Debut Week: Leaf Arbuthnot, Ellen Alpsten & Nana Oforiatta-Avim

This week at The Great Big Book Club is Debut Week & we are featuring a range of groundbreaking new Authors who will be sharing their debut novels. Join us as each Author will be dipping your toes into their debut novel with exclusive interviews, readings & giveaways. This is the perfect way to find your new favourite writer & immerse yourself into quick, bite-sized interviews to discover your next great read during lockdown.

Leaf Arbuthnot – ‘Looking For Eliza’

An eccentric, widowed poet in Oxford fears her own existence may just disappear into invisibility, so instead of becoming another statistic of the old & forgotten, Ada turns a new leaf to becoming a ‘Rent A Gran’. Ada finds new meaning in life meeting her neighbour, Eliza. Eliza is a student in her twenties who is feeling equally as isolated & is experiencing the aftershocks of her manipulative past-relationship.

Arbuthnot beautifully illustrates this unlikely cross-generational friendship that exists in the margins of society. Making for a tremendously moving story of life changing meetings, connection & loss.

‘Leaf’s writing is warm and lyrically funny – she has an eye for details both sublime and ridiculous.Looking for Eliza is an intelligent and big-hearted read with the human condition at its core.’

– Harriet Walker, The Times

Buy ‘Looking For Eliza’ from your local Bookseller:

Ellen Alpsten – ‘Tsarina’

Tsarina is a historical fiction which takes an incredible glimpse into Alpsten’s take on Catherine Alexeyevna: the first woman to rule Russia. Written from the eyes of Catherine herself, this female leader’s rise to power has captured Alpsten’s imagination since the age of 13. After vast research & an obsession with Catherine’s Cinderella story, Alpsten paints the tale of Catherine from the humble peasant to the empress of Russia. A story of seduction, power, passion & the division between the rich & poor, ‘Tsarina’ will transport you to another time that you’ll never want to leave.

‘Luscious: Alpsten has clearly done some brilliant research. It reads like Game of Thrones without the dragons’

Natasha Pulley, author The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.

Buy ‘Tsarina’ from your Bookseller:

Nana Oforiatta Ayim – ‘The God Child’

Oforiatta Ayim’s debut novel, ‘The God Child’ centres around the life of Maya, a Ghanian girl who grows up between Ghana & Germany. ‘The God Child’ eloquently depicts Maya’s coming of age experience as an young Ghanian immigrant in Europe. As the two cultures collide, Maya feels a sense of disconnection from both the studious Western world of her father & the extravagant Ghanian kingdom of her mother. Although her narrative & identity is upended with a whirlwind entrance of her newly adopted brother & mother’s god-son, Kojo.

“I think that a lot of people that are from an African context feel that they can not just be a content maker, they also have to be a context provider. So that we need to, in a way provide the own context of our creation. Because for so long, we had the context provided for us.” Says Oforiatta Ayim in today’s interview.

‘An intriguing debut … From gender politics to life as a young black immigrant in Europe, the central themes are invigorated through rich characterisation and detail … A lyrical prose style swoops the reader into its fold from the outset … Brightly detailed … Vibrant in its themes, prose and characterisation 

Irish Times

Buy ‘The God Child’ from your Bookseller:

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