Literary Sojourn

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Literary Sojourn is an annual festival of authors and readers celebrating the power of the book. Each fall, an esteemed slate of authors and over 500 book lovers from all over the country gather in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Together they revel in the written word, fueled by award-winning writers who share the stories and inspiration behind their exceptional books.

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2020 Authors

Maaza Mengiste

Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A novelist and essayist, her fiction and nonfiction stories examine the individual lives at stake during migration, war and exile, and consider the intersections of photography, memory and violence. Mengiste is the author of The Shadow King, a gripping novel set during Mussolini’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, which takes us back to the first real conflict of World War II and casts light on the women soldiers who were left out of the historical record. Author Salman Rushdie raves the Shadow King is “a brilliant novel, lyrically lifting history towards myth. It’s also compulsively readable.” Former Sojourn author Andrew Sean Greer calls the book “beautiful, horrifying, elegant, and haunted…a modern classic.” Her debut novel, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was selected by The Guardian as one of the 10 best contemporary African books and named one of the best books of the year by Christian Science MonitorBoston Globe and other publications. Mengiste is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Scholar Program, National Endowment for the Arts and Creative Capital. Her work can be found in The New YorkerThe New York Review of BooksGrantaThe GuardianThe New York TimesRolling Stone and BBC, among other places. She was a writer on the documentary projects Girl Rising and The Invisible City: Kakuma, and is a professor in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literary Translation program at Queens College.

Maaza Mengiste's Books


Julia Phillips

Julia Phillips is the debut author of the nationally bestselling novel Disappearing Earth, a finalist for the National Book Award. She is a Brooklyn native who studied Russian language in college at Barnard, and holds a special interest in Russia’s remote and sparsely populated Kamchatka peninsula. “Socially, politically, geographically, Kamchatka is full of extremes. The more I learned about it, the more the region’s isolation, natural beauty and dynamic history appealed. By the time I went to Kamchatka for over a year to write this book, I was convinced: this was the perfect setting for an enormous locked-room mystery,” she says. Disappearing Earth describes the abduction of two young girls and the yearlong process of local strangers who, in their own ways, were all affected by the crime. The story “dismantles the conventions of detective fiction,” says The New YorkerThe New York Times calls it “a superb debut…a nearly flawless novel.” A Fulbright fellow, Julia has written for The New York TimesThe AtlanticSlateThe Moscow Times and The Paris Review.

Julia Phillips' Book


Jess Walter (Master of Ceremonies)

Coinciding next fall with the release of his brand-new novel, Nothing West of Dead, past Sojourn author Jess Walter returns as our 2020 Master of Ceremonies. A National Book Award finalist for Citizen Vince and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for The Zero, Walter is the author of six novels, one nonfiction book and a collection of short stories. The Washington Post calls him “as talented a natural storyteller as is working in American fiction these days.” Beautiful Ruins was a No. 1 New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of the Year. says, "Jess Walter has already proven that he’s one of our great comic writers, a cerebral postmodernist and a savvy plotter of thrillers. Now he has his masterpiece, Beautiful Ruins, an interlocking, continent-hopping, decade-spanning novel with heart and pathos to burn, all big dreams, lost loves, deep longings and damn near perfect." The Financial Lives of the Poets ranked as Time Magazine's No. 2 novel of the year, a book that Esquire called, "brilliant – and brilliantly funny." Kirkus Reviews calls his short story collection, We Live in Water, “a witty and sobering snapshot of recession-era America." His short fiction has won a Pushcart Prize and appeared three times in Best American Short Stories. He was a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize as part of a team covering the shootout and standoff at Ruby Ridge, in Northern Idaho.

Jess Walter's Books

2019 Authors

Esi Edugyan

Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan is revered for tapping historical veins in pursuit of untold stories: “[I]t’s a natural curiosity about footnotes – historical footnotes. Things that we haven’t heard about,” she told Quill & Quire. Her richly imagined and impeccably researched stories illuminate complicated truths about race and belonging, and they have twice won her the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Canada’s most prestigious literary award. Such was the case with Washington Black, her newest book that starts as an antebellum novel before taking on a post-slavery narrative about a young slave who is pulled from the fields of an 1830s Barbados sugar plantation to become a manservant to an abolitionist and inventor. Washington Black was named one of the best books of the year by The New York TimesWashington PostThe Boston GlobeSlateTIME and Entertainment Weekly. It was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award, and landed her second Giller Prize. The Washington Post calls it “terrifically exciting . . . An engrossing hybrid of 19th-century adventure and contemporary subtlety, a rip-roaring tale of peril imbued with our most persistent strife . . . Discover what the rest of the world already knows: Edugyan is a magical writer.” Edugyan’s other critically acclaimed works include the novels Half-Blood Blues and The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, and a nonfiction collection, Dreaming of Elsewhere: Observations on Home.

