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.
When terrorists attack a space station academy in 2194, it’s up to five teens to save the space colonies.
Horse: A Novel
A teenage girl befriends a horse in the aftermath of her parents’ separation.
A Mississippi community must reconcile a horrible crime with the man no one would ever suspect.
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.
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.
A love triangle in New York City comes to a head when the city’s transportation system fails.
Bigfoots in Paradise
Dark comedic short stories set in Santa Cruz, California, explore human drama amid the threat of earthquake and fire.
Penelope Lemon: Game On!
Majors’ fifth novel chronicles the online-dating misadventures of a single mom living with her mother.
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.
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.
The Afterlives: A Novel
A man with a heart condition that left him temporarily dead at 30 explores the possibility of an afterlife.
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.
The Business of Being a Writer
Advice for navigating the publishing industry.
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.
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.
The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel: John Williams, Stoner, and the Writing Life
A biography of cult-favorite novelist John Williams.
Summer of Hate: Charlottesville, USA
Investigative journalist Spencer gives an accounting of the white supremacist rallies.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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
A collection on aging and desire, both of the body and the spirit.