NC Authors Books Make Perfect Gifts for the Holidays

Looking for last minute gift ideas for the holidays? North Carolina’s literary community has been busy this year. Here’s a list of books, story collections and essays written by North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship recipients in the literary category.


The Line That Held Us

The Line That Held Us, by David Joy
The Line That Held Us is a novel about the cover-up of an accidental death, and the dark consequences that reverberate through the lives of four people who will never be the same again.

 Refrigerated Music for a Gleaming Woman

Refrigerated Music for a Gleaming Woman, by Aimee Parkinson
In Aimee Parkison’s Refrigerated Music for a Gleaming Woman, lovers find unexpected romance in cramped spaces, fast food addicts struggle through cheeseburger addiction, and the splendor of nature competes with the violence of television.

And Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables, by Katherine Reid
An exploration of L. M. Montgomery’s deep connection to the landscapes of Prince Edward Island that inspired her to write the beloved Anne of Green Gables series. From the Lake of Shining Waters and the Haunted Wood to Lover’s Lane, you’ll be immersed in the real places immortalized in the novels.

Blue Rooms

Blue Rooms, by Morri Creech
Pulitzer Prize nominee Morri Creech explores the uncertain terrain between conscious perception and the objective world.

Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse

Leopard Lady: A Life in Verse, by Valerie Nieman
Leopard Lady tells the story of Dinah, a biracial orphan child of Depression-era Appalachia who runs away to a carnival, and the emotional, physical, and spiritual journey she embraces.

Black Hole Factory

Black Hole Factory, by Eric Smith
Eric Smith won the Tampa Review Prize for Poetry for his collection of poems, Black Hole Factory, compressing experience, intellect, and feeling within concentrated stanzas of compelling density.

News of Our Loved Ones

News of Our Loved Ones, by Abigail DeWitt
Set in France and America, News of Our Loved Ones is a haunting and intimate examination of love and loss, beauty and the cost of survival, witnessed through two generations of one French family, whose lives are all touched by the tragic events surrounding the D-Day bombings in Normandy.

All the Colors We Will See, by Patrice Gopo

All the Colors We Will See, by Patrice Gopo
In this poetic and often courageous weaving of writings, Gopo examines the complexities of identity in our turbulent yet hopeful time of intersecting heritages. As she digs beneath the layers of immigration questions and race relations, she also turns her voice to themes such as marriage and divorce, the societal beauty standards we hold, and the intricacies of living out our faith.

Blood Sausage, by Patrice Gopo

“Blood Sausage,” by Jae Steinbacher
Steinbacher’s story appears in Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good, a feminist anthology of dark fiction and darker knowledge featuring a wide range of new and established horror and speculative fiction writers. Her essay, “Fun City,” a 2018 Sweet Corn Fiction Contest winner, appears in Flyaway Journal of Writing & Environment.

What Luck, This Life,

What Luck, This Life, by Kathryn Schwille
In a chorus of voices spanning places and years, What Luck, This Life explores the Columbia space shuttle disaster’s surprising fallout for a town beset by the tensions of class, race, and missed opportunity. The novel’s unforgettable characters struggle with family upheaval and mortality’s grip and a luminous book emerges—filled with heartache, beauty and warmth.

Across the Great Lake,

Across the Great Lake, by Lee Zacharias
As his wife lies dying in the brutally cold winter of 1936, Henrik Halvorsen takes his daughter Fern away with him. He captains a great coal-fired vessel, the Manitou, transporting railroad cars across the icy lake. The five-year-old girl revels in the freedom of the ferry, making friends with a stowaway cat and a gentle young deckhand. The sighting of a ghost ship, though, presages danger for all aboard.

Brothers Like These,

Brothers Like These, by Joseph Bathanti
This powerful account of Vietnam War Veterans recounting in prose and poetry their experiences before, during, and after the Vietnam War grew out of writing workshops conducted by Bathanti and Dr. Bruce Kelly at the Charles George VA Medical Center in Asheville.


Readiness, by Mark Cox
Cox's fifth book is a collection of prose poems that range from third-person projections to personal memoir. Though sometimes set in the 1960s and 1970s, their nostalgia is not an easy one. The poems are marked by the anxieties and ills of their time, many of which seem just as true today.


Sycamore, by Bryn Chancellor
Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since.

What My Year of Solo Travel at 64 Taught Me

“What My Year of Solo Travel at 64 Taught Me,” by Rebecca Gummere
Gummere’s essay in The Daily Beast chronicles her nine-month cross-country journey of discovery in a small RV with her two dogs. Other essays include “Cooper’s Heart,” published in the Oprah anthology, O’s Little Guide to the Big Questions, and “Pilgrimage,” in the forthcoming The Masters Review.


Sweetgirl, by Travis Mulhauser
A fearless sixteen-year old girl’s search for her missing mother leads to an unexpected discovery, and a life or death struggle in the harsh frozen landscape of the Upper Midwest.

All I Want to Do is Live

All I Want to Do is Live, by Trace Ramsey
Personalizing common themes of survival, depression, and life in America at a time of division and upheaval, Trace’s memories of his childhood and the scenes from his life today also give us the story of our time, our country, and a people longing to find substance, freedom, and meaning.


Swimming Between Worlds, by Elaine Neil Orr
New York Times bestselling author Charles Frazier describes Elaine Neil Orr’s latest novel as  “A perceptive and powerful story told with generosity and grace. The struggle of its deftly-drawn young characters to navigate the monumental changes—cultural and personal—that the civil rights movement brought to the South is rich and compelling.”

For more information on the N.C. Arts Council's fellowship program visit: