‘Radiant Fugitives,’ by Nawaaz Ahmed (Aug. 3)
A child is born in America, the son of an immigrant South Asian lesbian mother and a Black father. Through that child’s eyes we learn about a family fractured by prejudice and loss; a family making new lives for themselves in the West even as they remain haunted by the religious and cultural expectations of their homeland.
‘Ladyparts: A Memoir,’ by Deborah Copaken (Aug. 3)
Copaken graduated from Harvard, worked as an acclaimed photojournalist, raised a family — and found herself in midlife, sick, divorced and without access to the health-care options many take for granted. In “Ladyparts” she details her many illnesses and, with great honesty and hilarity, shows how she survived.
‘The Girls Who Stepped Out of Line: Untold Stories of the Women Who Changed the Course of World War II,’ by Mari K. Eder (Aug. 3)
Another book about World War II? Be patient, because this one is different, and very good. Eder is a retired Army major general who has uncovered an array of stories about women, both military and civilian, whose deeds aided the Allies against the Axis powers. Meet tennis great and spy Alice Marble, Britain’s refugee-smuggling Cook Sisters and many others.
‘The Quiet Zone: Unraveling the Mystery of a Town Suspended in Silence,’ by Stephen Kurczy (Aug. 3)
In Green Bank, W.Va., students are forbidden from using WiFi and tablets, because the nearby Green Bank Observatory bans all devices that might interfere with the scientific work of its powerful telescopes. Journalist Kurczy, who embedded in the town, experiences its silence and asks what it means to lead a less-connected life.
‘This Will All Be Over Soon: A Memoir,’ by Cecily Strong (Aug. 10)
A far cry from the SNL star’s new comic musical TV series “Schmigadoon!” Strong’s affecting memoir starts when her beloved cousin Owen dies of brain cancer in 2020 — just before the pandemic hits. After she moves to an isolated house upstate and begins keeping a diary, Strong finds Owen’s lessons about life bring her newfound strength.
‘The History of Bones: A Memoir,’ by John Lurie (Aug. 17)
1980s New York City would not have been the same without the Lounge Lizards, the band John Lurie started with his brother Evan in the late 1970s — and does he have some stories to tell. Lurie kept company with everyone from Andy Warhol to Debbie Harry while Jean-Michel Basquiat spent a year sleeping on his floor.
‘Velvet Was the Night,’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Aug. 17)
Maite lives a somewhat restricted life as a receptionist in Mexico City, mostly looking forward to her romance magazines. But when her beautiful and mysterious neighbor disappears, Maite finds herself on a hunt that involves dangerous others. One of those others is a criminal who decides to help Maite, and their eccentric partnership propels this noir mystery from the author of “Mexican Gothic.” (Moreno-Garcia is a regular contributor to Book World.)
‘Against White Feminism: Notes on Disruption,’ by Rafia Zakaria (Aug. 17)
Zakaria, an attorney and columnist, is also an American Muslim woman who has much to teach and illuminate. What does feminism look like when it centers on Black and Brown women? And when it doesn’t hold hands with colonialism? Zakaria makes a clear case for intersectional feminism that puts power in a different place.
‘The Love Songs of W.E.B. DuBois,’ by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (Aug. 24)
In this debut novel by an accomplished poet, Ailey Pearl Garfield grows up in a northern city but spends summers in her maternal family’s home in Chicasetta, Ga., were generations of her ancestors were enslaved. When she decides to learn more about her family’s past, Ailey will make many shocking discoveries — but also find incredible beauty.
Bethanne Patrick is the editor, most recently, of “The Books That Changed My Life: Reflections by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians and Other Remarkable People.”