2021 has been a great year for discovering new books and authors. From Gabriela Garcia’s Of Women and Salt to Hafsa Zayyan’s We Are All Birds of Uganda, it’s been a memorable year for fiction. As 2021 draws to a close, it’s time to start looking ahead to the brilliant books and authors we will all be reading in the New Year.
Jean Chen Ho, Fiona and Jane
Jean Chen Ho’s debut novel, Fiona and Jane, is already a smash hit with critics. The novel tells the tale of two best friends, Fiona Lin and Jane Shen, as they navigate the highs and lows of adolescence and life. As a love-letter to and a celebration of the complexities of female friendship, Fiona and Jane is sure to be a work of fiction that everyone is talking about in 2022.
Publication: 04 January 2022
Kai Harris, What the Fireflies Knew
Kai Harris is a writer and Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Santa Clara University, California. She’s also likely to become a best-seller soon. Her debut novel, What the Fireflies Knew, is a moving portrayal of a family shattered and put back together again.
Jas Hammonds, We Deserve Monuments
Hammond’s Young Adult debut explores the life of 17-year-old Avery Anderson. After Avery’s maternal grandmother is diagnosed with a terminal illness, Avery is uprooted from her life in Washington DC to small-town Georgia. As a queer, biracial, teen the change of environment could signal disaster. But, as Avery learns, there’s sometimes more to a place’s history than meets the eye.
Publication: February 2022
Charmaine Wilkerson, Black Cake
A former journalist and short-story aficionado, Charmaine Wilkerson is here with a debut novel that is sure to dazzle and move in equal measure. Following the death of their mother, two estranged siblings must come together to unpick their family’s history – whilst learning a lot about themselves along the way.
Heather Kamis, The Moth Girl
Imagine waking up one day and finding that, rather than being a regular teenager, you now feel like a moth? This awful idea becomes a reality for Anna when she is diagnosed with lepidopsy – a rare condition that sees her developing manifestations resembling a moth. As her disease begins to change her life irrevocably, how will Anna reconcile her new reality with the life she’d always hoped for?
Publication: 08 March 2022
Nita Prose, The Maid
If you’re a fan of Gail Honeyman’s heart-wrenching Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, you’re going to love Nita Prose’s debut, The Maid. Molly the maid is just a hotel maid – or is she? Though she feels invisible, this all changes when she discovers an infamous guest, Mr Black, dead in his hotel room. Molly’s life is about to take an extraordinary turn in the search for the truth.
Publication: 04 January 2022
Holly Black, Book of Night
In Black’s highly anticipated adult debut, Book of Night, we enter Charlie Hall’s world – a world where you can manipulate shadows, memories, and feelings. But a person’s shadow is the most dangerous thing to manipulate of all – and being a shadow thief holds the greatest risk. Is it a risk Charlie’s willing to take?
Publication: 03 May 2022
Amanda Bestor-Siegal, The Caretakers
It’s 2015 in the Parisian suburb of Maisons-Laure, and, in the wake of the tragic 2015 terrorist attack, a new tragedy has just emerged. An au pair, Alena, has just been charged with the murder of a nine-year-old child in her charge. The Caretakers focuses on the lives of six women whose lives become intertwined following the devastating discovery. Promising to be suspenseful and poignant in equal measure, Bestor-Siegal’s debut is a novel that should be at the top of your to-read list for 2022.
Vanessa Len, Only a Monster
Fiction has traditionally taught us monsters are to be feared – but what if we discovered that we are the monsters ourselves? Vanessa Len’s gripping young adult debut grapples with questions of morality and terrifying secrets whilst taking us on a sweeping adventure along the way.
Publication: 22 February 2022
Tochi Onyebuchi, Goliath: A Novel
It’s the year 2050 and life on earth as we know it has completely disappeared as cities and towns begin to crumble around us. In this biblical epic, Tochi Onyebuchi explores the fragile boundaries between earth and space, offering us a glimpse into a terrifying vision of life on earth.
Publication: 25 January 2022
Jessica is a freelance copywriter and content writer based in Richmond-Upon-Thames. With a degree in English Literature from University College London, she has experience as a private tutor for 14-18 years olds and adult learners. She has also worked in Widening Participation as a Mentor, Student Ambassador, and Student Leader. As someone who achieved A-Levels through distance-learning, Jessica has first-hand experience of the unique challenges and rewards that distance-learning offers. She regularly contributes content to educational websites including eNotes and Tutorful.