RaveBooklistHartnett masterfully balances a story of deep loss with the perfect amount of hilarity and tenderness. Unlikely Animals explores complex family dynamics and the growth that can occur after tragedy, with just a little help.
RaveBooklistFu’s heartfelt debut is captivating as she examines the traumas of war and the sacrifices survivors feel forced to make for a brighter future. Following three generations of one family, readers will be moved by Fu’s sincere and tender prose and the struggles her characters face in looking for a safe place to call home.
RaveBooklistIn her incredible debut, Baxter combines dark humor with a complex protagonist and bold narration to both astound and devastate her readers. Amelia is a memorable heroine who is raw with grief as she struggles with and explores the paradox of finding harmony in the dichotomy of life and death.
Destiny O. Birdsong
RaveBooklist... stunning ... Birdsong is a masterful storyteller with a powerful voice that will keep readers captivated.
Jean Chen Ho
PositiveBooklistIn this tender and timeless debut, Chen Ho explores the intimate facets of female friendship, Asian American immigrant experiences in Los Angeles and New York, and the debilitating power of family traumas.
Mahsa Mohebali, tr. Mariam Rahmani
PositiveBooklistIn this satirical and brilliantly translated novel, Mohebali showcases Iran’s underground culture and the catastrophic realities of contemporary life. Her picturesque prose is darkly comical as she examines the political climate and social issues affecting our world.
PositiveBooklist... brilliant and surreal ... The voices of other characters add different perspectives to Em’s story ... Set against the 2008 economic crisis and the search for Osama Bin Laden, Corin’s novel unveils the madness that permeates society by scrutinizing trauma, cultural expectations, and the political and economic climate of the twenty-first century.
PositiveBooklistThrough clever narration and humorously witty prose, Itami explores the struggle between duty and desire, and Western and Eastern cultures, in her brilliant debut.
David Hoon Kim
PositiveBooklistDebut novelist Kim takes readers on a dreamlike journey through Paris. With flowing language and lavish detail, he delves deep into the \'what if’s\' of infinite possibilities and explores how language and translations can affect one’s perspectives and experiences.
Thora Hjorleifsdottir, tr. Meg Matich
RaveBooklistPoet Hjörleifsdóttir’s heart-wrenching American debut is a raw and empathetic depiction of a woman so subtly manipulated into an abusive relationship that she loses her sense of self and cannot find a way out ... The short but powerful entries are masterfully written.
RaveBooklistIn this bizarre debut novel, Morgan masterfully brings dark comedy and psychedelic horror together at a slow-burning pace. Her mundane but over-the-top characters and brilliant dialogue add to the surreal and fantastical tone of this spellbinding book.
Mieko Kawakami, tr. David Boyd and Sam Bett
RaveBooklistKawakami’s (Breasts and Eggs, 2020) powerful and unassuming novel explores horrific accounts of bullying in a Japanese school ... Kawakami’s depiction of cruelty among youths is raw and vivid ... Her sensitive, evocative storytelling sets her apart as an incredible literary talent.
PositiveBooklistThrough her brilliant storytelling, Rohan explores the deep desire for human relationships, and the physical or psychological distances that affect them.
RaveBooklistDuffy’s unforgettable debut is an intense, emotional exploration of the unconventional relationships various women and girls experience ... This collection of dark, tender, and enthralling short stories is captivating. Duffy is a masterful storyteller and uses vivid imagery to showcase the pivotal moments in the lives of these broken but resilient female characters as they go through loss, love, hurt, and healing.
PositiveBooklist... poignant vignettes ... Lewis is a master at painting developed characters captured in various moments in time. There is little dialogue in these series of vulnerable snapshots, but the lyrical narration is continuously engaging, especially as the episodic stories begin to interlace.
Dorthe Nors, Trans. by Misha Hoekstra
RaveBooklistIn this masterful collection of stories, Danish writer Nors presents the lives of melancholy characters all yearning for something more meaningful ... Translated by Hoekstra, Nors weaves these somber tales of longing and disappointments with humor and bits of hope. She dives right into the heart of her stories with emotion and insight, making this a delightful collection that can easily be read in one sitting.
RaveBooklistThis thought-provoking literary thriller from Finn...brilliantly depicts the effects of patriarchy on women and their sense of duty to please men. This resilient heroine embodies the evolution of feminism in a male-dominant society, making this a poignant story for our time.
PositiveBooklistIn this exemplary debut, Han explores childhood trauma and the impact words and silence can have on both building and harming relationships. He writes with sensitivity and tenderness, allowing his fully fleshed-out characters to take on lives of their own and tell their heartbreaking perspectives directly to readers. Readers will be gripped by this beautiful debut.
RaveBooklistYang’s dark, spellbinding debut gives insight into the immigrant experience and life in the upper class, challenging the stereotypes and perceptions associated with both. The surprising twists, elegant prose, and complex characters in this coming-of-age story make this a captivating read.
Hiroko Oyamada, tr. David Boyd
PositiveBooklist[A] fantastical story, as translated by David Boyd, in which increasingly bizarre illusions blend into reality, with a reclusive adult at the center. Oyamada unsettles readers, not allowing us to remain comfortable in the reality she creates, which makes for a beguiling read.
PositiveBooklist... sure to tug on heartstrings ... In this highly satisfying collection, Nye’s characters struggle to be seen and understood, but he reminds readers that love can overcome all.
RaveBooklist... stunning ... With beautiful lyrical prose, Serizawa presents a powerful and heartbreaking look into the ways war, colonization, and loss affect not only the survivors, but the generations that inherit these stories.
RaveBooklistThorpe...writes with savage poignancy as she explores identity, adolescent friendship, and the insatiable longing for intimacy. Her novel is devastatingly honest, her characters vulnerable, and her readers will be spellbound.
Ge Yan, Dorothy Tse, Chan Chi Wa, Si'an Chen, Enoch Tam, Hui Zhu, Ed. by CJ Evans and Sarah Coolidge
RaveBooklistWith enthralling and precise language, this first book in Two Lines Press’ Calico series of collected translated literature impresses ...This collection of speculative Chinese fiction is compelling and provocative, exploring the thin line between reality and absurdity.
PositiveBooklistLacey\'s quietly provocative novel is brilliantly composed ... She shines a light on how complicated people are and the dangers of judging others based on appearance, as Pew’s ambiguity reveals the true nature of the novel’s characters.
RaveBooklist... beautifully crafted ... These stories have a quiet brilliance in their raw portrayal of the struggle to find meaning in difficult times and to belong in a foreign place. Thammavongsa writes with an elegance that is both brutal and tender, giving her stories and their characters a powerful voice.
RaveBooklist...[a] stunning debut ... Chang portrays early adulthood with elegance and an offbeat humor that complements her poignant and deeply significant observations of life as a woman of color. She explores the struggle to be free in an oppressive society with incredible insight and clear, captivating prose that set her apart as a striking new voice in literature.
PositiveBooklistZancan weaves together an extraordinary story peopled by fascinating characters who are not easily forgotten. She explores the communal process of literary production and creates a palpable tension between creation and destruction that will keep readers engaged.
Sok Fong Ho, Trans. by Natascha Bruce
PositiveBooklistFong’s critical and surreal prose will engage readers interested in soft magical realism and compelling imagery.
Veronica Raimo Trans. by Stash Luczkiw
PositiveBooklistItalian author Raimo’s English-language debut digs deep into a web of sex, scandal, and perception. Through the anonymity of her characters, Raimo beautifully portrays the effect language itself has on creating reality, and how labels can create doubt about the people and situations we think we know. In an age when the scandals of powerful and political figures are being exposed, this is both timely and merciless in its provocative presentation.
PositiveBooklist... both provocative and thrilling ... Armfield’s collection is exemplary as she pushes the limits of reality into beautifully eerie and unsettling worlds. She blends elements of horror, science fiction, mythology, and feminism in a way that is sure to shock and amaze readers of short fiction.
R. L. Maizes
PositiveBooklist... a terrific collection ... through her fantastic characters, all outsiders in some way, Maizes masterfully intertwines harsh realities with humor and a deep understanding of human nature.
RaveBooklistThough this is a story about loss, Hartnett manages to bring humor and absurdity into it without losing focus through Elvis’ heartbreakingly honest voice. This is a truly terrific and original novel about grief, family, and finding hope in the aftermath.
PositiveBooklistEscoria here delivers a coming-of-age novel about teenage life and mental illness that’s also an explosive work of autofiction. With bold honesty, she tells an unforgettable story that’s unhindered by romanticism in its unabashed portrayal of Juliet’s darkest struggles.
PositiveBooklistButler...is a master of satire ... Her darkly hilarious novel vividly captures contemporary American life and will keep readers addicted to the end.
RaveBooklistThe power of these fierce young women shines in spite of their circumstances, and they prove just how beautiful and influential a strong, unconditionally accepting community is. Subramanian is a remarkable writer whose vibrant words carry a lot of heart. This inspiring novel is sure to draw in readers with its lyrical prose and endearing characters.
Han Kang, Trans. by Deborah Smith
RaveBooklistThrough these beautifully crafted snapshots, Kang uses language to attempt to transcend the different stages of grief and pain. She explores the dichotomies of black and white, life and death, and the pristine and tragic symbolism that runs between them. Kang’s masterful voice is captivating and nothing short of brilliant.
PositiveBooklistLos Angeles Times editor Lapidos’ literary prowess is evident in this brilliantly witty and humorous debut. The novel’s layers explore the dangers of interpretation and the varying perceptions of one’s, and others’, intentions, all of which come together to make a thoroughly enjoyable read.
Kim Sagwa, trans. by Bruce Fulton & Ju-Chan Fulton
RaveBooklist\"Award-winning Korean author Kim’s first novel to be translated into English is a powerful portrayal of teenage angst, confusion, and the surmounting pressures on Korean teens to achieve. Her poignant and very detailed exploration of the complex and unstable emotions of adolescence will keep readers rapt until the end.\
RaveBooklistHobson’s debut novel is packed with complex relationships and a torrent of emotions as she lifts the highly composed veil from a seemingly put-together, affluent family and brilliantly exposes the lust and betrayal behind their palatial walls. The intricacies of Hobson’s characters and her exceptional new voice will keep readers riveted.
PositiveBooklist\"Readers will be drawn to Lacey’s rhythmic, reflective prose and the stories she tells, which are filled with affecting emotional complexity just at the point of bursting.\
PositiveBooklist OnlineTan’s first novel is beautiful and compassionate as it explores how identity is reinvented and the importance of confronting the past to move into the future.
Paolo Cognetti, Trans. by Simon Carnell
PositiveBooklistWinner of the Strega Prize, Italy’s highest literary honor, Cognetti’s novel elegantly paints the terrifyingly beautiful landscape of the mountains at the heart of a brotherly friendship that proves to transcend anything.
RaveBooklistWith poignant imagery and a fresh voice, Lazarin portrays these women honestly and relatably. Her exceptional craftsmanship speaks to the heart, as she paints these tales with empathy and a compassion that extends to all humankind.
Yan Lianke, Trans. by Carlos Rojas
RaveBooklistThe Years, Months, Days, winner of the Lu Xun Literary Prize, is the magnificent story of an elderly man’s decision to remain in his village during a terrible drought to raise a single corn seed ... Lianke paints vivid scenes of desolate circumstances with an incredible mastery of words and control of his imagery. His masterpieces are sure to engage readers.
RaveBooklistEleven brilliant stories showcase childhood, adolescence, marriage, and families and how the appearances of these events and relationships in life can hide the strangeness and emptiness that pervade beneath the surface ... She unpacks these situations with thoughtful diction and complex characters, and her subdued and controlled language sets what is unsaid at the fore, unveiling hope, despair, and the paradoxes that are often ignored in such close relationships. Fridlund’s intelligent and conversational voice impressively manipulates the emotional atmosphere of her stories and will draw readers deep into exploring these seemingly commonplace topics even after they’ve put the book down.