2014 Festival Alums Earn “Best of” Honors

2014 Festival Alums Earn “Best of” Honors

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Eula Biss at Fall for the Book

Works by two of this year’s Fall for the Book authors have earned top spots on the New York Times‘ list of “The 10 Best Books of 2014.” Jenny Offill‘s Dept. of Speculation was one of five fiction books selected as the year’s finest by the editors, who wrote that “Offill’s slender and cannily paced novel, her second, assembles fragments, observations, meditations and different points of view to chart the course of a troubled marriage…. Part elegy and part primal scream, it’s a profound and unexpectedly buoyant performance.” Eula Biss, who received this year’s Mary Roberts Rinehart Award at Fall for the Book, was one of five authors honored in nonfiction. Praising On Immunity: An Inoculation, the Times wrote: “In this spellbinding blend of memoir, science journalism and literary criticism, Biss unpacks what the fear of vaccines tells us about larger anxieties involving purity, contamination and interdependency. Deeply researched and anchored in Biss’s own experiences as a new mother, this ferociously intelligent book is itself an inoculation against bad science and superstition, and a reminder that we owe one another our lives.”

Additionally, among the Times “100 Notable Books” of the year was the poetry collection Faithful and Virtuous Night by Louise Glück, who will be appearing at the festival’s 2015 New Leaves Conference in mid-April.

Roxane Gay at Fall for the Book

Roxane Gay at Fall for the Book

Fall for the Book attendees from this year and previous festivals also appear throughout the Washington Post‘s coverage of “The Best Books of 2014.” The list of “Top 50 Fiction Books for 2014” includes  An Untamed State by 2014 participant Roxane Gay, as well as new books by festival alums Stephen King, Francine Prose, Jane Smiley, and Emma Straub. Brigid Schulte, who spoke about her book Overwhelmed as part of a 2014 panel discussion on our overstressed, overworked schedules, shows up on the list of “50 Notable Works of Nonfiction”; also included on that list are previous festival authors Harold Holzer and Walter Issacson. And 2012 Mason Award winner Neil Gaiman‘s The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Vols. 1 and 2 was named among “The Top 10 Graphic Novels of 2014.”

Gay’s and Schulte’s books also appear on National Public Radio’s survey of the year’s finest, where Gay is honored a second time for her essay collection Bad Feminist.

Congratulations to all these authors for the well-deserved accolades!