Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

25 sensational debut novels

Writing your first book is no mean feat, as all you aspiring authors out there will know. All credit, then, to these super-talented writers, who achieved fame, fortune and a dizzying array of literary prizes - all from their debut novels. With the launch of Stylist's micro fiction competition today, there's no better time to grab some inspiration from fantastic first-time authors... From Monica Ali's Brick Lane (which was shortlisted for an award at manuscript stage) to Harper Lee's Pulitzer-winning To Kill A Mockingbird, below you'll find our selection of the most sensational debut novels, complete with the opening line from each.

Simply click on an image to launch the gallery. Do you agree with our choices or have we left out your favourite debut novel? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter or in the comments section below

Create and edit your own book list on Stylist here



The 50 best literary put-downs


50 books that were banned



The cast of Bridget Jones' Diary: where are they now?

We catch up with everyone from Shazza to Tom and Una Alconbury by Katie O'Malley

29 Sep 2015

The Man Booker Prize shortlist is here

How many have you read? by Amy Lewis

15 Sep 2015

September's best books from independent publishers

Discover the next big thing before anyone else does

10 Sep 2015

The best new books of September

From family dramas to dark page turners

01 Sep 2015

How our Penguin classics cover was created

We're having our book-shaped ice lolly and eating it, some might say

19 Aug 2015

Treasure trove of unseen celebrity Polaroids in new Warhol book

Before Instagram, there was Andy Warhol

19 Aug 2015

Stylist’s ten best reads for the bank holiday weekend

The hottest books to end off the summer with

18 Aug 2015

J.K. Rowling offers inspiring advice to young writers

“Turn their laughter into fuel”

17 Aug 2015

Behold the best new books of August

From psychological thrillers to literary comfort food

17 Aug 2015

2015’s word-of-mouth breakout book

Why you need to read Luckiest Girl Alive

13 Aug 2015