One of our great pleasures at the Writers Fest is introducing audiences to new authors—new to you, new to the industry, but guaranteed to be a “name to watch” (and to read) in the years ahead. This year is no different. Aamina Ahmad is already wowing the critics with her “stunning” (New York Times) debut novel The Return of Faraz Ali, the story of a man who returns to his birthplace of Lahore’s redlight district. You can’t pick up an “anticipated” book list without seeing Soon Wiley’s name, thanks to his profoundly moving and suspenseful When We Fell Apart. Jonathan Escoffery’s If I Survive You is set to be a hit of the season, blazing with heart as it follows a Jamaican family striving for more in Miami. New voices, big ideas: this is sure to be an event of creativity and discovery. Moderated by Shaena Lambert.
AAMINA AHMAD, a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, has received a Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University, a Pushcart Prize, and a Rona Jaffe Writers’ Award. The Return of Faraz Ali is her first novel. She is also the author of a play, The Dishonored. (UNITED KINGDOM/PAKISTAN/UNITED STATES)
JONATHAN ESCOFFERY is the recipient of the 2020 Plimpton Prize for Fiction, and a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship. He is a PhD fellow in the University of Southern California’s PhD in Creative Writing and Literature Program. If I Survive You is his debut book. (UNITED STATES)
SHAENA LAMBERT is the author of the novel Radiance, and two books of stories, Oh, My Darling and The Falling Woman—all of which were Globe and Mail best books of the year. Her latest novel is Petra, which won the 2021 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.
SOON WILEY holds an MFA from Wichita State University and is currently pursuing an MA in Writing from Johns Hopkins. He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and earned fellowships at Brush Creek Foundation in Wyoming and CAMAC–Centre d’art in France. He teaches English at Sidwell Friends. When We Fall Apart is his debut novel. (UNITED STATES)