New Voices – ones to watch 2016 (part two)

We are always on the look out for exceptional debuts and 2015 saw some fantastic new voices. Yesterday we shared a selection of some of the debut novels we are looking forward to reading in January,February and March. Today we are letting you know what to look out for in April to June 2016.


  • shtum Shtum by Jem Lester (Orion)

Funny and heart-breaking in equal measure, SHTUM is a story about fathers and sons, autism, and dysfunctional relationships. Keep your eyes peeled for details of our event with Jem in April at Ickenham Library.

  • Not Working by Lisa Owens (Picador)

Claire Flannery has quit her job in order to discover her true vocation – only to realize she has no idea how to go about finding it. Whilst everyone around her seems to have their lives entirely under control, Claire finds herself sinking under pressure and wondering where her own fell apart. ‘It’s fine,’ her grandmother says. ‘I remember what being your age was like – of course, I had four children under eight then, but modern life is different, you’ve got an awful lot on.’

Funny, sharp, tender and brilliantly observed, Not Working is the story of a life unravelling in minute and spectacular ways, and a novel that voices the questions we’ve all been asking ourselves but never dared to say out loud

  • Five Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris 

One quiet evening in Salisbury, the peace is shattered by a serious car crash. At that moment, five lives collide – a flower seller, a schoolboy, an army wife, a security guard, a widower – all facing their own personal disasters. As one of those lives hangs in the balance, the stories of all five unwind, drawn together by connection and coincidence into a web of love, grief, disenchantment and hope that perfectly represents the joys and tragedies of small town life.

A moving literary debut from a prizewinning young writer – a story of the small tragedies in everyday lives.

  • translationoflove The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake (Transworld)

A deeply touching, powerful debut about a young girl searching for her sister amongst the Ginza bars of post-war Tokyo.

  • thebricks The Bricks that Built the Houses by Kate Tempest Bloomsbury)

Award-winning poet and rapper Kate Tempest’s electrifying debut novel takes us into the beating heart of the capital in this multi-generational tale of drugs, desire and belonging


  • prettyis Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell (Orion)

A fiercely imagined fiction debut in which two young women face what happened the summer they were twelve, when a handsome stranger abducted them.  Maggie Mitchell’s Pretty Is beautifully defies ripped-from-the-headlines crime story expectations and announces the debut of a masterful new storytelling talent.

  • theoutsidelands The Outside Lands by Hannah Kohler (Picador) 

    The Outside Lands is the story of people caught in the slipstream of history, how we struggle in the face of loss to build our world, and how easily and with sudden violence it can be swept away. With extraordinary skill and accuracy, Hannah Kohler takes us from 1960s California to Vietnam, capturing what it means to live through historic times. This powerful debut novel announces Kohler as a remarkable new literary talent.

  • thehouseattheedgeofnight The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner ( Random House)

Full of strong women and big emotions, it is, at its heart, about what it takes to hold a family together and what it means to survive on the very edge of history. Catherine Banner has written an enthralling, character-rich novel, epic in scope but intimate in feeling. At times, the island itself seems alive, a mythical place where the earth heaves with stories. And this magical novel takes you there.


  • babydoll Baby Doll by Hollie Overton (Random House)

Impossible not to read in one sitting, Baby Doll is a taut psychological thriller that focuses on family entanglements and the evil that can hide behind a benign facade.

  • themanyselves The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen (Bloomsbury)

Kit has been projecting into other species for seven years. Longer than anyone else at ShenCorp. Longer than any of the scientists thought possible. But lately she has the feeling that when she jumps she isn’t alone.
A breathtaking debut about identity and humanity for anyone who loves Station Eleven and The Bees

Please let us know if there are any debuts that we’ve missed that you are looking forward to in the first half of 2016.


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