Among the many authors appearing at WI 16 are 22-year-old inaugural poet Amanda Gorman, who will publish her first picture book and poetry collection, and Catherine Raven, who is the launch author for Spiegel & Grau, the indie press begun by Cindy Spiegel and Julie Grau when their eponymous imprint was closed by Penguin Random House in 2019. Tamika Mallory is the launch author for Black Privilege Publishing, a new imprint at Atria; Leslie Epstein and Ralph Blumenthal are debuting the University of New Mexico’s new High Road Books line; and YA writer Julie Murphy is kicking off a new adult series.

Below are selected authors and illustrators to look for at WI 16 (all times given are in Eastern Time).

Adult Fiction

Nawaaz Ahmed

Radiant Fugitives (Counterpoint, Aug. 3; $26)

Why the buzz:Radiant Fugitives by Nawaaz Ahmed made an immediate impact on us due to its sheer ambition: A debut novel inspired by the writing of the Koran, of Wordsworth and Keats, and of the political speeches of President Obama; a love story set against the past two decades of American political life; and a page-turning family story of thwarted forgiveness and reconciliation. All suffused with beauty and magic and a final scene I will never forget.”—Dan Smetanka, v-p, editor-in-chief, Counterpoint

Opening: “My life outside my mother’s womb has just begun.”

Author social: Debut authors room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Anuk Arudpragasam

A Passage North: A Novel (Hogarth, July 13; $27; 35,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “From the acclaimed author of The Story of a Brief Marriage, a searing novel of love and the legacy of war, takes the reader on an astonishing train journey into the soul of a country. Both a moving account of the legacy of Sri Lanka’s civil war and a luminous meditation on connection and desire, Anuk Arudpragasam’s novel brings his homeland’s history, as well as the many facets of the human heart, to vivid life.”—Parisa Ebrahimi, senior editor, Hogarth

Opening: “The present, we assume, is eternally before us, one of the few things in life from which we cannot be parted.”

Author social: Literary fiction room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Clay McLeod Chapman

Whisper Down the Lane (Quirk, Apr. 6; $19.99)

Why the buzz:Whisper Down the Lane is an incredibly timely novel about how moral panics and conspiracy theories take root in American society. For me, the most horrifying realization is that the cultural and political conditions that enabled the Satanic Panic in the ’80s aren’t all that different from the ones that have led to the rise of QAnon today. Clay is a master of showing how ordinary, recognizable people can fall prey to paranoia.”—Jhanteigh Kupihea, editorial director, Quirk

Opening: “They found Professor Howdy spread across the soccer field. What was left of him, anyway.”

Author social: Mystery/thriller room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Alyssa Cole

How to Find a Princess: Runaway Royals (Avon, Apr. 26; $7.99 mass market; 75,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “I started reading Alyssa Cole a few years ago, and she still manages to get better with every book. Her latest trilogy, Runaway Royals, began with How to Catch a Queen and continues with How to Find a Princess. These books are utterly delightful and just the type of smart contemporary romance readers love.”—Ronnie Kutys, manager, sales, HarperCollins

Opening: “Makeda Hicks was used to delivering quality customer service with a smile no matter how bad she felt, but as she rushed into the manager’s office of GrabRite Supermarket #074, Atlantic City New Jersey location, out of breath and sweaty from surviving a gauntlet of needy customers, disappointment tugged at the corners of her mouth.”

“All You Need Is Love: LBGTQ+ Romance” session, Fri., Feb. 19, 5:45–6:45 p.m.

Naima Coster

What’s Mine and Yours (Grand Central, Mar. 2; $28; 50,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “To say Naima Coster is an exceptional talent is an understatement. She writes characters with unfailing empathy, and when I first read What’s Mine and Yours, I wept openly and embarrassingly at my desk. It’s so beautiful! It quickly became an in-house favorite, and in 2020 Naima deservedly received NBF’s 5 Under 35 honor for Halsey Street. I’m excited that with her exquisite new novel, more readers will be moved to see the world through Naima’s discerning and generous eye.”—Seema Mahanian, editor, Grand Central

Opening: “The street was dark when Ray pulled up behind the bakery.”

