Notes from L.A.

Dear Reader,


A quick post from the West Coast, after the 2012 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, one of my favorite events of the year -- it's marvelous to see so many readers of all ages and authors together on the campus of USC.


Ismet Pricic picked up another award for his debut novel Shards, a Holiday 2011 Discover selection on Friday night (the post about him winning the Sue Kaufman prize a month ago is here) and we couldn't be more pleased.


Prcic wasn't the only author with a Discover Great New Writers connection appearing at this year's Festival: 2011 Discover Awards winners Scott O'Connor and Alice LaPlante, Cheryl Strayed, Ben Loory, Claire Bidwell Smith, Julie Otsuka, John Freeman, Hari Kunzru, Ayad Akhtar, Peter Cameron, and Jonah Lehrer.  And I had the distinct pleasure of sitting on a panel with Bonnie Nadell, agent for Discover alum Michelle Huneven and David Foster Wallace, among others, and Dan Smetanka, the editor behind Christopher Bollen's Holiday 2011 Discover selection Lightning People, with David Ulin moderating. 


It's foggy and grey here this morning, all the better for finishing up  some more f the reading I need to do for the Fall 2012 Discover Great New Writers season...


Cheers, Miwa


Miwa Messer

Miwa Messer is the Director of the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program, which was established in 1990 to highlight works of exceptional literary quality that might otherwise be overlooked in a crowded book marketplace. Titles chosen for the program are handpicked by a select group of our booksellers four times a year. Click here for submission guidelines.



April 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysely Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.

The Promise of Hope

Killed last year in the infamous terror attack at Nairobi's Westgate mall, Kofi Awoonor was a national treasure in his native Ghana.  His career began in 1964 with Rediscovery, and this magnum opus serves as a tribute to his entire long journey charting his beloved nation's course through his accomplished poetry.

Winter Mythologies and Abbots

A pair of linked stories finds that, as translator Ann Jefferson relates, "[Pierre] Michon's great theme is the precarious balance between belief and imposture, and the way the greatest aspirations can be complicated by physical desire or the equally urgent desire for what he calls glory."