Notable and New Colorado Authors

Arvin, Nick, author.

"Young Henry Phipps is on a quest to realize his dying mother's last wish: to be buried at sea, surrounded by her family. Not an easy task considering Henry's ne'er-do-well father is in debtor's prison and his comically earnest older brother is busy fighting the red coats on the battlefields of Maryland. But Henry's stubborn determination knows no bounds. As he dodges the cannon fire of clashing armies and picks among the ruins of a burning capital he meets looters, British defectors, renegade slaves, a pregnant maiden in distress, and scoundrels of all types. Mad Boy is at once an antic adventure and a thoroughly convincing work of historical fiction that recreates a young nation's first truly international conflict and a key moment in the history of the emancipation of African-American slaves" --from Amazon website.

Brooks, R. Alan, author.

"Image you've been paralyzed for 5 years, all because of a betrayal by those you trusted. Then, one day, you suddenly have a healthy body, and can pursue your would-be murderers. Of course, none of you are human, and you were sent to this world for a reason. What would you do?"-- Provided by publisher.

Dungy, Camille T., 1972- author.

As a working mother whose livelihood as a poet-lecturer depended on travel, Camille Dungy crisscrossed America with her infant, then toddler, intensely aware of how they are seen, not just as mother and child, but as black women. With a poet's eye, she celebrates her daughter's acquisition of language and discoveries of the natural and human world around her. At the same time history shadows her steps everywhere she goes: from the San Francisco of settlers' and investors' dreams to the slave-trading ports of Ghana; from snow-white Maine to a festive, yet threatening, bonfire in the Virginia pinewoods.

Fajardo-Anstine, Kali, author.

Kali Fajardo-Anstine's magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West. Against the remarkable backdrop of Denver, Colorado--a place that is as fierce as it is exquisite--these women navigate the land the way they navigate their lives: with caution, grace, and quiet force.

Flowers, Ebony, author, illustrator.

"Hot Comb offers a poignant glimpse into Black women's lives and coming of age stories as seen across a crowded, ammonia-scented hair salon while ladies gossip and bond over the burn. The titular story "Hot Comb" is about a young girl's first perm--a doomed ploy to look cool and to stop seeming "too white" in the all-black neighborhood her family has just moved to. In "Virgin Hair" taunts of "tender-headed" sting as much as the perm itself. It's a scenario that repeats fifteen years later as an adult when, tired of the maintenance, Flowers shaves her head only to be hurled new put-downs. Realizations about race, class, and the imperfections of identity swirl through Flowers' stories and ads, which are by turns sweet, insightful, and heartbreaking."-- Provided by publisher.

Gibson, Andrea (Poet), author.

Andrea Gibson's latest collection is a masterful showcase from the poet whose writing and performances have captured the hearts of millions. With artful and nuanced looks at gender, romance, loss, and family, Lord of the Butterflies is a new peak in Gibson's career. Each emotion here is deft and delicate, resting inside of imagery heavy enough to sink the heart, while giving the body wings to soar.

Greaves, C. Joseph.

"Returning to her small Colorado hometown to find her old high school flame newly single and a new gas field threatening her family's cattle ranch, echo - activist Addie Decker ignites an armed conflict revealing cold truths about love and family, forgiveness and self - discovery." -- FantasticFiction.com

Haruf, Kent.

"In the small town of Holt, Colorado, a high school teacher is confronted with raising his two boys alone after their mother retreats first to the bedroom, then altogether. A teenage girl - her father long since disappeared, her mother unwilling to have her in the house - is pregnant, alone herself, with nowhere to go. And out in the country, two brothers, elderly bachelors, work the family homestead, the only world they've ever known."--BOOK JACKET. "From these unsettled lives emerges a vision of life, and of the town and landscape that bind them together - their fates somehow overcoming the powerful circumstances of place and station, their confusion, curiosity, dignity and humor intact and resonant."--BOOK JACKET.

Houston, Pam, author.

The author draws on her travels and homestead life in the Colorado Rockies in an essay collection on her ties to nature that explores the symbiotic relationship between humans and the earth.

Jones, Stephen Graham, 1972- author.

"Peter Straub's Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends"-- Provided by publisher.

Khan, Ausma Zehanat, author.

"Detective Esa Khattak is in the midst of his evening prayers when he receives a phone call asking that he and ... Detective Rachel Getty look into the death of a local man who has fallen off a cliff. At first Christopher Drayton's death--which looks like an accident--doesn't seem to warrant a police investigation, especially not from Khattak and Rachel's team, which handles minority-sensitive cases. But it soon comes to light that Drayton might have been living under an assumed name, and he may not have been the upstanding Canadian citizen he appeared to be. In fact, he may have been a Bosnian war criminal with ties to the Srebrenica massacre of 1995"-- Provided by publisher.

