Ellie Eaton’s debut coming-of-age novel is Divine

Ellie Eaton’s debut coming-of-age novel is Divine

Ellie Eaton is in limbo. She grew up in England and has lived in America for the past decade. She’s both an English writer and an American one. But she’s also neither.

Her book, like her, straddles between an American adulthood and coming-of-age in a British boarding school. The girls in The Divines are nothing like her and her friends, but the spirit is there. Half of the story takes place in the insulated world of a British boarding school where the real world barely matters. The other half is about one of the girls, all grown up, reckoning with the decisions she made decades ago.

I spoke with Eaton about being a British or American writer, coming-of-age novels, and whether or not she was a Divine via phone.

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A Life of Books with Mateo Askaripour, author of Black Buck

A Life of Books with Mateo Askaripour, author of Black Buck

In Black Buck, Mateo Askaripour uses a gregarious Black salesman in an all white company to satirically take down corporate America. Through sharp-witted humor and a lot of heart, Askaripour sheds light on the microaggressions and blatant racism Black men and women go through on a daily basis.

The book has been praised by everyone from Publishers Weekly to The Today Show and was one of Debutiful‘s best debuts to read this month.

Below, Mateo Askaripour answered A Life of Books, Debutiful‘s ongoing questionnaire to better get to know writers and what inspires them.

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Ghosts from Daniel Loedel’s family history inspired Hades, Argentina

Ghosts from Daniel Loedel’s family history inspired Hades, Argentina

Daniel Loedel grew up in New York, but always felt a connection to Argentina. His father grew up there and left to raise a family in America. However, Loedel’s half-sister, who was killed in 1979 during the Dirty War after a 1976 military coup to overthrow the government. Her ghost haunted Loedel’s father and eventually led him to write his debut novel Hades, Argentina.

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Detransition, Baby is a bourgeois melodrama, just like Torrey Peters wanted

Detransition, Baby is a bourgeois melodrama, just like Torrey Peters wanted

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Detransition, Baby, the debut novel by Torrey Peters, is a pretty easy-to-follow domestic romance drama. There’s a woman whose ex wants to raise a baby with her that he accidentally conceived with a coworker.

Oh, the woman in trans. The man has detransitioned. And the coworker is cisgender.

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David Hopen came of age with his coming-of-age debut

David Hopen came of age with his coming-of-age debut

David Hopen‘s debut coming-of-age book The Orchard is about an Orthodox Jewish student whose life is transformed when he arrives at a new school. The book follows students on the verge of adulthood and is in part based on a Jewish myth. The book itself took Hopen nearly his entire twenties after he started it while he was the characters’ ages.

I spoke to Hopen about how he grew up along with his book and how it may or may not have changed as he grew further and further away from the age he was writing about.

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Inside Simon Han’s suburban dreamscape

Inside Simon Han’s suburban dreamscape

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Simon Han’s debut book Nights When Nothing Happened tells you exactly what the book is about. Except, “nothing happening” is in the eye of the beholder. The novel, about a Chinese immigrant family living in Plano, Texas, is as equally quiet as it is thrilling. The project started as a short story about a young girl who begins sleepwalking that spiraled into one of the best novels of the year.

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A Life of Books with Robert W. Fieseler, author of Tinderbox

A Life of Books with Robert W. Fieseler, author of Tinderbox

In his multi-award winning (Winner of the Edgar Award and Louisiana Literary Award, shortlisted for the 2020 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing) debut book Tinderbox, writer Robert W. Fieseler explores the 1973 fire that devastated New Orleans’ queer community. The book chronicles what happened the night when 32 people lost their lives in one of the largest mass murders against gay and lesbian people in our country’s history.

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Lou Diamond Phillips adds sci-fi writer to his long list of talents

Lou Diamond Phillips adds sci-fi writer to his long list of talents

Golden Globe nominated actor Lou Diamond Phillips was already a renaissance man. He acts, writes screenplays, and directs. He also does advocacy work and is an accomplished poker player. Now, the multitalented Phillips can add science fiction author to his resume.

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