6 debut books you should read this April

Each month, Debutiful will recommend a handful of buzzworthy and under-the-radar debut books for you to read.

We need books more now than ever and books need us more now than ever. Nothing seems normal now that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. The author’s publishing their books now planned on going on tours, meeting readers, and making connections.

While in person readings aren’t happening there are still ways to connect with authors. One way, is to buy their book. Simple, right?

Whether it’s a reimagining of what an American West story could be, exploring a cult, or a queer European romance, there are books ready for you to buy.


How Much of These Hills is Gold by C Pam Zhang (Riverhead; 4/7)

This family saga that follows two recently orphaned siblings during the American gold rush. Lucy and Sam carry their deceased father across the American West in hopes to properly bury him according to Chinese traditions. It’s here where Zhang quietly propels these characters into  new territory with georgeously written passages.

Godshot by Chelsea Bieker (Catapult; 4/7)

Well, they technically bumped this beautifully written book up to 3/31. The debut is about trauma, mother-daughter relationships, droughts, and cults. A young girl must navigate her life when her mother abandons her with a cult. The resilience Lacey May shows throughout the book easily makes her one of the best characters of the year. Bieker truly understands how to craft a complete character and that is on full display here.

How To Pronounce Knife by Souvankham Thammavongsa (Little Brown; 4/21)

These stories written by renowned poet features fourteen stories that are equally moving and perplexing. She explores the working class in North America through a very specific lens and pulls the reader into each world with such precision. 

The House of Deep Water by Jeni McFarland (Putnam; 4/21)

Three women return to their small Midwestern hometown for various reasons. There they come to terms with how their lives turned out compared to how they envisioned their once promising futures. None are failures, but all want something more or different than they have. Their paths cross in the small town that feels like the perfect blend of The Turner House and Olive Kitteridge. 

Take Me Apart by Sara Sligar (MCD; 4/28)

A thriller so raw and gripping, you won’t be able to put it down. When a journalist begins to uncover the truth of a deceased artist’s hidden past, her obsession collides with her attraction to the artist’s son. The mystery will captivate you while the writing makes everything that much better. Sligar has the ability to make everything seem just familiar enough while pushing boundaries of expectations.

Swimming in the Dark by Tomasz Jedrowski (William Morrow; 4/28)

A young queen love story from Poland during the Cold War. It’s as brooding and sensual as one can imagine. Fans of James Baldwin and André Aciman will find something to love in this novel, but should expect something slightly more darker than maybe they’d expect.

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