These are 12 new books you should read in April

The best books coming in April include historian ‘s latest nonfiction thriller, former U.S. Poet Laureate ‘s meditation on writing, and ‘s agonizing account of the brutal knife attack he suffered two years ago. Other notable releases include a pair of career-spanning anthologies that celebrate the works of cultural critic Maggie Nelson and historian , as well as ‘ first collection of short stories. ‘s new mystery features a protagonist struggling with dissociative identity disorder, while former therapist Patric Gagne hopes to recontextualize the term “sociopath” with her debut memoir of the same name.

Here are the 12 best books to read this month.

The Cemetery of Untold Stories, Julia Alvarez (April 2)

In ‘s seventh adult novel, The Cemetery of Untold Stories, acclaimed writer Alma Cruz inherits a piece of her homeland, the Dominican Republic. After the death of her close friend and fellow author, Alma decides to retire and turn her plot of land into a graveyard for the unpublished tales she’d like to finally put to rest. But just because Alma is ready to abandon her characters, some of whom are based on real historical figures, it doesn’t mean they are ready to go peacefully. Mystical and moving, The Cemetery of Untold Stories shows why some stories must be told no matter how hard you try to bury them.

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Village Weavers, Myriam J. A. Chancy (April 2)

For fans of : Myriam J. A. Chancy’s Village Weavers is a wistful look at a complicated female friendship that spans decades and continents. Growing up in1940s Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Gertie and Sisi are the best of friends until a devastating secret that bonds their families tears them apart. The book follows the two women as they fall in and out of one another’s lives amid a violent dictatorship, and struggle with infertility and terminal illness. When Sisi gets an unexpected call from Gertie in 2002, decades after they last spoke, she must decide whether she is ready to forgive—or forget—all that they have shared.

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Sociopath, Patric Gagne (April 2)

Writer and former therapist Patric Gagne first discovered she was a sociopath in college. But, in her provocative debut memoir, Sociopath, she admits that there were signs long before she was diagnosed. With incredible candor, she details the violent outbursts she exhibited as a child that would lead to near run-ins with the law in her teens and 20s. “Most of the time I felt nothing,” she writes, “so I did bad things to make the nothingness go away.” Despite her lifelong lack of empathy, shame, and guilt, she has and mother, something she knows doesn’t fit with pop culture’s portrayal of sociopaths as murderers, villains, and monsters. In her memoir, Gagne looks to destigmatize the often misunderstood mental disorder, now more commonly known as , while offering compassion to those, like her, who are trying to change what it means to be a sociopath.

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We Loved It All, Lydia Millet (April 2)

’s first foray into nonfiction, We Loved It All: A Memory of Life, questions what humans lose when they ignore their connection to the animal kingdom. With great passion and indignation, the acclaimed novelist behind takes aim at corporations whose greed has endangered the world’s wildlife. She looks at how the “ from the 1970s allowed big business to place the onus on consumers to clean up the environmental mess they played the largest role in causing. By sharing personal anecdotes about her own childhood, as well as the experiences of raising her son and daughter, Millet shows how caring about the smallest creatures that live among us is tied to the fight for economic justice around the globe. With her mournful yet often hopeful rumination on our current state of existence, Millet reminds us that we are not alone in this world.

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Like Love, Maggie Nelson (April 2)

Like Love draws on two decades of Maggie Nelson’s career as a critic of art in all its forms. The collection of previously published work, arranged in chronological order, includes essays on, tributes to, and conversations with creatives the author deeply admires: musician Björk, poet Eileen Myles, fine artist , the late queer theorist , novelist , philosopher , and writer and theater critic Hilton Als, whose words inspired the book’s title. When examining the art she loves, Nelson uses incisive and analytical prose, but her scholarly style doesn’t take away from the joy she feels for the work. “Words aren’t just what’s left,” she writes of why we need criticism. “They’re what we have to offer.”

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Table for Two, Amor Towles (April 2)

’ Table For Two is an intimate collection of six short stories that take place in early 2000s New York, and a 1930s Hollywood-set novella that picks up where his 2011 debut, , left off. The book, which was written while he was meant to be , focuses on brief but fateful encounters between strangers, would-be business partners, and estranged relatives. Most of these conversations take place at a table set for two, the perfect place to share a tête-à-tête about forgery or bootlegging or even the blackmailing of screen legend . Table For Two is a smorgasbord of deliciously mischievous tales imbued with Towles’ signature wit and worldliness.

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The House of Being, Natasha Trethewey (April 9)

In The House of Being, which was originally delivered as a at Yale University, Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey takes readers back to her grandmother’s home outside of Gulfport, Miss., where the author learned to read and write. It was there that her neighbors flew Confederate flags with pride, and her late mother—whose death at the hands of her ex-husband was the focus of Trethewey’s best-selling 2020 memoir, —took to singing any time she passed one. It was also where, Trethewey would later learn, formerly enslaved men and women were educated after the Civil War, their stories lost to time because they had not been written down. With The House of Being, Trethewey doesn’t just explore the reasons why she writes. She also offers a compassionate argument for why we must all be the authors of our own stories.

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One of Us Knows, Alyssa Cole (April 16)