Esi Edugyan's Books

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai‘s latest novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award and has been shortlisted for the 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence. Set during the AIDS epidemic in 1980s Chicago, “Great Believers soars,” says theChicago Tribune. “A wily, seductive writer… Makkai has full command of her multi-generational perspective, and by its end, The Great Believersoffers a grand fusion of the past and the present, the public and the personal. It’s remarkably alive despite all the loss it encompasses. And it’s right on target in addressing how the things that the world throws us feel gratuitously out of step with the lives we think we’re leading.” Makkai’s first novel, The Borrower, was a Booklist Top Ten Debut, an Indie Next pick, and an O Magazine selection. Her second novel, The Hundred-Year House, is the story of a haunted house and a haunted family, told in reverse. Library Journal calls it “stunning, ambitious, readable and intriguing.” It was chosen as the Chicago Writers Association’s novel of the year, and received raves in The New York Times Book Reviewand elsewhere. Makkai’s short fiction won a 2017 Pushcart Prize, was chosen for The Best American Short Stories for four consecutive years, and has been featured on Public Radio International’s Selected Shorts and This American Life. Recipient of a 2014 NEA fellowship, Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and she is the artistic director of StoryStudio Chicago.

Rebecca Makkai's Books

Madeline Miller

When Madeline Miller was a child, her mother read her The Iliad and The Odyssey as bedtime stories. Her fascination with the ancient world didn’t wane, but she says there was always something about the epic tales of Homer and his compatriots that bothered her: the women’s voices were almost nonexistent. Miller’s latest novel, Circe, was an instant No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Author Ann Patchett raves: “Circe is an epic spanning thousands of years that’s also a keep-you-up-all-night page-turner, a story of the gods and goddesses and their dalliance with the mortal world, a lesson in antiquities that manages to both educate and thoroughly entertain, and, as an extra bonus, it’s beautifully written. Who could ask for more than that?” Miller won the Orange Prize for her debut bestseller, The Song of Achilles. Commending her scholarship and imagination in blending with The IliadThe Washington Post says, “In prose as clean and spare as the driving poetry of Homer, Miller captures the intensity and devotion of adolescent friendship and lets us believe in these long-dead boys for whom sea nymphs and centaurs are not legend but lived reality. In doing so, she will make their names known to yet another generation, deepening and enriching a tale that has been told for 3,000 years.” Miller has taught and tutored Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students for the past 20 years. She has also studied in the dramaturgy department at Yale, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms.

Madeline Miller's Books

2018 Authors

Charles Frazier

North Carolina author Charles Frazier won the National Book Award for his debut, Cold Mountain, an international bestseller that was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film. The novel traces the journey of Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army, in a story based in part on Frazier's great-great-uncle, W. P. Inman. The New York Times Book Review calls Cold Mountain, “A Whitmanesque foray into America: into its hugeness, its freshness, its scope and its soul.” With his new novel, Varina, due out in April 2018, Frazier returns to the Civil War setting in another powerful work of historical fiction. At the novel’s center is Varina Howell Davis, a fascinating, if little-known teenager who ended up on the wrong side of history when she wed the much-older widower, Jefferson Davis, future president of the Confederacy. Varina lands at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history—culpable regardless of her intentions and a fugitive with “bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit.” Frazier is the author of the bestselling novels Thirteen Moonsand NightwoodsThe Christian Science Monitor calls Nightwoods, “wonderful . . . There’s a dreamy spell set in motion by Frazier’s devotion to his native Appalachians. To read this book is to disappear deep into a meticulously created landscape.” The Los Angeles Times hails Thirteen Moons “a literary journey of magnitude” and a novel that “belongs to the ages.”

Charles Frazier's Books

Tayari Jones

Tayari Jones’ stirring, thought-provoking new novel, An American Marriage, tackles big issues—race, loyalty, resilience—and perhaps the biggest issue of them all: love. As she takes readers into the hearts and minds of three ordinary people bound and separated by circumstances beyond their control, Jones probes the very souls of her unforgettable characters, giving equal measure to their virtues and flaws. "An American Marriage asks hard questions about injustice and betrayal, and answers them with a heartbreaking and genuinely suspenseful love story in which nobody's wrong and everybody's wounded,” says past Sojourn author Tom Perrotta. A rising literary voice, Jones’ last novel, Silver Sparrow, was a No. 1 Indie Next Pick, was named an NEA Big Read, and was chosen as a Best Book by O, The Oprah MagazineLibrary JournalSlate and Salon. Jones’ previous novels also include Leaving Atlanta and The Untelling. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, she has been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon hails Jones for being “blessed with vision to see through to the surprising and devastating truths at the heart of ordinary lives, strength to wrest those truths free, and a gift of language to lay it all out, compelling and clear.”

