WRC 2020: By a Debut Author

 

  • Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner – Divorcing his hostile wife when he concludes he could find genuine happiness elsewhere, a doctor is astonished when his ex abruptly disappears, making him unable to move on without acknowledging painful truths about his marriage.
  • Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton – Sensing something is wrong with his owner, a domesticated crow abandons the only life he ever knew to discover that humans are turning into zombies and must use knowledge gleaned from his TV-viewing to save them. (A Seattle area author.)
  • Africaville by Jeffrey Colvin – Three generations of a family of former slaves, the founders of a small Nova Scotia community, navigate prejudice, harsh weather and estrangements against a backdrop of the historical events of the 20th century.
  • Ordinary Girls: A Memoir by Jacquira Diaz – A biographical debut by a Pushcart Prize-winning writer traces her upbringing in the housing projects of Puerto Rico, her mother’s battle with schizophrenia, her personal struggles with sexual assault and her efforts to pursue a literary career.
  • Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine – A debut story collection about female relationships and the deep-rooted truths of our homelands features Latina protagonists of indigenous descent who cautiously navigate the violence and changes in a Denver, Colorado community.
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes – The host of NPR’s “Pop Culture Happy Hour” podcast presents a heartfelt debut about the unlikely relationship between a young widow and a major league pitcher who has lost his game.
  • Spitfire by M. L. Huie – Hired by the notorious Ian Fleming to find the World War II traitor behind the execution of the man she loved, former spy Livy Nash finds the case complicated by shifting alliances and new intelligence strategies. (Releases in early January.)
  • River Run by J.S. James – Newly minted deputy Delia Chavez is thrust into the cutthroat world of hunting, where some are willing to kill people in order to be able to land their quarry. Set largely in the wetlands surrounding Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
  • Miracle Creek by Angie Kim – A dramatic murder trial in the aftermath of an experimental medical treatment and a fatal explosion upends a rural Virginia community where personal secrets and private ambitions complicate efforts to uncover what happened.
  • The Furies by Katie Lowe – A teen’s efforts to fit in at her boarding school are shaped by an enigmatic art teacher, her friends’ obsession with the witch hunts of the 17th century and the mysterious disappearance of a former student.
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston – After an international incident affects U.S. and British relations, the president’s son Alex and Prince Henry must pretend to be best friends, but as they spend time together, the two begin a secret romance that could derail a presidential campaign.
  • Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir – Raised in a hostile undead world where she would escape servitude and a zombie afterlife, a lesbian necromancer becomes a bodyguard to an emperor to secure her freedom in a solar system of swordplay and cutthroat politics.
  • Beijing Payback by Daniel Nieh – Shocked to discover that his murdered restaurateur father was actually a member of a vast crime syndicate with ties to communist China, Victor Li is confronted by decades-old grudges, escalating rivalries and an ambitious new plot.
  • Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips – The shattering disappearance of two young girls from Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula compounds the isolation and fears of a tight-woven community, connecting the lives of neighbors, witnesses, family members and a detective throughout an ensuing year of tension.
  • The Beadworkers by Beth Piatote – This debut collection of stories, set in the landscapes and lifeworlds of the Native Northwest, draws on indigenous aesthetics and forms to offer a powerful, sustaining vision of Native life in the Americas. Piatote is Nez Perce enrolled with Colville Confederated Tribes.
  • The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer – A novel inspired by the life of the Vogue model-turned-renowned photographer finds Lee Miller relocating to 1929 Paris, where she becomes the muse and colleague of the mercurial surrealist, Man Ray.
  • Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera – Struggling to recover after a natural pest invasion devastates the economy of 1924 South Carolina, three fierce Southern women unite against terrible injustices that have overshadowed their small-town community.
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong – A letter from a son to a mother who cannot read reveals the impact of the Vietnam War on their family history and provides a view into parts of the son’s life that his mother has never known. A first novel.
  • In West Mills by De’Shawn Charles Winslow – A woman in mid-20th-century rural North Carolina, determined to live on her own terms in spite of community gossip, finds unexpected support from a veteran fixer who struggles with an inability to correct his own troubled past.
  • The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall – In a novel that spans decades, two young couples’ lives become intertwined when the husbands are appointed co-ministers of a venerable New York City church in the 1960s.

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