Winter Arts Preview: Books

Katie Stroh

“The Artist of Disappearance”
By Anita Desai
Available Dec. 6


Acclaimed Indian author Anita Desai will be releasing “The Artist of Disappearance,” a collection of three short novellas, all dealing with aspects of Indian culture, the paradoxically freeing and limiting nature of art and characters who find it impossible to escape their situations, hopelessly clinging to their pasts.

“The Flame Alphabet”
By Ben Marcus
Available Jan. 17

In this fourth novel by Ben Marcus, a strange epidemic has swept the nation that makes the sounds of children’s speech toxic to the point of death for adults. Parents begin to go into hiding from their own children, and couple Sam and Claire must make the wrenching decision to leave their daughter Esther or wither and die in her presence. However, when Claire disappears on the night before their departure, Sam heads out on his own to find a cure.

“Stay Awake: Stories”
By Dan Chaon
Available Feb. 7

Dan Chaon, who was a finalist for the National Book Award for his short story collection “Among the Missing” in 2002, returns to the form that brought him acclaim with “Stay Awake.” The stories in “Stay Awake” promise to provoke suspense and disturbance. They feature characters are sure to make an impression: a widower dogged by inexplicable messages posted on nearly everything he sees (on trees, in magazines and on dollar bills), a college dropout haunted by a malevolent presence living in his late parents’ house and a father dealing with his son’s horrifying night terrors.