Tayari Jones' Books

Alice McDermott

Alice McDermott is the author of eight novels and a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for her books That NightAt Weddings and Wakes, and After This. She won the National Book Award and the American Book Award for Charming Billy, the tragic story of the late Billy Lynch in a complex, tightly knit Irish American community. The New York Times Book Review praises it as "eloquent" and "heartbreaking.” Her newest novel, The Ninth Hour, a powerfully affecting story of a widow, her daughter and the nuns who serve their Irish-American community in Brooklyn, tops 2017 year-end best books lists from countless publications, including NPR, Wall Street JournalNew York TimesPublishers Weekly and Library Journal. “McDermott is a poet of corporeal description,” says Time. “It’s the way she marries the spirit to the physical world that makes her work transcendent . . . The Ninth Hour is a story with the simple grace of a votive candle in a dark church.”  The New Yorker calls her language “glorious.” McDermott's other books include SomeoneChild of My Heart and A Bigamist’s DaughterO Magazine says, “McDermott has the soul of an archaeologist—excavating shards of the daily routine, closely examining the cracks and crevices of the human heart.” She is the recipient of a Whiting Writers Award and is currently writer-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Alice McDermott's Books

Claire Messud

Bestselling novelist Claire Messud’s new novel, The Burning Girl, is a bracing, hypnotic coming-of-age story about the bond of best friends. The Chicago Tribune calls it a “masterwork of psychological fiction.” Messud has struck a singular mark on the literary world in “evoking complex psychological territory," explains The New Yorker. Her last book, The Woman Upstairs, unravels the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed and abandoned by a desire for a world beyond her own. The Washington Post calls it “fantastically smart” and The New York Times Book Review hails it an “ingenious, disquieting novel.” The Emperor’s Children was a New York Times Best Book of the Year that the Los Angeles Times called “a robust, canny and surprisingly searching novel [told] with a light-handed irony that is, by turns, as measured as Edith Wharton’s and as cutting as Tom Wolfe’s.” Messud’s first novel, When the World Was Steady, and her book of novellas, The Hunters, were finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her second novel, The Last Life, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and an Editor’s Choice at The Village Voice. Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is a senior lecturer at Harvard and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and children.

Claire Messud's Books

Kamila Shamsie

Bestselling author Kamila Shamsie’s seventh novel, Home Fire, tops the Best Book lists of 2017. The contemporary story’s deep lingering impression is summed up by two-time Booker Prize winner Peter Carey: “Home Fire left me awestruck, shaken, on the edge of my chair, filled with admiration for her courage and ambition. Recommended reading for prime ministers and presidents everywhere.” Kirkus calls it “an explosive novel with big questions about the nature of justice, defiance, and love…a powerful novel and a timely one.” Born and raised in a literary family in Karachi, Pakistan, Shamsie earned her bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she wrote her first novel, In the City by the Sea. Her debut was shortlisted for the John Llewelyn Rhys Award in the U.K. and won the Prime Minister’s Award for Literature in Pakistan. Shamsie’s second novel, Salt and Saffron, led to her selection as one of Orange’s “21 Writers of the 21st Century.” Her novels Kartography and Broken Verses won top prizes from the Academy of Letters in Pakistan, and Burnt Shadows, a tale of love and war, three generations, and three world-changing historic events, was longlisted for the Orange Prize. Author Salman Rushdie hails Shamsie "a writer of immense ambition and strength.”

Kamila Shamsie's Books

Master of Ceremonies: Colum McCann

Colum McCann, the award-winning author of six novels and three short story collections, makes a return visit to Literary Sojourn as the 2018 Master of Ceremonies. McCann’s most recent collection, Thirteen Ways of Looking, won a Pushcart Prize and was selected among the Best American Short Stories 2015. His novel TransAtlantic was an international bestseller that Kirkus called, “A masterful and profoundly moving novel that employs exquisite language to explore the limits of language and the tricks of memory . . . epic in ambition . . . audacious in format.” Let the Great World Spin won the National Book Award in the U.S, the 2010 Best Foreign Novel Award in China, the International Impac Award, a literary award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and several other major international literary prizes. In Letters to a Young Writer, McCann offers up 52 pithy essays that are ultimately a profound challenge to writers to bring truth and light to a dark world through their art. McCann is considered, in every sense, an international artist. He is a member of the Irish Academy, Aosdana, and was awarded a rare Chevalier des arts et lettres by the French government. His topics have ranged from homeless people in the subway tunnels of New York, to the Troubles in Northern Ireland, to the effects of 9/11, to a poetic examination of the life and culture of the Roma in Europe. He is the co-founder of the nonprofit global story exchange organization, Narrative 4.

