In the vein of Jonathan Lethem’s playful surrealism, Jacob Rubin’s debut novel, The Poser, is a deeply original comic novel about a man who must risk everything for the chance to know true love. Giovanni, the star of The Poser, has an uncanny gift: he can imitate anyone he meets. As he describes it, “No one’s disguise is perfect. There is in every person, no matter how graceful, a seam, a thread curling out of them. . . . When pulled by the right hands, it will unravel the person.” After meeting the beautiful stage singer Lucy Starlight—the only person whose thread he cannot find—Giovanni must assume the one identity he has never been able to master: his own.
Rebecca Scherm’s debut novel, Unbecoming, is an intricately plotted and psychologically nuanced literary thriller about a girl who charms her way into the world of international art fraud. From small-town USA to the Manhattan art scene and the grubby outskirts of Paris, the novel charts the “unbecoming-of-age” of Grace, a young woman with a gift for polishing up and reselling old junk, and for reinventing herself with equal deftness. With echoes of Alfred Hitchcock and Patricia Highsmith, Scherm’s mesmerizing debut is sure to entrance fans of Gillian Flynn, Marisha Pessl, and Donna Tartt.