Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin

If and when he ever gets his narrative shit together, Will Chase might tell the Story of the Three Freds more or less like this—freely changing names, roles, settings, and any other elements large or small as his by-then-more-seasoned muse sees fit, neither to protect the innocent nor to shield the blamable, but simply to make the tale more tellworthy.” Where Three Roads Meet (Houghton Mifflin, November 2005) by John Barth. Seventeenth book, second novella collection. Agent: Jin Auh. Editor: Heidi Pitlor.

“It was not my fault.” Saving Fish From Drowning (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, October 2005) by Amy Tan. Eighth book, fifth novel. Agent: Sandy Dijkstra. Editor: Aimee Taub.

“When I was young, my mother read me a story about a wicked little girl.” Veronica (Pantheon, October 2005) by Mary Gaitskill. Fourth book, third novel. Agent: Andrew Wylie. Editor: Deborah Garrison.

“When I say ‘you’ in my poems, I mean you” Natural History (Knopf, October 2005) by Dan Chiasson. Third book, second poetry collection. Agent: None. Editor: Deborah Garrison.

“I wonder how you are going to feel / when you find out / that I wrote this instead of you” The Trouble With Poetry (Random House, October 2005) by Billy Collins. Sixth book, poetry collection. Agent: Chris Calhoun. Editor: Daniel Menaker.

“She remembers hearing shoes shuffling, hiccup of her mother’s stifled sneeze, water trickling down a pipe, soft breathing, whispers like pages of a newspaper blowing across a deserted piazza, the neighbor’s dog barking in the field, grunt of a curse, click of her teeth on her thumbnail, rattling of rain or water boiling or bicycle wheels turning, creak of a chair as whoever had been leaning back replanted its front legs on the floor, crackling of gunfire across the harbor or maybe someone had thrown a fistful of pebbles in the air, ‘ssss’ in place of stai zita, ‘ssss’ in place of silenzio, strike of a match, her uncle clearing his throat, three quick coughs, suck of a cigarette, murmur of prayer.” Liberation (Little, Brown, November 2005) by Joanna Scott. Eighth book, seventh novel. Agent: Jeri Thoma. Editor: Reagan Arthur.

“These poems / they are things that I do / in the dark / reaching for you / whoever you are / and / are you ready?” Directed by Desire: The Collected Poems of June Jordan (Copper Canyon Press, October 2005) by June Jordan. Twenty-eighth book, eleventh poetry collection. Agent: Katherine Fausset. Editor: Michael Wiegers.

“Three o’clock and all is not well.” The Jungle Law (MacAdam/Cage, October 2005) by Victoria Vinton. First book, novel. Agent: Maria Massie. Editor: Kate Nitze.

“It’s just after three o’clock when we hit County Road 50.” Jesus Land (Counterpoint, October 2005) by Julia Scheeres. First book, memoir. Agent: Sam Stoloff. Editor: Ellen Garrison.

“On D Street there was no need for alarm clocks: the drays, ever punctual, were an army storming the gates of sleep.” Wickett’s Remedy (Doubleday, October 2005) by Myla Goldberg. Third book, second novel. Agent: Wendy Schmaltz. Editor: William Thomas.

“Why had they pretended to kill him when he was born?” Mother’s Milk (Open City Books, October 2005) by Edward St. Aubyn. Fourth book, novel. Agent: Gillon Aitken. Editors: Thomas Beller and Joanna Yas.