Colum McCann's Books

2017 Authors

Robert Olen Butler

Robert Olen Butler has published sixteen novels—The Alleys of EdenSun DogsCountrymen of BonesOn Distant GroundWabashThe DeuceThey WhisperThe Deep Green SeaMr. SpacemanFair WarningHell, A Small HotelThe Hot CountryThe Star of IstanbulThe Empire of Night, Perfume River—and six volumes of short fiction—Tabloid Dreams, Had a Good TimeSeverance, IntercourseWeegee Stories, and A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain, which won the 1993 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Butler has published a volume of his lectures on the creative process, From Where You Dream, edited with an introduction by Janet Burroway.

Robert Olen Butler's Books


Nadia Hashimi

Nadia Hashimi is a pediatrician of Afghan descent and an internationally bestselling author. She attended Brandeis University, obtained a medical degree from SUNY Downstate and trained in pediatrics at New York University. She has hometowns in both New York and New Jersey but now calls Maryland home. She is an advocate for women's rights and a public speaker. Nadia loves a good story and strong female characters. Her credits include The Pearl that Broke It's Shell, One Half from the East, A House Without Windows, and When the Moon was Low.

Nadia Hashimi's Books



Eowyn Ivey

Eowyn LeMay Ivey was raised in Alaska and continues to live there with her husband and two daughters. She worked for nearly a decade as a bookseller at independent Fireside Books in Palmer, Alaska, and prior to that as a reporter for the local newspaper, The Frontiersman. Ivey was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction in 2013 for her debut novel The Snow Child.

Eowyn Ivey's Books



Paulette Jiles

Paulette Jiles is a poet, memoirist, and novelist. Her credits include Enemy Women, Stormy Weather, The Color of Lightning, Lighthouse Island, and News of the World.

Paulette Jiles' Books



Amor Towles

Mr. Towles’s first novel, Rules of Civility, which was published in 2011, was a New York Times bestseller and was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2011. The book has been translated into over 15 languages, its French translation receiving the 2012 Prix Fitzgerald. In the fall of 2012, the novel was optioned by Lionsgate to be made into a feature film. Mr. Towles’s second novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, which was published in 2016, was on the New York Times bestseller list for over forty weeks in hardcover and was named one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR. The book is being translated into over twenty languages including Russian. In the summer of 2017, the novel was optioned by EOne and the British director, Tom Harper, to be made into a 6-8 hour miniseries.

Having worked as an investment professional for over twenty years, Mr. Towles now devotes himself full time to writing in Manhattan, where he lives with his wife and two children.

Amor Towles' Books


Master of Ceremonies: Chris Cleave

Chris Cleave’s newest novel, Everyone Brave is Forgiven, was an instant New York Times bestseller when it was published this year. His debut, Incendiary, was an international bestseller and multiple prize-winner. His second novel, the Costa-shortlisted, New York Times #1 bestseller Little Bee, has found phenomenal worldwide success. (In the UK, Australia and NZ it goes by the title The Other Hand.) His third book, Gold, confirmed his status as “one of our most powerful, important and psychologically insightful novelists”. Cleave’s novels are published in thirty languages and have been adapted for screen and stage worldwide. He is a regular newspaper and broadcast contributor to the cultural debate on parenting, literature and human rights.

Chris Cleave's Books

2016 Authors

Patrick deWitt

Patrick deWitt is the author of the critically acclaimed Ablutions: Notes for a Novel and The Sisters Brothers, a bestseller with a deep sense of humor and a decidedly off-center view of the Wild West. The cowboy noir, which was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, is set against the backdrop of the great California Gold Rush and chronicles the misadventures of two hired guns. DeWitt’s new novel Undermajordomo Minor is a love story, an adventure story, a fable without a moral, and an ink-black comedy of manners. Past Sojourn authors rave about the new book, which was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. “Undermajordomo Minor wears a fairytale cloak, but at its wondrous and fantastical heart lies an unexpectedly moving story about love, home, and the difficulty of finding one’s place in the world," says Emily St. John Mandel. Elegant, beautifully strange, and utterly superb.” Jess Walter calls it “a wonderfully wry and wise novel, and reading it is like coming across some twisted classic-Cervantes by way of Louis C.K.” Ablutions was named a New York Times Editors' Choice. The Los Angeles Times calls Patrick deWitt a young writer whose “stop-you-in-your-tracks writing has snuck up on the world.”

