Each month, Debutiful will recommend a handful of buzzworthy and under-the-radar debut books for you to read.
It’s already September? Gone are the dog days of a summer. Most of which we all probably spent in doors. Autumn is usually a time for cozy books to come out to curl up as the weather drops. This year is no different when it comes to literary releases, but the whole world feels different. The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over. An American election feels like a turning point for the future of mankind. Countless acts of racism and murders of Black people by police. All of these things deserve our attention.
If you need to escape for a few hours a day, try these debut books. Below you’ll find stories from abroad, thrillers, and down right beautiful prose.
If the Body Allows It by Megan Cummins (University of Nebraska Press; 9/1)
This story of Marie, a woman with an autoimmune disease, won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Cummins masterfully weaves in introspective prose with enlightening and heartbreaking revelations. Reading her work was a delicacy rich language overflowing with poweful imagery.
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemmie (Dutton; 9/1)
A sweeping historical novel set in Japan about a girls journey into womanhood. Lemmie bites off a lot to chew in her debut and delivers with grandiose settings and unforgettable characters. Lemmie allows Nori to grow strong and then knocks her down in realistic ways. Nori’s growth can be see as inconsistent, but so can a lot of our lives.
Each of Us Is Killers by Jenny Bhatt (713 Books; 9/8)
Stories about the working class in India and America. Bhatt offers insight into the mundane parts of our lives. She shows internal struggles and nuances revelations people can have even in the smallest of moments. Through the 15 stories, Bhatt offers a variety of characters, settings, and structures that should excite any reader.
Bestiary by K-Ming Chang (One World; 9/29)
Fans of Helen Oyeyemi will find Chang’s ability to turn a familiar story into something wholly original. Told through various characters, the story follows three generations of Taiwanese American woman with queerness, desire, and secrets. Trying to describe the beauty of this book won’t o it justice. That may feel like a cop out, but I urge you: buy this book the day it is released.
These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever (Harper; 9/18)
At the center of Nemerever’s debut are two troubled college students in 1970s Pittsburgh. The become intertwined with one another until it spirals out of control. Prepared to be on the edge of your seat reading this for reasons you might not fully expect or come to realize until it’s too late.
Dancing with the Octopus by Debora Harding (Bloomsbury; 9/22)
A memoir of trauma and the ever lasting effects it can have over a person. Debora was assaulted as a teen and her life was never the same. In her memoir, she grapples with the past and reveals how confronting her attacker helped her begin to cope with her PTSD.