Writers To Follow

While reading the New York Times Book Review this morning, I glanced at an ad for Julie Orringer's The Invisible Bridge. There was a blurb from NPR.org that said of the author "She's no longer just a writer to watch -- she's a writer to follow...". This put me in mind of other highly touted authors who have shed the tag of "writers to watch" progressing auspiciously through their sophomore efforts to become writers we look forward to reading; names we search for when deciding what to read next. So here are a few of those names that have graduated from "writers to watch" to "writers to follow":

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Even if you can't pronounce her name, you should keep your eye out
    for her next book. Adiche has written three so far: Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and her latest The Thing Around Your Neck. She is also an accomplished short story writer, with stories appearing regularly in the New Yorker. Of her three novels, I've only read Half of a Yellow Sun which was historical novel about the struggle over the state Biafra in Nigeria. She follows an Igbo family through the turmoil of that era. I reviewed it here

  • Hampton Sides Ever since reading Blood and Thunder, Ive been on the lookout for Hampton Sides. His chronicle of Kit Carson and the Manifest Destiny of America was fascinating; filled with jaw-dropping stories of Carson's escapades, illuminating accounts of figures like William Jennings Bryan, and heartbreaking narratives like that of the Dine (Navajo) people. His current non-fiction account is called Hellhound on His Trail, about the MLK assassin, James Earl Ray.

  • Kate Walbert is the author of four novels and many short stories, some of which she has adapted into her novels. Her debut, Where She Went,  is one such book in which she links stories to tell a larger tale; this one of two women: a mother and her daughter. Her third book, Our Kind, is another series of stories, this time about a group of aging women collectively thought of as the 1950's country club set; conjure anyone familiar?. It was one of the finalists for the 2004 National Book Award. Her newest book, A Short History of Women, follows one family through several generations from the fin-de-siecle to present day. Walbert is a regular contributor to the New Yorker .

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