Patrick deWitt's Books 


Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff’s New York Times bestselling novel, Fates and Furies, was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award and the Kirkus Prize, and was selected by Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Russo to be NPR’s Morning Edition Book Club Pick. It is an exhilarating novel about marriage, creativity, art and perception – a story with two sides, and two perspectives. “The plotting is exquisite, and the sentences hum; Groff writes with a pleasurable, bantering vividness. An intricate plot, perfect title, and a harrowing look at the tie that binds,” raves Kirkus. Her debut novel, The Monsters of Templeton, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and her second novel, Arcadia, was a New York Times Notable Book, winner of the Medici Book Club Prize, and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. A novel that starts in the utopian 1960s with a charismatic leader on a commune descends into futuristic apocalypse. Bestselling author Hannah Tinti calls Arcadia, “so perfectly rendered that I knew every stone, every tree.” Groff is the author of Delicate Edible Birds, a collection of short stories, and her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the Atlantic Monthly, Harper’s, Tin House, One Story, McSweeney’s and three editions of the Best American Short Stories.

Lauren Groff's Books


Anthony Marra

Anthony Marra is the author of The Tsar of Love and Techo a national Indie Bestseller that is a collection of interwoven stories set in Russia about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war, and the redemptive power of art. The New York Times Book Review calls it “audacious…brilliant…nearly Tolstoyan. [Tsar is] ambitious and fearless, one that offers so much to enjoy and admire. At a time when a lot of fiction by young American writers veers toward familiar settings and safe formal choices, Marra’s far-ranging, risky and explicitly political book marks him as a writer with an original, even singular sensibility.” His debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena is a story about the transcendent power of love set in contemporary Chechnya. It won the National Book Critics Circle’s inaugural John Leonard Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the Barnes and Noble Discover Award, and appeared on over 20 year-end Best Books lists. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Adam Johnson calls it, “remarkable and breathtaking…a spellbinding elegy for an overlooked land engulfed by an oft forgotten war. Set in the all-too-real Chechen conflict, Marra conjures fragile and heartfelt characters whose fates interrogate the very underpinnings of love and sacrifice.”

Anthony Marra's Books


Master of Ceremonies: Jess Walter

A National Book Award finalist for Citizen Vince and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for The Zero, Jess Walter is the author of six novels, one nonfiction book and a collection of short stories. Last year’s Beautiful Ruins was a New York Times bestseller that NPR’s Fresh Air called “a literary miracle.” The Financial Lives of the Poets ranked in 2009 as Time Magazine's No. 2 novel of the year, a book that Esquire called, "Brilliant – and brilliantly funny." Kirkus Reviews starred his new short story collection, We Live in Water, proclaiming it “a witty and sobering snapshot of recession-era America." Walter’s work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper's, Esquire, McSweeney's, Byliner, Playboy, ESPN the Magazine, Details and other publications. Walter lives with his wife and three children in his childhood home of Spokane, Washington.

Jess Walter's Books


2015 Authors

Diane Ackerman

Poet, essayist and naturalist Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry. Her latest nonfiction book, The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us, is a New York Times bestseller tapped as one the 100 Notable Books of 2014. It celebrates the natural world and human ingenuity, while exploring how the human race has become the single dominant force of change on the whole planet, and the many earth-shaking changes that now affect every part of our lives and those of our fellow creatures. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond raves of her “vivid writing, inexhaustible stock of insights, and unquenchable optimism…establishing her as a national treasure, and as one of our great authors.” Ackerman’s memoir, One Hundred Names for Love, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Circle Critics Award. The Zookeeper’s Wife, a true story of Polish zookeepers Jan and Antonina Zabinski, who manage to save over three hundred people from the Nazis during WWII, was a New York Times bestseller and winner of the Orion Book Award. Ackerman's other works include: An Alchemy of Mind, a poetics of the brain based on the latest neuroscience; Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden; A Natural History of Love; and her bestseller, A Natural History of the Senses.

Diane's Books

Lily King

Lily King’s new novel, Euphoria, won the 2014 Kirkus Award and the New England Book Award and topped numerous summer reading lists including The Boston Globe, O Magazine and National Geographic.  The New York Times Book Review calls Euphoria “a taut, witty, fiercely intelligent tale of competing egos and desires in a landscape of exotic menace— a love triangle in extremis . . . The steam the book emits is as much intellectual as erotic.” King’s novel Father of the Rain was a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Publishers Weekly Best Novel of the Year and winner of the 2010 New England Book Award and the Maine Fiction Award. The English Teacher won the Maine Fiction Award, was a Publishers Weekly Top Ten Book of the Year and a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year. Her debut novel, The Pleasing Hour, was a New York Times Notable Book and an alternate for the PEN/Hemingway Award. King is also the recipient of a MacDowell Fellowship and Whiting Writer’s Award.

