Spring Arts Guide: 10 Semi-Erudite Choices for Spring Literature

Rimbaud, meet Betty White. Plus David Foster Wallace, Tayari Jones, and other spring books picks.

Someday This Will Be Funny
By Lynne Tillman, May
Tillman, a writer who comfortably and brilliantly occupies a space between the art scene and the lit world, tackles fame, sex, New York, women, and contemporary politics in a jaunty style that aligns her with figures as disparate as Lydia Davis and Cindy Sherman. This new group of shorts inaugurates Red Lemonade’s bid to revive Tillman’s reputation, a project that rescues four out-of-print novels and promises a new one in the future. As the U.K.’s Independent puts it, “To encounter a writer of Tillman’s acute intelligence . . . is a cause for real celebration.” And you bet it’s open bar. Red Lemonade, 176 pp., $14.95

You Are Free
By Danzy Senna, May
An upwardly mobile wife frets after her child is accepted into an expensive preschool, though she applied insincerely and her husband scorns the place. A single woman develops a dysfunctional relationship with a dog she refers to as “the bitch.” A woman who has never given birth receives a call from someone claiming to be the child she gave up for adoption. These and five other crisply written stories take place in a middle-class world we thought we knew, while revealing the strangeness, distress, and sorrow under its blank surfaces. As with Senna’s novels, racial issues crop up, but here they dodge and feint through women’s lives that are never as well-tended as they seem. Riverhead, 240 pp., $15

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