2018's breakout female authors
In honor of International Women’s Day, here are 10 breakout authors that are making headlines with their groundbreaking debut books. From highbrow novels to story collections to piercing memoirs to stunning fantasies, these writers together bring a little something for everyone.
Tara Westover, Educated
Westover, a young woman who escaped her Mormon survivalist parents and set foot in a classroom for the first time at the age of 17, doesn’t just have a remarkable story to tell. Despite her lack of experience, she proves to be a superb writer, crafting a painful but inspiring memoir that gives us Glass Castle vibes. Buy the book here.
Tomi Adeyemi, Children of Blood and Bone
Chances are you’ve heard of this one already. Adeyemi has drawn from African folklore to create her epic, Black Lives Matter-inspired fantasy trilogy, which sparked one of the biggest deals in YA publishing history and has a film adaptation in the works. Buy the book here, and read our interview with Adeyemi.
Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry
Recipient of the 2017 Whiting Award for Fiction, Halliday has rocked the literary world with her ambitious novel. Asymmetry is divided into three vignettes, each posing questions about power and identity, and they come together fascinatingly in the book’s final pages. Buy the book here, and read our thoughts on why the book is the talk of the literary town.
Mira T. Lee, Everything Here Is Beautiful
Celeste Ng is among the many high-profile authors to sing Lee’s praises. Her tender, intimate novel centers on two Chinese-American sisters separated by an ocean but connected by their love, and deftly tackles topics of immigration and mental illness. Buy the book here.
Melissa Albert, The Hazel Wood
Another hot YA title, The Hazel Wood has already landed firmly on the New York Times best-seller list, capturing young and adult audiences alike with its dreamy fairy tale construct and hooking them with a heck of a twist. Buy the book here.
Terese Marie Mailhot, Heart Berries
This slim volume isn’t exactly a speed-read; Terese Marie Mailhot packs a punch with every line in her startlingly candid memoir. Her prose is powerful and poetic, and not a word in her story of growing up with dysfunctional parents on a Native American reservation feels wasted. Buy the book here.
Chandler Klang Smith, The Sky Is Yours
Anjali Sachdeva, All the Names They Used for God
Sachdeva’s focus is on the boundless and cosmic in this provocative short story collection. All the Names spans centuries and continents, bringing its characters together through their shared experiences, emotions, pain, hopes, and dreams. Buy the book here.
Akwaeke Emezi, Freshwater
Emma Glass, Peach
This startling book uses hypervisceral prose to detail how a woman tries to move through ordinary life after being raped. An explosive dramatization of trauma, Glass’ short but harrowing Peach provides a propulsive, unforgettable read that’s impossible to shake. Buy the book here.