Debut Spotlight (4/5/22)

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April is filled with star-studded debuts, including the story of a Chinese girl fighting to claim her place in the 1880s American West, a novel that traces the too-short life of a woman transformed by death into an agent of justice, and a small-town mystery with an unlikely private investigator.

FOUR TREASURES OF THE SKY by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

An Indie Next pick with 3 starred reviews!

“[A] lyrical and sweeping Bildungsroman.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Zhang’s blend of history and magical realism will appeal to fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ THE WATER DANCER (2019) as well as Amy Tan’s THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT (2013).”–Booklist, starred review

“Those who want to learn about a little-known incident in Chinese-American history will be enlightened by this moving debut.”–Library Journal, starred review

A TINY UPWARD SHOVE by Melissa Chadburn

3 starred reviews!

“Essayist and activist Chadburn’s debut novel is a magical realism-infused literary feast that boldly mixes fictionalized yet explicit true-crime violence with a biracial girl’s coming-of-age, textured by Filipino culture, language, and folklore.”–Booklist, starred review

“Chadburn’s prose is sometimes lovely, always compelling, and she handles multiple storylines skillfully.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The author’s poetic language enthralls, whether in relating the hardships of past generations of Salles women (‘we broadcast them—each conversation a carnival of agonies’), or describing the bleak land of death…This is electrifying.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

PAY DIRT ROAD by Samantha Jayne Allen

2 starred reviews!

“Annie’s brooding voice stands out. Fans of Southwestern atmospheric mysteries will appreciate this debut with a strong sense of place by Allen, winner of the 2019 Hillerman Prize.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Annie grows before our eyes, and the Texas landscape, with its falling-apart houses and bedraggled bars, comes alive in this remarkable novel, reminiscent of Larry McMurtry’s THE LAST PICTURE SHOW.”–Booklist, starred review

FOUR TREASURES OF THE SKY by Jenny Tinghui Zhang; 9781250811783; available now.
A TINY UPWARD SHOVE by Melissa Chadburn; 9780374277758; 4/12/22.
PAY DIRT ROAD by Samantha Jayne Allen; 9781250804273; 4/19/22.

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