Photo courtesy Kristin Hoebermann
In anticipation of the 19th Amendment’s centennial celebration, Brooke Kroeger wanted to write a book about women’s suffrage. But the typical topics in the fight for voting rights seemed wrong.
“I always look for something that nobody’s done,” says Kroeger, author of several nonfiction books, including Undercover Reporting: The Truth about Deception and Nellie Bly: Daredevil, Reporter, Feminist. “I’m not great enough to redo something. I’d rather stake the territory. My strength is digging in beyond where a lot ...
Quips on our radar
Written by Junot Díaz, Islandborn will be out in March 2018.
“A picture book is like a primer on how to be a human. For a novelist, it’s perfect, because isn’t that what a lot of novelists are exploring in their work, anyway?”
—Namrata Tripathi, editorial director of Dial Books for Young Readers, who will publish novelist Junot Díaz’s first picture book, Islandborn,in spring 2018. Díaz, who calls writing for young readers “a lot harder than it looks” in the New York Times, promised his goddaughters a story about ...
Photo Courtesy Yasir Dhannoon
YA author Martin Wilson’s sophomore novel has a gut-punch premise: One hot day in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, an 11-year-old boy takes off on his bike and vanishes. Three years later, he returns, gravely changed.
“I’m trying to write stories that are honest and emotionally powerful,” says Wilson, author of We Now Return to Regular Life, based on a true story of abduction and abuse he followed in newspapers some years ago. “I want an emotional reaction from readers, because I ...
Quips on our radar
Photo of Imbolo Mbue courtesy of Kiriko Sano
“I thought, ‘Oh, you know what? Let me try one of the Oprah Book Clubs.’ The first book that caught my eye was Song of Solomon, so I just picked it up and took it home. I was just blown away by how powerful it was, and I just started writing. The moment I finished it, I just started writing. I think it was because I’d never read about the African-American experience, and I never—her writing was so special—and ...
Photo courtesy Ellen Warner
Culinary historian Laura Shapiro hungers for the delectable details of people’s lives—no matter their competence in the kitchen.
“I have always felt very strongly that you don’t have to be a food person—that is to say, an instinctive wonderful cook—to have a relationship with food,” says Shapiro, author of What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories. “If you can look at food in someone’s life, you can find out something [significant] about that ...
To many Americans, the plight of refugees can seem remote—until you find their boat.
Middle-grade novelist Alan Gratz was vacationing in the Florida Keys when his family discovered an abandoned escape raft during a walk on the beach.
“It was clearly a raft from some other place in the Caribbean, trying to get to America,” says Gratz, whom Kirkus reached in North Carolina. “It was a stunner to me and my family...realizing, here we are, having this comfy ...
Rachel Ignotofsky photographed by Thomas Russell Mason IV.
August 6, 1926 was a bad day for a swim between England and France: the water was choppy; it started to rain; and the strong current was against Gertrude Ederle, a 19-year-old long-distance swimmer from New York City. Nevertheless, she persisted, becoming the first woman to swim the English Channel and setting a new world record (14 hours, 31 minutes) that stood for 24 years.
“Women [like Gertrude Ederle] pushed themselves to the limit for all womankind,” says Rachel ...
Photo courtesy Kaliel Roberts
For bestselling novelist Andrew Sean Greer, Less represents a grand departure in more ways than one.
“I was writing another book that was my typical style,” says the author of five preceding fictions, including The Path of Minor Planets and The Confessions of Max Tivoli, “sort of poignant, sort of wistful. And I was getting nowhere with it, because I couldn’t feel sorry for the main character.”
The main character was a middle-aged gay man on ...