The Potential Best Debut Novelists at The Strand Critics Awards

The Potential Best Debut Novelists at The Strand Critics Awards

(The nominees for Best Debut Novel shared their reactions after receiving news of their nominations.)

A Deadly Affection

By Cuyler Overholt

(Sourcebooks Landmark)

“Launching your first book into the world is a little like putting your baby in a basket and sending it downstream. You have no idea what its future holds—whether it will be ripped apart by jackals, or sink without a trace, or hopefully meet a kinder fate. So being nominated for the Strand Magazine‘s Critics Award is, above all, tremendously reassuring! I am thrilled to be in the company of such accomplished nominees, and honored to be part of this wonderful tradition.”

The Homeplace

By Kevin Wolf

(Minotaur Books)

“Writing a book. How hard can that be? First there’s a glimmer of inspiration. Inspiration fades and is replaced by hours with fingers on the keyboard. Then there’s refining, re-thinking, improving, and wondering if an editor will want to publish the book. The break comes. More edits. And more wondering. With all the novels by all the really good writers, what will the readers and reviewers think of mine? Thank you Strand Award judges for including The Homeplace as a finalist for best debut novel. I am humbled and honored.”


By Joe Ide

(Mulholland Books)

“I wrote IQ in total and complete obscurity. I had no connections of any kind. I was only hoping I wouldn’t have to self-publish and flog copies in the doggie park. At best, I thought some small, quirky press might give the new guy a chance. When I got the nomination I was thrilled, of course, but I was also incredulous. It felt a little like cooking dinner for your family and getting a James Beard Award. Thanks, Strand Magazine!”

The Widow

By Fiona Barton

(Berkley Books)

“I am thrilled to have been nominated in the best debut category by Strand Magazine. It is such a leap of faith to write your first novel and to have it recognized in the company of these brilliant crime writers means a huge amount. The Strand is very important in bringing new writers into the public arena and I salute its ethos—and the fact that there are nine women on the short lists. #thewomenarecoming.

The Best Debut Novelists on The Strand Critics Awards...

The Lost Girls

By Heather Young

(William Morrow)

“I am thrilled to be nominated for Strand Magazine’s best debut novel award. I deeply admire the work Strand and its editors and reviewers have done to support new voices in the mystery genre, so to be listed among its nominees as a new voice worth hearing is an honor I will always treasure. It is also my great delight to share this nomination with the authors of some of my favorite books of 2016: Fiona Barton, Joe Ide, Catherine Lowell, Cuyler Overholt, and Kevin Wolf.”

The Madwoman Upstairs

By Catherine Lowell

(Touchstone Books)

I’m so honored that The Madwoman Upstairs is a finalist for best debut for the Strand Critics Award! I love mystery novels—particularly Sherlock Holmes—and am excited to participate in a community with such a storied history in the genre. I especially look forward to reading the work of the other nominees!

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