Madison Authors Reveal Their Must-Reads

These titles have changed Madison authors’ lives.

“Add me to the list of readers extolling ‘Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow’ by Gabrielle Zevin. It’s a novel about gaming and friendship that’s subtle but sly, and it’s left me thinking about it for weeks after finishing.”

— Kelly Harms, author of six comedic novels, including “Wherever the Wind Takes Us,” which hit bookshops in October

“I have no idea how I happened upon ‘The Burning House’ by Ann Beattie as a teenager in suburban Ohio, but I was blown away by her elliptical style and her vision of adulthood, which I found fascinating. There are some writers who actually make you want to write — not just read — and she was a major one for me.”

— Michelle Wildgen, author of four novels, including “Wine People,” which will publish in 2023

“Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ opened my mind to the creative magic possible in writing. The story reveals itself during a single day in which a woman prepares for a party. But the true story lies beneath, in the internal voice that shifts easily through time and shape, through light and dark, ever aware of connective detail. The voice flows like a river around memories that lead Mrs. Dalloway to where she is going. Whenever I go back to this novel, I learn again how the written word can plumb emotional depths.”

— Lucy Sanna, author of “The Cherry Harvest: A Novel”

‘Like Life’ by Lorrie Moore is a short story collection that mixes funny and sad in a way that speaks to me. It says, see how people write humor alongside the serious in one sentence. You can, too.’ I’m not Lorrie Moore by a long shot, but her sly humor and real human characters resonate with how I view the world.”

Ann Garvin, author of four novels, plus “There’s No Coming Back from This,” which will be released in 2023

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