The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Authors
Houston is a literary hotbed with the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program, organizations like Inprint, Nuestra Palabra, Arte Publico Press, and others all calling H-town or the immediately surrounding area home. We have our fair share of successful novelists, here's our list of the top ten.
Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist, is a New Yorker.
First a few words about some people who aren't on the list. Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist, is getting lots of praise for her debut novel about the personal awakening of a young typist in a New York City police department precinct in the 1920s. We like the book, but Rindell isn't on our list because while currently a doctoral student in literature at Rice University, she lives in New York.
Elizabeth Black and Tom Abrahams are both getting buzz for their recent debuts, (Black's suspense novel The Drowning House and Abrahams' Sedition: A Political Thriller.) If this were a list of the top upcoming Houston authors, they'd certainly be on it. For now, let's say they made remarkable debuts and we expect big, big things from them both.
And then there's Gwendolyn Zepeda, who has published poetry, children's books and chick-lit. One of our favorite writers, Zepeda is Houston's first ever poet laureate. Her next upcoming title, Falling in Love with Fellow Prisoners, is a book of poems. Ditto Sarah Cortez, whose new book is also poetry. (This is a list of novelists, sorry.)
10. Barbara Taylor Sissel
Barbara Taylor Sissel, author of Evidence of Life
Evidence of Life
No list of Houston authors would be complete without a romance novelist - we're the home to the Romance Writers of America after all (the association was founded here in 1980). Sissel's Evidence of Life, about a woman struggling to cope after her husband and daughter disappear during a camping trip in the Texas Hill Country, was released by Harlequin MIRA in March. Her first novel, The Ninth Step, was published in 2011 (she released a total of three books that year).
9. Larry Watts
League City resident Larry Watts spent 20 years in law enforcement. His on-the-streets experience translates into hard-hitting, gritty crime novels.
8. Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Divakaruni, a professor in UH's Creative Writing Program, tells the story of a young woman raised by her traditional family in India who moves to America after 9/11 in her latest release Oleander Girl.
7. David Berg
Photo by Martine Fougeron David Berg, the author of Run, Brother , Run
Run, Brother, Run
A lawyer with offices in Houston and New York, Berg's Run, Brother, Run recounts the murder of his brother, Alan Berg by hitman Charles Harrelson (actor Woody Harrelson's father) in 1968.