps to cover their hair, no make-up, no jewelry, no opinions, no friends. Safiya's mother, while loyal to her father, nonetheless gave Safiya and her siblings the gift of books, including poetry, to which Safiya latched on for dear life. And as Safiya watched her mother struggle voicelessly for years under housework and the rigidity of her father's beliefs, she increasingly used her education as a sharp tool with which to find her voice and break free. Inevitably, with her rebellion comes clashes with her father, whose rage and paranoia explodes in increasing violence. As Safiya's voice grows, lyrically and poetically, a collision course is set between them.

How to Say Babylon is Sinclair's reckoning with the culture that initially nourished but ultimately sought to silence her; it is her reckoning with patriarchy and tradition, and the legacy of colonialism in Jamaica. Rich in lyricism and language only a poet could evoke, How to Say Babylon is both a universal story of a woman finding her own power and a unique glimpse into a rarefied world we may know how to name, Rastafari, but one we know little about.

Dawn Davis

Safiya Sinclair was born and raised in Montego Bay, Jamaica. She is the author of the poetry collection Cannibal, winner of a Whiting Writers Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters's Metcalf Award in Literature, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Poetry, and the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. Cannibal was selected as one of the American Library Association's Notable Books of the Year, was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the Seamus Heaney First Book Award in the UK, and was longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award and the Dylan Thomas Prize.

Dawn Davis is Editor in Chief of Bon Appétit and was formerly a Vice President at Simon & Schuster and founder and publisher of 37Ink. Before that, she was publisher at Amistad Press and worked at the New Press and Vintage. Among titles she edited is The Known World by Edward P. Jones and Recipe of Memory: Five Generations of Mexican Cuisine. She is the author of If You Can Stand the Heat: Tales from Chefs and Restaurateurs.

Nothing Is Missing: A Transformational Memoir by Nicole Walters (S&S/Simon Element, $27.99, 9781668000953, October 10), in conversation with Leah Miller.

Nicole Walters

Nothing Is Missing is a riveting, unputdownable story of what it takes to show up for yourself—and the joy that can come once you do. Raised in a home where food was unstable and anger was the norm, Nicole Walters, the daughter of Ghanaian immigrants, learned early that she needed to take charge of her own safety and security. So she did: She got into an elite private school by talking to a stranger in her dad's cab, she strategized her way onto Wheel of Fortune to pay for college, she adopted three girls after meeting their mother panhandling, she quit her job to launch her own business, and she struggled.

Hustling endlessly to try to achieve society's definition of success left her exhausted, compromising her own sense of worth in order to accommodate others. Nicole worked herself straight into a health crisis that threatened her life and the family she had worked so hard to build. It was not until she was forced into a major reckoning in both her business and her marriage that Nicole realized that she was already enough, that she had and was everything that she needed. In Nothing Is Missing, Nicole contemplates how she was able to create the life she wanted using the strength she had within herself all along.

Leah Miller

Nicole Walters is a former top-selling corporate executive who quit her six-figure sales job in front of ten thousand people, took what she knew, and built a million-dollar business in one short year. Now the host of a popular podcast, running a multi-million-dollar business, and in-demand motivational speaker, Nicole is passionate about teaching everyday entrepreneurs how to own their power and trust that they already have everything that they need to succeed.

Executive Editor Leah Miller is a founding member of the Simon Element team. She began her editorial career at Free Press, and has worked at Atria, Harmony Books, Rodale Books, and Grand Central Publishing. Leah specializes in practical and narrative nonfiction that inspires, informs, and empowers readers to create change in their lives. She has edited and published award-winning and bestselling prescriptive and narrative nonfiction throughout her career, including books by Bill Nye, Vishen Lakhiani, Pedram Shojai, Dr. William Li, Joanne Huist Smith, Mira Bartók, Julia Scheeres, and many others.

Simon & Schuster: Join us for a virtual panel featuring Rachel Renée Russell and Nikki Russell

Children's Author & Illustrator Fall Preview

The Children's Author & Illustrator Fall Preview will be held Wednesday, May 10, 2–3 p.m. ET. The powerhouse event features a beloved mother/daughter team, acclaimed award winners, dynamic debuts, amazing artists, classic children's book writers and a TikTok sensation for readers of all ages. Please join us for what promises to be a dynamic, fascinating hour of thoughtful conversation!

