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Three NC Authors (at Least!) Among NPR’s Best Books

At least three books by North Carolina authors are among National Public Radio’s “Best Books 2021.” NPR staff and trusted critics recommend some 2,800 titles, all sortable by category.

Among the recommendations are:

The Uncollected Stories of Allan Gurganus (Liveright)
By Allan Gurganus
NC Literary Hall of Fame inductee Allan Gurganus offers nine classic tales, never before between covers. Offering characters antic and tragic, Gurganus charts the human condition—masked and unmasked—as we live it now. These meticulously crafted parables recall William Faulkner’s scope and Flannery O’Connor’s corrosive wit. Imbuing each story with charged drama, Gurganus, a sublime ventriloquist, again proves himself among our funniest writers and our wisest.


Hell of a Book (Dutton)
By Jason Mott
Winner of the 2021 National Book Award: in Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and urgent: since Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.



No Gods, No Monsters (Blackstone Publishing)
By Cadwell Turnbull
At the center is a mystery no one thinks to ask: Why now? What has frightened the monsters out of the dark? “Turnbull delves into the complexities of injustice and identity in this powerhouse contemporary fantasy,” says Publishers Weekly in a starred review. “Fantasy fans won’t want to miss this.” Named a “Most Anticipated Book” by Bustle, Buzzfeed, Forbes, GoodReads, Marie Claire, The Millions, and



For the complete list, click here.