I spent the week-end of March 11 & 12 at the Tucson Festival of Books, the third largest such event in the country. My goal was to learn from the best and the brightest, knowing from past experience that a number of hot, new writers come to Tucson to introduce their works to the world.
I was not disappointed and am happy to share with my LateLastNightBook followers the names of some authors you might want to give a try.
The one who stood out the most out of the authors I heard over the two days was Emily Fridlund, author of History of Wolves, a novel set in northern Minnesota which turns on its head the usual exploitation relationship of teacher and student. Given the praise for her novel, although I haven’t read it yet, I recommend it highly.
The Holocaust continues to haunt writers and readers, as well it should. Affinity Konar takes on the “Angel of Death’s” experiments on twins in Mischling, a book that has garnered recognition from the New York Times and others.
Another bright young author worth paying attention to is Tara Ison, whose most recent product is Ball, a book of short stories. She admits she writes about things she fears and then pushes them as far as she can. Her novels, Rockaway and A Child Out of Alcatraz, have also gotten excellent attention.
If you love the Mexican-American culture, you need to pick up The Water Museum stories by Luis Urrea. His novel, The Hummingbird’s Daughter, is described as an epic mystical drama of a young woman’s sudden sainthood in 19th century Mexico.
If you are into young adult fantasy fiction, Aprilynne Pike, Maggie Stiefvater, and Shannon Messenger are three bright young authors to watch out for. Pike’s most recent novel, Glitter, is a stand-alone, but she’s best known for the Wing series of five novels. Stiefvator is the author of The Raven Cycle series, and Messenger is the author of four Keeper novels.
I hope you give one or more of the above a try, but don’t complain to me if you’re disappointed. If so, you’ll just have to make the trip out to Tucson in 2018 and select your own up and coming authors.