Looking for books a little different and below the radar? These six books from undiscovered writers drew a standing-room-only crowd to the buzz panel Wednesday.
- “The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World” by debut author Sarah Weinman is based on a real 1948 kidnapping which may have been the inspiration for Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial “Lolita” novel 60 years ago. “Without Sally’s story, ‘Lolita’ would be a quite different book,” said Zachary Wagman, executive editor at Harper Collins [owned by Post parent News Corp.]
- “Ohio” by 35-year-old, first-time novelist Stephen Markley took five years to write and involves a murder mystery and four former high school classmates approaching their 30th birthdays who return to their small hometown. “It’s about kids who became adults in the post 9/11 world,” said Carey Goldstein, VP and publicity director of Simon & Schuster, who promises, “The last 40 pages will blow you sideways.”
- “Maid” by Stephanie Land, due out in January, from Hachette, chronicles a single mom with a $9-an- hour job trying to carve a life for herself and her young daughter. “It captures what it’s like to want everything for a child” and “how tough and heartbreaking it is” when you can’t get it, noted the book’s editor, Krishan Trotman
- “There Will Be No Miracles Here” by Casey Gerald, due out in September from Riverhead Books, traces the executive — famous for his 2016 TED talk — from his days as a star high-school football player in Dallas to his recruitment for Yale’s team and then to Harvard Business School and Wall Street. “This book doesn’t retell the American dream,” said Becky Saletan, editorial director of Riverhead, “it stands that narrative on its head.”
- “She Would be King” by Wayétu Moore, is a debut novel set around the founding of Liberia. “I’m in awe of Wayétu,” said her publisher Fiona McCrae at Graywolf Press. She said the Liberian-born author fled to Sierra Leone as a child before moving to Texas and now lives in Brooklyn. “She raises questions that we are grappling with in America today, but in a fresh setting,” said McCrae.
- “Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear” by Kim Brooks grew out of a harrowing experience when the author left her 5-year-old son in a car as she dashed into a Target store to make a quick purchase. Although the child was fine, someone filmed her leaving him and turned it over to police. The book “raises the question of what it means to be a good parent and why it has changed so radically,” Bryn Clark, associate editor at Flatiron Books, said.
BookExpo is aimed at drumming up excitement among booksellers, but the public can get its own firsthand look as the show continues with BookCon on Saturday and Sunday at the Javits Center.
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