A Girl Like That
by Tanaz Bhathena

This wonderfully written debut novel by Bhathena reveals a rather rich and wonderful new world to its readers. It tackles complex issues of race, identity, class, and religion; and draws a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both, imaginative and universal.

Halsey Street
by Naima Coster

Coster's debut is an honest depiction of a broken family and the flawed, hurting people who inhabit it, and a compelling portrait of a young woman – Penelope Grand – seeking her own space in the world, as she abandons the last vestiges of an artist's dream and returns to Brooklyn to care for her ailing father.

Record of a Night Too Brief
by Hiromi Kawakami

This book is more a series of novellas rather than a collection of short stories, as it leads to involuntarily-shapeshifting protagonists, mystical snake housekeepers, talking dolls, and vase-obsessed families, all wrapped up in a framework of magical-realism that plays conventional folklore off a particularly urban sense of modern spiritual insecurity.

The Secret Lives of the Amir Sisters
by Nadiya Hussain

On the outside, despite not quite fitting in with their neighbours, the four Amir sisters are happy. But on the inside, each is secretly struggling. This book is a moving and heart-warming modern British Muslim take on Little Women from growing star brand and former Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain.

by Fiona Mozley

To claim a spot on the Man Booker Prize shortlist is just one of the things that makes Mozley's lyrical, noir-esque debut novel exceptional. The story follows Daniel, his sister Cathy, and their boxer father as they eke out a life off the grid in modern-day England.