Author social: Literary fiction room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Amanda Dennis

Her Here (Bellevue Literary, Mar. 9; $16.99 trade paper)

Why the buzz:Her Here is a powerfully atmospheric existential detective story about one young woman’s search for another that evokes that fragile psychic space of early adulthood, when both solitude and a yearning for connection are so keenly felt. It resonates profoundly with our current moment.”—Erika Goldman, publisher and editorial director, Bellevue Literary

Opening: “I have been up all night and now the day is gray, the narrow streets slick and silvered outside the taxi window.”

Author social: Debut authors room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Leslie Epstein

Hill of Beans: A Novel of War and Celluloid (High Road, Mar. 1; $27.95)

Why the buzz: Hill of Beans is a big, sprawling, scenery-chewing picaresque novel about World War II and the making of Casablanca, with a cast of characters including studio head Jack Warner, Churchill, Roosevelt, General George Patton, and an ex-wrestler called The Terrible Turk. It all springs from the mind of Leslie Epstein, whose father and uncle wrote Casablanca under the tyrannical Warner; it is hilarious, and it’s all (mostly) true.”—Stephen Hull, director, University of New Mexico Press, and editor, The Believer

Opening:Hedda Hopper’s Hollywood: December 1941, Los Angeles: Since Hedy Lamarr has taken off those silks and satins and gotten into something that shows her chassis, she’s certainly the life of the party in Tortilla Flat, with Tracy and John Garfield so hot after her it’s enough to turn any girl’s head.”

Author social: Literary fiction room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Claire Fuller

Unsettled Ground: A Novel (Tin House, May 18; $26.95; 50,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Claire Fuller was one of the first authors I worked with in my career at Tin House. From Our Endless Numbered Days and Swimming Lessons to Bitter Orange, Claire has surprised, delighted, and devastated me with psychologically shrewd observations, vivid characters, absorbing settings, and inventive, memorable plots. And with Unsettled Ground, Claire has somehow undone herself. In her trademark style, everything is on its head by page two and nothing will ever be the same.”—Masie Cochran, editorial director, Tin House

Opening: “The morning sky lightens, and snow falls on the cottage.”

Author social: Literary fiction room, Sat., Feb. 20. 4:15–5 p.m.

Andrew J. Graff

Raft of Stars (Ecco, Feb. 24; $26.99; 125,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Given the moment we’re in, I think we could all use some hope in our fiction. Andrew—an Air Force vet and an Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate—has written one of the most powerful novels of community, of friendship, and of finding hope in the grimmest of situations that I’ve ever read. And in a year when we’ve spent too much time indoors, it’s a pleasure to go rafting down the wilderness rapids with these characters, even as danger lurks, holding on for the ride.”—Helen Atsma, v-p, editorial director, Ecco

Opening: “To Fish’s Grandpa, Fish had me put this note on your fridge to tell you we are running away.”

Author social: Debut authors room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Elly Griffiths

The Postscript Murders (HMH, Mar. 2; $25; 35,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Elly Griffiths gets better every year; her Edgar Award-winning stand-alone of 2019, The Stranger Diaries, is a shining example. The Postscript Murders is Elly in top form—charming, idiosyncratic, relatable characters; a twisting, turning plot; and, this time, a story set in a world we love, the book world. Elly uses the trappings of our business and the world of mystery writing to perfect effect as she spins together an exceptional page-turner.”—Naomi Gibbs, senior editor, HMH

Opening: “The two men have been standing there for eighteen minutes.”

Author social: Mystery/thriller room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Talia Hibbert

Act Your Age, Eve Brown (Avon, Feb. 10; $15.99 trade paper; 75,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “I’m so thrilled to join team Talia for Eve’s story. It is an absolutely delightful, swoonworthy, and steamy ending to the Brown sisters’ series!”—Kaitie Leary, marketing coordinator, Avon

Opening: ”Eve Brown didn’t keep a diary.”

