Debut Books

Imaginary Museums – Nicolette Polek

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Polek allows her characters — and therefore herself — to face the fear of futility that lurks everywhere in her exhibits. But there is a real grace in this devastation, too. Alongside the grace, stories like these provide that fizzy tincture of strangeness and humanity that every reader I know lives for.

Toy Fabels – Cass McCombs

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In this first outing, McCombs struggles toward spiritual frenzy, struggles toward total casualness, struggles toward artificial grace.

The Rapture Index: A Suburban Bestiary – Molly Reid

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Which animal is on the brink of rapture?

I Can’t Talk about the Trees without the Blood – Tiana Clark

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Figurative language reaches towards the physical embodiment of feeling, animating words on the page.

Socialist Realism – Trisha Low

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Maybe this is, more than anything else, about a series of starting points. We have not started fighting yet.

Mostly Dead Things – Kristen Arnett

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What Arnett’s debut aspires to is the act of holding, tightly and gently all at once, to the mostly dead things, and not letting go.

Exquisite Mariposa – Fiona Alison Duncan

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Its first bites taste like mainstream contemporary fiction; they go down easy, like candy, or like a Sally Rooney novel. But as you continue to chew — because this novel is chewy — you encounter something quite different.

Autobiography of Horse – Jenifer Sang Eun Park

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Maybe the horse is fucking with her.

Arkady – Patrick Langley

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When the ranks of climate refugees grow steadily, new ways of structuring our lives will have to be tested.

Crosslight for Youngbird – Asiya Wadud

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Wadud’s poems of witness are far less remote than one might expect of an often commemorative tradition, underwritten by a deep physical sympathy.