Betina González is an award-winning writer from Argentina, who has studied in El Paso and Pittsburgh, the latter of which she called home for nearly a decade. While her work has garnered her praise in South America, she had yet to publish a book in English. That is, until American Delirium.Continue reading “Betina González and translator Heather Cleary discuss American Delirium”
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.Continue reading “Ellie Eaton’s debut coming-of-age novel is Divine”
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.
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.Continue reading “Ghosts from Daniel Loedel’s family history inspired Hades, Argentina”
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.Continue reading “Detransition, Baby is a bourgeois melodrama, just like Torrey Peters wanted”
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.
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”