Author social: Romance room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Pam Jenoff

The Woman with the Blue Star (Park Row, May 5; $17.99 trade paper)

Why the buzz: “Pam Jenoff is synonymous with World War II fiction, and The Woman with the Blue Star is her best book yet. Inspired by incredible true accounts, it is a powerful story of a young Jewish woman who is forced into hiding under harrowing circumstances and a Polish girl who risks everything to help a stranger. Beautifully written and deeply emotional, this is an unforgettable novel of friendship and courage, and a triumphant celebration of humanity.”—Erika Imranyi, editorial director, Park Row

Opening: “Krakow, Poland. June, 2016. The woman I see before me is not the one I expected at all.”

Author social: Literary fiction room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Morgan Jerkins

Caul Baby (Harper, Apr. 6; $27.99; 75,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Morgan Jerkins is such a thoughtful writer that I’m always excited to read anything she writes, but her richly imagined and deeply felt debut novel, Caul Baby, exceeded my already high expectations. She handles questions of motherhood and loyalty and belonging with great insight, and weaves in magical realism with the lightest touch. Her vision of Harlem came alive on the page for me, as did these flawed, loving, unforgettable female characters. I can’t wait to share this book with readers.”—Emily Griffin, executive editor, Harper, Harper Perennial

Opening: “Something was bound to happen to Laila’s baby, and everyone from the pews of Abyssinian Baptist down to the northern shore of Central Park knew it.”

Author social: Literary fiction room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Alka Joshi

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur (Mira, June 22; $27.99)

Why the buzz:New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi’s sequel to The Henna Artist, set in 1969, again showcases her rich storytelling and talent for transporting us to a different cultural place with the compelling story of Malik, once Lakshmi’s young helper, now apprenticed at the Jaipur Palace. While there he becomes ensnared in scandal not of his own making, as money and favors flow seamlessly among the wealthy and threaten all he aspires to, including his generous benefactor.”—Kathy Sagan, senior editor, Mira

Opening: “1969, Jaipur. It’s the opening night of the Royal Jewel Cinema, which shines as brilliantly as a gemstone.”

Author social: Literary fiction room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Jean Hanff Korelitz

The Plot (Celadon, May 11; $28; 200,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “At this point, Jean and I are like an old married couple: The Plot is our fourth book together. And, while each of her books has an incredible hook and plot twist, all of her books, more than being about the who of who-did-it, are about the why of what happened. Like You Should Have Known, which became the HBO series The Undoing, The Plot’s story of a failed writer and his pursuit of fame will keep you up reading late into the night.”—Deb Futter, senior v-p, copublisher, Celadon

Opening: “Jacob Finch Bonner, the once promising author of the ‘New & Noteworthy’ (New York Times Book Review) novel, The Invention of Wonder, let himself into the office he’d been assigned on the second floor of Richard Peng Hall, set his beat up leather satchel on the barren desk, and looked around in something akin to despair.”

Author social: Mystery/thriller room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Casey McQuiston

One Last Stop (Griffin, June 1; $16.99 trade paper; 250,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “I knew going into it that Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop was going to be special. It is full of romance, big feelings, and undeniable hope. It showcases a world where the impossible is possible. It is everything I love about her work. What I didn’t expect was to cry. I rarely do. But somehow Casey always manages to grab your heart and twist, even as her words give you the biggest hug you never knew you needed.”—Vicki Lame, senior editor, St. Martin’s

Opening: “ ‘Can I touch you?’ That’s the first thing the guy with the tattoos says when August settles onto the rubbed-off center cushion of the brown leather couch—a flaking hand-me-down number that’s been a recurring character the past four and a half years of college.”

“All You Need Is Love: LGBTQ+ Romance” session, Fri., Feb. 19, 5:45–6:45 p.m.

Julie Murphy

If the Shoe Fits (A Meant to Be Novel) (Disney-Hyperion, Aug. 3; $26.99)

Why the buzz: “ This is a series that women in their teens, 20s, and 30s will devour and pass among their friends. The Disney fairy tales are the original rom-coms. Now we’ve modernized them with empowering perspectives and diverse voices.”—Seale Ballenger, publicity director, Disney Publishing Worldwide

Opening: “ ‘Once upon a time...’ a plump ten-year-old Cindy with golden hair pulled into a bumpy ponytail and cheeks flush with warmth said quietly to herself as she waited on the front porch, her chin resting on her kneecap with a poop emoji Band-Aid stretched across an especially nasty scab.”

