We’re always on the hunt for new books to add to our reading list, and last month we listed the upcoming book releases you need to keep an eye out for. Looking for some fresh voices? Today, we’re introducing you to the five best debut novels by 2019’s rising literary stars…
1. The Old Drift by Namwali Serpell – 21st March 2019
Electrifying, playful, ambitious, brilliant: The Old Drift follows three generations of three Zambian families to tell the story of a nation, and of the grand sweep of time. Exploding with colour and energy, this novel is a testament to our yearning to create and cross borders, and a meditation on the slow, grand passage of time.
2. The Parisian by Isabella Hammad – 11th April 2019
As the First World War shatters families, destroys friendships and kills lovers, a young Palestinian dreamer sets out to find himself. First-time novelist Isabella Hammad delicately unpicks the tangled politics and personal tragedies of this turbulent era and the Palestinian struggle for independence. The Parisian is historical fiction with a remarkable contemporary voice.
3. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams – 11th April 2019
On a break from her boyfriend, a boss who doesn’t seem to see her and her Carribbean family who don’t seem to listen, Queenie finds herself struggling to rule her own life, despite what her name suggests. A darkly comic and bitingly subversive take on life, love, race and family, Queenie will have you nodding in recognition, crying in solidarity, and rooting for this unforgettable character every step of the way.
4. What Red Was by Rosie Price – 9th May 2019
What Red Was is a startling and sophisticated novel of modern love, sexual violence and toxic inheritance by brilliant new British voice Rosie Price. Through their four years at university, Kate and Max are inseparable. At their London home, just after graduation, Kate’s life is shattered in a bedroom while a party goes on downstairs. This debut explores the effects of trauma on mind and body, the tyrannies of memory and the courage of a young woman in speaking out…
5. The Travelers by Regina Porter – 4th July 2019
The Travelers bears witness to the Civil Rights movement, the Vietnam War and the first term of Obama’s presidency, resulting in both an intimate family portrait and a searing examination of America today. Follow how unexpected turns of fate connect the lives of two Americans who each come up against the forces of race, class, and gender that change – and end – ordinary lives.