Many authors published their first books this year and made debut. Some of the debut authors started their journey with a success and some struggled to do so. Here’s my list of 15 best debut authors of 2021.

Alex Finlay

15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Alex Finlay)
15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Alex Finlay)

With the thriller novel “every last fear” the debut author Alex Finlay made his mark this year. This novel is one of the most sold debut novels of 2021. From the very first page to the last its a perfect spine chiller that grabs you and don’t let you go.

Ashley Audrain

Ashley Audrain
Ashley Audrain

The push was “Ashley Audrain’s debut novel this year. This became talk of the town as soon as it get released. The Push is a psychological, suspenseful, thriller novel. It revolves around “Blythe Connor” and her experience as mother, which seems like nothing she hoped for.

Will Burns

top 15 Debut writers of 2021 (Will Burns)
top 15 Debut writers of 2021 (Will Burns)

Will Burns is essentially a poet, and that reflects in his soulful prose of his debut novel, ‘The Paper Lantern’. The Observer mentioned him in their list of Top 10 Debut Novelists of 2021. He has released several poetry anthologies, which wonderful artists like Hannah Peel have set to music. In fact, the duo toured around the world, with a lot of shows selling out due to their combined calibre

Rachel Yoder

Rachel Yoder
Rachel Yoder

With an exciting novel on motherhood, ‘Nightbitch’, Yoder emerges as a definitive voice in the literary scene. Her innovative (almost magical realist) ideas and provocative writing make her a must read.

Emily Austin

15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Emily Austin)
15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Emily Austin)

Emily entered the writing scene with her debut Everyone ‘In This Room Will Someday Be Dead’. She is fearless as a person, and as a writer, for she has broken several boundaries with this book following an atheist lesbian who starts working as a church receptionist.

Kelly McClorey

15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Kelly McClorey)
15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Kelly McClorey)

Kelly holds an MFA in from the University of Montana. Her debut novel is titled ‘Nobody, Somebody, Anybody’ and follows Amy, an English chambermaid. Kelly with this book has proved her mastery of the English language, and her command over seemingly difficult narrative structures. She is one debutant to watch out for.

Willa Richards

Willa Richards
Willa Richards

The author of ‘The Comfort of Monsters’, Richards writes in succinct, sharp prose about a woman confronting the disappearance of her sister.

Zakiya Dalila Harris

15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Zakiya Dalila Harris)
15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Zakiya Dalila Harris)

A new entry in the literature of office politics, Harris’s ‘The Other Black Girl’ is an exploration of the intersectionality of race and gender as well as a mystery thriller set in the workspace.

Dawnie Walton

Dawnie Walton
Dawnie Walton

Walton made her debut this year with “The Final Revival of Opal & Nev”. This book is about rock duo from the year 1970s. Their shocking separation, and the hidden secrets came to view when they attempt to rejoin many years later for one final visit.

Robert Jones Jr.

top 15 Debut writers of 2021 (Robert Jones Jr.)
top 15 Debut writers of 2021 (Robert Jones Jr.)

The prophets by Robert Jones Jr. is a beautifully written, ambitious, and marvellous debut. The story is set in the Deep South at a Mississippi and organized by chapters named after books from the bible. The prophets look at the history of slavery.

Alisa McFarlane

Alisa McFarlane
Alisa McFarlane

With the tenderness of a young woman and the flair of a matured writer McFarlane crafts ‘Highway blues’. She calls her book a novel about ‘outsiders, love and loneliness, and the desire for a sense of belonging’.

Sam Riviere

15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Sam Riviere)
15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Sam Riviere)

Riviere has written collections of poetry but debuts as a novelist with ‘Dead Souls’. In a paragraph that stretches across the 300 page novel, the narrator recounts his encounter with an author whose work has been blamed by a sophisticated plagiarism detector machine. Avant garde in its experimental form and content, this is also a lyrical and beautiful work of literature.

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

Through her portrait of a tumultuous Virginia in ‘My Monticello’, Johnson tells the story of Da’Naisha with exquisite beauty, securing her place as a master literary figure.

Caleb Azumah Nelson

15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Caleb Azumah Nelson)
15 Best Debut Authors of 2021 (Caleb Azumah Nelson)

Nelson merged the lines between poetry and prose with her novella about a young Black artist falling in love, and is set to become a literary star.

Jesse Q. Sutanto

Jesse Q. Sutanto
Jesse Q. Sutanto

Dial A for Aunties is a romantic comedy debut novel by Jesse Q. Sutanto. This is a fun read from start to the very end. The story starts by accidently killing a blind date and revolves around Meddelin Chan and her aunties.

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