Lily King's Books

Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw Mengestu is a recipient of a 5 Under 35 award from the National Book Foundation, a 20 Under 40 award from The New Yorker, and a 2012 MacArthur Foundation genius grant. The Ethiopian-American novelist has penned three novels, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, How to Read the Air and All Our Names, each of which opens a window into the little-explored world of the African diaspora in America. His new book, All Our Names, tells a sweeping, continent-spanning story about the love between men and women, between friends and between citizens and their countries, and a transfixing exploration of the relationships that define us. NPR calls it “a subtle masterpiece.” The New York Times says, “While questions of race, ethnicity and point of origin do crop up repeatedly in Mengestu’s fiction, they are merely his raw materials, the fuel with which he so artfully — but never didactically — kindles disruptive, disturbing stories exploring the puzzles of identity, place and human connection.” Mengestu’s journalism and fiction have appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Granta, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal.

Dinaw Mengestu's Books

Mary Doria Russell

Mary Doria Russell’s bestselling novels have won nine national and international literary awards, including the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the James Tiptree Award, and the American Library Association Readers’ Choice Award. She is the author of Doc, The Sparrow, Children of God, A Thread of Grace, Dreamers of the Day and a richly detailed and meticulously researched new historical novel about Wyatt Earp, Epitaph. Epic and intimate, this novel gives voice to the real men and women whose lives were changed forever by those fatal thirty seconds at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone. In a starred review, Kirkus says, “Despite all that has been written and filmed about Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp, Russell’s pointedly anti-epic anti-romance is so epic and romantic that it whets the reader’s appetite for more.” A Thread of Grace was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Entertainment Weekly selected The Sparrow as one of the ten best books of the year, raving, “Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them.” Doc is being made into an HBO series directed by Ron Howard. The Seattle Times the novel that inspires the series “intoxicating . . . Doc reads like a movie you can’t wait to watch.”

Mary Doria Russell’s Books

Richard Russo

Winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for his novel Empire Falls, Richard Russo is the author of seven novels, a short story collection called The Whore's Child and Other Stories, the memoir Elsewhere, and numerous screenplays. When Russo wrote his first book, Mohawk, he was still a full-time college teacher working on his novels at a local diner between classes. After the success of Nobody's Fool (both the book and a movie starting Paul Newman), he gave up teaching to pursue his writing career. Known for his depiction of working class life in depressed Northeastern towns reminiscent of the burned-out mill town of Gloversville, N.Y. where he grew up, Russo has been hailed as America’s most important writer about Main Street, USA. He has said that he wants that which “is hilarious and that which is heartbreaking to occupy the same territory in the books because he thinks they very often occupy the same territory in life, much as we try to separate them.” He was editor of The Best American Short Stories 2010.

Richard Russo's Books

Jim Shepard

The Village Voice calls Jim Shepard a “pointillist master of middle-American disaffection, second-shoe-dropping comic rhythm, pop-cult radiation, and the deceivingly unsimple art of inarticulation.” A 2011 featured Literary Sojourn author, Shepard is the author of seven novels and four story collections who returns to Steamboat Springs with his newest book, The Book of Aron (due out in May), a novel about the Holocaust and the children caught up in it. Fellow author John Irving says, “A fictional, first-person narrative from the point of view of a Jewish child in Warsaw…is very brave…and may not be what many readers are expecting from a novelist and short-story writer whose ironic touch is often comedic. But Jim Shepard has written a Holocaust novel that stands with the most powerful writing on that terrible subject.” Library Journal calls it “indispensable reading.” Shepard’s story collection, Like You’d Understand, Anyway, was a finalist for the National Book Award and won The Story Prize.  His short fiction has appeared in, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, New Yorker, Granta and Playboy, among others. Four of his stories have been chosen for the Best American Short Stories.

Jim Shepard's Books



2014 Authors

Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr is the author of five books, including his new novel, All the Light We Cannot See. Author Jess Walter calls Doerr’s new book “a dazzling, epic work of fiction. [He] writes beautifully about the mythic and the intimate, about snails on beaches and armies on the move, about fate and love and history and all those breathless, unbearable moments when they all come crashing together.” Doerr’s fiction has won four O. Henry Prizes, three Pushcart Prizes, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for Fiction, and the Story Prize. His books also include two short story collections, The Shell Collector and Memory Wall; a novel, About Grace; and a memoir, Four Seasons in Rome. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. Doerr’s books have been named twice to the New York Times Notable Book list, and honored as an American Library Association Book of the Year. The literary magazine Granta hailed Doerr as one of its 21 Best Young American Novelists. 

Anthony Doerr's books


Emily St. John Mandel

Emily St. John Mandel’s forthcoming novel, Station Eleven, is an audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization's collapse. Her three highly acclaimed previous novels, Last Night in Montreal, The Singer's Gun and The Lola Quartet, were all tapped as Indie Next picks, and The Singer's Gun won the 2014 Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. “Mandel's talent is clearly visible from the get-go ... The beauty of the novel is that its key truths are those the reader arrives at on his or her own, without the help of a straight-line narrative or a dominating perspective. Instead, Mandel feeds off of our need to make connections, even when the pattern they form doesn't really exist. We start with anxiety and end with it, thrumming in the background for us to listen in – or ignore, at both cost and reward,"  says The Los Angeles Times. The Boston Globe applauds Mandel’s “charismatic verbal grace and acuity, the rich atmosphere she creates.” Mandel is a staff writer for The Millions, and her work has appeared in numerous anthologies, including The Best American Mystery Stories 2013 and Venice Noir.


