10 debut books you should read this January

10 debut books you should read this January

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.

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.

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A Life of Books with Robert W. Fieseler, author of Tinderbox

A Life of Books with Robert W. Fieseler, author of Tinderbox

In his multi-award winning (Winner of the Edgar Award and Louisiana Literary Award, shortlisted for the 2020 William Saroyan International Prize for Writing) debut book Tinderbox, writer Robert W. Fieseler explores the 1973 fire that devastated New Orleans’ queer community. The book chronicles what happened the night when 32 people lost their lives in one of the largest mass murders against gay and lesbian people in our country’s history.

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Greg Mania is all about laughs, yellow, and being public

Greg Mania is all about laughs, yellow, and being public

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Greg Mania is a writer, comedian, and award-winning screenwriter. He has been published all over the internet and in print at The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, O, The Oprah Magazine, PAPER, HuffPost, Out, BOMB, Electric Literature, and so much more. He is also the recipient of the Grand Prize of the Fourth Annual Stage 32 Comedy Writing Contest.

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In Tomboyland, Melissa Faliveno traverses everything from working-class communities to queerness

In Tomboyland, Melissa Faliveno traverses everything from working-class communities to queerness

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Melissa Faliveno is a writer, editor, and teacher. She’s been a musician, roller derby skater, and alt-weekly reporter. She’s a writer’s writer. Whether it was covering the local alternative scene in her native Wisconsin or cohosting Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast, Faliveno has touched nearly every aspect of the literary world.

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John Fram’s The Bright Lands is the queer, supernatural thriller the world needs right now

John Fram’s The Bright Lands is the queer, supernatural thriller the world needs right now

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John Fram pulled from his own experiences as an outsider in rural Texas and his obsession with crime novelists like Mary Higgins Clark to create The Bright Lands. The novel is one of the most original takes on modern noir I have ever read. Now living in New York, Fram has written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times and The Atlantic. He recently had an opinion in the Times entitled “How White Crime Writers Justified Police Brutality.”

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Zaina Arafat subverts expectations in You Exist Too Much

Zaina Arafat subverts expectations in You Exist Too Much

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Zaina Arafat is a Palestinian-American whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Granta, Washington Post, and more of the most prestigious media outlets in America. She also holds an M.A. in international affairs from Columbia University and an M.F.A. from Iowa where she also taught writing. Additionally, she has taught at The School of the New York Times, the International Writing Program and Sackett Street Writers, as well as abroad in Jordan, Egypt and Eritrea.

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