Many readers go back to their favourite authors time and time again but it is always worth giving new authors a chance.
Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime was a debut novel, as was Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. New authors can find it incredibly difficult to get noticed when there is so much talent out there so it is up to us as readers to take heed of these new gifted writers.
Here are a handful of our favourite new authors and their debut novels freshly released this year. See if any pique your interest…
“Raised in Pennsylvania, Thandi views the world of her mother’s childhood in Johannesburg as both impossibly distant and ever present. She is an outsider wherever she goes, caught between being black and white, American and not. She tries to connect these dislocated pieces of her life, and as her mother succumbs to cancer, Thandi searches for an anchor—someone, or something, to love. In arresting and unsettling prose, we watch Thandi’s life unfold, from losing her mother and learning to live without the person who has most profoundly shaped her existence, to her own encounters with romance and unexpected motherhood. Through exquisite and emotional vignettes, Clemmons creates a stunning portrayal of what it means to choose to live, after loss. An elegiac distillation, at once intellectual and visceral, of a young woman’s understanding of absence and identity that spans continents and decades, What We Lose heralds the arrival of a virtuosic new voice in fiction.”
“Elvis Babbitt has a head for the facts: she knows science proves yellow is the happiest color, she knows a healthy male giraffe weighs about 3,000 pounds, and she knows that the naked mole rat is the longest living rodent. She knows she should plan to grieve her mother, who has recently drowned while sleepwalking, for exactly eighteen months. But there are things Elvis doesn’t yet know–like how to keep her sister Lizzie from poisoning herself while sleep-eating or why her father has started wearing her mother’s silk bathrobe around the house. Elvis investigates the strange circumstances of her mother’s death and finds comfort, if not answers, in the people (and animals) of Freedom, Alabama. As hilarious a storyteller as she is heartbreakingly honest, Elvis is a truly original voice in this exploration of grief, family, and the endurance of humor after loss.”
“When Silas Van Loy flees home on horseback to avoid capture for his brother’s murder, he is soon followed by both the police and his brother’s wife, Lena, who is intent on exacting revenge. She reluctantly lets her trusted stable assistant join her in a journey across the wilds of Northern California in the hopes of catching Silas for one final showdown. Stansel follows the chase and shares the story of the brothers’ rise from hardscrabble childhood to their reign as the region’s preeminent horse trainers, tracking the tense sibling rivalry that ultimately leads to the elder’s death. A fully realized tale that challenges notions of the modern West, The Last Cowboys of San Geronimo will satisfy fans of Kent Haruf, Larry McMurtry, Molly Gloss, and Smith Henderson, and establish Stansel as a new voice in this grand tradition.”
“Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?”
“In a not-too-distant future, where wealth is measured by credits and almost all people are surveyed and tracked with barcodes, the Metaform Corporation is one of the wealthiest, most talked about and controversial companies in existence. To save the vulnerable from death and preserve the human race, the Metaform mainframe can store a person’s consciousness for an infinite amount of time and download it into a new, upgraded bio-frame – potentially meaning that that oh-so-illusive human ambition, immortality, has been reached once and for all.Of course, with an insurmountable amount of credits, this ambition can be reached with little to no wait-time. Without the funds, being stored in cyber-space indefinitely is a very real possibility.Cults, terrorists and religious groups protest the Metaform constantly, and raids and attacks are a very real threat. When Gabriel and Errik hatch a plot to take down the Metaform from within its own mainframe, things start to go awry and they learn more about the Metaform, its directors and some of its inhabitants, than they ever expected…”
Now her time in The White House is to be documented in a book of photographs, many of them never seen before. Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer, by Amanda Lucidon will be published in October and is already hotly tipped to be a Christmas bestseller.
The extract reveal was hosted on dead good books and we’ve borrowed it to publish below for you. The excerpt includes the prologue and a peek at chapter 1, picking up the story from the previous books. Read More
Fans were already treated to the publications of Highballs for Breakfast (US – UK) late last year, a collection of passages dedicated to drinking taken from the best of Wodehouse. It was an instant bestseller last Christmas and did very well in the literary gift market. Read More
Whilst it’s a treat for more mature audiences, Die Hard certainly isn’t suitable for kids, until now! This Christmas, you can tuck your little ones into bed and send them off to the land of nod with this children book that teaches young one the story of the no nonsense cop John McClane.
The short story dates back to the traditional form of oral storytelling which, for obvious reasons, could not take hours to resolve. Long tales (such as Homer’s Odyssey) would be recited in sections- often with rhyme and rhythm to aid remembering each verse. Often separate short tales would be told but would be linked in some way (such as Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales).
2017 has seen this traditional form flourish still, and remain ever more popular. Perhaps modern life calls for shorter, snappier tales to fit in with our busy lives?