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For your fall reading, we have curated a diverse list of literature by Texans to suit any bookshelf. From a sci-fi horror set in a family-run haunted house to a heartwarming, wry tale about a disgraced soap opera star finding her Texas roots, these are 10 novels written by Texans that we recommend.
A Cosmology of Monsters, Shaun Hamill
Arlington-based author Shaun Hamill’s debut novel centers around Noah, the youngest child in the Turner family, and the strange circumstances of his childhood. The family runs a haunted house, and Noah forms a secret friendship with an out-of-this-world being.
The Neon Palm of Madame Melancon, Will Clarke
Dallas-based author Will Clarke transports readers into the chaotic psyche of Duke Melançon, who, in New Orleans, tackles both the potential destruction of the Gulf of Mexico and the strange disappearance of his mother, who happens to be a crime boss.
Lot, Bryan Washington
Houstonian Bryan Washington offers a fresh, sharp portrayal of the many identities of Houston through a series of interlocking, tightly woven short stories, linked over the course of a single person’s coming-of-age.
In the Heart of Texas, Ginger McKnight-Chavers
A native Texan tells the story of a 41-year-old soap opera star pitched as “a poor man’s Halle Berry,” who loses everything and is forced to return to her dusty Texas roots where she unexpectedly finds new meaning in life.
Escaping Exodus, Nicky Drayden
Compton Crook award–winner Nicky Drayden spins a heady novel set in hostile deep space, where humanity struggles to survive. Amid violence and terror, Seske Kaleigh prepares for her future role as her clan matriarch when her sister challenges her for the throne.
The Injustice Never Leaves You, Monica Munoz Martinez
It’s been called a book every Texan should read. Martinez chronicles true and tragic untold stories of violence committed against Tejanos and Mexicans in 1900s rural Texas by law enforcement and vigilantes alike.
Puddin’, Julie Murphy
Following her hit book Dumplin’, Fort Worth’s Julie Murphy presents another comedic, heartwarming story about women facing society’s impossible expectations. Puddin’ follows the course of an unlikely friendship between two very different women.
Last Woman Standing, Amy Gentry
Summed up, Amy Gentry’s latest book is Strangers on a Train meets Thelma and Louise. When two women, both struggling to make it in boys’ club professions, realize they have both been assaulted, they decide to go after each other’s assailants.
HoodWitch, Faylita Hicks
Texas poet Faylita Hicks debuts with a ringing reclamation of power for Black women and nonbinary people. HoodWitch tells the story of a young person finding the will to survive through a series of poems based on childhood photographs.
Texas Sicario, Harry Hunsicker
Dallas native and Vice President of the Mystery Writers of America Harry Hunsicker presents the second novel in his Arlo Baines series. The series follows an ex-Texas Ranger who begins investigating the murders of prominent Latino businessmen.