The Way I Am Now by Amber Smith (Margaret K. McElderry Books, $21.99, 9781665947107, November 7).

Eden and Josh decide to give their relationship another chance in this much anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Way I Used to Be that explores how to move forward after trauma—in life and in love.

Eden and Josh never had a fair shot at a healthy relationship. When they dated in high school, they each had their own problems getting in the way of the deep connection they felt toward one another. Unbeknownst to Josh, Eden was carrying the burden of a devastating sexual assault, while Josh was dealing with his own private struggle of having an alcoholic father.

Amber Smith

Months after Eden and two other girls publicly accuse their rapist, Eden is starting college while her case goes to trial. Now when she and Josh reconnect, it seems like it might finally be in the right place at the right time for them to make it work. But is their love strong enough to withstand the challenges and chaos of college and the crushing realities of a trial that will determine whether Eden gets the justice she deserves?

Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels The Way I Used to Be, The Last to Let Go, Something Like Gravity, and The Way I Am Now. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, as well as LGBTQ equality, she writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues. She grew up in Buffalo, New York, and now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her wife and their ever-growing family of rescued dogs and cats. You can find her online at

Duel by Jessixa Bagley, illustrated by Aaron Bagley (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $24.99, 9781534496552, November 7).

A rivalry between sisters culminates in a fencing duel in this funny and emotional debut graphic novel sure to appeal to readers of Raina Telgemeier and Shannon Hale.

Sixth grader Lucy loves fantasy novels and is brand-new to middle school. GiGi is the undisputed queen bee of eighth grade (as well as everything else she does). They've only got one thing in common: fencing. Oh, and they're sisters. They never got along super well, but ever since their dad died, it seems like they're always at each other's throats.

When GiGi humiliates Lucy in the cafeteria on the first day of school, Lucy snaps and challenges GiGi to a duel with high sisterly stakes. If GiGi wins, Lucy promises to stay out of GiGi's way; if Lucy wins, GiGi will stop teasing Lucy for good. But after their scene in the cafeteria, both girls are on thin ice with the principal and their mom. Lucy stopped practicing fencing after their fencer dad died and will have to get back to fighting form in secret or she'll be in big trouble. And GiGi must behave perfectly or risk getting kicked off the fencing team.

Jessixa Bagley

Jessixa Bagley is children's book author-illustrator with a background in fine art and comics. She has had work featured in publications such as New American Paintings, The Chicago Reader, Nickelodeon Magazine, and Highlights Magazine. Her first picture book, Boats for Papa, received numerous awards and accolades including the 2016 SCBWI Golden Kite Award for picture book text and a 2016 Washington State Book Award. Her picture book Laundry Day received a 2018 Ezra Jack Keats Honor Award for writing. Many of her picture books are also Junior Library Guild Selections. In her work, she's drawn to animals and emotional themes often inspired by her own experiences. Jessixa also teaches and speaks about writing and illustration. She often illustrates for other writers and artistically collaborates with her husband, Aaron Bagley. Jessixa lives in Seattle with her husband and son.

Aaron Bagley

Aaron Bagley is a human man who draws for a living. He likes to draw what he observes (people, boats, cats) and what he experiences (dreams, feelings, life events). His work has been featured in The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Stranger, Seattle Weekly, The Seattle Review of Books, and many more. Above all else, Aaron loves collaborating with his wife, Jessixa. Together, they've created picture book Vincent Comes Home and middle grade graphic novel Duel.

Susie King Taylor by Erica Armstrong Dunbar, with Candace Buford (Aladdin, $19.99, 9781665919944, September 26).

From the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of Never Caught and She Came to Slay comes a vibrant middle grade biography of Suzie King Taylor, the first Black Civil War nurse, in a new series spotlighting women of color who left their mark on history.

Erica Armstrong Dunbar

A groundbreaking figure, Suzie King Taylor (1848–1912) tended to the wounded soldiers of the 1st South Carolina Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. Afterward, she was a key figure in establishing a postbellum educational system for formerly bonded Black people, opening several dedicated schools in Georgia. Taylor was also the first Black woman to publish her memoirs.

