Debut Books

The Inland Sea – Madeleine Watts

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The Inland Sea demonstrates both what realist fiction can offer, as we try harder to grapple with climate crisis, and what it can’t.

Fake Accounts – Lauren Oyler

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I did not read Lauren Oyler’s debut, FAKE ACCOUNTS, for fun, and I won’t say that’s what it turned into, because that would be something adjacent to a lie. I read it for the discourse.

DARKCUTTER – Kina Viola

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DARKCUTTER is the room where someone eats and is eaten. Where the death-surplus is hidden. Softness in all corners.

Holeplay – Dan Schapiro

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“Rather like the eponymous sex act, Holeplay is arch, surprising, and spirited.”

The Theory of Flight – Siphiwe Gloria Ndlovu

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When we want to base our shared reality with each other on facts, we also must allow, acknowledge, and cherish the existence of magic.

Fauna – Christiane Vadnais

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By narrating natural destruction in a neutral tone, Fauna models one way that climate-fiction can serve environmentalism.

Chronology – Zahra Patterson

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CHRONOLOGY is a polyvocal text, a poetics of archive. The act of reading feels akin to debriefing with a friend. The impulse to help pull it together collectively.

My Autobiography of Carson McCullers – Jenn Shapland

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MY AUTOBIOGRAPHY cracks the normative bounds of literary scholarship and shows us what kind of knowledge production is possible when the researcher drops the veneer of “scholarly objectivity” and makes herself fully present in the research process.

Whiteout Conditions – Tariq Shah

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WHITEOUT CONDITIONS is a book concerned with toxic masculinity’s erasure of the self; it’s walls and moats.

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.