Pik-Shuen Fung, author of Ghost Forest, grew up in Canada in an astronaut family – where a parent stays back in the family’s native country working while the rest move abroad. Those experiences found their way into her debut novel. Prior to releasing Ghost Forest, she receivedfellowships and residencies from the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, Kundiman, the Millay Colony, and Storyknife.
Fung corresponded with Debutiful to give more insight into her debut experience.
Continue reading “Pik-Shuen Fung on astronaut parents and Ghost Forest”
Considering the record heat waves America is currently suffering through, it would be tacky to talk about how these books are hot, yeah?
These ten debuts, mostly from July but also some June debuts you can’t miss are must reads. They range from introspective magical realism to coming-of-age comedies; from memoirs to books in translation. These ten debut books are guaranteed to make you forget about the oppressive heat.
Continue reading “10 debut books to read this July”
Elizabeth Gonzalez James was certain Mona at Sea would never be published. It was passed on in 2015 and sat in a drawer until she entered it to the Santa Fe Writers Project award. Even when she won, she wasn’t sure if she’d sign a contract.
We discussed the long journey she took and Mona took from graduating with a business degree during the Great Recession to publishing a book about unemployment over a decade later.
Continue reading “Elizabeth Gonzalez James feels Mona at Sea can help serve the community”
Can you believe it’s… checks notes… May. May 2021. Is it really?
As the year keeps on churning, so does the book world. Somehow, May has managed to put out a collection of debut books so delectable, it almost seems unfair to the other months. From indie memoirs to books about cults to short story collections that will knock you out. May did the damn thing.
Continue reading “10 debut books you should read this May”
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.
Continue reading “A Life of Books with JoAnne Tompkins, author of What Comes After”
You may recognize the name Forsyth Harmon. If you do, you’re lucky enough to have read tremendous books that she has illustrated like the essay collection, Girlhood, by Melissa Febos.
Now Forsyth has her own illustrated novel out called Justine and it is exquisite. Set in 1999, the story follows Ali as she meets Justine in a life changing series of events. Justine takes Ali under her wings at a local store where the two start as coworkers and blossom into something more. Harmon’s work is intimate. It’s cozy in the way that you want a book to be but allows you to be uncomfortable with the realities of these young lives.
I wanted to know more about what makes Forsyth Harmon tick and asker her to fill out Debutiful’s A Life of Books questionnaire. Read her answers below.
Continue reading “A Life of Books with Forsyth Harmon, author of Justine”
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”
Layla AlAmmar grew up in Kuwait where she found solace in books. Her childhood passion turned into a career. AlAmmar has an MSc in Creative Writing from the University of Edinburgh and is working on a PhD on the intersection of Arab women’s fiction and literary trauma theory.
Her book, Silence is a Sense, is her American debut, but she previously published The Pact We Made, which is available in many countries outside of America. She’s also has work published in Evening Standard, Quail Bell Magazine, Aesthetica Magazine, the St Andrews University Prose Journal, and in the collection Underground: Tales for London.
Continue reading “Layla AlAmmar’s American debut can help break patterns”
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”