Kjersti A Skomsvold writes with empathetic clarity on the sensibility of the artist

Kjersti A Skomsvold’s compelling account of an artist’s journey to motherhood

Sarah Bernstein: ‘concerns herself with the role of women in society, both historically and in contemporary times’

Sarah Bernstein’s stylish debut novel about the female experience from a writer to watch

Mona Eltahawy says women are socialised to avoid: anger, attention, profanity, ambition, power, violence and lust

Mona Eltahawy’s bracing manifesto on what it means to be a feminist today

Katherine Heiny’s second novel Early Morning Riser charts the lives of ordinary folks in a wise and witty narrative.

Book review: Katherine Heiny’s feelgood second novel is about love and community

Alexandra Aikhenvald draws on a lifetime of fieldwork to explore themes of language in her new book.

Book review: Alexandra Aikhenvald’s breadth of linguistic knowledge fills this study with fascinating nuggets of information

Rachel Kushner: her daring exploits like someone’s cool older sister

Book review: Enthralling collection of essays from the acclaimed novelist Rachel Kushner

Chris Power: atmospheric writing

Chris Power’s clever debut novel on the sacrifices needed to create good art

Peace Adzo Medie is a writer from Ghana who lectures in gender and international politics at the University of Bristol. His Only Wife is her debut novel

Tradition clashes with modernity in a captivating tale of marriage in contemporary Ghana

Brenda Navarro: Her novel makes the desperate world of missing persons vividly clear, with the ineptitude of the authorities in a country overrun with crime.

Brenda Navarro uses dual narratives to explore missing children and dark maternity

Born in Waterford in 1990, Megan Nolan is an arts writer who now lives in London.

Book review: Megan Nolan’s ‘raw’ debut novel of a young woman’s awakening

Catherine Talbot has written a confident and compelling debut. Photograph: Fiach O’Neill

Catherine Talbot’s debut novel about familicide in south Co Dublin is compelling

Anna Beecher: her evocation of grief is full of curiosity and a search for meaning.

Book review: Anna Beecher’s moving debut novel is about a young man diagnosed with a terminal illness

Nell Frizzell: Gives an extraordinary amount of detail about everyday events

Book review: Journalist Nell Frizzell wanted a baby but her bodyclock was a time bomb

Danielle McLaughlin: In the convincingly claustrophobic small-town atmosphere of her novel, there are echoes of the novels of her fellow county-man Graham Norton

Danielle McLaughlin cleverly explores inspiration, ownership and betrayal across several narrative strains

Caleb Azumah Nelson

Caleb Azumah Nelson’s debut novel is strong on race relations but doesn’t quite land

Book review: Raven Leilani’s debut charts the messy lives of shiny, unhappy people

Author Una Mannion, author of A Crooked Tree

Book review: Una Mannion’s debut novel is full of quiet surprises and revelations

Rebecca Watson: inventive style and linguistic flair

Book review: Rebecca Watson’s inventive debut makes for a compelling read

Susie Yang explores the subject of privilege through the character of Ivy Lin

Book review: Captivating debut novel about the dangers of pursuing the American dream

There is a pleasing pressure-cooker feel to proceedings in Sarah Pearse’s debut novel, reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s classic And Then There Were None

Book review: When a freak snowstorm leaves a hotel cut off the nightmare scenarios begin

It was a strong year for Irish debuts on the whole. All of the books from emerging Irish authors reviewed in New Fiction this year had something to commend them. Photograph: iStock

The standout first novels and collections from home and abroad this year

John Metcalf’s collection is as informative as it is entertaining.

