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A Shared Wilderness: Benjamin and Jennifer Percy

Sibling authors Jennifer and Benjamin Percy of the Discover Great New Writers program on terror's infection and the power of research.

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The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters: Kenneth Calhoun and Lysley Tenorio in Conversation

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

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  • DISCOVER GREAT NEW WRITERS

The 2013 Discover Award Winners

Anthony Marra and Justin St. Germain are the winners of the 2013 Discover Great New Writers awards.

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And the Finalists Are...

We're very proud to announce the 2013 Discover Award Shortlist.

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"We Are All—Every One of Us—Unreliable Narrators"

Mary Miller and Alethea Black cover similar territory in their writing: their characters long for connection, and look to be understood -- and understand their places in the world.  In this far-ranging conversation for the Discover blog, Miller and Black discuss starting their writing careers later in life; the differences between writing long form fiction vs. short stories, and for an adult audience vs. a YA audience; and how shifting a story’s POV can electrify it, among many, many other things.

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A Peruvian Investor Walks into a Packard Plant

"A Peruvian investor recently purchased the Packard Plant, the iconic Detroit ruin, closed since the nineteen-fifties and sprawling over 40 acres. Fernando Palazuelo, the proud new owner, forked over $400,000 for the factory, which he described to Bloomberg News as 'the best opportunity in the world.' He plans to live on the premises, with the future rehab transforming the mouldering site, in the words of the article, into 'a vibrant hub of automotive suppliers, offices, shops, lofts and maybe even a go-kart track...'"

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It Seemed Like a Dark and Tragic Tale: A Conversation with Hannah Kent

"I was living in a small Icelandic town where I felt conspicuous as a foreignor, yet also socially isolated. I didn't speak any Icelandic at that stage, it was winter, and the days were gripped by darkness for up to twenty hours at a time. It was during this early period of loneliness that I happened to drive through a very striking place called Vatnsdalur, a valley covered in hundreds of small hills. When I asked my travelling companions if the area was significant for any reason, they told me that it had been the site of the last executions in Iceland, which had taken place well over 150 years ago. Immediately curious, I asked them what had happened, and was told that a young man and woman had been led out to the hills and beheaded by broad axe for their role in the brutal murder of two sleeping men." -- Hannah Kent on the genesis of Burial Rites.

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The Story Came to Me Whole: Taiye Selasi

"The story came to me 'whole,' as all stories do. I'd been waiting, thirty years I think, to write a novel—that is, to receive a story worthy of the form. It was the autumn of 2009, and I'd gone to a yoga retreat with one of my best friends in Sweden. Something about the experience—waking up every day at 5 AM to do karma yoga, pulling shrieking beets and carrots from the frozen earth, sitting in meditation meditating on hypothermia—must have jolted the thing out of me. I was standing in the shower when I saw all the Sais, all six of them, just like that. My friend and I abandoned the retreat, took the train to Copenhagen, and settled into the Admiral Hotel. It was there that I wrote the first ten pages of the novel, or perhaps more accurately: wrote them down." -- Taiye Selasi on the origin of Ghana Must Go.

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"We Call It Voice, But It's Really Much More..."

"We wanted more. We knocked the butt ends of our forks against the table, tapped our spoons against our empty bowls; we were hungry. We wanted more volume, more riots."

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"You Do It for the Sake of Doing It"

Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, and Alan Heathcock, author of Volt, discuss provocative and "political" writing, the desire for accuracy, and the compulsion to tell stories in an exclusive conversation.

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"Begin with a Question.": A Conversation with Shehan Karunatilaka

Sir Lankan sportswriter W.G. Kaunsena is dying; his doctor has told him that he must quit drinking, but books and booze have kept W. G. alive -- albeit alienated from his wife and son (though he loves them both), and slightly deluded about work and the world around him. Madcap, yet trenchant – with emotional echoes of Joseph O'Neill's Netherland and Frederick Exley's  A Fan’s Notes -- Summer 2012 Discover pick The Legend of Pradeep Mathew is as much about family, country, and identity as it is about cricket.

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July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).