August 2012 books round-up: debut fiction
First time authors this month include Paolo Sorrentino, Ariel S Winter and Sabina Berman
Whether you’re lazing on a beach or stuck indoors from the rain, there’s a host of exciting new debut fictions out in August for you to tear through. Film buffs will know Paolo Sorrentino from his directorial work on the likes of Il Divo and This Must Be the Place, but Everybody’s Right (Harvill Secker) is his first novel. A troubled singer in 1980s Naples goes AWOL on tour in Brazil, but it’s unlikely he will stay missing forever given that someone is prepared to pay an awful lot of money for his return to Italy.
Ariel S Winter hasn’t just knocked out a debut novel. The Twenty-Year Death (Hard Crime) is actually three books written in the style of different crime writers (Simenon, Chandler, Thompson) over 700 pages and received vast praise from the likes of James Frey, Stephen King and John Banville on its US publication. Mexican playwright Sabina Berman’s The Woman Who Dived into the Heart of the World (Simon & Schuster) is about a Californian who returns to her birthplace across the border to run the family tuna company after the death of her sister. She takes an autistic niece under her wing, with both finding a new kind of freedom.
Peter Heller’s The Dog Stars (Headline Review) has been compared to The Road but ‘with hope’, as the bereaved Hig survives a global disaster and decides to fly his fuel-light Cessna into the unknown to discover who else might be alive. Tupelo Hassman’s Girlchild (Quercus) is also a story about finding positives in hopeless scenarios. This one features the resourceful Rory Dawn Hendrix, who aims to leave her trailer park home in Reno before she hits 16. That proves to be easier said than done.