Book review: Metcalf is an accessible writer whose engaging collection spans a life’s work

Novel about young American-Palestinian woman who feels out of place everywhere, even in her own body

American author Rumaan Alam: ‘Creates an atmosphere of dread so convincing and prescient that it stays with the reader long after reading’

Book Review: Timely novel about a sudden, cataclysmic event that shocks the world

Thomas McMullan’s debut novel has echoes of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery

Thomas McMullan’s debut novel portrays a vivid dystopia fuelled by sham democracy

Genn is to be commended for choosing two such unlikable leads for her novel about a celebrity singer's toxic relationships

Lost Cat could be deemed more sentimental territory, beginning with the story of how the author rescued a stray cat in Italy and brought him to live with her in the US. Photograph: iStock

Book review: Mary Gaitskill mines details from her own life in this story of loss and recovery

Clarissa Goenawan: An inventive writer

Secrets and fabrications are at the heart of Clarissa Goenawan’s intriguing second novel

Prof Carolyne Larrington: stories first published last year as an award-winning Audible podcast

Book review: Carolyne Larrington’s vivid anthology of 10 reimagined folktales

John Vercher’s Three-Fifths has been shortlisted for the Edgar Best First Novel, an award for the best mystery writing across a number of  genres

Book review: John Vercher’s debut is a deft exploration of the great racial divide

Sayaka Murata

Dark novel about sex abuse from Sayaka Murata, author of Convenience Store Woman

 Sinéad Gleeson has edited a new collection of Irish short stories called The Art of the Glimpse. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Sinéad Gleeson talks about her mammoth new anthology of 100 Irish short stories

Jean Kyoung Frazier is a stylish writer who wears her skills lightly

Jean Kyoung Frazier’s debut is a blistering base with all the toppings

Amina Cain

Amina Cain’s debut novel on the art monster within is remarkable in its scope

Author Diane Cook: she  has the control that is necessary for good speculative fiction.

Book review: Diane Cook’s subtle look at the climate crisis deserves its place on the Booker longlist

Doireann Ní Ghríofa:  Stands apart with her lyrical prose and the stoic, almost noble sensibility that runs through her autofiction.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s unusual prose debut brings art of Caoineadh into the 21st century

Sarah Crossan explores the messy aftermath of an affair ended abruptly in her new novel Here is the Beehive

Book review: Former Laureate na nÓg Sarah Crossan has written her first novel for adults, a cleverly-conceived story about the end(...)

Elaine Feeney: For all its cruel awakenings, this is also a book about friendship and community

Elaine Feeney’s debut novel, set on a hospital ward, has a strong state-of-the-nation feel

Tiffany McDaniel

Flawed but important novel about the legacy of abuse passed down through generations

Kate Reed Petty is a clever writer with a sardonic wit

Kate Reed Petty’s genre-hopping novel focuses on lives altered by a true-or-false story

In Saturday Lunch with the Brownings, Penelope Mortimer’s dexterous, vibrant prose burrows deep into the everyday moments that lead to points of crisis

Book review: In Penelope Mortimer’s 12 short stories, the familiar turns monstrous

Yuri Herrera

Yuri Herrera’s narrative journalism about the 1920 tragedy and cover-up is devastating

Emma Gannon’s Olive takes a tried and tested formula and breathes new life into it.

Book review: Emma Gannon’s smart debut novel looks at the decision to be childfree

Susannah Dickey gets the reader on board quickly and refuses to let them flinch.

Susannah Dickey’s powerful writing brings a girl’s coming of age into sharp focus

Callan Wink: His writing has the deceptive simplicity of greats such as Hemingway or Carver. Photograph: Dan Lahren

Callan Wink’s coming-of-age novel in the US heartland confirms him as a major talent

A memoir, the book follows Nina and her relationship with a man addicted to heroin

Book review: An eye-opening debut about codependency from Nina Renata Aron

Caoilinn Hughes. Photograph by Danijel Mihajlovic

Caoilinn Hughes deploys poignant prose in a rural setting with prodigal tones

Author Niamh Campbell: The quality of her  writing in This Happy is top notch.

