There’s something about Charlottesville. Recently included in “The Ultimate 50-State Road Trip for Book Lovers,” this small city’s appeal to writers and bibliophiles can be attributed to the annual Festival of the Book, Edgar Allan Poe’s enshrined West Range room at UVA, Thomas Jefferson’s library at Monticello, the Rare Book School, the Virginia Art of the Book Center, the University of Virginia’s renowned Creative Writing MFA program and an abundance of bookstores. But there’s something else, too. It’s not just a destination. Many writers choose to make Charlottesville their home. At least 40 local authors published books in 2016. There are so many, in fact, that we could not print an exhaustive list, but here are some of the highlights.
Jane Alison, Nine Island (Catapult)
A woman in Miami translates Ovid and considers giving up romantic love.
Hannah Barnaby, Some of the Parts (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
A teen searches for the recipients of her deceased brother’s organs.
Rita Mae Brown
Cakewalk: A Novel (Bantam)
Sisters in a Southern town test social boundaries after World World I.
Tall Tail: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery (Bantam)
Before solving a recent crime in Crozet, Harry must research a murder that happened in 1784.
Jen Swann Downey, Ninja Librarians: A Sword in the Stacks (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky)
Dorrie time travels to 1912 England to learn how to protect freedom of speech.
The Whistler (Doubleday)
A lawyer takes on a corrupt judge with Coast Mafia ties.
Theodore Boone: The Scandal
(Dutton Books for Young Readers)
A 13-year-old seeks the truth when high standardized test scores indicate a cheating scandal.
Lee Clay Johnson, Nitro Mountain:
A Novel (Knopf)
A cast of Virginians grapples with mental health issues, addiction, love, loss and music.
Joel Jones, Barhoppers: The Answer Man and Other Bar Plays (Indie Theater Now)
Short, comedic plays with a philosophical bent.
Jan Karon, Come Rain or Come Shine,
A Mitford Novel (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Dooley Kavanaugh and Lace Harper tie the knot in a rustic barn wedding.
Kristen-Paige Madonia, Invisible Fault Lines (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
A teen’s search for her missing father leads her to research the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Ethan Murphy, edited by Susan L. Holland, art by Luigi Teruel, Grave New World, Slate & Ashe Series No. 4 (Echelon Graphic Novels)
Slate, an evolved zombie, and outlaw Ashe run for the hills and encounter a militia.
Anne Marie Pace, Pigloo (Henry Holt & Co.)
A young pig plans an expedition to the North Pole.
Emma Rathbone, Losing It (Riverhead Books)
A 26-year-old virgin seeks sex and love, and to avoid the fate of her maiden aunt.
Rosalyn Berne, Waking to Beauty: Encounters with Remarkable Beings (Rainbow Ridge)
The author communicates with a horse and considers the presence of divinity in all creatures.
Alison Booth, Homes and Haunts: Touring Writers’ Shrines and Countries (Oxford University Press)
A study on literary tourism and our fascination with the spaces writers inhabit.
AM Carley, FLOAT: Becoming Unstuck for Writers (Be Well Here)
Writing exercises and prompts by a professional writing coach.
Mark Edmundson, Why Write? A Master Class on the Art of Writing and Why It Matters (Bloomsbury USA)
Practical advice and encouragement for writers.
Pamela Evans, The Preschool Parent Primer (IvyArtz)
Everything preschool teachers wish parents knew.
Russell Grieger, The Perfect Season:
A Memoir of the 1964-1965 Evansville College Purple Aces (University of
The author recounts his college basketball team’s perfect season.
Mary Buford Hitz, For Love of the Land: A History of the Wintergreen Community (The Nature Foundation at Wintergreen)
A historical account of conservation efforts.
Edward G. Lengel, First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His—
and the Nation’s—Prosperity (Da Capo Press)
Business lessons from our first president.
Joan Z. Rough, Scattering Ashes:
A Memoir of Letting Go (She Writes Press)
The author chronicles the challenges
and rewards of caring for an aging
Charles Shields, Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, from Scout to Go Set a Watchman (Henry Holt & Co.)
This revised biography of Harper Lee addresses the posthumous publication of Go Set a Watchman.
Kristin Swenson, God of Earth:
Discovering a Radically Ecological
Christianity (Westminster John Knox Press)
An exploration of divinity in the natural world.
Patricia Asuncion, Cut on the Bias:
Poems (Laughing Fire Press)
This collection of poems tackles issues of identity, race and social justice.
Rita Dove, Collected Poems: 1974-2004 (W.W. Norton & Company)
A range of poems on diverse subjects spanning three decades.
Charlotte Matthews, Whistle What Can’t be Said: Poems (Unicorn Press)
A collection that chronicles childhood, cancer and survival.
Debra Nystrom, Night Sky Frequencies and Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press)
These poems weave a narrative about the lives of two abandoned children.
Lisa Russ Spaar, editor, Monticello in Mind: Fifty Contemporary Poems on Jefferson (University of Virginia Press)
A diverse group of poets examines Thomas Jefferson as a human dichotomy.
Amie Whittemore, Glass Harvest
Deeply rooted in the natural world,
these poems explore the life and death of relationships.
Matt Eich, Carry Me Ohio (Sturm & Drang)
Photographs documenting the lives of Ohioans.
Beatrix Ost, The Philosopher’s Style
Short stories, interviews and art from the author’s collection.
Steve Trumbull, Flash: The Photography of Ed Roseberry: Charlottesville, Virginia 1940s-1970s (C’ville Images)
A visual history of Charlottesville.