Share 13 Authors That Define and Celebrate America

13 Authors That Define and Celebrate America

Taylor Noel is a corporate marketing manager at Simon and Schuster. She loves literary fiction and memoirs, but will read any book put in her hands. Taylor shares her book obsessions on Instagram @books_with_taylor.

What’s better than a new book from your favorite author? A new book with pieces from several of your favorite authors! In IT OCCURS TO ME THAT I AM AMERICA, some of today’s most acclaimed writers and artists consider the variety and diversity that make up America through stirring and often provocative original fiction and art. Here is a list of 13 of the many great authors who insist that each of us—all of us—is part of America.


The Refugees
by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Viet Thanh Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American writer who won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel THE SYMPATHIZER. His newest short story collection weaves together tales of turmoil and triumph as refugees navigate both the cultural shock of a new world and feelings for the homeland they had to leave behind.
The Refugees
Viet Thanh Nguyen

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The Best of Us
by Joyce Maynard
In 2011, when she was in her late fifties, beloved author and journalist Joyce Maynard met the first true partner she had ever known. Then, just after their one-year wedding anniversary, her new husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. During the 19 months that followed, as they battled his illness together, she discovered for the first time what it really meant to be a couple—to be a true partner, and to have one.
The Best of Us
Joyce Maynard

MENTIONED IN:

13 Authors That Define and Celebrate America

By Taylor Noel | February 7, 2018

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Euphoria
by Lily King

Lily King is the author of four novels. She lives in Maine and is committed to the increasingly threatened ideals of American democracy, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and equal rights for all. Inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead in New Guinea during the 1930s, EUPHORIA is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice.

Read the full review of EUPHORIA.

Euphoria
Lily King

The engine that propels this juicy, smart novel is desire—sexual and intellectual, essential and existential.

Read Molly Prentiss’s review here.

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In the Time of the Butterflies
by Julia Alvarez
Julia Alvarez’s parents were forced to flee from the Dominican Republic to the United States because of her father’s involvement in a plot to overthrow the dictator Rafael Trujillo. In her novel IN THE TIME OF THE BUTTERFLIES, the Mirabal sisters, prominent opponents of Trujillo’s dictatorship, are betrayed by their inner circle after plotting to overthrow the government, leaving three of them dead at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff. In this extraordinary novel, the voices of all four sisters―Minerva, Patria, María Teresa, and the survivor, Dedé―tell their own stories across the decades, speaking of hair ribbons and secret crushes, of gunrunning and prison torture, and of the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo’s rule.
In the Time of the Butterflies
Julia Alvarez

The Mirabal sisters, prominent opponents of Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, are betrayed by their inner circle. After plotting to overthrow the government, three of the four sisters are found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff.

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Killing Floor
by Lee Child
Lee Child, previously a television director, union organizer, theater technician, and law student, was fired and on the dole when he hatched a harebrained scheme to write a bestselling novel and save his family from ruin. KILLING FLOOR is the first book in the Jack Reacher series, about an ex–military policeman who becomes a wonderfully epic hero.
Killing Floor
Lee Child

MENTIONED IN:

13 Authors That Define and Celebrate America

By Taylor Noel | February 7, 2018

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A Book of American Martyrs
by Joyce Carol Oates
Joyce Carol Oates the recipient of the National Book Award, the National Humanities Medal, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from PEN America. She is the author, most recently, of A BOOK OF AMERICAN MARTYRS. In this striking, enormously affecting novel, Oates tells the story of two very different and yet intimately linked American families, as Luther Dunphy, an ardent Evangelical who believes himself to be acting out God’s will, assassinates an abortion provider in his small Ohio town.
A Book of American Martyrs
Joyce Carol Oates

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The Hours
by Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham is the author of six novels, a story collection, and a nonfiction book. His novel THE HOURS won the Pulitzer Prize and was made into a movie featuring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Nicole Kidman. It is the profound story of how three generations of women were transformed by Virginia Woolf’s distinguished work MRS. DALLOWAY.

Read the full review of THE HOURS.

