2018 Literary Feast Authors




In 1999, "The West Wing" and "The Sopranos" made their debuts, and TV hasn't been the same since, TV critic David Bianculli argues persuasively in his book, The Platinum Age of Television. Since then, the quality of writing for TV shows has improved dramatically and the quantity of programming has skyrocketed. Bianculli, who is heard frequently on NPR's Fresh Air with host Terry Gross, traces the evolution of classic TV genres, and interviews such TV giants as Carl Reiner, Matt Groening and Carol Burnett. Booklist says, "Impressively comprehensive...simply a must-read for TV lovers."

Photo credit: Barbara Linke

Sloane Crosley, author of the new essay collection Look Alive Out There, is in some good company – her comic writing is included with that of such gifted humorists as David Sedaris, Dave Barry and Mark Twain in The Library of America’s 50 Funniest American Writers. Comedian Steve Martin opines that Crosley “does the impossible. She stays consistently funny and delivers a book that is alive and jumping.”  The author of two other best-selling essay collections and a novel, Crosley is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and has written regularly for The New York Times, GQ and the Village Voice.

Every morning, Amy Dickinson hands out advice to the lovelorn and troubled with candor, wisdom and wit. As the author of the popular syndicated “Ask Amy” column for the past 15 years, she knows plenty about what makes us all tick. Now we have the opportunity to learn more about the consummate advice-giver in her charming, funny and always truthful memoir, Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things. Author Delia Ephron describes the book as “a wonderful memoir of what family and home mean in these complicated times.”

Days after A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window made its debut in early January, the thriller landed at No. 1 on the New York Times Bestseller list. The story of a reclusive woman who may or may not have witnessed a murder is a fascinating tale of psychological suspense.   A.J. Finn is the pseudonym for Daniel Mallory, a former publishing executive with a love for classic Agatha Christie mysteries and Alfred Hitchcock movies. Author Gillian Fynn says, “Finn has created a noir for t1he new millennium, packed with mesmerizing characters, stunning twists and beautiful writing.”

In Bunny Mellon: The Life of an American Style Legend, Meryl Gordon meticulously explores the life of a fabulously wealthy art collector, talented landscape designer (she designed the White House Rose Garden at JFK’s invitation) and a Best-Dressed list regular who died in 2014 at the age of 103. Her lifestyle was the stuff of legend.  Gordon, an award-winning journalist, specializes in the lives of America’s rich royalty, writing books about the late Brooke Astor and Huguette Clark. She is the director of magazine writing at New York University.  

Photo credit: Nina Subin

Mark Greaney is the #1 New York Times best-selling author known best for his books co-authored with Tom Clancy. In his research for The Gray Man series and the Tom Clancy novels, he has traveled to dozens of countries and trained alongside military and law enforcement in the use of firearms, battlefield medicine and close-range combative tactics. Agent in Place is his latest thriller in the 6-book Gray Man series, featuring covert mercenary Court Gentry. Author Lee Child describes the books as “hard, fast and unflinching…exactly what a thriller should be.”

Did you know that eating sweets can make you kinder? It's one of the intriguing details about the science behind our relationship with food found in Rachel Herz's book, Why You Eat What You Eat. Herz, a neuroscientist specializing in perception and emotion, presents our relationship to food as a complicated recipe, whose ingredients – taste, personality and emotions – combine to make eating a potent and pleasurable experience. The author of two previous books, The Scent of Desire and That's Disgusting, teaches at Brown University and Boston College. 

Photo credit: Kathleen McCann
Carl Hoffman, a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler, has traveled into the furthest corners of the world. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller Savage Harvest, The Lunatic Express and Hunting Warbirds. His latest book, The Last Wild Men of Borneo, a combination of adventure, nature and true crime writing, is the story of two Western men with different missions who left their marks on remote and untouched Borneo. Hoffman has won five Lowell Thomas Awards from the Society of American Travel Writers Foundation.

