Hey, I Know Them!
The DMV isn’t just about government and politics. We have lots of talented people in the literary world living in and around the city. Some are rare natives to the area, and others are, like many of us, transplants. Whether they’re new here or not, you might be lucky enough to find these authors strolling around DC or, you might even know them personally. Check out their books from your branch and support local talent!
The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South by Michael W. Twitty
In an epic journey across the southern United States, Twitty explores the generational evolution of African American cuisine, sharing recipes and personal stories along the way. Twitty is thorough with history, reaching into pockets too-frequently unexplored by the white, colonialist, mainstream perspective. Additionally Jewish and of the LGBT community, Twitty offers delectable passages describing the making of food and food itself while injecting personal stories of self-discovery, recognition, affirmation, and personal and cultural adversity. Twitty lives in the D.C. area and you can follow him on Twitter at @KosherSoul.
Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
Jackson comes out swinging with her sophomore novel, Monday’s Not Coming about the all-too-common disappearance of young black women. When Claudia realizes her friend Monday is missing, it seems she is the only one to care. Why is no one searching for Monday and, perhaps more seriously, why is even Monday’s mother not sharing information? This YA novel takes place in D.C. and points to some familiar spaces, including one of DC Public Library’s own. Jackson splits her time between NYC and D.C. and you can follow her on Twitter at @WriteinBK.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Reynolds contemplates the cycle of violence in the black community with an original concept in his award-winning Long Way Down. In the time it takes Will to get from his apartment to the ground floor in the elevator, he meets people from his past, no matter how impossibly inaccessible they are. Through powerful verse, Will contemplates his aim -- to murder the person who killed his brother. The question is, are those who intervene in his thoughts enough to stop the violence? Reynolds recently moved to D.C. and you can follow him on Twitter at @JasonReynolds83.
If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio
Rio’s debut novel sets the stage with a man named Oliver Marks, recently released from prison and a detective who just wants to know what really happened so many years ago at Dellecher Classical Conservatory. A thrilling whodunnit that is steeped heavily in Shakespeare, If We Were Villains is a great read for fans of Donna Tartt’s The Secret History as well as for lovers of Shakespeare. Each student has a role to play, but what happens when one of them is killed? And who killed him? Rio lives in D.C. and is pursuing her PhD at the University of Maryland. You can follow her on Twitter at @sureasmel.
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
The prolific Alexander shares his novel in verse about love, basketball, and family for fans of middle grade fiction in The Crossover. Josh is trying to live up to his dad’s legendary status all while competing with his twin brother, Jordan, who doesn’t just have the looks but the chill to go with it. When a new girl comes into the picture, neither boy can get enough of Miss Sweet Tea, but there’s only one of her. Meanwhile, something is lurking in the family that won’t be held at bay much longer -- and it’s going to change the family forever. Alexander lives in Reston, VA and you can follow him on Twitter at @kwamealexander.
Adnan’s Story: The Search for Truth and Justice after Serial by Rabia Chaudry
Following on the heels of Sarah Koenig’s first season of the investigative Serial, lawyer and friend of the subject Rabia Chaudry corrects and fills in the gaps of the story with Adnan’s Story. As a case that is continuing to be reviewed in 2019 with big news regarding Adnan’s future sure to come soon, Adnan’s Story is a riveting read with or without Serial. Discover the serious missteps by law enforcement, the existing corruption in the Baltimore Police Department, and where things stand in the murder of Hae Min Lee, Adnan’s ex-girlfriend. Chaudry lives in D.C. and you can follow her on Twitter at @rabiasquared.
Our Own Private Universe by Robin Talley
Aki is still figuring out a lot of things, but she knows for sure she’s bisexual. Now that it’s summer, though, Aki figures it’s prime time to learn some more, and what better opportunity than to test out her new theory than when she meets the more-experienced Christa on a trip. Any well-crafted theory is still subject to failure -- but what could possibly go wrong? Talley lives in DC and you can follow her on Twitter at @robin_talley.