Book review: An affair continues to haunt in Niamh Campbell’s intricate, deftly written debut

Craig Jordan-Baker does a fine job of homing in on the trauma and tensions in family life.

Craig Jordan-Baker explores a migrant Irish bricklayer and his clan with metafictional flair

Andrzej Tichý: a clever writer

Andrzej Tichý rages over injustices in a searing novel about Sweden’s marginalised

Shubhangi Swarup: her narrative may encompass everything from the ecology of tropical islands to the mistreatment of Burmese political prisoners, but she manages to keep it all within the vivid, living world of her characters

Book review: Swarup explores in an original way love for each other and the planet at large

John O’Donnell: quick to hook the reader with each tale

The detail of Irish author John O’Donnell’s writing is what makes the stories sing

Paul Mendez has written a novel exploring   sexuality, race and religion  in the UK across generations.

Book review: Paul Mendez’s semi-autobiographical novel is vibrant and original but sometimes a little uneven in its telling

Deb Olin Unferth’s new novel  plays fast and loose with time.

Book review: Deb Olin Unferth’s novel looks at the role of activism in 21st-century society

Naoise Dolan: The observations are keen, heartfelt and delivered in a brutally nonchalant style

Exciting book from Irish author Naoise Dolan has echoes of Sally Rooney

Anne Tyler is best-known for being a master documenter of ordinary lives

The Baltimore-based writer on interviews, multiple drafts and cultural appropriation

Some of Anne Tyler’s trademark  traits include quiet humour, emotional intelligence and razor-sharp insight.

Anne Tyler is famous for writing extraordinary novels about ordinary people. Her latest is no different

Frances Macken examines the intricacies and anxieties of female friendship in her debut novel

Book review: Frances Macken explores female friendship and ambition

Marianne Lee: her elegant writing ably showcases Ellen Hutchins’s journey from directionless ingenue to highly regarded botanist:

Marianne Lee’s charming debut fictionalises the life of an 18th-century Irish botanist

Alice Lyons: Blends poetry and prose

Book review: Debut from Alice Lyons an intriguing, innovative story of loss and acceptance

Madeleine Watts writes brilliantly on identity and the female body

Review: Madeleine Watts’s gripping debut sets mental decline against ecological disaster

Élisa Shua Dusapin is a stylish French writer interested in the emotional life of her characters.

Review: Élisa Shua Dusapin’s beguiling debut charts interior and exterior landscapes in South Korea

Illustration: Yiming Wei

Kath's fertility journey is a mean, teasing kind of loneliness, shared with another person, and not shared at all

Michelle Gallen: confident debut

Book review: The protagonist of Michelle Gallen’s captivating debut is an isolated woman with agency

Jenny Offill: The ideas that resonate on every page of her work are an intrinsic part of her fiction, the fuel for story and character.

Jenny Offill’s latest novel of ideas draws deeply on conversations, media and emails

Clare Beams: Her writing has been praised for its feminist insights.

Book review: Claire Beams has written a memorable story about women’s minds and bodies

Molly Aitken

Molly Aitken’s evocative prose immerses us in island life and motherhood

Deepa Anappara: Her debut reveals the casual cruelties of contemporary India

Book review: Deepa Anappara shifts skilfully between different narrative voices

Francine Toon: Her writing  draws on her Scottish heritage from folk stories to ceilidh music

Book review: Francine Toon explores themes of parental negligence and childhood loneliness in story set in a small village in the (...)

Steph Cha: her novel is an original story that seeks to tell two very different sides

Book review: Steph Cha’s deftly written novel explores Los Angeles in 1991 and 2019

Anne Cathrin Bomann is a Danish psychologist who lives in Copenhagen

Book review: Anne Cathrine Bomann's charming debut is packed with insight

Seishi Yokomizo

Book review: Seishi Yokomizo’s ‘locked room’ thriller is translated into English

Book review: Hanne Ørstavik brings us remarkably close to her characters in such a short time

Sarah-Davis Goff’s Last Ones Left Alive is an inventive, vividly realised feminist dystopia.

