We’ve all heard stories of struggling authors, in face, we posted an article on authors with tragic lives ourselves. But there are also successful authors at first attempt who have received tremendous praise, fame and accolades for their debut novel. That’s what we’re talking about today “best debut novels of all time”. We haven’t included any classics, because those are a different league altogether. Hence, most of the books on this last are contemporary or relatively recent in the book world.
Best Debut Novels of All Time | Successful Authors at First Attempt:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J K Rowling
You can’t not start this list without mentioning the first billionaire author in the world. J K Rowling struggled to get her first book published, but when it did, it took the world by shock. Intensely innovative and original, this book introduced us to the world of wizards where a seemingly ordinary boy, Harry, could work wonders with his bravery, love and his best friends.
The Immortals of Meluha by Amish
This is another original book by an author steeped in controversy. However, his take on mythology involving the story of a man who became God due to his virtues was highly appreciated. Amish wrote the book while working in a bank, and self published it, yet today it’s considered one of the best books in India.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Vuong’s foray into fiction for the first time was delightfully engaging, and even though people knew him as a poet, this established him in the book community. Drawing on his own experiences as a product of the Vietnamese war, and a queer postcolonial immigrant in America, he has crafted the story of a Vietnamese boy who writes letters to his illiterate mother. Entirely an epistolary novel, this is intensely poetic and profound.
Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney
Rooney was a natural writer – she completed her first novel at the age of fifteen, which she described as absolutely trash. However, after 2014, she began writing seriously and extensively – completing a whole book in three months. Her debut novel, which follows the lives of ex-lovers and besties Bobbi and Frances, is starkly original and conducive to rumination. With just one novel, Rooney established herself as a master of her craft.
The Last Song of Dusk by Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
Shanghvi has, in this novel, taken bits and pieces of stories he would tell his friends in universities and transformed it into a seamless, elegant novel. This novel is semi autobiographical in nature – it is loosely based on his mother’s life. Yet it is striking in its magical realism and drafting of characters. It follows the tragic marriage of Anuradha and Vardhamaan, which begins passionately but falls apart after an accident. Interspersed also is the life of a girl who can walk on water, an extraordinary, wild artist who doesn’t fit into the world
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
After a long, laborious marination period of six years, Ng’s debut was released in 2014. Although she was a playwright and short story writer before, this was her first piece of constructive fiction. Readers went gaga over it, and it won numerous accolades. The story draws on her experiences of racism to craft the story of a Chinese American family living in 1970s. The thriller aspect of the novel begins when the daughter dies unexpectedly and the family discovers her body.
Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
Emezi is a Nigerian born girl to an Igbo father and Indian Tamil mother. With her mixed race and confluence of cultures, she draws her personal identity strongly from her roots. This is evident in her debut novel, Freshwater, which follows a Nigerian woman Ada, who encompasses multiple selves within herself. Even though Emezi wrote short stories since she was five, this is her impressive first novel to see the light of the day.
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