Blake Sanz is a Denver-based (by way of Louisiana) writer who was chosen by Brandon Taylor as the winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award for 2021. His debut collection, The Boundaries of Their Dwelling, is set in American South and Mexico and explores immigration, family, and geography. It’s exquisitely written and eye-opening.
Debutiful asked Sanz to answer the reoccurring questionnaire A Life of Books so readers can get to know him better.
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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” →
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Leah Hampton’s short story collection F*fuckface has the best book title of the years. Hands down. While you can’t judge a book by its cover – or title – you can judge it by its content. And holy cow, F*ckface goes there.
Continue reading “For Leah Hampton, F*ckface is all about location, location, location (and a lot of weird characters)” →
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.
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Souvankham Thammavongsa has released four poetry collections to high acclaim, including 2019’s Cluster. The same year, she also won an O. Henry Award for her short story “Slingshot.” The author, who was born in Thailand and rasied in Canada, has turned her eye away from poetry long enough to put together an emotional and personal story collection that features that award-winning story.
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Mary South’s debut story collection, You Will Never Be Forgotten, explores what she calls “late-capitalism dystopias.” The collection is filled with memorable stories from a FAQs section gone wrong (““Frequently Asked Questions About Your Craniotomy”) to a woman who stalks her rapist online and then in real life (the title story “You Will Never Be Forgotten”).
Continue reading “Mary South recommends her favorite stories, collections, and journals” →
Every year, PEN America releases an anthology of the best short stories written by first time published writers. This year, a dozen writers were selected from a wide-ranging array of literary journals – both in print and online. They were judged and selected by Danielle Evans, Alice Sola Kim, and Carmen Maria Machado.
Continue reading “Meet five writers collected in the ‘PEN America Best Debut Short Stories 2019’ anthology” →
In her debut story collection, R.L. Maizes offers stories filled with quirky wit that explore the small tender moments of our lives. We Love Anderson Cooper brings outsiders into a warm embrace.
The stories have the same heart, but range in a deliciously diverse cast of characters. From a therapist’s couch to a boys Bar Mitzvah, we are welcomed in to relatable scenarios that will make readers feel connected.
Below, R.L. Maizes answered Debutiful‘s “A Life of Books” questionnaire.
Continue reading “A Life of Books with R.L. Maizes, author of ‘We Love Anderson Cooper’” →