Even as her country was at war with itself, Taylor valiantly fought for the rights of her people and demonstrated true heroism.

Erica Armstrong Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Professor of History at Rutgers University. Her first book, A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City, was published by Yale University Press in 2008. Her second book, Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, was a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and a winner of the 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Award. She is also the author of She Came to Slay, an illustrated tribute to Harriet Tubman, and Susie King Taylor and is the co-executive producer of the HBO series The Gilded Age.

Dork Diaries 15: Tales from a Not-So-Posh Paris Adventure by Rachel Renée Russell (Aladdin, $14.99, 9781534480483, September 26).

Nikki Maxwell deals with the trials and triumphs of middle school in this fifteenth installment of the #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Rachel Renée Russell

Will Nikki Maxwell and her friends make it to Paris in this next installment of the blockbuster Dork Diaries series?

Rachel Renée Russell is an attorney who prefers writing tween books to legal briefs. (Mainly because books are a lot more fun and pajamas and bunny slippers aren't allowed in court.) Rachel lives in Chantilly, Virginia.

There Was a Party for Langston by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, $18.99, 9781534439443, October 3).

New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Jason Reynolds's debut picture book is a snappy, joyous ode to Word King, literary genius, and glass-ceiling smasher Langston Hughes and the luminaries he inspired.

Back in the day, there was a heckuva party, a jam, for a word-making man. The King of Letters. Langston Hughes. His ABCs became drums, bumping jumping thumping like a heart the size of the whole country. They sent some people yelling and others, his word-children, to write their own glory.

Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, and more came be-bopping to recite poems at their hero's feet at that heckuva party at the Schomberg Library, dancing boom da boom, stepping and stomping, all in praise and love for Langston, world-mending word man. Oh, yeah, there was hoopla in Harlem, for its Renaissance man. A party for Langston.

Jason Reynolds

Jason Reynolds is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, a Newbery Award Honoree, a Printz Award Honoree, a two-time National Book Award finalist, a Kirkus Award winner, a UK Carnegie Medal winner, a two-time Walter Dean Myers Award winner, an NAACP Image Award Winner, an Odyssey Award Winner and two-time honoree, the recipient of multiple Coretta Scott King honors, and the Margaret A. Edwards Award. He was also the 2020–2022 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. His many books include All American Boys (cowritten with Brendan Kiely); When I Was the Greatest; The Boy in the Black Suit; Stamped; As Brave as You; For Every One; the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu); Look Both Ways; Stuntboy, in the Meantime; Ain't Burned All the Bright (recipient of the Caldecott Honor) and My Name Is Jason. Mine Too. (both cowritten with Jason Griffin); and Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Coretta Scott King Honor. He lives in Washington, DC. You can find his ramblings at

Jerome Pumphrey

Jerome Pumphrey is a designer, illustrator, and writer, originally from Houston, Texas. His work includes It's a Sign!, Somewhere in the Bayou, The Old Boat, and The Old Truck, which received seven starred reviews, was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and received the Ezra Jack Keats Writer Award Honor—all of which he created with his brother Jarrett. Jerome works as a graphic designer at The Walt Disney Company. He lives near Clearwater, Florida.

Jarrett Pumphrey

Jarrett Pumphrey is an award-winning author-illustrator who makes books for kids with his brother, Jerome. Their books include It's a Sign!, Somewhere in the Bayou, The Old Boat, and The Old Truck, which received seven starred reviews, was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and received the Ezra Jack Keats Writer Award Honor. Jarrett lives near Austin, Texas.

Simon & Schuster: Join us for a virtual panel featuring Melissa Broder // Safiya Sinclair

Simon & Schuster: Join us for a virtual panel featuring Myriam Gurba // Stephanie Land

Simon & Schuster: Join us for a virtual panel featuring Jason Reynolds + Jerome & Jarrett Pumphrey // Nicole Walters

Simon & Schuster: Join us for a virtual panel featuring Laurie Halse Anderson // Jessixa & Aaron Bagley

Simon & Schuster: Join us for a virtual panel featuring Amber Smith // Erica Armstrong Dunbar

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