Brian Broome is a poet and screenwriter who lives in Pittsburgh where he is K. Leroy Irvis Fellow and instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Pittsburgh. He has been a finalist in The Moth storytelling competition and won the grand prize in Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King Writing Awards. He also won a VANN Award from the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation for journalism in 2019.
His debut memoir, Punch Me Up To the Gods came out earlier in 2021 and we corresponded via email so he could answer Debutiful’s reoccurring “A Life of Books” questionnaire.
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Considering the record heat waves America is currently suffering through, it would be tacky to talk about how these books are hot, yeah?
These ten debuts, mostly from July but also some June debuts you can’t miss are must reads. They range from introspective magical realism to coming-of-age comedies; from memoirs to books in translation. These ten debut books are guaranteed to make you forget about the oppressive heat.
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Elizabeth Gonzalez James was certain Mona at Sea would never be published. It was passed on in 2015 and sat in a drawer until she entered it to the Santa Fe Writers Project award. Even when she won, she wasn’t sure if she’d sign a contract.
We discussed the long journey she took and Mona took from graduating with a business degree during the Great Recession to publishing a book about unemployment over a decade later.
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We’re (check’s calendar) halfway through 2021?!
The pandemic that changed so much of our day to day lives is waning. Like the rest of us, bookstores, publishing, and authors are slowly figuring out how to return to normal. The one constant from the last 18 months has been literature. Especially debut writers who watched their dream of publishing be overshadowed and sometimes forgotten entirely.
Debutiful’s mission of helping readers discover debut authors became even more important and your support has meant the world. Thank you for reading and listening to Debutiful. More importantly, thank you for discovering debut authors. They’re the reason this site exists and their words drive everything Debutiful does.
Continue reading “The Best Debut Books of 2021 (So Far)”
Eve Gleichman and Laura Blackett are best friends who write together. Their natural chemistry oozes onto the pages of their debut The Very Nice Box. It’s an off-kilter work place comedy where bad men get what’s coming to them.
I asked the duo to fill out the semi-regular “A Life of Books” questionnaire to help introduce them to readers.
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Summer is here and the books aren’t stopping. The first half of 2021 ends with a pile of debuts so delectable it was hard to narrow Debutiful’s recommendations down to just ten. The books featured below range from dark queer romances to somber reflections on race in America to books filled with off-the-wall humor.
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Alex McElroy has produced the season’s first must-read book. The Atmospherians is about shitty men, cults, and social media. It couldn’t be a more poignant and insightful view into modern society. McElroy’s also knows how to land a laugh. They’re not trying to be funny, but what they produced in this novel is one of the best satires in a long time.
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Vince Granata‘s memoir Everything is Fine is one of the most heartbreaking books I’ve ever read. I think that term is thrown out a lot; however, the story inside it truly made me weep. Vince’s brother, with undiagnosed schizophrenia, killed their mother. His memoir is about that event and what came after. How could he still love his brother? How would their family move on? So many questions I asked myself how I’d react in Granata’s shoes but couldn’t.
Everything is Fine is a moving mediation on pain and suffering, but also love and persistence. We corresponded via email about his background and why this memoir had to be written.
Continue reading “Vince Granata knew he always had to write his heartbreaking and revealing memoir Everything is Fine”