Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne’s characters are ‘Holding On To Nothing’

Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne’s characters are ‘Holding On To Nothing’

The characters in Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne‘s debut novel Holding On To Nothing want more. They want more than what their life has to offer in rural Tennessee. They want to be wanted and not just merely picked because there isn’t anyone else left. They want something bigger.

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M. Randal O’Wain reveals the raw and honest truth of the South in ‘Meander Belt’

M. Randal O’Wain reveals the raw and honest truth of the South in ‘Meander Belt’

The essays in M. Randal O’Wains debut memoir, Meander Belt, tap into what life was truly like growing up in the rural South. Subtitled “Family, Loss, and Coming of Age in the Working Class South,” the book is a raw and intimate portrayal of an area often at the mercy of stereotypes or often altogether left out of media portrayals.

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The 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize announced

The 2019 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize announced

The Center for Fiction announced the seven book shortlist for their First Novel Prize. Of the seven, six were featured previously on Debutiful. Three were interviewed here (see below), while another I interviewed for Electric Literature.

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John Englehardt’s ‘Bloomland’ is the sobering novel America needs right now

John Englehardt’s ‘Bloomland’ is the sobering novel America needs right now

At the center of Bloomland, the debut novel by John Englehardt, is a mass shooting on the campus of a university. It is a sobering insight to the aftermath of a tragedy written in a unique perspective. Englehardt didn’t originally intend to write a novel like this. It came from building off of numerous ideas. Still, what came of it is an important and original understanding of these horrific events like the one depicted.

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Inside the strange mind of Stuart Ross, author of ‘Jenny in Corona’

Inside the strange mind of Stuart Ross, author of ‘Jenny in Corona’

Who is Stuart Ross? After reading his debut novel, Jenny in Corona, that’s what I wanted to know. Even Pulitzer Prize-finalist Rebecca Makkai said Ross “has one of the strangest minds [she’s] ever encountered.”

His novel is as funny as it is devastating. It follows Tyrone, a man with a multitude of problems including a girlfriend who is cheating on him and a father addicted to pills. It shouldn’t be a heartwarming novel, but something in Ross’s writing makes it so. He turns the awful into something bearable.

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Monica Duncan explores empowerment and ambition in her debut novel ‘Twine’

Monica Duncan explores empowerment and ambition in her debut novel ‘Twine’

Monica Duncan‘s Twine is a sharp commentary on the socioeconomics of America that is as endearing as it is a warning. It follows a struggling artist who ends up back in her small home town struggling with what motherhood means for her ambitious career plans.

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