Curtis Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of the bestselling novels Sisterland, American Wife, Prep and The Man of My Dreams.  In her newest novel, Sisterland, Sittenfeld brings to life the tale of twin sisters, whose relationship and identities are shaken when one of them goes on television to predict a devastating earthquake.  Lauded for her rich, nuanced writing and pointed social commentary, USA Today calls Sisterland “wise and often wickedly entertaining…Readers who have siblings—especially women with sisters—will likely come away feeling as if the author really is psychic, able to learn the truth of their own dark secrets, and forgive them.” Sittenfeld attracted nationwide attention with her New York Times bestselling debut, Prep – an insightful and achingly funny coming-of-age story the Boston Globe called “as addictive as M&Ms, but also a tart and complex tale of social class, race, and gender politics.”  Her third novel, American Wife, based loosely on the life of First Lady Laura Bush, received stellar reviews and was named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by Time, People and Entertainment Weekly. Both Prep and American Wife were nominated for the Orange Prize.


Colm Tóibín

Colm Tóibín is an Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, journalist, critic and poet. He is a regular contributor to the Dublin Review, the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books, and is currently the Mellon Professor in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

His novels include Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year; The Master, winner of the Dublin IMPAC Prize, the Prix du Meilleur Livre and the Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year; The Blackwater Lightship, which was shortlisted for the IMPAC Dublin and Booker prizes; The Story of the Night, winner of the Ferro- Grumley Prize; The Heather Blazing, winner of the Encore Award; and The South, winner of the Irish Times/Aer Lingus First Fiction Award. His short story collections include, The Empty Family and Mothers and Sons, and essay collections include New Ways to Kill Your Mother: Writers & Their Families and All a Novelist Needs, a compilation of his writings on Henry James. Tóibín’s 2012 Broadway play,Testament of Mary, received three Tony Award nominations, including Best Play.

Colm Tóibín's books


Daniel Woodrell

In Daniel Woodrell’s first novel since Winter’s Bone (2006), The Maid’s Version tells of a deadly dance hall fire and its impact over several generations. It is a gritty, lyrical story inspired by a real catastrophe in a small town. Publishers Weekly raves, “Woodrell’s evocative, lyrical ninth novel is deceptively brief and packs a shimmering, resonant, literary punch…From an economy of poetic prose springs forth an emotionally volcanic story of family, justice, and the everlasting power of the truth.” Five of Woodrell novels have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Tomato Red won the PEN West Award for the Novel in 1999, and The Death of Sweet Mister received the 2011 Clifton Fadiman Medal from the Center for Fiction. His first collection of stories, The Outlaw Album, was published in 2011. Winter’s Bone was adapted into a film with four Academy Award nominations including Best Picture, and won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Woodrell lives in the Ozarks near the Arkansas line with his wife, Katie Estill.

Daniell Woodrell's books


Karen Joy Fowler

Karen Joy Fowler is a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, Nebula Award winner and 2008 featured Literary Sojourn author who returns in 2014 as Sojourn’s Master of Ceremonies. NPR’s “All Things Considered” calls Fowler’s newest novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, “absolutely sublime,” and author Barbara Kingsolver writes in the New York Times Book Review that it is “a novel so readably juicy and surreptitiously smart, it deserves all the attention it can get.” Author of six novels and three short story collections, Fowler’s previous novel, The Jane Austen Book Club, spent 13 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list and was a New York Times Notable Book. Wit’s End portrayed the signature oddball and endearing characters that also earned her novel Sarah Canary the distinction of being a New York Times Notable Book. Fowler’s short story collection Black Glass won the World Fantasy Award in 1999, and her collection What I Didn’t See won the World Fantasy Award in 2011. “No contemporary writer creates characters more appealing, or examines them with greater acuity and forgiveness, than she does,” raves Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.

Karen Joy Fowler's books


2013 Authors


Augusten Burroughs

Memoirist Augusten Burroughs is the New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors, Dry, A Wolf at the Table, Possible Side Effects, Magical Thinking, You Better Not Cry and This is How. He is also the author of the novel Sellevision, a story he wrote in a mere seven days over the course of sobering up. Running with Scissors, a tragicomic story of Burroughs’ childhood, was released to virtually unanimous critical acclaim and became a publishing phenomenon that has been cited for igniting memoir fever in America and abroad. Running with Scissors was adapted into a film starring Alec Baldwin, Jill Clayburgh and Gwyneth Paltrow. Burrough’s writing has appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers around the world including The New York Times and New York Magazine. Entertainment Weekly has twice named him one of “The 25 Funniest People in America.”

