Virgin Island native and current New School writing professor Tiphanie Yanique turned heads with her 2014 debut novel, Land of Love and Drowning, a sweeping story about three generations of a Caribbean family. Yanique is also a poet and essayist. Whatever she releases next will be well worth reading.
Woodson moved to Brooklyn when she was seven after living in Greenville, South Carolina. Her National Book Award-winning young adult book Brown Girl Dreaming, written as a collection of poems, is an aching exploration of growing up between two worlds and grappling with the legacy of the Jim Crow South.
Born in Odessa and raised in Brooklyn, Yelena Akhtiorskaya paintsthe experience of an immigrant family attempting to settle in Brighton Beach in her first novel, Panic in a Suitcase. It was warmly received by critics, earning Akhtiorskaya a spot in the National Book Award’s 2014 “5 under 35.”
Oria, an alum of The Paris Review and McSweeney’s, released a collection of dark, challenging stories—New York 1, Tel Aviv 0—in November, earning recognition from the likes of Swamplandia author Karen Russell and New Yorker writer Ben Greenman.
The Buzzfeed LGBT editor released his first collection of poetry, Prelude to Bruise, this year, an ecstatic and haunting look at the world of boyhood. He’s currently at work on a memoir, which will certainly be worth your while to pick up.
Gerard’s first novel, Binary Star, is one of the most hotly anticipated arrivals of early 2015, based on her bold, dizzying chapbook Things I Told My Mother, a book opening with a topless walk around Times Square.
Chiusano’s interlinked story collection Marine Park has shades of Junot Diaz and Stuart Dybek, stories that reflect the working class neighborhood of the title. Chiusano is ridiculously young—just 24—so expect a lot more coming from him in the future.
Chicurel’s debut collection, If I Knew You Were Going To Be This Beautiful, I Would Have Never Let You Go, centers on a group of young adults in a dilapidated beach town in Long Island. She already has two more books in the works, one centering on the antics surrounding an East Village bar in the 1980s.