For more than five decades, Joyce Carol Oates has churned out brilliant, inventive literary fiction at the pace usually associated with romance novels or genre thrillers. Quietly disciplined and deeply enigmatic, Oates brings an unparalleled body of work to discuss as the keynote speaker at the 2014 AJC Decatur Book Festival. But don’t stop with the marquee event. Here are ten other writers you shouldn’t miss.
In Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, historian Abbott reveals another fascinating slice of our past, the story of four women: a socialite, a farm girl, an abolitionist, and a widow—who were Civil War spies.
Jennifer Hill Booker
The Atlanta chef serves up a mouthwatering blend of culinary and literary art in Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, a mashup of family favorites and Le Cordon Bleu technique.
Novelist Cash takes readers on a suspenseful Southern Gothic journey to hell and back in This Dark Road to Mercy. Two sisters are kidnapped by their wayward father, and an ex-cop and an ex-con are hot on their trail.
Twenty years after his last story collection was published, Earley returns with Mr. Tall, an assortment of delightfully strange, melancholy tall tales set in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Nashville, and other points South.
The protagonist of Hood’s novel An Italian Wife is forced into an arranged marriage in turn-of-the-century Italy then sent to America, where she delivers seven children, including a love child whom she is forced to give up.
Daniel J. Levitin
Neuroscientist Levitin walks readers through complex concepts with a thoroughly engaging, accessible voice in The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.
After We Kill You, We Will Welcome You Back As Honored Guests: Unembedded in Afghanistan is a mesmerizing account of America’s longest war. Graphic journalist Rall tells it using incendiary words and images.
Lock In, Scalzi’s new novel, is set in the future, when a virus leaves about 1 percent of the world’s population “locked in”—fully awake but unable to move.
VanderMeer’s trilogy, Southern Reach, has been published rapid-fire, with Annihilation debuting in February, Authority in May, and Acceptance next month. The series chronicles expeditions into mysterious Area X.
This article originally appeared in our August 2014 issue.