B&N's Discover Great New Writers: The Summer 2015 List

Barnes & Noble's Discover Great New Writers program has announced the 12 titles on its summer 2015 list. The selection committee is comprised of B&N booksellers whom the company described as "voracious readers who meet weekly throughout the year to look for compelling voices, extraordinary writing, and indelible stories from literary talents at the start of their careers."

Each of the titles will receive at least 12 weeks of promotion in stores, online and on Nook devices, beginning with the book's pub date. The 60 or so books chosen for the program during the year are eligible for the annual Discover Awards, which give $35,000 to six winners whose books will receive an additional year of promotion in stores, online and on Nook devices.

The summer 2015 list in order of pub date:
The Dynamite Room by Jason Hewitt (Little, Brown, March 17). "An eleven-year-old English girl--fleeing evacuation to look for her missing family--finds her village abandoned and a young German soldier in her home. This intense, eerie, and deftly plotted debut novel about the tragedies of war asks readers to decide if redemption is possible."

Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian (Algonquin, April 7). "This family saga opens with the death of an elderly Turkish kilim maker, who leaves his thriving business to his grandson and the dilapidated family home to a woman on the other side of the world. Cutting between 1990 and 1915, Turkey and the United States, this compelling novel of secrets, forgiveness, and redemption is a terrific choice for book groups."

Diamond Head by Cecily Wong (Harper, April 14). "How much of your life belongs to you, and how much belongs to fate? Three generations of women tell the story of the rise and fall of their family's fortune in this page-turning saga."

The Turner House by Angela Flournoy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 14). "Thirteen siblings come together to decide the fate of the family home in East Detroit. This powerful debut is not only the story of a family redefining itself; it also precisely captures the story of a place and a time."

The Given World by Marian Palaia (Simon & Schuster, April 14). "Our booksellers were wowed by this debut novel about grief and family--the kind you're born with and the kind you make--which opens in Vietnam-era America and follows an unforgettable heroine through the next thirty-five years. Vibrant and soulful, poignant and rollicking, full of characters readers won't want to leave behind."

Church of Marvels by Leslie Parry (Ecco, May 5). "Leslie Parry wrote the kind of novel she likes to read, and the result is a showstopper: atmospheric and ambitious, set in a wildly vibrant New York at the turn of the last century, her characters' lives collide in ways that keep the story pulsing--and the pages turning."

The Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora (Grove/Atlantic, May 5). "We couldn't turn the pages of this incredible debut fast enough. Ruthless and dark, these linked short stories feature characters who really have no idea how they're perceived in the wider world. The tension between their perceptions and reality is unforgettable."

Girl at War by Sara Nović (Random House, May 12). "Reminiscent of Anthony Marra's 2013 Discover Award winner A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Sara Nović's debut novel is an unforgettable portrait of a  young girl's coming of age--and the profound impact of war on her life."

In the Country: Stories by Mia Alvar (Knopf, June 16). "Exiled by choice overseas (or not), tethered to family mythologies (or not), the characters in Mia Alvar's sublime collection of short stories all share one thing: a profound dislocation from the things and people they love most, and the lives they think they should (or shouldn't) be living. Alvar's writing is so assured and emotionally resonant that we had to remind ourselves this is her debut."

Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget by Sarah Hepola (Grand Central, June 23). "We fell hard for Sarah Hepola's honest, clear voice in her unflinching, often very funny, and ultimately hopeful memoir of her life as a blackout drinker. Like Caroline Knapp's modern classic, Drinking: A Love Story, Hepola spares nothing as she looks at what all the booze truly cost her--and what she found in the end."
The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler (St. Martin's Press, June 23). "An antiquarian bookseller. A rare book. Orphaned siblings, drifted apart. A house falling into the sea. Doomed lovers. A traveling circus. Family secrets, family curse, or both?  Erika Swyler's debut is an electric tale of love and books that we think readers won't want to miss."

The Good Shufu: Finding Love, Self, and Home on the Far Side of the World by Tracy Slater (Putnam, June 30). "Falling in love can be dizzying, dazzling, and disorienting all at once, but Tracy Slater took things one step farther when she fell in love with a Japanese businessman--whose English was on par with her Japanese--and upended her life as an academic in Boston to become a housewife in Osaka, Japan. Our readers are in love with this delightful, deft memoir about new beginnings and making one's home."

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