Garden State Wordsmiths

Do you know that New Jersey is a fertile breeding ground for writers, some of them quite renowned? Here are a baker’s dozen of talented writers who were either born in or reside in NJ,  or have a connection to the Garden State.  One or more works of each author are available on OverDrive/Libby or Hoopla.

If you are looking for more information on the works of any of these authors, you can make use of Literary Reference Center using your Livingston Library card. This is a  full-text database that combines information on authors and their works from thousands of major respected reference works, books, and literary journals.  Content includes thousands of plot summaries, essays of literary criticism, author biographies, book reviews, and author interviews.

{F3F9E40E-4136-4524-919B-B536894BADA2}Img100Brad Parks was born in NJ.  He writes both standalone domestic suspense novels and a series featuring investigative reporter Carter Ross, who covers crime for a fictional newspaper.  His novels are known for mixing humor with the gritty realism of their urban setting. His latest thriller is The Last Act.

Diane Chamberlain was born and raised in Plainfield, NJ and spent her summers at the Jersey Shore. She is the bestselling author of 30 novels published in more than twenty languages. Her latest is Big Lies in a Small Town

Erica Armstrong Dunbar is a writer, historian, & lecturer (Prof of History at Rutgers Univ).  She is the author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award for Nonfiction.  Her latest is She Came to Stay: the life and times of Harriet Tubman.

{2EFC4578-BFDE-4859-B52E-55797BC1A0CF}Img100Fiona Davis, grew up in Brick and Wayne, NJ.  She is the nationally bestselling author of five novels, including The Dollhouse, The Address, and The Lions of Fifth Avenue.  Her latest work is The Chelsea Girls.

Harlan Coben, grew up in Livingston and lives in NJ.  He is a prolific author of best selling mystery novels and thrillers and his latest is The Boy From the Woods

Lucy Tan, grew up in Livingston. Her debut novel What We Were Promised, was named one of the Best of Books of 2018 by The Washington Post, Refinery 29, and Amazon.  Her stories have a special focus on characters who have a shifting sense of what they call “home.”

Marcy Dermansky, lives in Montclair.  She is author of the critically acclaimed novels The Red Car, Bad Marie, and Twins.  Her short fiction has been widely published and anthologized.  Her latest novel is entitled Very Nice.

{5EEFF368-3E05-45E8-8F19-4F6A65344CAF}Img100Marion Winik, raised on the Jersey shore,  is a journalist and author, best known for her work on NPR‘s All Things Considered.  She  is the author of First Comes Love, The Glen Rock Book of the Dead, among others.  Her latest is The Big Book of the Dead.

Mark Di Ionno, is a former front-page columnist for The Star-Ledger, and an adjunct professor of journalism at Rutgers University.  His latest novel is Gods of Wood and Stone.

Riley Sager, who lives in Princeton, is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer. He is the author of Final Girls, an international bestseller that’s been published in 25 languages, and the New York Times bestsellers The Last Time I Lied and Lock Every Door.  His Home Before Dark will be published in July.

{A79C7E9C-DAF7-4590-AE8B-787F9FAC0CBF}Img100Tayari Jones is an associate professor in Rutgers-Newark’s acclaimed Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program.  The author of four novels, Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, Silver Sparrow, and most recently An American Marriage, which was a 2018 Oprah’s Book Club Selection, and won the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Tracey Baptiste, who lives in NJ, is a children’s horror author born in Trinidad.  She uses folk stories in her novels such as Minecraft: The Crash and the acclaimed middle grade fantasy series which includes The Jumbies, Rise of the Jumbies and her latest, The Jumbie God’s Revenge.

-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian


Livingston, NJ 07039, USA

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