In Tariq Shah’s debut novel, the protagonists finds a sliver of life in a world of death and, with that, a tiny bit of grace.
New novels by Maria Kuznetsova and Elizabeth Strout, written in the form of chapter-length stories, give us the opportunity to see a great span of a life and to focus in on the moments that matter.
In Mimi Lok’s debut story collection, the characters are linked in their sense of displacement and isolation, both connected to and separate from their families and their shared histories.
Chanelle Benz’s haunting debut novel interrogates memory, race, and the way that stories define our lives.
In Kristen Arnett’s debut novel, the dead resemble the living, and the living seem to be on the brink of death.
There is pleasure to be had in reading Julia Phillips’ debut novel, even in the midst of such grief and despair. Phillips is a beautiful, assured writer, one who knows how to create fully-developed characters, a marvelous sense of place, and a constant forward momentum.
To read a book by Ali Smith is to know that she will ask you to do some work, though that work will always be a pleasure and a bit of a game.
Yiyun Li’s new novel uses conversation as the mode to better explore her narrator’s grief.
D. Wystan Owen’s beautiful debut collection is a book to treasure. The ten quiet stories are linked by place, but they are also linked by Owen’s great fascination with understanding the weight of the past on the present.
The book generates considerable momentum through its short chapters and often gorgeous language, and through the always present search for understanding. It is a difficult book to put down, one whose images and ideas remain long after the read.