So, you've managed to snap up all the debut novels that float your boat so far this year. Don't worry, there are more excellent choices on the way! Check out our previews of our favorites below:
The Affairs of Others by Amy Grace Loyd (Picador). The former fiction editor of Playboy makes her debut with a steamy story of a middle-aged, widowed landlady who finds her carefully honed boundaries challenged by a new tenant.
The Residue Years by Mitchell Jackson (Bloomsbury). Based in part on Jackson's own youth, this coming-of-age story set on the streets of Portland, Oregon—and not the streets portrayed in "Portlandia"—is a gritty, literary slice of real life that introduces a compelling new voice.
The Returned by Jason Mott (MIRA Books). What if the people you had loved and lost were returned to you? Sounds like a dream come true, but in his anticipated first novel, poet Mott takes on the realities that such a miracle would entail: for one, where do you put everyone? The book is on sale today, but for an expanded preview, check out our BEA interview with Mott.
Mother, Mother by Koren Zailckas (Crown). Best known for her unflinching memoir of alcoholism, Smashed, Zailckas is branching out into fiction with this story of a seemingly "perfect" mother with some dark family secrets.
How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman (St. Martin's). A mind-bending first novel, this is the story of Marta, whose husband Hector has always taken care of her. In fact, she can't remember a time before Hector. That is, until she stops taking her medicine. Are the visions she's experiencing memories? Or a sign that she's as unstable as Hector tells her she is?
The Lion Seeker by Kenneth Bonert (HMH). An epic 600-odd pages, this anticipated debut charts the Jewish experience in South Africa through a touching mother-son story that recalls writers like Leon Uris and Philip Roth. Bonert was born in South Africa to Lithuanian immigrants, and he has created a very vivid portrait of a little-known community and culture.
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane (Faber & Faber). Set in New Zealand, this debut has more than a touch of magic. Widowed Ruth is trying to put off her grown sons' worries about her living alone. When a carer shows up on her doorstep one sunny day, she seems heaven-sent. But is it just the opposite?
The Cartographer of No Man's Land by P.S. Duffy (Liveright). Set during WWI, this novel puts pacifist map-maker Angus at the front lines as he searches for his brother-in-law, who is MIA. Meanwhile, at home in Nova Scotia, Angus' son fights a battle of his own on the homefront. Duffy, who is 65, is being compared to talents like Robert Goolrick and Karl Marlantes.
The Apartment by Greg Baxter (Twelve). Published to positive reviews in the U.K. last year, Baxter's affecting story is set over the course of a single day, which finds an American expat scouring an unnamed European city for a rental apartment with the help of a local woman. But this simple story ends up being a metaphor for something much deeper, allowing Baxter and the reader to reflect on America's relationship with the rest of the world.
And one peek ahead to January 2014
Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah (FSG). The first novel from the author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, this new story is a simple, fable-like tale set in a postwar Sierra Leone.
What debut novels are you looking forward to this fall?