Best Debut Novel
Roxane Gay   Photo: Chris Strong

An Untamed State by Roxane Gay

The prolific Gay demonstrates her exceptional talent with 2014’s bracing, harrowing account of Mireille Duval Jameson, a wealthy Haitian American who gets kidnapped by a band of mercenaries while on vacation in the Caribbean. It’s not easy reading by any means, but Gay’s ability to write humanely about the complicated web of economic privilege, racism, and sexism—without preaching—carries you through. 

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