Happy Tuesday again everyone! The holiday season is waving. I hope you are all doing well despite these challenging and uncertain times. I hope and pray that you are all healthy and doing well, in body, mind, and spirit. As it is Tuesday, it is also time for a Top 5 Tuesday update. Top 5 Tuesday was originally created by Shanah @ the Bionic Bookworm but is now currently being hosted by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads.
This week’s topic: Top 5 New Authors of 2021
As part of my annual reading wrap up, I enumerate my ten new favorite writers from the previous year. But since it is this week’s Top 5 Tuesday topic, I will be providing a preview. These can be authors who debuted during the year or who are new to you. I didn’t expect to meet any challenges picking up my favorite new authors. But I was wrong. Going over the list of new authors, many has left a great impression on me that made me want to dig deeper into their prose. Nevertheless, here are five of the new authors who left an impression on me this year.
José Manuel Donoso Yáñez
For the first time since I started reading, I dedicated a month to reading jus works of Latin American writers. For six weeks, I immersed in the best that Latin American fiction authors. It was a memorable experience and one f the writers that made a lasting impression was Chilean writer Danish writer José Donoso. Honestly, there were a lot of Chilean writers who left a great impression on me during these reading journey but it was Donoso who was one of the first who captured my attention. His novel, A House in the Country, offered some of the best that Latin American literature can offer: history, raw landscape, and plenty of magical realism. I am looking forward to reading more of his works.
For the second year running, I dedicated a month to reading just works of African literature; I started this in 2020. It was a reading experience that abounded with diversity and color. Among the writers that stood were Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, and Buchi Emecheta. However, Adichie is not a new name but Emecheta was. Her novel, The Joys of Motherhood powerfully and vividly captured the plight of Nigerian mothers, especially in a period when patriarchy was norm. The story of Nnu Ego remained with me while Emecheta’s storytelling impressed me. I am hoping to come across more of her works in the future.
I have been encountering James Baldwin’s Go Tell It On The Mountain in several must-read lists. However, I never got the chance to purchase or read any of his works. Thankfully, I managed to snag two of his works last year, this and Giovanni’s Room. I was really looking forward to experiencing his brand of prose that I added Go Tell It On The Mountain in my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. I am glad I did! It was certainly a literary experience. Yes, religion played a seminal role in the story, which is semi-autobiographical by the way, but the focus was on the characters. I was engaged and enthralled from the onset.
Nikos Kazantzakis is a pillar of Greek literature. Before pursuing a career in novel-writing, he was already a established travel writer, essayist, poet, playwright, and journalist. He was such a literary Titan that he was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature a whopping nine times. It was latter in his career that he started publishing novels, starting with Zorba the Greek. It was also a book that has long piqued my interest. When I managed to gain a copy of the book, I included it in my 2021 Top 21 Reading List. Zorba loomed large in the story but Kazantzakis’ writing also shone. I am not always a fan of Zorba’s philosophies but Kazantzakis had me riveted. I am looking forward to reading more of his works.
When I randomly picked Amor Towles’ A Gentleman In Moscow among the piles of books in the bookstore, I had very little expectation of the story. I found the book cover a little dreary. And boy was I wrong! The sleepy cover belied a gem of a story about a Russian count, Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, who was put into a house arrest (technically a hotel arrest) by the Bolshevik tribunal for the rest of his life. The story took time to develop but Towles captured my interest with the details, of Rostov’s slow immersion into the life of Hotel Metropol Moscow. The hotel came alive with Towles’ masterful prose. He reminded me of my interest in Russian history. I just bought a copy of his 2021 novel, The Lincoln Highway and I am looking forward to reading it in early 2022.
There are a lot more of writers who have impressed me this year but I am ending my list at five. How about you fellow reader? Which of the new authors you’ve read this year have impressed you this year? I hope you can share it in the comment box. For now, happy Tuesday! As always, happy reading!