Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

With so many good books being published every month, some literary titles worth exploring can get lost in the stacks. Page One offers the first lines of a dozen recently released books, including Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr and Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead, for a glimpse into the worlds of these new and noteworthy titles.

“Like many of the ghost stories I’ve grown up with, this one needs to start with a death.” Seeing Ghosts (Grand Central Publishing, August 2021) by Kat Chow. First book, memoir. Agent: Jin Auh. Editor: Maddie Caldwell. Publicists: Matthew Ballast and Ivy Cheng.   

“There is no evidence that we have a special sense. Of time.” The Nick of Time (New Directions, September 2021) by Rosmarie Waldrop. Twenty-sixth book, twenty-first poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Jeffrey Yang. Publicist: Brittany Dennison. 

“or was it afterlife / gravity in the green of / scrawls against their droughts” Maroon Choreography (Duke University Press, August 2021) by fahima ife. First book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Ken Wissoker. Publicist: Laura Sell. 

“This is what comes to mind when I consider the silence: how I saved my words for the stairwell in Streatham Hill, London, right outside the flat where I lived at the time; how I would sit there many nights, a little shell-shocked, and mumbling to myself.” Things I Have Withheld (Grove Press, September 2021) by Kei Miller. Eleventh book, second essay collection. Agent: Alice Whitwham. Editor: Elisabeth Schmitz. Publicist: Kait Astrella. 

“A fourteen-year-old girl sits cross-legged on the floor of a circular vault.” Cloud Cuckoo Land (Scribner, September 2021) by Anthony Doerr. Sixth book, third novel. Agent: Amanda Urban. Editor: Nan Graham. Publicist: Kate Lloyd. 

Boys don’t read. / —the experts // These kids run / their sloppy fly routes // right to left / in a crabgrass park” The Last Thing: New & Selected Poems (Persea Books, September 2021) by Patrick Rosal. Fifth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Gabriel Fried. Publicist: Jonah Fried. 

“The first hints are the half-erased words on the overhead projector.” Blind Man’s Bluff (Norton, August 2021) by James Tate Hill. Second book, first memoir. Agent: Eric Smith. Editor: Amy Cherry. Publicist: Gabrielle Nugent. 

“She rides out of the forest alone.” Matrix (Riverhead Books, September 2021) by Lauren Groff. Sixth book, fifth novel. Agent: Bill Clegg. Editor: Sarah McGrath. Publicist: Claire McGinnis. 

“His cousin Freddie brought him on the heist one hot night in early June.” Harlem Shuffle (Doubleday, September 2021) by Colson Whitehead. Tenth book, eighth novel. Agent: Nicole Aragi. Editor: Bill Thomas. Publicist: Michael Goldsmith. 

“400,000 children killed to free the world, / the waters of the rivers were filled with blood, / the waters of the rivers of Europe with the blood of America / flowing through the Danube and the Seine, / dead fish and an unbreathable stench on the banks of the Rhine, / on the bridges of the Thames.” America (Copper Canyon Press, September 2021) by Fernando Valverde, translated from the Spanish by Carolyn Forché. Sixth book, poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Michael Wiegers. Publicist: Laura Buccieri. 

“I am trying to get Aaron to sleep.” Everything I Have Is Yours: A Marriage (Flatiron Books, August 2021) by Eleanor Henderson. Third book, first memoir. Agent: Jim Rutman. Editor: Megan Lynch. Publicist: Chris Smith. 

“My life outside my mother’s womb has just begun.” Radiant Fugitives (Counterpoint, August 2021) by Nawaaz Ahmed. First book, novel. Agent: Anjali Singh. Editor: Dan Smetanka. Publicist: Megan Fishmann.