Author social: Romance room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Kelly Mustian

The Girls in the Stilt House (Sourcebooks Landmark, Apr. 6; $16.99 trade paper; 50,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Kelly Mustian is a supremely talented debut author whose Mississippi upbringing infuses this story of two girls on the Natchez Trace with lush background and exquisite detail. I’m so excited for this novel because her skill at drawing the reader into her world blew me away, and her vivid exploration of the resiliency of the human spirit is such a gift in a time when most of us need a spark of hope.”—Shana Drehs, editorial director, Sourcebooks Landmark

Opening: “The two girls climb down from the wagon and land with gentle thumps on a mat of damp leaves.”

Author social: Debut authors room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Caleb Azumah Nelson

Open Water (Black Cat, Apr. 13; $16 trade paper)

Why the buzz: “When I first read Open Water, I knew I’d encountered the rarest of gems: a brilliantly talented writer, who, at only 26, has written a love story for the ages. A tender and beautiful portrait of two young Black British artists in London, and a searing look at the impact of racism, Nelson’s novel embodies a combination of musicality, intimacy, humor, and emotional intelligence. It grabbed me by the heart and still hasn’t let go.”—Katie Raissian, senior editor, Grove Atlantic

Opening: “The barbershop was strangely quiet.”

Author social: Debut authors room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Chibundu Onuzo

Sankofa (Catapult, Oct. 5; $26)

Why the buzz: “As an editor it’s so rare to encounter a novel as powerful as Sankofa, but also so enormously enjoyable. I love the way Chibundu blends the personal and the political in her exploration of mixed-race identity, the African diaspora, and race and politics in the 1970s. And I love that the beating heart is a perfectly-drawn father-daughter dynamic—a relationship that would be fascinating even if the father wasn’t the dictator of a small West African nation.”—Jonathan Lee, editor-in-chief, Catapult

Opening: “My mother was six months dead when I opened the trunk I found under her bed.”

Author social: Literary fiction room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Alan Parks

Bobby March Will Live Forever (World Noir, Apr. 6: $17 trade paper; 15,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “While Alan’s star is rising here in the U.S., he is still ‘the best noir novelist you’ve probably never heard of,’ and it’s exciting when you bring not a made book to Winter Institute but a make book, because nobody makes books better than indie booksellers. Alan’s past in the music industry shows in Bobby March, featuring a dead glam rock star and set in the quintessentially sex-drugs-and-rock-’n’-roll 1970s. Alan does the existential cop and ink-black noir better than anyone.”—Michael Reynolds, editor-in-chief, Europa

Opening: ”It’s Billy the desk sergeant that takes the call. A woman on the phone, breathless, scared, half crying. She says, ‘I’d like to report a missing child.’ ”

Author social: Mystery/thriller room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Natasha Pulley

The Kingdoms (Bloomsbury, May 25; $27; 60,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Bestselling author Natasha Pulley has written her best novel yet in The Kingdoms, a breathtaking, heart-pounding novel of time travel and battles at sea. Blending wry humor, speculative fiction, and a slow-burn queer love story, The Kingdoms is a stunning, unputdownable adventure.”—Laura Keefe, senior director of marketing and publicity, Bloomsbury

Opening: “Most people have trouble recalling their first memory, because they have to stretch for it, like trying to touch your toes; but Joe didn’t.”

Author social: Science fiction/fantasy room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Morgan Rogers

Honey Girl (Park Row, Feb. 23; $16.99 trade paper)

Why the buzz: “What excites me about Morgan Rogers’s exceptional debut novel is her ability to capture the humor and messiness of the millennial coming-of-age experience. I was charmed by her main character Grace, a 20-something queer Black woman, who stands at a crossroads in her STEM career and in a new marriage to a woman she barely knows. With pitch-perfect dialogue and a diverse cast of characters, Honey Girl was, for me, love at first sight.”—Laura Brown, editor, Park Row

Opening: “In Las Vegas, they sell cheap replicas of the love locks from the Parisian bridge for $25.”