Uzodinma Iweala, an American author and physician of Nigerian descent, garnered a host of writing awards, including the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award, for his powerful debut novel, Beasts of No Nation. The 2005 book, which told the story of a child soldier in an unnamed African country, was later made into a critically acclaimed movie. His latest novel, Speak No Evil, is set on the other side of the world - an upper-class Washington, D.C. neighborhood - but its tale of a teen hiding his homosexuality is as heartwrenching and timely as his first book.  He is currently the editor of Ventures Africa, a magazine focused on business and entrepreneurship in Africa.

Photo credit: Caroline Cuse

In World of Tomorrow, Brendan Mathews' sprawling debut novel set in 1939 New York, he writes of three brothers caught up in a whirlwind week of love, blackmail and betrayal, culminating in an assassination plot. Author Ann Beattie describes the book as a "panoramic tour de force, a huge undertaking peopled with convincing characters." Entertainment Weekly called it one of the “Best Debut Novels of 2017.” Mathews was a Fulbright Scholar to Ireland, and now teaches creative writing and literature at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.      

Photo credit: Tricia McCormack

In South Florida superstar author Brad Meltzer’s latest thriller, The Escape Artist, he traces a centuries-old secret to the renowned Harry Houdini. Says fellow author Michael Connelly: “The Escape Artist …is a high-stakes, high-tension thriller that never lets you catch your breath.” In addition to his 12 thrillers, he is the best-selling author of the advice books, Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter, children’s books and even graphic novels. He hosted Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel and Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on H2.  We are proud that Meltzer is the Honorary Chair of Literary Feast 2018, our 30th anniversary event. 

Photo credit: Michelle Watson, Catchlight Group

In Code Girls, Liza Mundy rescues a piece of forgotten history as she recounts the story of 10,000 American women who served the U.S. Army and Navy as code breakers during World War II. Under vows of secrecy, their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to women. Mundy, the author of three previous books, writes frequently about gender, politics, history and culture for publications including The Atlantic and Politico and is a former staff writer for the Washington Post.

Photo credit: TK

Michael Grunwald’s most recent book The New New Deal: The Hidden History of Change in the Obama Era received much critical acclaim, including from The Economist and The Guardian, both of which declared it the best book written about the Obama administration. He first book, The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida and the Politics of Paradise, was published in 2006 and traced the complicated history and significance of the River of Grass. He has won the George Polk Award for national reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize for investigative reporting and many other journalism honors.  Grunwald has worked at The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, and is now a senior writer for Politico Magazine. He has been a Literary Feast guest author twice before, in 2007 and 2013.

Hollywood fame and insecurity, love and heartbreak - critically acclaimed author Leah Stewart explores it all in her latest literary novel, What You Don't Know About Charlie Outlaw.  The Boston Globe compared Stewart, the author of five other novels, to Anne Tyler in thoughtful writing style. PureWow included Charlie Outlaw among the "20 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018."’ The recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship, Stewart teaches in the University of Cincinnati creative writing program.

Photo credit: Jason Sheldon

Laurie A. Watkins knows about stress, having worked on two presidential campaigns, and in the high-presssure world of Washington, D.C.’s Pentagon and Capitol Hill. In her book, Go from Stressed to Strong, she offers practical advice and tools to get on the path to a healthier lifestyle full of energy and strength. She shares stories from such well-known busy people as Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” two-star Michelin-rated chef Jose Andres and former White House staff Phil Larson.  A native Floridian, Watkins grew up in Fort Lauderdale.

Following the success of his debut cult hit novel, Black Chalk, British author Christopher J. Yates has written Grist Mill Road, a literary dark thriller full of tension and unexpected twists. It’s about a horrid childhood crime carried secretly to adulthood. “The intensity of the storytelling is exhilarating and unsettling,” says Booklist’s starred review.  Goodreads named it one of the best books of January 2018. Yates studied law at Oxford University and worked as a puzzle editor in London before moving to New York City.

Photo credit: Circe