Aug 8, 2023 - News

These books will represent Colorado at National Book Fest

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Two Colorado-based authors will be featured at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. this weekend.

Driving the news: The Colorado Center for the Book, a Library of Congress affiliate, selected "Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue" as the adult pick and "Rise of the Red Hand" as the youth pick.

Context: Every year, the Library of Congress asks each state to pick books that represent their local literary landscape to showcase at the festival.

  • The book may be about the state, written by an author from there or now living there.

Details: "Black Smoke" chronicles how Black pitmasters have enriched barbecue culture over generations. The nonfiction title is full of illustrations, includes 20-plus recipes and won the Colorado Book Award for History last year.

  • Author Adrian Miller is a food writer, James Beard Award winner and certified barbecue judge who lives in Denver. He was also a senior policy analyst for former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter.

"Rise of the Red Hand" details a dystopian society in South Asia in the midst of a climate crisis. A "streetrat turned revolutionary" aims to take down a corrupt government that has sacrificed its poorest residents to build a climate-controlled biodome.

  • Olivia Chadha earned a master's in creative writing from the University of Colorado Boulder and lives in Colorado with her family. Chadha's book won the Colorado Book Award for Young Adult Literature.

What's next: The 2023 National Book Festival is Aug. 12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Several programs will be livestreamed.


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