Author social: Romance room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Paul Rudnick

Playing the Palace (Berkley, May 25; $16 trade paper; 75,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Not surprisingly Paul Rudnick’s rom-com Playing the Palace is sharply observant and very funny. It is also a feel-good romance novel that delivers from the initial meet-cute to the happy-ever-after ending and will appeal to Casey McQuiston and Jasmine Guillory fans. Readers are sure to fall for the unlikely love story of Britain’s heir to the throne, the openly gay Prince Edgar, and Carter, a jaded New Yorker who hasn’t completely given up on love.”—Cindy Hwang, v-p and editorial director, Berkley

Opening: ”It’s still weird, waking up alone.”

“All You Need Is Love: LGBTQ+ Romance” session Fri., Feb. 19, 5:45–6:45 p.m.

Sanjena Sathian

Gold Diggers (Penguin Press, Apr. 6; $27; 100,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “I fell in love with [protagonist] Neil Narayan’s voice immediately. Gold Diggers is a wholly original novel that is so wise about ambition, identity, community, and love. Sanjena Sathian beautifully balances satire with magical realism in a striver story that skewers the model-minority narrative. She gives us a profound lens on the reality behind the American dream, as well as a deeply realized coming-of-age story. She is also so funny. And, as a native Georgian, I couldn’t be more delighted to be publishing a truly brilliant novel of the changing Atlanta suburbs right now.”—Ginny Smith Younce, executive editor, Penguin Press

Opening: “In the middle of Bombay there was, for many years, a certain squat building that served as a beacon for the city’s ambitious.”

Author social: Debut authors room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle (Knopf, May 4; $28.95; 125,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “I have always revered Maggie’s gifts, but Great Circle catapults her to an entirely new level. Emotionally, geographically, chronologically, it’s a work of staggering imagination—utterly transporting and unforgettable, an exhilarating, once-in-a-decade reading experience. And the fact that it centers on two iconoclastic women in different centuries who are determined to live their lives on their own terms makes it feel intensely modern and of the moment. It is going to be such a joy to watch readers discover the pleasures of Great Circle.”—Jordan Pavlin, editorial director, Knopf

Opening: “I was born to be a wanderer.”

Author social: Literary fiction room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Rivers Solomon

Sorrowland (MCD, May 4; $27; 100,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz:Sorrowland turned out to be the novel that I needed this year. First, there’s Vern, Sorrowland’s protagonist, who’s strong and determined enough to rise to our times. And the storytelling is transporting and trenchant in a way that, for me, has the kind of mythic authority of Octavia Butler or Margaret Atwood. Rivers Solomon’s work, I’m convinced, will be with us for a long time, but Sorrowland also feels like a book for right now.”—Sean McDonald, senior v-p and publisher, MCD

Opening: “The child gushed out from twixt Vern’s legs ragged and smelling of salt.”

Author social: Literary fiction room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Adult Nonfiction

Carol Anderson

The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America (Blooms-
bury, June 1; $28; 500,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Professor Carol Anderson follows on the success of her award-winning, bestselling nonfiction books White Rage and One Person, No Vote with The Second, a historical and social deconstruction of the Second Amendment and how it was designed from the start not to protect citizens, but to keep African Americans powerless and vulnerable. A breathtakingly timely reconsideration of American history, this will be essential social justice reading.”—Laura Keefe, senior director of marketing and publicity, Bloomsbury

Opening: “It was like a snuff film, that July 6, 2016, livestream.”

Author social: Social justice room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Alison Bechdel

The Secret to Superhuman Strength (HMH, May 4; $24; 75,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Once again, Alison Bechdel has reinvented memoir, telling her life story decade by decade through the lens of her lifelong obsession with exercise. It’s not random that the Transcendentalists and the Beats are woven into this hyperliterary memoir. The story of their—and Alison’s—seeking connection and flow with the body, others, and the natural world might be just what we want to be reading as we reenter and reshape this postpandemic world of ours. Also: beautiful, and funny.”—Deanne Urmy, editor-at-large, HMH

Opening: “Hup! Hoh!”

