Five of the most important and varied voices in 2020 adult literature will take the stage together for the annual Adult Book & Author Breakfast on Thursday, May 28, 2020 at BookExpo. Radio host and television political analyst Zerlina Maxwell will host this highly anticipated event. She’ll be joined by United States Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Carmen Maria Machado, Rep. Ilhan Omar, and Rebecca Roanhorse, during which each author will draw from their diverse backgrounds and perspectives to discuss their latest books and initiatives.
Zerlina Maxwell is an MSNBC Political Analyst, Senior Director of Progressive Programming for SiriusXM and the co-host of the award-winning radio show, Signal Boost. She’s a former Hillary Clinton staffer and worked as an organizer for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. In her new book of political commentary, The End of White Politics: How to Heal Our Liberal Divide (Hachette Book Group), Maxwell dismantles the past and present problems of the Left — challenging the “Bernie Bros,” Joe Biden, and centrist-thinkers, and argues how liberals can use identity politics to win upcoming elections. Instead of turning away from identity politics, she examines how progressives can lean into it to unite in a common vision and make progressive politics into a winning movement.
Best known for her acclaimed memoir Crazy Brave and her best-selling poetry volume An American Sunrise, Joy Harjo has received prizes including the Wallace Stevens Award, the Jackson Poetry Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts award, among others. The first Native American U.S. Poet Laureate, Joy Harjo now presents When the Light of the World was Subdued, Our Songs Came Through, A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry. This anthology gathers the work of more than 160 poets, representing nearly 100 indigenous nations, into one momentous volume that celebrates the indigenous peoples of North America, the first poets of this country, whose literary traditions stretch back centuries.
Award-winning, bestselling horror writer Carmen Maria Machado (Her Body and Other Parties, In the Dream House) presents her comic book debut, The Low, Low Woods. Published by DC as part of horror icon Joe Hill’s Hill House Comics imprint, the series is a surreal and harrowing journey of two queer teenagers, El and Octavia, who are discovering the mystery behind their home of Shudder-To-Think, PA, a town where long abandoned coal mines still burn underground and the surrounding woods are thick with rabbits with human eyes, swaths of men without their skins, and a woman with deer antlers.
U.S. Representative for Minnesota Ilhan Omar unveils This Is What America Looks Like (Dey Street Books), an intimate and rousing memoir about her life as the first African refugee, the first Somali-American, and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. Her memoir touches on numerous urgent and current issues while describing her upbringing, how war broke out in Somalia, her life in a Kenyan refugee camp, her arrival in this country where she pursued an education and the American dream, her commitment to public service first as a community organizer and later running for office, while also raising three children and navigating the needs of her tight-knit family.
Finally, Rebecca Roanhorse showcases her fantasy novel Black Sun (Saga Press), the first installment of a new epic fantasy trilogy inspired by the Anasazi cliff dwellings and the Mayan and Aztec cultures, that tells the story of four warring matriarchies battling for power with political intrigue and deadly schemes. Roanhorse, renowned for Trail of Lightning, Storm of Locusts, and Star Wars: Resistance Reborn, is a Nebula, Hugo, Locus and Campbell Award-winning speculative fiction writer. A busy and prolific writer, her middle grade novel Race to the Sun for the Rick Riordan Presents imprint released in January while Black Sun follows in October 2020.
“We’re humbled to be able to showcase such a powerful group of authors whose latest works come from such varied and meaningful perspectives,” said Jennifer Martin, Event Director of BookExpo. “The Adult Book & Author Breakfast allows us to bring together important writers who reflect the current publishing climate, and I can’t wait for out attendees to learn from their invaluable insights.”
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