Each year, for the last twenty-five years, bookseller Barnes & Noble enlists the aid of several literary judges to help find the best new authors. This year, Sheri Holman, the author of the national bestseller and Discover Great New Writers selection The Dress Lodger; author Pagan Kennedy, a former columnist for the New York Times Magazine; and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and novelist Héctor Tobar, have selected the final winners from a group of outstanding new authors.
The Winners Are:
All the Birds, Singing is the story of a woman who is haunted by her past and will do anything to escape it. An evocative setting, sinister undertones, and stunning prose make this novel absorbing and memorable. Chris Adrian calls Wyld’s book “a vessel masterfully shaped to hold its many beautiful and terrifying surprises.” Wrote Anne Cherian, “The sheer power of Evie Wyld’s writing pulls us into a world of shifting landscapes and time.”
A collection of breathtaking short stories about assimilation and dislocation, longing and belonging. These characters pulse with loneliness and denial, desire and expectation, and so we follow their stories — rooting for some, testing our compassion for others — as we would our own. Read what our judges have to say here.
Suffused with compassion and razor-sharp, these ambitious short stories explore the effects of battlefields – some emotional, some resolutely physical – on humanity. Hemenway illuminates the inner working of his characters in settings ranging from the commonplace to the otherworldly, and the results are unforgettable. Read what our judges have to say here.
Badluck Way is a fascinating account of the author’s time spent on a ranch in Montana where he builds fences, cares for cattle, and finds himself hunting down the wolves who attack his herd. Pagan Kennedy calls it “a spare and beautiful memoir,” and Malcolm Jones says, “It’s a tough book about a tough subject, but it’s also great storytelling: your first inclination upon finishing it is to begin it again.” Read more from our judges here.
With humor and compassion, a young licensed mortician demystifies the topic that none of us can avoid. Our nonfiction judges describe Smoke Gets in Your Eyes as a “pitch-perfect meditation,” “hilarious and thought-provoking,” and, pardon the pun, “dead-on smart.” Read more from our judges here.
As much a study of a changing community and all its inhabitants – human and animal – as it is a biography of a fearless, self-taught scientist (who knows more about sea turtles than most experts) and the lengths she’ll go to protect what she believes in. Read more from our judges on this “beautiful paradox of a book.”