Stack your shelves with unique voices and fresh perspectives with these exciting spring debuts.
Want even more debut recs? Watch our 3 in 3 Staff Picks video here.
The Verifiers by Jane Pek
Introducing Claudia Lin: a sharp-witted amateur sleuth for the 21st century. This debut novel follows Claudia as she verifies people’s online lives, and lies, for a dating detective agency in New York City. Until a client with an unusual request goes missing. . . .
“That rare combination of technothriller and traditional mystery. . . . When Claudia’s client vanishes, she goes down an ugly rabbithole into the nature of truth, and the truth of corporate malfeasance.”—Molly Odintz, CrimeReads, “The Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of 2022”
Available in Paperback, eBook, and Audio Editions
When We Were Birds: A Novel by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
A mythic love story set in Trinidad, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s radiant debut introduces two unforgettable outsiders brought together by their connection with the dead.
“Heartwarming and heartbreaking, fantastical and familiar, with characters that burrow their way into your heart and mind . . . [When We Were Birds] is glorious.”–Robert Jones Jr., New York Times bestselling author of The Prophets
“Combining the richness of myth with razor-sharp observation of contemporary life, When We Were Birds marks the emergence of a distinctive and powerful voice.”—Pat Barker, Booker Prize-winning author of Women of Troy
Lease on Love by Falon Ballard
“A hopeful, heartwarming debut. With a relatable disaster of a protagonist and an adorably nerdy hero, this opposites-attract, roommates-to-lovers romance is a true delight.” –Rachel Lynn Solomon, author of The Ex Talk
Sadie wasn’t looking for love until it landed on her doorstep.
After getting passed over for an overdue—and much-needed—promotion, Sadie Green is in desperate need of three things: a stiff drink, a new place to live, and a one-night stand. But when an accidental mix-up lands her on the doorstep of Jack Thomas’s gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone, it’s too bad Sadie is more attracted to the impressive real estate than she is to the man himself.
Available in Paperback, eBook, and Audio Download Editions
*A Read with Jenna Book Club Pick*
Black Cake: A Novel by Charmaine Wilkerson
In this moving debut novel, two estranged siblings deal with their mother’s death and her hidden past—a journey of discovery that takes them from the Caribbean to London to California and ends with her famous black cake.
“Black Cake is a satisfying literary meal, heralding the arrival of a new novelist to watch.” —Associated Press
“I was instantly taken in by this multigenerational tale of identity, family, and the lifelong push and pull of home. This novel has a tremendous heart at its center, and I felt its beat on every page. What an extraordinary debut.”—Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes
Available in Hardcover, eBook, Audio Download, and Large Print Editions.
Disorientation: A Novel by Elaine Hsieh Chou
A Taiwanese American woman’s coming-of-consciousness ignites eye-opening revelations and chaos on a college campus in this outrageously hilarious and startlingly tender debut novel.
“Disorientation is a multivalent pleasure, a deeply original debut novel that reinvents the campus novel satire as an Asian American literary studies whodunnit, in which the murder victim might be your idea of yourself—no matter how you identify. . . . Wickedly funny and knowing.—Alexander Chee, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
“Chou effectively skewers a world that takes itself all too seriously . . . This will charm a wide set of readers, not just those pursuing PhDs.” —Publishers Weekly
Available March 22, 2022 in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Editions
Don’t Know Tough: A Novel by Eli Cranor
Friday Night Lights gone dark with Southern Gothic; Eli Cranor delivers a powerful noir that will appeal to fans of Wiley Cash and Megan Abbott.
“Eli Cranor’s top-shelf debut, Don’t Know Tough, is Southern noir at its finest, a cauldron of terrible choices and even more terrible outcomes . . . There is a raw ferocity to Cranor’s prose, perfectly in keeping with the novel’s examination of curdling masculinity.”—Sarah Weinman, The New York Times Book Review
Available March 22, 2022 in Hardcover and eBook Editions
Memphis: A Novel by Tara M. Stringfellow
A spellbinding debut novel tracing three generations of a Southern Black family and one daughter’s discovery that she has the power to change her family’s legacy.
“Written with the grace of a poet, Memphis is as hopeful as it is heartbreaking. I fell in love with this family, from Joan’s fierce heart to her grandmother Hazel’s determined resilience. Tara Stringfellow will be an author to watch for years to come. . . . A stellar debut.”—Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling author of Red at the Bone
Available April 5, 2022 in Hardcover, eBook, Large Print, and Audio Editions
Portrait of a Thief: A Novel by Grace D. Li
Ocean’s Eleven meets The Farewell in Portrait of a Thief, a lush, lyrical heist novel inspired by the true story of Chinese art vanishing from Western museums; about diaspora, the colonization of art, and the complexity of the Chinese American identity.
“In this slick, dazzling, debut, the stakes are high and the writing elegant. Here’s a story that offers not just adventure or a reprieve from the everyday, but big dreams, big hearts, enduring friendships, and the multitudes of identities that can exist within each one of us.”—Weike Wang, author of Chemistry
Available April 5, 2022 in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Download Editions
The Return of Faraz Ali: A Novel by Aamina Ahmad
Sent back to his birthplace—Lahore’s notorious red-light district—to hush up the murder of a girl, a man finds himself in an unexpected reckoning with his past.
“The Return of Faraz Ali heralds the arrival of a strikingly accomplished and mature talent. Ahmad has managed to meld fast-paced, intelligent noir with a devastating portrait of the true costs of ambition and desire. Does not let you go, even after the end.”—Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King
Available April 5, 2022 in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Download Editions
Probably Ruby: A Novel by Lisa Bird-Wilson
An Indigenous woman adopted by white parents goes in search of her identity in this unforgettable debut novel about family, race, and history.
“Writing from the depths of her heart, Lisa Bird-Wilson has gifted us a passionate exploration of identity and belonging and a celebration of our universal desire to love and be loved.”—Imbolo Mbue, bestselling and award-winning author of How Beautiful We Were and Behold the Dreamers
Available April 12, 2022 in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Download Editions
Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.
“Any book that begins with a cocktail and a heartbreak-induced haircut has a strong likelihood of being just the book for me, but Every Summer After outshone even my highest hopes. Fortune’s wit is sharp, her prose is gorgeous, and her characters thrum with the rare kind of life and breath we readers are constantly on the lookout for. This is a radiant debut that packs an emotional wallop.”—Emily Henry, #1 New York Times bestselling author of People We Meet on Vacation
Available May 10, 2022 in Hardcover, eBook, and Audio Download Editions
Neruda on the Park: A Novel by Cleyvis Natera
An exhilarating debut novel following members of a Dominican family in New York City who take radically different paths when faced with encroaching gentrification.
“Strikes all the right notes—captivating characters, lyrical language, and a storyline that captures your imagination and refuses to let go . . . an unforgettable debut!”—Tayari Jones, New York Times bestselling author of An American Marriage
Available May 17, 2022 in Hardcover, eBook, Large Print, and Audio Editions