10 Must-Read New Books Out This Week

Including new titles from Margo Jefferson and Delia Ephron.

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It’s a great week for debut novels.

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Kuwaiti author Mai Al-Nakib’s debut novel follows one woman’s family over the course of three generations. Beginning in 2013, the story here alternates between university professor Sara; her mother, Noura; her ayah, Maria; and her grandmothers, wealthy Yasmine and poor Lulwa.
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This debut novel follows a young woman whose death prompts her transformation into an aswang — a shapeshifting creature out of Filipino legend. With her newfound access to others’ thoughts and feelings, she gains insight into how her life came to an end.
See On Brain Lair Books
Picking up the pieces after losing her husband and sister was never going to be easy, but things were looking up for Delia Ephron after she reconnected with an old beau. Then, Delia herself was diagnosed with the same cancer that claimed her sister’s life, rocking her newly stable world.
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Negroland author Margo Jefferson’s second memoir turns a critical eye toward constructions of the self. Drawing from the lives of real-life figures in public and private spheres, Constructing a Nervous System is unlike anything else you’ll read this year.
See On Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery
Devastated when the man she secretly loves gets serious about another woman, Joy teams up with her rival’s ex in a bid to make the happy couple jealous — only to find herself falling for her partner in crime.
See On Underground Books
In this “literary vampire novel,” a young vampire must navigate the world by herself for the first time when she’s forced to place her aging mother in a retirement home.
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After a previous miscarriage, an expectant mother returns to her family home to lie in and give birth. But leaving her husband alone with their young son in their eerie, new home sets off a chain of strange events.
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In this Romeo and Juliet retelling infused with Chinese lore, a pair of star-crossed lovers must get to the bottom of their families’ disdain for one another before catastrophe swallows their city whole.
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Emma doesn’t have fond memories of her mother. Now approaching 40 — the same age her mother was when everything changed — Emma’s showing symptoms of the same condition. Does she have the same mental illness as her mom, or is something sinister at work?
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A rejection immediately following her sexual awakening proves to be a formative moment for San, a young girl growing up in 1970s South Korea, in this raw coming-of-age novel.
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