Author social: Graphic works room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Ralph Blumenthal

The Believer: Alien Encounters, Hard Science, and the Passion of John Mack (High Road, Mar. 15; $29.95)

Why the buzz: ”Ralph Blumenthal’s The Believer is one of the best examples I’ve ever read of what we might call the academic detective story. In it, psychiatrist John Mack brings the full gravitas of his Harvard Medical School career to exploring the experiences of people who believed they had been abducted by aliens. It’s a lucid and brilliant book about a complex, brilliant man, and a perfect launch for our new High Road Books imprint.”—Stephen Hull, director, University of New Mexico Press, and editor, The Believer

Opening: “The Massachusetts Institute of Technology sprawls along the southern coast of Cambridge, facing patrician Back Bay Boston across a wide spot of the Charles River.”

Author social: Memoir room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Alexandra Elle

After the Rain: Gentle Reminders for Healing, Courage, and Self-Love (Chronicle, out now; $19.95) and In Courage Journal: A Daily Practice for Self-Discovery (Chronicle, out now; $14.95)

Why the buzz:After the Rain is a balm for burnout, anxiety, and the stresses of modern life. I think many people think self-care is taking a warm bath, or lighting a scented candle. But to Alexandra and her many fans, self-care is a radical practice of self-acceptance and vulnerability. It’s a journey with no endpoint—Alexandra believes that self-discovery is a lifelong unfolding, and that every difficult moment is another opportunity to grow and flourish.”—Rachel Hiles, senior editor, Chronicle

Opening: “When I think of change, I like to imagine the transitions between seasons.”

Author social: Memoir room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Caseen Gaines

Footnotes (Sourcebooks, May 25; $26.99; 50,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz:Footnotes pulls back the curtain on Broadway in the 1920s and introduces us to the four Black men behind Shuffle Along, the first all-Black Broadway musical to find success. The personal stories of these men, which include shocking instances of racism and violence, culminate in the creation of a phenomenally popular show whose influence changed the direction of popular culture forever and paved the way for many of America’s most beloved Black performers.”—Anna Michels, editorial director, Sourcebooks and Poisoned Pen Press

Opening: “Opening night was going better than any of them could have expected, but the performers knew the rapturous applause was obscuring the truth; there was a good chance someone was going to get killed at any moment, and it was likely to be one of them.”

Author social: Social justice room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Chris Gardner

Permission to Dream (Amistad, Apr. 13; $24.99; 75,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “We are thrilled to have Chris Gardner’s latest book on the Amistad list. His work brings me so much joy and hope.”—Mary Beth Thomas, v-p, deputy director of sales, HarperCollins

Opening: ”Sometimes—perhaps at what might seem to be the absolute lowest point in your life—you’ll be given a key to the most rewarding, powerful dream possible.”

Author social: Memoir room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Coauthor Mim Eichler-Rivas will not be attending.

James Hannaham

Pilot Impostor (Soft Skull, Nov. 2; $28)

Why the buzz:Pilot Impostor springs from its author’s fascination with two things: the poetry of Fernando Pessoa and the history of air disasters. Somehow, magically, by juxtaposing these seemingly unrelated inspirations, and by exploring them through every form—image, verse, prose—the book leads us to reckon with the most universal questions. What is consciousness? What is the self? What holds this self—multiple, fragmented, performative, increasingly algorithmically controlled, constantly under threat of death—intact and aloft?”—Yuka Igarashi, editor-in-chief, Soft Skull

Opening: “Sometimes I feel like a commercial jet pilot, sitting here with my eyes focused on my lighted display, the artificial horizon indicating my attitude, fingers at the ready.”