A look at the brightest debuts and collections from this year's emerging authors

Nana Oforiatta Ayim, a Ghanaian art historian and filmmaker, has written her first novel

Book review: Nana Oforiatta Ayim explores themes of cultural appropriation

Cristina Rivera Garza: Through her powerful command of language, she eases the reader into her nightmarish fairytale

Book review: Cristina Rivera Garza’s latest novel follows a woman in search of lost love

Catherine Chung has already made a name for herself with her debut novel, Forgotten Country

There’s no painting by numbers in Catherine Chung’s deft novel set in the world of maths

Ho Sok Fong: Life for Malaysian women in a strict, patriarchal country is the focus of the author’s second collection

Book review: Ho Sok Fong has written an inventive, troubling second collection

Karina Sainz Borgo asks us to consider how a person can deal with one death in the face of so many others

Karina Sainz Borgo’s journalistic training is on show in a story of loss and survival

Nicolas Giacobone hilariously summarises the film industry and awards season

Book review: Nicolas Giacobone’s first novel is about a screenwriter held captive in a basement

Taffy Brodesser-Akner:  her deep interest in what makes human beings tick is certainly evident in her fiction

Taffy Brodesser-Akner delves deep into the gender inequalities of sex, marriage, divorce and online dating in modern day New York

Sophie White is a sharp and funny commentator. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Book review: Sophie White has written a clever, entertaining debut

US novelist William Melvin Kelley in Paris 1968:  moving, honest account of a young black man trying to find his way in a hostile world.

Black identity and disability are examined in William Melvin Kelley’s rediscovered classic

Tina Callaghan

Tina Callaghan’s gothic mystery set on an island off Ireland heaps drama upon drama

Lucy Sweeney Byrne is a skilful writer. Her memorable descriptions flow in long, elegant sentences.

Lucy Sweeney Byrne’s debut is gripping and entertaining with a strong feminist bent

Sue Rainsford: Has a knack for writing bracing, off-kilter realities with strong feminist overtones.

Review: Sue Rainsford explores themes of sex, death and the female body

Margaret Atwood’s book The Handmaid’s Tale became a cultural phenomenon

Review: Aunt Lydia’s story is a highlight of the long-awaited Handmaid’s Tale sequel

Herman Koch

Herman Koch’s tale of a man’s descent into paranoia is entertaining if a bit long-winded

Annaleese Jochems: her plain but precise prose style helps to keep things buoyant

Annaleese Jochems unleashes an original debut set in cramped quarters in New Zealand

   The Truants marks author Kate Weinberg out as a natural storyteller  who spins a decent yarn with lots of smaller yarns along the way

Book review: Kate Weinberg’s intelligent debut is set in a vividly rendered English university

EM Reapy: good at writing interesting, believable predicaments

Book review: EM Reapy, from Mayo, has a lot to live up to after her award-winning debut

Anna Hope:  Her  background in drama makes for vibrant fictional detail. Photograph: Laura Hynd

Book review: Anna Hope’s novel looks at the intersecting lives of three friends in London

Lauren Aimee Curtis writes intelligently on  themes of sex and religion

Lauren Aimee Curtis’s original take on teenage pregnancy makes for a vibrant debut novel

Barbara Bourland:  inventive, colourful writer is one to watch

Barbara Bourland’s colourful takedown of the New York art world has plenty to say for itself

Tim MacGabhann: from Kilkenny to Mexico

Review: Tim MacGabhann’s debut is billed as a literary crime novel but lacks killer writing

Richard Roper sets up a compelling mystery from the beginning of his debut novel

Richard Roper has crafted a compelling mystery in this clever and uplifting debut

Author David Brennan’s debut Irish novel gives us a vibrant new take on an age old story

David Brennan’s clever Irish debut presents a deeply unsettling world

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