Can’t-miss debut books you should read this March

Every month, Debutiful selects can’t-miss books from debut authors that readers will loveYou can find more recommendations here.

Thirst for Salt by Madelaine Lucas (March 7; Tin House)

Lucas invites readers into a seductive and tender relationship with her debut novel. She captures the raw, instinctual lust we have at the beginning of relationships and exposes how we yearn for others. Thirst for Salt is an engrossing page-turner you will salivate to at every sentence.

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Tweakerworld by Jason Yamas (March 7; Unnamed Press)

A striking memoir about drugs and queer culture. Yamas shares an unfiltered portrait of his life while diving deep into a part of society the media has shied away from. The book’s precision on when and how to reveal dark corners of culture propels this book into must-read status.

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Go As a River by Shelley Read (March 7; Speigel & Grau)

Set in 1940s Colorado, this is a love letter to our history and the land we occupy. Fans of Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Woman of Light will enjoy this delicate novel.

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Pineapple Street by Jenny Jackson (March 7; Pamela Dorman)

This is a literary version of The Real Housewives. Filled with fun, sometimes sloppy, characters with an enchanting and enthralling plot. This is the perfect book to shake off the winter snow with. Hot, hot hot.

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In Memoriam by Alice Winn (March 7; Knopf)

Love and war. The two things that will change a man forever. This is the story of two men who fall in love during World War I. Winn expertly shifts focus from their personal war to the one that engulfed the globe.

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What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez by Claire Jimenez (March 7; Grand Central)

Jamie Ford calls this portrait of a Puerto Rican family “hilarious, heartbreaking, and ass-kicking.” It follows the family as they discover their long-lost daughter/sister/auntie on a reality show and set out to find her.

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Brother & Sister Enter the Forest by Richard Mirabella (March 14; Catapult)

A modern, mysterious folk story encompasses Mirabella’s debut. He weaves two timelines together to explore the lengths we go to for love. It’s a strange, beautiful, and memorable book.

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A Manual for How to Love Us by Erin Slaughter (March 14; Harper Perennial)

In her linked story collection set in the American South, Slaughter explores women going through breakups, getting caught in pyramid schemes, and everything in between. It’s on the shortlist for the best book cover of the year. Look how gorgeous it is!

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Our Best Intentions by Vibhuti Jain (March 14; William Morrow)

A stabbing in an affluent neighborhood puts things in motion in Jain’s book which tackles socio-economics, race, and immigration. Fans of Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You will love this book. While it centers around a crime mystery, Jain does so much more with the book than a simple who- and why-dunnit. 

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Wandering Souls by Cecile Pin (March 21; Henry Holt)

The haunting story of three siblings turned orphans as they immigrate from Vietnam to Hong Kong to the United Kingdom. Pin dances through time and place as she unravels the guilt the siblings feel and how they mend their relationships and build new ones.

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The Nursery by Szilvia Molnar (March 21; Pantheon)

Fans of Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder should look forward to The Nursery. It is a searing portrait of postpartum motherhood. Molnar’s visceral writing is to die for.

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Y/N by Esther Yi (March 21; Astra House)

Surreal and stylish. Yi delivers an absurd but also grounded, expose on internet obsession. It’s almost like the book-version of Ingrid Goes West. You’ll belly laugh, cringe, cry, and at the end of the day connect with Yi’s main character. 

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Flux by Jinwoo Chong (March 21; Melville House)

Buckle up for a wild ride that will make you question everything in this time-travel crime noir. Chong’s book left my jaw on the floor. Everything from the writing style to the plot to the characters is fun as hell. 

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Chlorine by Jade Song (March 28; William Morrow)

The story of a young swimmer who becomes obsessed with being in the water. Song sucks readers in with unforgettable language and explores our carnal desire of want. Reading it was like an out-of-body experience.

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Sea Change by Gina Chung (March 28; Vintage)

Sea Change is a standout of the 2023 debut class. It will pull you in from the first page and not let go as you traverse through a sea of originality. It’s filled with stunning and scrumptious prose.

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The Human Origins of Beatrice Porter & Other Essential Ghosts by Soraya Palmer (March 28; Catapult)

West African folklore is weaved into this family drama set in Brooklyn. Palmer perfectly captures the realities of a family struggling to keep it together as they all seemingly have more interest in staying apart. The highs and lows of relationships are earnestly put on display in this nuanced portrait.

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