What to read in September

Salon's critics review the month's star-studded fiction, including new books by Zadie Smith, Paul Auster, Haruki Murakami and Jeffrey Eugenides.

By Salon's critics

Published September 5, 2002 9:04PM (EDT)

September is to book reviewers what Christmas is to little kids, and even though the economy is idling, publishers have stuffed our stockings with more delights than we can handle. This month, we were showered with new books by some of our favorite authors, including Zadie Smith, Paul Auster and Haruki Murakami. There's Jeffrey Eugenides' long-awaited follow-up to "The Virgin Suicides" and a new short story collection that shows A.M. Homes at her merciless best. Then there's the little matter of a new book from Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian. These are novels of fame, sex and death, stories of disaster and mystery, that will take you from angst-ridden suburbia to cosmopolitan Tokyo, from the American Southwest to China during the Cultural Revolution. There are enough sensational books here to keep you occupied for the rest of the year, but we suggest that you stick to a strict schedule -- October's looking pretty great, too.

Our first pick: A wondrous epic from the author of "The Virgin Suicides" tells the story of an all-American hermaphrodite

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