Author social: Nonfiction room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Jenny Lawson

Broken (In the Best Possible Way) (Holt, Apr. 6; $27.99; 350,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “To me this is the book we all need right now. Jenny is an ambassador for mental health. She is brutally honest about living with debilitating depression. And she is brutally funny. ‘An Open Letter to My Health Insurance Company’ should be an anthem for anyone who has ever contested a denied claim. In these difficult times, Jenny offers both empathy and humor, and a reminder that ‘falling apart can bring us together.’ ”—Amy Einhorn, president and publisher, Henry Holt

Opening: “I don’t remember the first time I noticed I was losing my memory.”

Author social: Memoir room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Tamika Mallory

State of Emergency: How We Win In the Country We Built (Black Privilege, May 11; $26; 100,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “We are thrilled to be publishing Tamika Mallory’s work as the first book from our new imprint, Black Privilege Publishing. Mallory is a trailblazing social justice and civil rights activist, and her insight could not come at a more critical time. With an unflinching history of American systemic racism and a vision for lasting, positive change, State of Emergency will serve as an integral addition to the ongoing anti-racism conversation.”—Nicholas Ciani, editor, Simon & Schuster

Opening: “My book. That still doesn’t feel quite right when I see it. Despite what you may think, I’m not a woman who
relishes the spotlight. Especially one cast over me in the wake of destruction.”

Author social: Social justice room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Kate Moore

The Woman They Could Not Silence (Sourcebooks, June 22; $27.99; 50,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Kate Moore is an unmatched talent in the world of narrative nonfiction. In The Woman They Could Not Silence, Kate paints a fascinating portrait of Elizabeth Packard, a 19th-century woman from Illinois whose husband committed her to an insane asylum because she disagreed with some of his views. Despite being constantly undermined, Elizabeth fought for years to secure freedom for herself and other women like her, making huge strides in women’s rights that continue to resonate today.”—Anna Michels, editorial director, Sourcebooks and Poisoned Pen Press

Opening: “If she screamed, she sealed her fate. She had to keep her rage locked up inside her, her feelings as tightly buttoned as her blouse.”

Author social: Nonfiction room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Lauren Wadsworth

Did That Just Happen?! Beyond “Diversity”—Creating Sustainable and Inclusive Organizations (Beacon, June 15; $25.95; 25,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “When I read this proposal, there were many recognizable moments and many gasps. Dr. Pinder-Amaker and Dr. Wadsworth are both experts in the field of DEI. Their user-friendly manner and numerous examples, which includes times when they feel they fell short, will be useful to everyone trying to create more inclusive organizations.”—Sanj Kharbanda, director sales and marketing, Beacon

Opening: “We are at an inflection point. The timeline of the past few years, a steady drumbeat of a world unjust, birthed this book.”

“Creating a Work Environment That Embraces Access, Equity and Justice” session, Thurs., Feb. 18, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Catherine Raven

Fox & I: An Uncommon Friendship (Spiegel & Grau, July 6; $27; 50,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “This story of a solitary woman’s four-year transformative friendship with a wild fox is a book for our times. It opens our eyes to the natural world, the meaning of friendship, and learning to cope with loss. The book became even more meaningful to me as Covid hit, wildfires began raging in the west, and we all became solitary people. It deepened my understanding and appreciation of our interconnectedness with humanity and nature.”—Cindy Spiegel, partner and CEO, Spiegel & Grau

Opening: “For twelve consecutive days the fox has appeared at my cottage.”

Author social: Debut authors room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Shawna Kay Rodenberg

Kin: A Memoir (Bloomsbury, June 8; $28; 200,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz:Kin is the heart-stopping memoir of a wrenching Appalachian girlhood and a multilayered portrait of a misrepresented people, from Rona Jaffe Writer’s Award winner and poet Shawna Kay Rodenberg. This highly anticipated debut is beautifully written and takes an intimate, nuanced, and compassionate look at life in an extreme religious community.”—Marie Coolman, senior director of publicity and communications, Bloomsbury

Opening: “2017: I am trying to sneak two ounces of primo marijuana that I have carried all the way from Evansville, Indiana, to Seco, Kentucky, past the producer of the CBS Evening News and into the doublewide trailer where my father anxiously waits for it.”

