Notable books with local connections


The Third Reconstruction: Moral Mondays, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of a New Justice Movement by the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, with Jonathan Wison-Hartgrove, Beacon Press, 2016

Rev. Barber’s Moral Monday crusade began in the summer of 2013 and has been pushing back against every indignity the General Assembly has thrown at the people of North Carolina. This memoir traces Barber’s road and what lies ahead.

The Universal Physics of Escape  by Elizabeth Gonzalez, Press 53, 2015

This moving work of fiction by the winner of the 2015 Press 53 Award for Short Fiction is among some of the great titles released by the Winston-Salem publishing company in the last year. By the end of the vivid first chapter, readers will be lost enough in this book that they’ll forget how hot the summer sun feels.

Left in the Wind by Ed Gray, Pegasus Books, 2016

Subtitled, “The Roanoke Journal of Emme Merrimoth,” Gray’s fictionalized history of the Lost Colony takes on the legend and speculates on its aftermath.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear by Joseph Mills, Press 53, 2016

The latest from Winston-Salem poet and professor Joseph Mills, Exit, Pursued by a Bear is a collection of work “inspired by Shakespeare’s stage directions.” Not to be missed.

Chasing the North Star by Robert Morgan, Workman Publishing, 2016

Another UNCG MFA writer, Morgan won the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award for his 2015 novel The Road From Gap Creek. This year’s book is about two escaped slaves who make their way north.

Sweet Girl by Travis Mulhauser, Harper Collins, 2016

UNCG professor Travis Mulhauser launched his second novel this year, a tale of miscreants trapped in a blizzard and the missing girl that binds them.

North Carolina Craft Beer & Breweries, Second Edition by Erik Lars Myers and Sarah H. Ficke, John F. Blair Publishing, 2016

Erik Lars Myers — head of the state’s craft brewers guild and founder of Hillsborough’s Mystery Brewing — and his wife Sara H. Ficke revamped their guide to the state’s beer scene this year. Good thing they did; the industry is growing at a rapid clip, enough so that the original 2012 version just won’t do anymore.

Rage to Redemption in the Sterilization Age by John Railey, Cascade Books, 2015

Railey was on the team at the Winston-Salem Journal that in 2002 investigated the practice of forced sterilization that endured in North Carolina into the 1970s. This work of literary journalism chronicles the fight for reparations that is still being fought.

Dimestore: A Writer’s Life by Lee Smith, Algonquin Books, 2016

Hillsborough author Lee Smith, winner of the North Carolina Award for Literature and the O Henry Award, collects 15 essays in this telling love letter to Appalachia.

You Can Fly by Carole Boston Weatherford, Atheneum Books, 2016

An award-winning author tells the story of the Tuskeegee Airmen in verse. Weatherford got her MFA from UNCG and now teaches at Fayetteville State University.

The Blue Hour by Jennifer Whittaker, University of Wisconsin Press, 2016

Whitaker, both a graduate of and professor for the UNCG creative writing program, releases her first book of poetry this year.

The Tulip Factory by Kacie Davis Idol, Inkshares, 2016

What happens when you put life on hold for love? Idol, of Kernersville, shows us in this NC-based novel.