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April releases in books: Three women, three genres, one inspiration

“So, where are you from?” Ask that question in or around Atlanta, and chances are the answer won’t be, “Atlanta.” So it goes for this month’s three featured authors, all of whom aren’t “from around here.” They are transplants from across the United States who have made Atlanta the home from which they write. These three accomplished authors write in different genres, but are inspired by the same classic writing adage: Write what you know.

Originally hailing from Detroit, Pearl Cleage moved to Atlanta in the late ‘60s to attend the prestigious Spelman College, Pulitzer Prize winner (and native Georgian) Alice Walker’s alma mater. In her newest release, Things I Should Have Told My Daughter (Atria Books), a memoir, Cleage chronicles her life during the 70s and 80s, reflecting on (as the subtitle states) “lies, lessons, and love affairs.”

Critically acclaimed author and transplant from New York, Zoe Fishman is a fairly new member of the Atlanta author family. She moved here with her husband back in the hot summer of 2011. Her new novel, Driving Lessons (William Morrow), takes a page out of her personal journey from the northeast to the south. When Fishman’s main character Sarah moves from the hustle and bustle of New York to a small town in Virginia, she finds she has a lot to learn and relearn, including how to drive.

Now available in paperback, Lynn Cullen’s historical fiction novel, Mrs. Poe (Gallery Books), is historical fiction at its best. Known for her remarkably extensive research process and authentic characterizations of historic figures, in Cullen’s latest contribution to the literary world she reimagines the triangulated relationship of Edgar Allen Poe, his wife, and mistress, Frances Osgood.

Three women, three genres, and a shared source of inspiration. One reflects directly upon the pages of her journal, another creates a story based on her own experiences of transition, and the last re-imagines the lives of real-life people after fully immersing herself in exhaustive research.

Purchases these April titles at your local bookstore or place them on hold at your city library. Are you a member of a book club? Suggest one of these highly discussable titles to your group!