Read local: Our annual roundup of Charlottesville-area authors

Read local: Our annual roundup of Charlottesville-area authors

In 2018, over 50 authors living and working in the Charlottesville area published new books. They built fictional worlds populated by talking animals, anti-terrorist teenage space fighters, and ordinary humans trying to find the truth. They documented last year’s violent white supremacist rally in our city and dug into our history of racism. They redefined Appalachia, encouraged us to question our dependence on social media, and inspired us to draw and color our inner and outer worlds. They crafted lyrical lines articulating this human moment of advanced technology and precarious climate. And they reminded us what it’s like to hope, to love, and to dream. Here you’ll find just some of the local talent constructing worlds with words.


Rita Mae Brown

Probable Claws: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery

In the town of Crozet, Harry and her animal companions search for clues to her friend’s daylight murder, and unearth centuries of greed and corruption.

Homeward Hound: A Novel

Humans, horses, foxes, and hounds must solve the mystery when the president of an energy company with plans to build a pipeline through central Virginia goes missing during a festive gathering.

M.K. England

The Disasters

When terrorists attack a space station academy in 2194, it’s up to five teens to save the space colonies.

Talley English

Horse: A Novel

A teenage girl befriends a horse in the aftermath of her parents’ separation.

John Grisham

The Reckoning

A Mississippi community must reconcile a horrible crime with the man no one would ever suspect.

John Hart

The Hush: A Novel

Titled for the fictional parcel of North Carolina land under dispute, The Hush delves into the historical trauma of colonization and the enslavement of Africans.

Jan Karon

Bathed in Prayer: Father Tim’s Prayers, Sermons, and Reflections from the Mitford Series (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

Drawing from the 14 novels of the Mitford series, Karon distills the advice and encouragement of the fictional Father Tim.

Randall Klein

Little Disasters

A love triangle in New York City comes to a head when the city’s transportation system fails.

Doug Lawson

Bigfoots in Paradise

Dark comedic short stories set in Santa Cruz, California, explore human drama amid the threat of earthquake and fire.

Inman Majors

Penelope Lemon: Game On!

Majors’ fifth novel chronicles the online-dating misadventures of a single mom living with her mother.

Adam Nemett

We Can Save Us All

Princeton students prepare for the apocalypse and spark a revolution.

Anne Marie Pace

Vampirina in the Snow

Vampirina Ballerina and her family venture outside for snow day fun.

Ethan Murphy

Blackmoore: Gifted

Divine Influence: The Fall

Screenboy: The Departure

Slate & Ashe #6

Comic book writer Murphy premiered three new series this year featuring a female mad scientist, fallen angels, and an interdimensional cop, along with the sixth issue of his golem-cop partner series.

Thomas Pierce

The Afterlives: A Novel

A man with a heart condition that left him temporarily dead at 30 explores the possibility of an afterlife.


Elizabeth Catte

What You Are Getting Wrong about


While she’s a bit further to the west, we’re including Catte here for her important challenge to Appalachian stereotypes, as an Appalachian resident herself.

Jane Friedman

The Business of Being a Writer

Advice for navigating the publishing industry.

Lee Graves

Virginia Beer: A Guide from Colonial Days to Craft’s Golden Age

A guide to award-winning breweries and the history of craft brewing in Virginia.

Laura Lee Gulledge

Sketchbook Dares: 24 Ways to Draw Out Your Inner Artist

Prompts to inspire anyone, regardless of skill, to draw.

Jeffrey L. Hantman

Monacan Millennium: A Collaborative Archaeology and History of a Virginia Indian People

A history of Virginia’s Monacan Nation from 1000 A.D. to the present.

Claudrena N. Harold and

Louis P. Nelson, editors

Charlottesville 2017: The Legacy of Race and Inequity

UVA faculty examine the relevance of our community’s history to our present following the white supremacist rally of 2017.

Uzo Njoku

The Bluestocking Society: a coloring book

This coloring book by local artist Njoku features renowned women of color with brief biographies, as well as portraits of anonymous women of color.

Charles Shields

The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel: John Williams, Stoner, and the Writing Life

A biography of cult-favorite novelist John Williams.

Hawes Spencer

Summer of Hate: Charlottesville, USA

Investigative journalist Spencer gives an accounting of the white supremacist rallies.

Earl Swift

Chesapeake Requiem: A Year with the Watermen of Vanishing Tangier Island

An in-depth look at the Chesapeake Bay community whose island is disappearing amid rising tides.

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy

UVA professor and director of the Center for Media and Citizenship chronicles how Facebook unwittingly became an instrument of propaganda, misinformation, and misdirection


Paul Guest

Because Everything Is Terrible

Guest explores the end of the world and the end of words, destruction and its counterpoint, love and other things worth living for in “this emergency we call life.”

Erika Howsare

How is Travel a Folded Form?

A conversation between the poet and Isabella Bird, an Englishwoman explorer from the Victorian era, on their imagined travels together in the American West.

Molly Minturn

Not in Heaven

A chapbook of quick-paced thought with beautifully startling juxtapositions: “Please turn me deciduous. Scarlet / the parlor. My terrible arms wing up in the dark.” (A Child’s Garden of Verses)

Lisa Russ Spaar

Orexia: Poems

A collection on aging and desire, both of the body and the spirit.

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