A Life of Books with Meredith Westgate, author of The Shimmering State

Meredith Westgate’s debut novel, The Shimmering State, perfectly blends sci-fi and romance. Author Adam Wilson said the book was reminiscent of Eternal Sunshine For the Spotless Mind. Meredith Westgate is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has an MFA in Fiction from The New School. We had the native Pennsylvanian and current Brooklynite answer our recurring “A Life of Books” questionnaire so readers can get to know her.

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A Life of Books with Kyle Lucia Wu, author of Win Me Something

A Life of Books with Kyle Lucia Wu, author of Win Me Something

Kyle Lucia Wu has written one of the best books of 2021. Win Me Something, out now via Tin House, is an emotional and powerful book about finding your identity when you never felt there was an identity to find. Wu’s debut follows a biracial girl who never felt welcomed by classmates of either race.

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A Life of Books with Nathaniel Ian Miller, author of The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven

A Life of Books with Nathaniel Ian Miller, author of The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven

Nathaniel Ian Miller is the author of The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven, which tells the tales of Sven as he heads to the Arctic Circle to experience adventure. The book is delicate and introspective. It highlights human perseverance at its best. Miller himself raises beef in Vermont when he is not writing.

Debutiful asked Nathaniel Ian Miller to answer the semi-recurring “A Life of Books” questionnaire so readers can get to know him better.

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A Life of Books with Blake Sanz, author of The Boundaries of Their Dwelling

A Life of Books with Blake Sanz, author of The Boundaries of Their Dwelling

Blake Sanz is a Denver-based (by way of Louisiana) writer who was chosen by Brandon Taylor as the winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award for 2021. His debut collection, The Boundaries of Their Dwelling, is set in American South and Mexico and explores immigration, family, and geography. It’s exquisitely written and eye-opening.

Debutiful asked Sanz to answer the reoccurring questionnaire A Life of Books so readers can get to know him better.

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A Life of Books with Kelsey McKinney, author of God Spare the Girls

A Life of Books with Kelsey McKinney, author of God Spare the Girls

Kelsey McKinney is a writer, reporter, and co-owner of Defector.com. She has written cover stories on Olivia Munn, in-depth looks at how a producer created the most dangerous monster of the 21st Century and everything in between.

Her debut novel, God Spare the Girls, is a family drama about two sisters who uncover a disturbing secret about their father. The two handle it very differently and the book follows their family story through mega-churches in Texas to their most intimate moments where everything is questioned.

Debutiful asked McKinney to answer the reoccurring questionnaire A Life of Books so readers can get to know her better.

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A Life of Books with Brian Broome, author of Punch Me Up To the Gods

A Life of Books with Brian Broome, author of Punch Me Up To the Gods

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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A Life of Books with JoAnne Tompkins, author of What Comes After

A Life of Books with JoAnne Tompkins, author of What Comes After

JoAnne Tompkins, author of What Comes After, had a career as a mediator and judicial officer before writing her debut book. In her first novel, she explores a familiar situation: an idyllic town turned upside down by a the shocking death of two teenage boys.

The book, however, is about more than the mystery. It’s about how the families can put their lives back together and how the town can trust again. It’s a meditation on optimism in the darkest of times.

Below, the author answers Debutiful‘s A Life of Books Questionnaire.

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A Life of Books with S. Kirk Walsh, author of The Elephant of Belfast

A Life of Books with S. Kirk Walsh, author of The Elephant of Belfast

The Elephant of Belfast, the debut novel from S. Kirk Walsh, was inspired by events that took place in Northern Ireland during World War II. Inspired by the true store of Denise Austin, the book follows twenty-year-old zookeeper Hettie Quin and three-year-old elephant Violet. The two share an immense bond and one night in 1941 when bombs start dropping, Hettie does everything she can to protect Violet.

Walsh writes with exquisite and tender prose throughout the book making Elephant an unforgettable read. Below, she answered the semi-regular “A Life of Books” questionnaire so readers can get to know her better.

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A Life of Books with Cherie Jones, author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

A Life of Books with Cherie Jones, author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House

In her debut novel, Cherie Jones tells a cautionary tale set mostly in Barbados. A grandmother uses a story about one-armed sister. Her granddaughter Lala listens to what happens to girls who disobey their mothers but the question is, does she absorb the story?

Years later, Lala is married to a petty burglar and their seemingly cozy lives are upended in a spiral of violence, crime, and deceit. What unfolds is, How The One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House, a devastating debut that is a must-read. Be warned though: you’ll want to finish this in one sitting. So block out a lot of time one you start this.

Below, Cherie Jones answers the A Life of Books Questionnaire for Debutiful.

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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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