Best of 2013 Dept.: Flavorwire Picks Top Debut Novels

As Flavorwire notes in its intro to “The 10 Best Debut Novels of 2013,” “In composing their first novel, writers must temper their excitement at being given the opportunity to present hundreds of pages to the public with the discipline to create a story memorable enough to bring readers back for their second attempt.”

Here’s what Flavorwire says about Jenni Fagan’s “The Panopticon”:

Told in the lively slang of Anais, an orphaned 15-year-old Scottish girl who’s being hauled off to an unusual home for juvenile offenders over a violent crime she can’t recall whether she committed, The Panopticon is a dreamy document of friendship among young people who society has not only failed but scapegoated. Yet Fagan — an author whose experience as a poet comes through in her evocative prose — doesn’t sugarcoat her story or turn it into a tale of a bad girl gone good. There are moments of triumph for Anais, but there’s no panacea for her lifetime of terrible luck and systemic oppression.

The list:

1 Necessary Errors, Caleb Crain
2 The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., Adelle Waldman
3 You Are One of Them, Elliott Holt
4 In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods, Matt Bell
5 The Facdes, Eric Lundgren
6 The Panopticon, Jenni Fagan
7 Tampa, Alissa Nutting
8 The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Ayana Mathis
9 Mira Corpora, Jeff Jackson
10 Elect H. Mouse State Judge, Nelly Reifler

For comments about each novel, head to Flavorwire.

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About Michael Goldberg

Michael Goldberg is a distinguished pioneer in the online music space; Newsweek magazine called him an ‘Internet visionary.’ In 1994 he founded Addicted To Noise (ATN), the highly influential music web site. He was a senior vice-president and editor in chief at SonicNet from March 1997 through May 2000. In 1997, Addicted To Noise won Webby awards for best music site in 1998 and 1999, and also won Yahoo Internet Life! awards for three years running as best music site in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Prior to starting Addicted To Noise, Goldberg was an editor and senior writer at Rolling Stone magazine for 10 years. His writing has also appeared in Wired, Esquire, Vibe, Details, Downbeat, NME and numerous other publications. Michael has had three novels published that comprise the "Freak Scene Dream trilogy": "True Love Scars," "The Flowers Lied" and "Untitled" which can be ordered here. His new book, "Wicked Game: The True Story of Guitarist James Calvin Wilsey," can be pre-ordered from HoZac Books. In November Backbeat Books will publish "Addicted To Noise: The Music Writings of Michael Goldberg," which can be be pre-ordered here.

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