Authors: Summer 2023

Monarch Book Recommendations

The Fraud

From acclaimed, bestselling novelist Zadie Smith comes a kaleidoscopic work of historical fiction set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England. Who gets to tell their story—and who gets to be believed? In 1873 Scottish housekeeper Eliza Touchet is skeptical of the literary community. Her cousin, once-famous William Ainsworth, and his friend Charles Dickens are far from the moralists they claim to be. Soon Eliza becomes enthralled with a case where a man claiming to be the heir to an estate is possibly a fraud. Former Jamaican slave Andrew Bogle is the star witness, but in a land where hypocrisy runs riot, how do you decide what’s real?

Crook Manifesto

The two-time Pulitzer prize-winning author brings us to 1970s’ New York in Crook Manifesto. The follow-up to Harlem Shuffle, Crook Manifesto once again follows Ray Carney as he tries to keep his business afloat. This dark yet funny story encompasses the changing times through the stunning lens of Harlem. Crook Manifesto is a tale of a city under siege but also a sneakily searching portrait of the meaning of family. Colson Whitehead’s kaleidoscopic portrait of Harlem is sure to stand as one of the all-time great evocations of a place and time.

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa

This debut novel by Stephen Buoro grapples with identity and contemporary African life all through its beautiful prose. The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa is a heart-wrenching coming-of-age story about teen Andy Aziza. Living in colonized Nigeria, a country torn by violence, Andy spends his time contemplating everything from mathematical theorems to Black power. Yet Andy’s world is shaken on the afternoon of a church party. A man arrives claiming to be Andy’s father while an anti-Christian mob approaches the church with threats of violence.

Small Worlds

Award-winning author Caleb Azumah Nelson is back with his second novel, Small Worlds. Set over the course of three summers, Small Worlds tells the story of Stephen, the son of Ghanian immigrants, who has two paths set before him: to follow his parents’ hopes for him at a traditional path to university or to pursue his passion for music. Moving between Ghana and England, this novel is a portrait of the places and people we can’t help but fall for.


This debut novel from Tembe Denton-Hurst is a stunning and riveting debut about what it means to come up as a young writer in the industry. Mickey has everything she’s dreamed of: a glitzy job in media and a loving girlfriend who’s a constant support. She’s come a long way from her hometown, but things are still not perfect. Suddenly fired from her job, Mickey is lost and finds herself writing a scathing letter on the racism she’s endured in the industry. When her letter is ignored, feeling like a failure, Mickey goes back to her hometown in defeat. As she starts to put the pieces back together, even reuniting with an old flame, her big city life isn’t far behind her. A scandal in the industry has brought Mickey’s letter to the surface, and she’s thrust back into her old life.