January 10th, 2019 By: Nora Rawlinson
Now that we’re firmly into the new year, Janus has turned his head from favorite books of 2018 to the most anticipated of 2019, featuring over 150 titles by authors of color and/or LBGTQ+ authors, allowing us to update our spreadsheet of Diversity Titles for LibraryReads Consideration with new discoveries and quotes from the lists (thanks to Neal Wyatt for her comprehensive tracking of the lists in her column, LJ‘s BookPulse. All are now linked on our blogroll)..
Many of the authors are well-known, having won awards for their previous books, but several debuts receive multiple shoutouts:
Kim, Angie, Miracle Creek, (Macmillan/Sarah Crichton Books, 4/16/19; DRC available from Edelweiss & NetGalley)
This debut, previously titled Miracle Submarine, has been getting positive response from librarians on GalleyChat ever since August (“…it’s so great.A courtroom drama where each chapter reveals something new about the characters and changes my mind about who did it!”). The author is set to appear at ALA MidWinter on the LibraryReads Debut Author panel (UPDATE: The debut panel does not require registration, as we reported earlier). Crime Reads Most Anticipated describes the novel as, “Angie Kim’s masterpiece of grief, hope, and recrimination takes place in the small town of Miracle Creek, wherein an oxygen tank said to cure everything from autism to male infertility goes from a refuge to an inferno after an arsonist seals the fate of those seeking treatment inside. A complex novel of parenting, prejudice, and putting blame where blame’s due, this one is not to be missed.”
Serpell, Namwali, The Old Drift, (PRH/Random House/Hogarth 3/26/19; DRC available from NetGalley)
On several Most Anticipated lists, including Bustle, “This epic debut novel from Zambian author Namwali Serpell tells the story of a three families over three generations. It begins in 1904, a few miles from Victoria Falls, in a small colonial settlement called The Old Drift. But one mistake sets off a major rift between a black family, a brown family, and a white family that ripples across the next century.” The author will appear, along iwth Angie Kim (above) at ALA MidWinter on the LibraryReads Debut Author panel (unfortunately, for those who haven’t signed up already, registration closed this week).
Washington, Bryan, Lot, (PRH/Penguin Riverhead Books, 3/19/19; DRC available from Edelweiss, NetGalley)
Entertainment Weekly Most Anticipated, “This eagerly awaited short-story collection, excerpted in The New Yorker to much fanfare, depicts its author’s hometown of Houston with empathy, tragedy, and exceptional specificity.” HuffPost, “Washington’s debut collection, set in his hometown of Houston, has been preceded by a cacophony of buzz. The stories revolve around a boy coming to grips with his own identity — and sexuality — but they depict his whole world, his complicated family, the neighborhoods they live in and what makes these communities hold together or break apart
Benz, Chanelle,The Gone Dead, (HarperCollins/Ecco, 6/25/19; DRC available from Edelweiss)
Appearances on several Most Anticipated lists caught GalleyChatter’s eyes. Crime Reads says, “Chanelle Benz’s 2017 story collection, The Man
Who Shot Out My Eye Is Dead, was one of fiction’s most arresting and promising in some time, and now Benz is back with her first, eagerly awaited novel, The Gone Dead. The story centers on Billie James, a woman who returns to the family homestead in Mississippi after a long absence to find a troubling legacy, namely the whispers about her father’s death, and how she disappeared the same day. The Gone Dead promises all the moral and social complexity of Benz’s shorter works, thick with atmospherics and a deep, shuddering sense of humanity.” The LA Times includes Benz in their list of “11 Authors To Watch In 2019.”
Vuong, Ocean, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, (PRH/Penguin Press, 6/4; DRC available from Edelweiss, NetGalley)
On several Most Anticipated lists, including Entertainment Weekly‘s, “The poet stirred up enormous interest for his debut novel, a lyrical tracing of refugee life that confronts themes of masculinity and sexuality. Will it live up to the hype?”
Ramos, Joanne, The Farm (PRH/Random House, 5/7/19; DRC available from Edelweiss, NetGalley)
On several Most Anticipated lists, including Oprah.com, “Equal parts feminist dystopia and immigrant story, Ramos’s debut novel couldn’t be more relevant or timely.”