Jamie Figueroa‘s debut book, Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer, is a story filled with trauma and about breaking cycles. It’s about a family in a small Southwestern town where nothing seemed to go right for generations. While reading the trauma and difficult decisions these siblings make can be hard to digest, it’s one of the most beautifully written and important books to come out in 2021.
The author spent years writing it, allowing the book to be her compass through life as she slept on couches and found odd jobs that allowed her time and space to write this book. From rushing to get to college to taking years off in between to finish then finding a home at the Institute of American Indian Arts as an adult, Jamie Figueroa’s life has always needed time and space to figure things out.
I spoke with the author about her life, her debut, and what writers inspire her.
Continue reading “Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer was Jamie Figueroa’s compass through life”
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.
Continue reading “A Life of Books with Cherie Jones, author of How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House”
Below, Cherie Jones answers the A Life of Books Questionnaire for Debutiful.
It’s hard to believe it’s March again. The past year has been difficult for us all, but hopefully debut books helped get you through 2020. Let’s kick off the “new year” with another 10 debuts that will make you laugh, cry, and question everything you thought you knew.
These debuts are about families coming to terms with their grief, mothers moving on from dark times in their life, women named Sarah, and money.
Continue reading “10 debut books you should read this March”
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”
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.
Continue reading “A Life of Books with Mateo Askaripour, author of Black Buck”
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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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”
Let’s all just say it: good riddance to 2020! While the literature produced last year was unbelievably breathtaking and groundbreaking, the year itself was… a let down. As we enter 2021, let’s all remember to take care of one another and continue to discover debut authors together.
Continue reading “10 debut books you should read this January”
January’s debuts gives readers everything they could possibly want. There’s a trans-melodrama, gut-wrenching memoirs, a psychological thriller, and stories that take us across the globe.
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.
Continue reading “David Hopen came of age with his coming-of-age debut”
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.