Buy Augusten Burrough's books


Emma Donoghue

With stirring storytelling and memorable, empathetic characters, Emma Donoghue stunned the world with her critically acclaimed international bestseller Room, which was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth, and Orange Prizes. The New Yorker called Room “an astounding, terrifying novel…a testament to Donoghue’s imagination and empathy that she is able to fashion radiance from such horror.” In her new collection of 14 short stories, Astray, Donoghue, an Irish expat herself, introduces her readers to wandering individuals inspired by historical people in fact-inspired stories about travels to, from and within North America. “Time and again, Emma Donoghue writes books that are unlike anything I have ever seen before, and Astray is no exception. There is such a deep and compassionate imagination at work in every story in this collection that Astray feels almost like an act of clairvoyance,” says Ann Patchett. The author of 15 books, Donoghue shifts genres from literary history, biography, and stage and radio plays, to fairy tales and short stories. In addition to Room, her novels include Slammerkin, The Sealed Letter, Landing, and Life Mask.

Emma Donoghue's Books


Jennifer Haigh

New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Haigh won the PEN/Hemingway Award for her novel Mrs. Kimble and the PEN/Winship Award for her novel Baker Towers. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is the author of four critically acclaimed novels that also include Faith and The Condition, and a new collection of ten interconnected short stories, News From Heaven, which return to her vividly imagined world of Bakerton, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town rocked by decades of painful transition. “Jennifer Haigh’s stories rove across time and cultures as easily as they render the tendernesses and longings and hardscrabble deprivations of home. News From Heaven is well-named, given that its unsentimental compassion and observational acuity — as well as its quiet insistence that the personal is the political — is just what we need right now,” says author Jim Shepard. “This is a masterly collection,” says Library Journal in its starred review. Haigh’s short fiction has been published widely, in The Atlantic, Granta, The Best American Short Stories 2012, and many other publications.

 Jennifer Haigh's Books


Ron Rash

Ron Rash has been called the “Bard of Appalachia.” The North Carolina native is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Cove and the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Finalist and New York Times bestselling novel, Serena, in addition to three other prize-winning novels, One Foot in Eden, Saints at the River and The World Made Straight. He has published three collections of poems and four collections of stories, including his newest book, Nothing Gold Can Stay, Burning Bright, which won the 2010 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and Chemistry and Other Stories, which was a finalist for the 2007 PEN/Faulkner Award. The New York Times called Serena a “fierce, breathtaking book, one of the greatest American novels in recent memory.”  Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo says, “Ron Rash is a writer of both the darkly beautiful and the sadly true…The Cove, solidifies his reputation as one of our very finest novelists.” Twice the recipient of the O. Henry Prize, Rash is the Parris Distinguished Professor in Appalachian Cultural Studies at Western Carolina University.

Ron Rash's Books


Jess Walter

A National Book Award finalist for Citizen Vince and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for The Zero, Jess Walter is the author of six novels, one nonfiction book and a collection of short stories. Last year’s Beautiful Ruins was a New York Times bestseller that NPR’s Fresh Air called “a literary miracle.” The Financial Lives of the Poets ranked in 2009 as Time Magazine's No. 2 novel of the year, a book that Esquire called, "Brilliant – and brilliantly funny." Kirkus Reviews starred his new short story collection, We Live in Water, proclaiming it “a witty and sobering snapshot of recession-era America." Walter’s work has appeared in Best American Short Stories, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper's, Esquire, McSweeney's, Byliner, Playboy, ESPN the Magazine, Details and other publications. Walter lives with his wife and three children in his childhood home of Spokane, Washington.

Jess Walter's Books


Andre Dubus III, Master of Ceremonies

New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III returns to Literary Sojourn as Master of Ceremonies. Dubus is the author of five books, The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, Bluesman, House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his critically acclaimed memoir, Townie, which was a New York Times "Editors Choice." Published in 2011, Townie tells his story of growing up with three siblings and their exhausted working mother after the departure of his father, the late short story master, Andre Dubus, in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and crime. Richard Russo says, “I've never read a better or more serious meditation on violence, its sources, consequences, and, especially, its terrifying pleasures than Townie." Dubus has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Pushcart Prize, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and is a 2012 recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. He lives in northeastern Massachusetts with his wife, Fontaine, a modern dancer, and their three children.

 Andre Dubus III's books


See you at the Sojourn!

Event date: 
Saturday, September 12, 2020 - 1:00pm to 6:00pm
Event address: 
Strings Pavilion
950 Strings Road
Steamboat Springs, CO 80487