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New England Authors

Updated on October 7, 2014

New England Writers Are Some of My Favorites

I can't think of a much better activity than reading a novel by one of my favorite New England writers. I have kept this list of New England authors to 12, but I have other authors from New England that I also like to read. (You have to stop somewhere, I suppose.)

As you can see, I have several favorites and have read all of most of these authors' books:

- Chris Bohjalian

- Andre Dubus III

- Julia Glass

- Stephen King

- John Irving

- Wally Lamb

- Elinor Lipman

- Sue Miller

- Robert B. Parker

- Jodi Picoult

- Anita Shreve

- Kurt Vonnegut

In addition to the authors being from somewhere in New England, most of these authors set their novels in New England, which is part of the charm. New England is comprised of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

I also really like the no nonsense style of writing and practical ways of doing things that these authors all bring to the stories and characters. The frigid New England winters are also fun to read about to me!

Photo courtesy of Amazon: Waterfalls of the White Mountains: 30 Hikes to 100 Waterfalls

Chris Bohjalian - New England Author from Vermont

I found Chris Bohjalian's books in a round about way. I watched the movie Midwives starring Sissy Spacek then read the novel that the movie was based on. I was instantly hooked. I love Bohjalian's novels.

My favorite: Skeletons at the Feast. Interestingly this is one of the few, maybe the only one?, of his books that is not set in New England. But I truly have enjoyed all of the rest of his novels. I'm reading Secrets of Eden now (well, not right now. Right now, I'm typing about reading it.) Did you catch the movie Secrets of Eden on Lifetime? It was excellent!.

Chris Bohjalian's Books - Here's a taste of his novels

Andre Dubus III - He's from Massachusetts

Andre Dubus III is best known for his novel House of Sand and Fog. If you've read it, you know why. It is a masterpiece. I also really really really liked his memoir Townie. Short story writer Andre Dubus is Andre Dubus III's father.

My favorite: House of Sand and Fog for fiction and Townie, for nonfiction. What can I say? I loved them both!

Andre Dubus III's Books - Novels, short stories, and a memoir

Julia Glass - She lives in Massachusetts

Julia Glass's first novel, Three Junes, won the National Book Award in 2002. It was an excellent read, but I've enjoyed her other novels more.

My favorite: The Whole World Over

Julia Glass's Novels - Four Novels including Three Junes

Stephen King - He lives in Maine and needs no introduction

Okay, if you haven't heard of Stephen King, you must have been living under a rock. He's a little bit popular. He's a lot prolific. And the ratio of his books that I've read is the lowest of any of the New England authors I've listed. I like Stephen King's writing, but for the longest time I thought all he wrote was slasher stuff because the first of his books I read was Carrie. Interestingly, I love true crime but not slasher fiction so much. And I loved On Writing. It is wonderful.

My favorite: Full Dark, No Stars (yes, this is a dark one, but so good!) and On Writing (his memoir and book on writing advice, not to be missed!)

Select Stephen King Books - Have you read On Writing? You should!

John Irving - From Vermont and My Absolute Favorite

John Irving. There. I've said it all.

This New England writer is THE BEST. Of course, this is just my opinion. He is such a talented storyteller that no one has him beat, especially for some of his earlier novels like The Cider House Rules, The World According to Garp, and one of his most recent novel Last Night in Twisted River. John Irving has such a way with the English language that it's magical. Really.

My favorite (book of all time): The Cider House Rules

John Irving's Novels - All good choices

The Cider House Rules: A Novel (Modern Library (Hardcover))
The Cider House Rules: A Novel (Modern Library (Hardcover))

My favorite book. It's wonderful. Just read it.


Wally Lamb - He Lives in Connecticut

Wally Lamb is a well-known New England author who wrote She's Come Undone, which many readers found surprising since it's told from a female point of view. Lamb also write I Know This Much Is True, The Hour I First Believed, and Wishin' and Hopin': A Christmas Story.

My favorite: She's Come Undone

Elinor Lipman - She Lives in Massachusetts

Elinor Lipman may be the least well-known of these New England writers. I'm not sure. But she is not the least of these writers, not by a long shot. And because of the wonder of the alphabet, I found Lipman's novels while searching for some Laura Lippman books. And boy, am I glad I did.

I love love love Elinor Lipman's writing. She is intelligent, hilarious, and so insightful. Her first novel, Then She Found Me, was made into a 2007 movie starring Helen Hunt, Colin Firth, