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February 15, 2016 BOOKLIST
Find more Top 10 First Novels
Anthill. By Edward O. Wilson. 2010. Norton, $24.95 (9780393071191).
Wilson, world-famous biologist and Pulitzer Prize–winning author of such seminal nonfiction books as Consilience (1998) and The Creation (2006), writes a first novel about an Alabama boy and his love for an old-growth forest.
Barnacle Love. By Anthony De Sa. 2010. Algonquin, paper, $13.95 (9781565129269).
Young Manuel leaves his home on the Azores Islands to seek a better life, eventually settling in Toronto with his wife and family, only to watch his son leave to follow his version of the dream.
Bloodroot. By Amy Greene. 2010. Knopf, $24.95 (9780307269867).
Greene follows one impoverished family from the Depression to the present in an affecting saga set in an Appalachian region called Bloodroot Mountain, named for a flower that can both poison and heal.
Born under a Million Shadows. By Andrea Busfield. 2010. Holt, paper, $14 (9780805090611).
Busfield, a British journalist who lived in Afghanistan, describes post-Taliban Kabul from the viewpoint of precocious 11-year-old Fawad, in a poetic, bawdy, and wise novel about love, religion, and life.
Crossing. By Andrew Xia Fukuda. 2010. AmazonEncore, paper, $12.95 (9781935597032).
In this creepy yet elegant literary thriller, Kris Xu’s fantasies about transcending his school identity as the quiet Chinese kid are dashed by bullying and racism until he auditions for a school musical, and other students start showing up dead.
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. By Heidi W. Durrow. 2010. Algonquin, $22.95 (9781565126800).
In Durrow’s measured and sorrowful debut, young Rachel, the daughter of an African American father and a Danish mother, survives a horrific family tragedy, but she must learn to navigate the toxic complexities of racism and forge a sustaining sense of self.
Ilustrado. By Miguel Syjuco. 2010. Farrar, $26 (9780374174781).
Syjuco illuminates his native Philippines in this dazzlingly imaginative and insightful literary collage portraying two Filipino authors living in New York, one, a literary lion who dies under mysterious circumstances; the other, his student, who is determined to solve the mystery.
Kapitoil. By Teddy Wayne. 2010. HarperPerennial, paper, $13.99 (9780061873218).
Brilliant programmer Karim is transferred from Qatar to Manhattan, where he develops a program that predicts oil futures, launching a funny and incisive novel of one young man’s heady introduction to American culture.
Rich Boy. By Sharon Pomerantz. 2010. Twelve, $24.99 (9780446563185).
Pomerantz charts one man’s complicated journey from a working-class Jewish neighborhood in 1950s suburban Philadelphia to 1980s high-society New York, and through many definitions of self and success.
Ruby’s Spoon. By Anna Lawrence Pietroni. 2010. Spiegel & Grau, $26 (9781400068685).
In Pietroni’s suspenseful fairy tale–like novel, a provocative stranger comes to an English town dependent on a button factory in the wake of the Great War, and changes everything for motherless 13-year-old Ruby.
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