March 9, 2024
2023 Festival Authors
Karen Joy Fowler
2022 Booker Prize Longlisted
2022 National Book Award Winner
2022 Booker Prize Longlisted
2022 National Book Award Winner
And 6 Other Award Winning Authors
Lan Samantha Changshollycreativeinc
First Woman Director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
In The Family Chao, three Chinese-American brothers in a small town, two immigrant Chinese parents, one Chinese restaurant, one murder, and a missing dog all add up to a kaleidoscopic, entertaining tale of family loyalty, the American dream, and cultural dislocation. The author of two other novels, Chang is the Director of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, the first woman and only Asian American to hold that position. She earned her BA from Yale, her MPA from Harvard, and her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. The Family Chao was an Obama Summer Reading Pick. Chang lives in Iowa City, Iowa.
“An engrossing and darkly comedic take on The Brothers Karamazov.” – The New York Times Book Review. “Dostoevsky himself would surely approve.” – NPR
New York Times Bestselling Author
Nikki Erlick’s provocative debut novel, The Measure, opens on a day when every adult in the world awakens to a mysterious box holding “the measure of your life.” How do you measure a life? If you knew how long your life would be, how would you live it? These are the questions that Erlick asks her characters and her readers in a sweeping story of hope and fate, family and friends. An instant New York Times bestseller, The Measure is a #ReadWithJenna Book Club Pick, a Barnes & Noble Debut Discover Pick, and a national LibraryReads selection. Having received her BA from Harvard and her MA from Columbia University, Erlick now resides in Los Angeles and New York City.
“Erlick compellingly and captivatingly explores each facet of human nature, from hatred to heartbreak to hope.” – Library Journal. “No other book could ever measure up to what Erlick has done with this tender, original and gripping debut.” BookReporter.com.
Karen Joy Fowlercolbykalansky@gmail.com
Man Booker Prize Finalist and Bestselling Author
Booth, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize, is a new look at John Wilkes Booth, the man who assassinated Lincoln, by the author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves a Booker Prize finalist. Booth is a deep dive into the historical events and family dynamics surrounding Booth. It holds many surprises, including the fact that the Booth family was anti-slavery. Fowler’s 2004 novel, The Jane Austen Book Club, was on the New York Times bestsellers list for 13 weeks. Fowler earned her BA at UC Berkeley and her MFA at UC Davis. She lives in Santa Cruz, CA.
“Masterful . . . A dazzling blend of fact and fiction with piercing echoes to today . .´- San Francisco Chronicle. “Exquisite …” – The Washington Post . “A massive achievement.” – Boston Globe
Winner of the National Book Award and finalist for the 2022 National Book Critics Circle Award
Tess Gunty earned an MFA in creative writing from NYU, where she was a Lillian Vernon Fellow. Her work has appeared in The Iowa Review, Joyland, Los Angeles Review of Books, No Tokens, Flash, and elsewhere. Published to widespread critical acclaim, the novel follows an odd assortment of residents who live in a crumbling apartment building in a dying town in the post-industrial Midwest. Set across one week and culminating in a shocking act of violence, The Rabbit Hutch chronicles a town on the brink, desperate for rebirth. Gunty was raised in South Bend, Indiana, and lives in Los Angeles.
Jean Hanff Korelitzcolbykalansky@gmail.com
Author of The Plot and You Should Have Known (Adapted by HBO as The Undoing)
The Latecomer is a compulsively readable and thought-provoking novel about triplets, who are desperate to escape each other and the upending of their family by an unexpected and life-changing event. In dazzling, dialogue-rich scenes that touch on politics, religion, race, privilege, and sexuality, Korelitz illuminates each character with jewel-like intensity. The author was born in New York City, and educated at Dartmouth and Clare College, Cambridge. She has published eight novels, including The Plot and You Should Have Known (adapted by HBO as The Undoing).
“…an immensely enjoyable sojourn with a truly memorable family.” – Washington Post. “The author of The Plot returns with a novel that skewers privilege and offers delights on every page.”―Oprah Daily
Bestselling Author, Chair of the Board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation
Inspired by true events that shocked a nation, Take My Hand is the story of a Black nurse in post-segregation Alabama who blows the whistle on the terrible injustice of government-forced sterilization inflicted on her patients who are young girls and women of color. Perkins-Valdez earned her BA from Harvard and her PhD from UCLA. She is the Chair of the Board of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and Associate Professor at American University. She lives in Washington, DC.
“Take My Hand reminds us that truly extraordinary fiction is rarely written merely to entertain.” – The Washington Post. “This is an exceptional read.” – Library Journal. “This is the kind of story you want to build extra time into reading so you can explore the wealth of history it draws upon.” –Associated Press
Bestselling Author and Pushcart Prize Nominee
Memphis celebrates the resilience of women over multiple generations in a Black matrilineal family. In her compassionate and vivid debut, Stringfellow paints a romantic picture of Memphis, even as she lays bare its history of racism and violence. Memphis was a national bestseller and Read With Jenna Today Book Club Pick. Stringfellow has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes. She earned her BA and MFA at Northwestern University, and her JD at Chicago-Kent College of Law. She lives in Memphis.
“A rhapsodic hymn to Black women.”—The New York Times Book Review. “Stringfellow has created an irresistible family in the Norths, who are sure to be beloved by readers for the ways in which they persevere.” – BookPage
Belinda Huijuan Tangcolbykalansky@gmail.com
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, this gripping debut follows a young mathematician caught between two countries, two cultures, two eras and two loves. Set against the backdrop of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, A Map for the Missing explores the wrenching impact political ideologies can have on individual lives. Tang has a BA from Stanford, an MA from Peking University in Beijing, and an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was a Truman Capote Fellow. She lives in Los Angeles.
“. . . wholehearted and sensitively drawn. I can’t wait to see what she writes next.” – The San Francisco Chronicle. “Gripping from its first page to its last.” -BookPage.