Maizes, R. L., author.

"La La Fine relates to animals better than she does to other people. Abandoned by a mother who never wanted a family, raised by a locksmith-turned-thief father, La La looks to pets when it feels like the rest of the world conspires against her. La La's world stops being whole when her mother, who never wanted a child, abandons her twice. First, when La La falls through thin ice on a skating trip, and again when the accusations of "unfit mother" feel too close to true. Left alone with her father-a locksmith by trade, and a thief in reality-La La is denied a regular life. She becomes her father's accomplice, calming the watchdog while he strips families of their most precious belongings. When her father's luck runs out and he is arrested for burglary, everything La La has painstakingly built unravels. In her fourth year of veterinary school, she is forced to drop out, leaving school to pay for her father's legal fees the only way she knows how-robbing homes once again. As an animal empath, she rationalizes her theft by focusing on houses with pets whose maladies only she can sense and caring for them before leaving with the family's valuables. The news reports a puzzled police force-searching for a thief who left behind medicine for the dog, water for the parrot, or food for the hamster. Desperate to compensate for new and old losses, La La continues to rob homes, but it's a strategy that ultimately will fail her. Other People's Pets examines the gap between the families we're born into and those we create, and the danger that holding on to a troubled past may rob us of the future"-- Provided by publisher.

Menon, Sandhya, author.

When Dimple Shah and Rishi Patel meet at a Stanford University summer program, Dimple is avoiding her parents' obsession with "marriage prospects" but Rishi hopes to woo her into accepting arranged marriage with him.

Miller, Adrian, author.

Award winning author Adrian Miller vividly tells the stories of the African Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards, and servers for every First Family since George and Martha Washington. Miller brings together the names and words of more than 150 black men and women who played remarkable roles in unforgettable events in the nation's history.

Mizushima, Margaret, author.

Murder stalks the rugged Colorado high country--and sends Mattie Cobb on a quest to uncover the darkest secrets from her past in the sixth gripping installment of Margaret Mizushima's Timber Creek K-9 mysteries.

Nguyen, Diana Khoi, 1985- author.

Ghost Of is a mourning song, not an exorcism or un-haunting of that which haunts, but attuned attention, unidirectional reaching across time, space, and distance to reach loved ones, ancestors, and strangers. By working with, in, and around the photographs that her brother left behind (from which he cut himself out before his death), Nguyen wrestles with what remains: memory, physical voids, and her family captured around an empty space.

Porcellino, John, author.

"John Porcellino makes his love of home and of nature the anchors in an increasingly turbulent world. He slows down and visits the forests, fields, streams, and overgrown abandoned lots that surround every city. He studies the flora and fauna around us. He looks at the overlooked. Porcellino also digs deep into a quintessential American endeavour-the road trip. Uprooting his comfortable life several times in From Lone Mountain, John drives through the country weaving from small town to small town, experiencing America in slow motion, avoiding the sameness of airports and overwhelming hustle of major cities. From Lone Mountain collects stories from Porcellino's influential zine King-Cat-John enters a new phase of his life, as he remarries and decides to leave his beloved second home Colorado for San Francisco. Grand themes of King-Cat are visited and stated more eloquently than ever before: serendipity, memory, and the quest for meaning in the everyday. Over the past three decades, Porcellino's beloved King-Cat has offered solace to his readers: his gentle observational stories take the pulse of everyday life and reveal beauty in the struggle to keep going."-- Provided by publisher.

Queen, Khadijah, author.

"The poems that make up Anodyne consider the small moments that enrapture us alongside the daily threats of cataclysm. Formally dynamic and searingly personal, Anodyne asks us to recognize the echoes of history that litter the landscape of our bodies as we navigate a complex terrain of survival and longing. With an intimate and multivocal dexterity, these poems acknowledge the simultaneous existence of joy and devastation, knowledge and ignorance, grief and love, endurance and failure-all of the contrast and serendipity that comes with the experience of being human. If the body is a world, or a metaphor for the world, for what disappears and what remains, for what we feel and what we cover up, then how do we balance fate and choice, pleasure and pain? Through a combination of formal lyrics, delicate experiments, sharp rants, musical litany, and moments of wit that uplift and unsettle, Queen's poems show us the terrible consequences and stunning miracles of how we choose to live"-- Provided by publisher.

Ramos, Manuel, author.

