May 15, 2024 - News

National Book Festival 2024 to feature two books representing Colorado

The crowd at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Photo: Megan Buerger/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Two dystopian debut novels will represent Colorado this August at the National Book Festival, according to selections recently announced.

The big picture: The Library of Congress asks states to showcase "Great Reads" titles that represent their local literary heritage at the annual event in Washington, D.C.

Zoom in: The Colorado Center for the Book, an affiliate of the Library, chose "The Immortal King Rao" as the adult pick. It's written by Vauhini Vara, a Colorado resident and former Wall Street Journal technology reporter.

  • The genre-spanning novel, named a finalist for the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, focuses on a future world run by a globalized corporate government and on the brink of climate collapse — weaving together themes of capitalism, power, family and love.
  • "Our committee found it to be creative and ambitious and are looking forward to more work from Vara," Valerie Eddy, the Center for the Book's project coordinator, told us.

"Cold The Night, Fast The Wolves" by Colorado author Meg Long is the children's selection.

  • The book is set on a frozen wasteland, where a lone girl forms an unlikely alliance with a feral wolf as they navigate icy dangers and evade capture by a ruthless leader in an effort to escape their planet.
  • This "fast-paced story … will keep you turning the pages," Eddy told us.

Flashback: The two books representing Colorado in 2023 were "Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue" as the adult pick and "Rise of the Red Hand" as the youth pick.

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