The Hours
Michael Cunningham

This Pulitzer Prize–winning novel turned Oscar-winning film is a profound story of how three generations of women were transformed by Virginia Woolf’s distinguished work Mrs. Dalloway.

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LaRose
by Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich is an American author whose fiction often features Native American characters and settings, and she owns Birchbark Books in Minneapolis. LAROSE is an emotionally haunting contemporary tale of a tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with roots in ancient Native American culture.

MENTIONED IN:

13 Authors That Define and Celebrate America

By Taylor Noel | February 7, 2018

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The Turner House
by Angela Flournoy
Angela Flournoy is the author of THE TURNER HOUSE, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and an NAACP Award in 2015. In this masterful debut novel, 13 siblings must decide the fate of their mother’s Detroit home, which has housed the family for 50 years before falling into debt and misfortune. Secrets, addiction, and even a malevolent spirit all work against the siblings, but in the end, Flournoy shows how it takes more than walls to keep a family together.
The Turner House
Angela Flournoy

In this masterful debut novel, 13 siblings must decide the fate of their mother’s Detroit home, which housed the family for 50 years before mirroring the disarray and crisis of the city around them by falling into debt and misfortune. Secrets, addiction, and even a malevolent spirit all work against the siblings, but in the end Angela Flournoy shows how it takes more than walls to keep a family together.

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The Dovekeepers
by Alice Hoffman
Alice Hoffman is the New York Times bestselling author of 30 novels, including THE DOVEKEEPERS, which Toni Morrison called “a major contribution to twenty-first-century literature.” In my favorite her novels, THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES, Rachel Pizzaro grows up on St. Thomas in the early 1800s, dreaming of life in faraway Paris—but fate ultimately has other plans. When her much-older husband dies, his handsome nephew arrives to settle his estate, and a passionate affair begins. Their relationship results not only in controversy but in the birth of a son, who will someday become one of the greatest artists of his time.
The Dovekeepers
Alice Hoffman

Nearly two thousand years ago, nine hundred Jews held out for months against Roman armies on Masada, a mountain in the Judean desert. The source for the recent CBS miniseries, The Dovekeepers is a beautifully written and captivating tale of four women whose lives intersect in the desperate days of the siege.

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Empire Falls
by Richard Russo

Richard Russo is the author of nine novels, two collections of short stories, a memoir, and several produced screenplays. The winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, Russo’s novel EMPIRE FALLS follows Miles Roby (the owner of the Empire Grill), his family, and his friends in the small, blue-collar, and slowly bankrupting eponymous town.

Read the full review of EMPIRE FALLS.

Empire Falls
Richard Russo

I will never not recommend this book, and what a perfect excuse again! The winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize, Richard Russo’s novel EMPIRE FALLS follows Miles Roby (the owner of the Empire Grill), his family, and his friends in the small, blue-collar, and slowly bankrupting titular Maine town. —Julianna (Maine)

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The Burgess Boys
by Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of six books of fiction, including the New York Times bestselling novel THE BURGESS BOYS. Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escape their Maine hometown as soon as they possibly can. But when their sister urgently calls them home, long-buried tensions that shaped and shadowed the brothers’ relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.
The Burgess Boys
Elizabeth Strout

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped their Maine hometown as soon as they possibly could. But when their sister urgently calls them home, long-buried tensions that shaped and shadowed the brothers’ relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

MENTIONED IN:

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It Occurs to Me That I Am America
by Jonathan Santlofer (Editor)
When Donald Trump claimed victory last November, the US literary world erupted in indignation. Many of America’s leading writers and artists openly resist the current administration’s dogma and earliest policy moves, and they’re not about to go gently into that good night. In IT OCCURS TO ME THAT I AM AMERICA, more than thirty of the most acclaimed modern writers consider the fundamental ideals of a free, just, and compassionate democracy—through fiction.
It Occurs to Me That I Am America
Jonathan Santlofer (Editor)

MENTIONED IN:

13 Authors That Define and Celebrate America

By Taylor Noel | February 7, 2018

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