Author social: Debut authors room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Anna Sale

Let’s Talk About Hard Things (Simon & Schuster, May 4; $27)

Why the buzz: “Anna Sale is well-versed in talking through the toughest of topics as the host of Death, Sex, and Money. With the same empathetic, engaging, accessible approach, Sale welcomes us in to the conversation in her debut book. Opening up about her own life and with profiles of others who vulnerably step forward, Let’s Talk About Hard Things is an invitation to connect and create community, a testament to the power of our shared humanity.”—Stephanie Frerich, executive editor, Simon & Schuster

Opening: “When I was thirty years old, words failed me.”

Author social: Nonfiction room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Carol Smith

Crossing the River: Seven Stories That Saved My Life, a Memoir (Abrams, May 4; $26)

Why the buzz: “Carol Smith’s Crossing the River is a beautifully written memoir of how stories of resilience helped her survive overwhelming grief. This past year has held so many extraordinary challenges for all of us, leaving us with grief in many forms. As we work our way back, I think so many people will welcome the hard-earned wisdom that Smith shares so sensitively.”—Jamison Stoltz, editorial director, Abrams

Opening: “I did not go to my son Christopher’s school the day the nurse came to speak.”

Author social: Memoir room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Clint Smith

How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America (Little, Brown, June 1; $29)

Why the buzz: “By taking readers along with him to visit the people and places that tell the story of slavery in America, Clint Smith has written an unforgettable book that Little, Brown is proud to publish.”—Vanessa Mobley, executive editor, Little, Brown

Opening: “The sky above the Mississippi River stretched out like a song. The river was still in the windless afternoon, its water yellowish-brown from the sediment it carried across thousands of miles of farmland, cities, and suburbs on its way south.”

Author social: Social justice room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Tom Standage

A Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel to the Car to What Comes Next (Bloomsbury, Aug. 17; $28; 125,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Deputy Economist editor Tom Standage’s delightful A History of the World in 6 Glasses has sold more than half a million copies across all formats. In his new book, Standage gives an utterly readable, fun, and provocative account of an overlooked form of technology—personal transportation—and explores how it has shaped societies and cultures over millennia. Filled with surprising facts, it’ll make you look at the way our world works with fresh eyes.”—Laura Keefe, senior director of marketing and publicity, Bloomsbury

Opening: “Many of our technology-related problems arise because of the unforeseen consequences when apparently benign technologies are employed on a massive scale.”

Author social: Nonfiction room, Sat., Feb. 20, 4:15–5 p.m.

Elissa Washuta

White Magic: Essays (Tin House, Apr. 27; $26.95; 25,000-copy announced first printing)

Why the buzz: “Elissa is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe who writes very beautifully and frankly about spirituality, magic, and astrology. She takes the subjects seriously, but her own little magic trick is that she does so with a kind of self-doubt built-in, something I think many people of faith will recognize. Her approach is fascinating and inviting to the reader. She also writes with a ferocious urgency. It feels like she’s writing to save her life.”—Tony Perez, editor-at-large, Tin House

Opening: “Some girl at school once had a mood ring.”

Author social: Nonfiction room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

Melody Wilding

Trust Yourself: Stop Overthinking and Channel Your Emotions for Success at Work (Chronicle Prism, May 4; $26.95)

Why the buzz: “In Trust Yourself, Melody Wilding speaks to the highly sensitive and high-performing. As an empathetic, driven professional who thinks and feels everything more deeply, this book spoke to me from the moment I got the proposal in. Melody reframes the intersection of ambition and sensitivity as a strength. Whether you’re overthinking your last Zoom meeting or you’ve been overworking for the past six months, there’s something in this book for you.”—Cara Bedick, executive editor, Chronicle Prism

Opening: ”Sensitive, ambitious people are often so worried about what others think and so influenced by common definitions of success that they don’t know how to direct their energy toward what they really want—a fulfilling life coupled with a sense of confidence and control.”

Author social: Nonfiction room, Fri., Feb. 19, 6:45–7:30 p.m.

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