If there is anything 2020 taught us, it’s to find comfort where ever you can find it. Debut books were a big comfort this past year. There is something so exhilarating discovering a new voice. The books produced were sometimes ten years in the making and whether it’s a quiet story about sexuality or a magic realism saga, debut books are a writer’s unfiltered thoughts. They are the most honest a writer will ever be.
This year’s best debuts range from realistic queer stories to outrageous gothic ones. This list features novels, story collections, true crime, essay collections, and everything in between.
Continue reading “The Best Debut Books of 2020”
To say Ashleigh Bryant Phillips is proud of being born and raised in Woodland, North Carolina is an understatement. Her social media is @woodlandraised and her debut story collection Sleepovers is largely inspired by her upbringing in the rural town tucked away in the northeast corner of the state.
That collection won her the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize, which comes with a prize of $10,000 and publication from Hub City Press. Sleepovers features a wide variety of voices from people often forgot about society. If you ever get the chance to speak to Phillips, you realize her voice and point of view are just as distinct as the characters she writes.
Continue reading “Ashleigh Bryant Phillips gives a voice to the forgotten in Sleepovers”