"Ex-con Gus Corral is at peace with his new life as a private investigator. He's good at his job, even if he's mostly a delivery man or a "go-for" guy trying to expose--or protect--someone else's secrets. An unexpected visit by Joaquín "Kino" Machaco, the Colorado Rockies' all-star center fielder who defected from Cuba as a teen, disrupts his routine. The famous ballplayer needs help: His brother has a gambling problem and owes a lot of money to a Cuban criminal who's threatening their family. He needs Gus to travel to the island with his brother to hand over half a million dollars in cash. Not only will Gus need to keep the money safe from the inveterate gambler, he'll have to convince the "entrepreneur" to leave Machaco's family alone after the payoff. Gus' visions of relaxing on warm, beautiful beaches accompanied by Latin jazz and rum concoctions are immediately dashed. A hail of bullets--violence virtually unheard of in the autocratic nation--leaves one dead and several wounded and leads to unforeseen ramifications that will come to a shocking, bloody conclusion in Denver. Narrated by Gus Corral in his sardonic voice, The Golden Havana Night reveals a complicated, secretive island where nothing is really secret" -- Provided by publisher.

Rollins, Alison C., author.

Library of Small Catastrophes, Alison Rollins' ambitious debut collection, interrogates the body and nation as storehouses of countless tragedies. Drawing from Jorge Luis Borges' fascination with the library, Rollins uses the concept of the archive to offer a lyric history of the ways in which we process loss. "Memory is about the future, not the past," she writes, and rather than shying away from the anger, anxiety, and mourning of her narrators, Rollins' poetry seeks to challenge the status quo, engaging in a diverse, boundary-defying dialogue with an ever-present reminder of the ways race, sexuality, spirituality, violence, and American culture collide.

Tanzer, Molly, author.

"A Victorian urban fantasy featuring duelists, demons, and the dark arts, inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray. Victorian London is a place of fluid social roles, vibrant arts culture, fin-de-siecle wonders. and dangerous underground diabolic cults. Fencer Evadne Gray cares for none of the former and knows nothing of the latter when she's sent to London to chaperone her younger sister, aspiring art critic Dorina. Unfortunately for Evadne, she soon learns too much about all of it when Dorina meets their uncle's friend, Lady Henrietta "Henry" Wotton. A semi-respectable aristocrat in public, in private she is secretly in the thrall of a demon obsessed with beauty and pleasure.When Lady Henry and Dorina immediately hit it off, Evadne abandons her chaperone duties and enrolls in a fencing school. There, she meets the fencing master she's always dreamed of. But soon, George reveals he is more than just a teacher. He has dedicated himself to eradicating demons and their servants, and he needs Evadne's help. As Evadne gets pulled further into this hidden world, she begins to suspect that Lady Henry might actually be a diabolist. Even worse, she believes Dorina may have joined her. Combining swordplay, demons, and high society, Creatures of Will and Temper shows a timeless world and adventure readers won't soon forget"-- Provided by publisher.

Thorpe, Helen

The Newcomers follows the lives of twenty-two immigrant teenagers throughout the course of the 2015-2016 school year as they land at South High School in Denver, Colorado. These newcomers, from fourteen to nineteen years old, come from nations convulsed by drought or famine or war. Many come directly from refugee camps, after experiencing dire forms of cataclysm. Some arrive alone, having left or lost every other member of their original family.

At the center of their story is Mr. Williams, their dedicated and endlessly resourceful teacher of English Language Acquisition. If Mr. Williams does his job right, the newcomers will leave his class at the end of the school year with basic English skills and new confidence, their foundation for becoming Americans and finding a place in their new home.

Vidal, Guillermo Vincente.

"The whims of politics are at the fore of Guillermo Vincente Vidal s memoir, in which young boys become men in the shadow of revolution and personal turmoil. Vidal writes about his family's participation in events that forever altered U.S. Cuban relations after an effort to free children from the threat of Communist rule sparked Operation Peter Pan. From chance encounters with Fidel Castro and Robert F. Kennedy to life in a dismal Catholic orphanage in Colorado, Vidal perseveres to embrace life as a proud and successful Cuban American. His account is a poignant story of forgiveness and the joy of returning home." -- from publisher's website.

Weiden, David Heska Wanbli, 1963- author.

"Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When justice is denied by the American legal system or the tribal council, Virgil is hired to deliver his own punishment, the kind that's hard to forget. But when heroin makes its way into the reservation and finds Virgil's nephew, his vigilantism suddenly becomes personal. He enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and how to make them stop. They follow a lead to Denver and find that drug cartels are rapidly expanding and forming new and terrifying alliances. And back on the reservation, a new tribal council initiative raises uncomfortable questions about money and power. As Virgil starts to link the pieces together, he must face his own demons and reclaim his Native identity. He realizes that being a Native American in the twenty-first century comes at an incredible cost."--Publisher's description.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.