Book List

Best Debut Fiction of 2021

  • FICTION

    LAND OF BIG NUMBERS

    FEB. 2, 2021

FICTION

LAND OF BIG NUMBERS

by Te-Ping Chen

Chen’s stories are both subtle and rich, moving and wry, and in their poignancy, they seem boundless. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    DAMNATION SPRING

    AUG. 3, 2021

FICTION

DAMNATION SPRING

by Ash Davidson

An impressively well-turned story about how environmental damage creeps into our bodies, psyches, and economies. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    THREE ROOMS

    AUG. 31, 2021

FICTION

THREE ROOMS

by Jo Hamya

Scintillating prose and sly social observation make this novel a tart pleasure. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    THE OTHER BLACK GIRL

    JUNE 1, 2021

THRILLER & SUSPENSE

THE OTHER BLACK GIRL

by Zakiya Dalila Harris

A biting social satire–cum-thriller; dark, playful, and brimming with life. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS

    AUG. 24, 2021

FICTION

THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DU BOIS

by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers

If this isn’t the Great American Novel, it's a mighty attempt at achieving one. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    MY MONTICELLO

    OCT. 5, 2021

  • FICTION

    BUILD YOUR HOUSE AROUND MY BODY

    JULY 6, 2021

FICTION

BUILD YOUR HOUSE AROUND MY BODY

by Violet Kupersmith

Drawing from genres as diverse as horror, humor, and historical fiction, Kupersmith creates a rich and dazzling spectacle. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS

    FEB. 16, 2021

FICTION

NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS

by Patricia Lockwood

An insightful—frequently funny, often devastating—meditation on human existence online and off. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    THE FUGITIVITIES

    JUNE 8, 2021

  • FICTION

    MILK BLOOD HEAT

    FEB. 2, 2021

FICTION

MILK BLOOD HEAT

by Dantiel W. Moniz

Dark and lushly layered, these stories will bewitch you. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    WALKING ON COWRIE SHELLS

    JUNE 1, 2021

FICTION

WALKING ON COWRIE SHELLS

by Nana Nkweti

Boisterous and high-spirited debut stories by a talented new writer. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    AFTERPARTIES

    AUG. 3, 2021

FICTION

AFTERPARTIES

by Anthony Veasna So

Even when these stories are funny and hopeful, an inescapable history is always waiting. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >
  • FICTION

    THE FINAL REVIVAL OF OPAL & NEV

    MARCH 30, 2021

FICTION

THE FINAL REVIVAL OF OPAL & NEV

by Dawnie Walton

An intelligently executed love letter to Black female empowerment and the world of rock music. Full review >

FULL REVIEW >

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