We all have our favorite authors, but leave room for these debuts and freshen up your reading life with some amazing first time authors—bound for literary stardom.
Plus, check out our new Fall Debut Sampler and dip into novels from the hottest new writers!
The Adults by Caroline Hulse
This razor-sharp debut puts a darkly comic twist on seasonal favorites like Love Actually and The Holiday.
Claire and Matt are no longer together but decide that it would be best for their daughter, Scarlett, to have a “normal” family Christmas. They can’t agree on whose idea it was to go to the Happy Forest holiday park, or who said they should bring their new partners. But someone did—and it’s too late to pull the plug. Claire brings her new boyfriend and Matt brings the new love of his life, Alex. Scarlett, who is seven, brings her imaginary friend Posey. He’s a giant rabbit. Together the five (or six?) of them grit their teeth over Forced Fun Activities, drink a little too much . . . and before you know it, their holiday is a powder keg that ends where this novel begins—with a tearful, frightened call to the police.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Now a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder.
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
“I can’t even express how much I love this book! I didn’t want this story to end!”—Reese Witherspoon
A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us is a deeply moving and resonant story of love, identity, and belonging.
As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister’s footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years to take his place as brother of the bride. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture? Can Amar find his way back to the people who know and love him best?
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
A short, darkly funny, hand grenade of a novel about a Nigerian woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends.
Korede is bitter. How could she not be? Her sister, Ayoola, is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead.
Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood, the trunk of her car is big enough for a body, and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures of her dinner to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend.
Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.
“This riveting, brutally hilarious, ultra-dark novel is an explosive debut by Oyinkan Braithwaite, and heralds an exciting new literary voice . . . Delicious.”—Nylon
A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua
“[A] powerful debut.”—Entertainment Weekly
Holed up with other mothers-to-be in a secret maternity home in Los Angeles, Scarlett Chen is far from her native China, where she worked in a factory and fell in love with the owner, Boss Yeung. Now she’s carrying his baby. Overjoyed that he will finally have the son he has always wanted. Boss Yeung has shipped Scarlett off to give birth on American soil to ensure that his child has every advantage.
As Scarlett awaits the baby’s arrival, she chokes down bitter medicinal stews and spars with her imperious housemates. The only one who fits in even less is Daisy, a spirited teenager and fellow unwed mother who is being kept apart from her American boyfriend.
Then a new sonogram of Scarlett’s baby reveals the unexpected. Panicked, she escapes by hijacking a van—only to discover that she has a stowaway: Daisy, who intends to track down the father of her child. What Scarlett doesn’t know is that her baby’s father is not far behind her.
Whiskey When We’re Dry by John Larison
From a blazing new voice in fiction, a gritty and lyrical American epic about a young woman who disguises herself as a boy and heads west.
In the spring of 1885, seventeen-year-old Jessilyn Harney finds herself orphaned and alone on her family’s homestead. Desperate to fend off starvation and predatory neighbors, she cuts off her hair, binds her chest, saddles her beloved mare, and sets off across the mountains to find her outlaw brother Noah and bring him home. A talented sharpshooter herself, Jess’s quest lands her in the employ of the territory’s violent, capricious Governor, whose militia is also hunting Noah–dead or alive.
Wrestling with her brother’s outlaw identity, and haunted by questions about her own, Jess must outmaneuver those who underestimate her, ultimately rising to become a hero in her own right.
Cherry by Nico Walker
Jesus’ Son meets Reservoir Dogs in a breakneck-paced debut novel about love, war, bank robberies, and heroin—written from prison by a singularly talented, wildly imaginative author.
It’s 2003, and as a college freshman in Cleveland, our narrator is adrift until he meets Emily. The two of them experience an instant, life-changing connection. But when he almost loses her, he chooses to make an indelible statement: he joins the Army.
As a medic in Iraq, he is unprepared for the realties that await him. He and his fellow soldiers huff computer duster, abuse painkillers, and watch porn. Many of them die. When he comes home, his PTSD is profound. As the opioid crisis sweeps through the Midwest, it drags both him and Emily along with it. As their addictions worsen, and with their money drying up, he stumbles onto what seems like the only possible solution—robbing banks.
Small Country by Gaël Faye
A novel of extraordinary power and beauty, Small Country describes an end of innocence as seen through the eyes of a child caught in the maelstrom of history.
Burundi, 1992. For ten-year-old Gabriel, life in his comfortable expatriate neighborhood of Bujumbura with his French father, Rwandan mother and little sister Ana, is something close to paradise.
These are carefree days of laughter and adventure—sneaking Supermatch cigarettes and gorging on stolen mangoes—as he and his mischievous gang of friends transform their tiny cul-de-sac into their kingdom.
But dark clouds are gathering over this small country, and soon their peaceful existence will shatter when Burundi, and neighboring Rwanda, are brutally hit by civil war and genocide.
Let Me Be Like Water by S.K. Perry
“A wonderful debut novel about how we find our feet again after a bereavement. It’s one of the best evocations of the grieving process I’ve read and is written in a fluid engaging style that draws you in to the protagonist Holly’s world.”—The Guardian
Twenty-something Holly has moved to Brighton to escape. But now that she’s here, sitting on a bench, listening to the sea sway, how is she supposed to fill the void her boyfriend left when he died?
She had thought she’d want to be on her own, but when she meets Frank, a retired magician who has experienced his own loss, the tide begins to shift. A moving and powerful debut, Let Me Be Like Water is a book about the extraordinariness hiding in everyday life; of lost and new connections; of loneliness and friendship.
Check Out Our Fall Debut Sampler!
Want even more debut authors?
Take a look at some of the must-read debut fiction—out this fall. From literary fiction to thrillers, our Fall 2018 Debut Fiction Sampler is filled with fresh new voices for any kind of reader.
Win Our Debut Bundle!
In honor of our Fall 2018 Debut Excerpt Sampler, we’re giving away these five incredible first novels and some fun swag to celebrate all things “first!”
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