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Have Some Seconds

In Praise of the Second Novel!

Debut novels often get a lot of attention...but what about sophomore works? These five authors have two books worth reading under their belts. Give the second one a try, and while you're at it, maybe read their debut novel as well.

Hanna Halperin

By the award-winning author of Something Wild, a gripping portrait of a tumultuous, consuming relationship between a young woman and a recovering addict.

Debut Novel: Something Wild

This wise, brilliant novel is so special, so overflowing with honesty and love--about motherhood, sisterhood, what it's like to be a woman--that every paragraph feels like an epiphany.

Molly Prentiss

Second Novel: Old Flame

Old Flame is a story about the essential--and often existential--choices that define a woman's life at every level, from which dress to wear to when to have a child to how to be in the world.

A transcendent debut novel that follows a critic, an artist, and a desirous, determined young woman as they find their way--and ultimately collide--amid the ever-evolving New York City art scene of the 1980s.

Brendan Slocumb

Second Novel: Symphony of Secrets

Music professor Bern Hendricks discovers a shocking secret about the most famous American composer of all time--his music may have been stolen from a Black Jazz Age prodigy named Josephine Reed.

Debut Novel: The Violin Conspiracy

Ray McMillian is a Black classical musician on the rise--undeterred by the pressure and prejudice of the classical music world--when a shocking theft sends him on a desperate quest to recover his great-great-grandfather's heirloom violin on the eve of the most prestigious musical competition in the world.

Stephen Markley

Second Novel: The Deluge

A masterful American epic charting a near future approaching collapse and a nascent but strengthening solidarity.

Debut Novel: Ohio

One sweltering night in 2013, four former high school classmates converge on their hometown in northeastern Ohio. Set over the course of a single evening, Ohio toggles between the perspectives of these unforgettable characters as they unearth dark secrets, revisit old regrets and uncover--and compound--bitter betrayals.

De'Shawn Charles Winslow

Second Novel: Decent People

From Center for Fiction First Novel Prize winning author De'Shawn Charles Winslow, a sweeping and unforgettable novel of a Black community reeling from a triple homicide, and the secrets the killings reveal.

Debut Novel: In West Mills

In West Mills is a magnificent, big-hearted small-town story about family, friendship, storytelling, and the redemptive power of love.

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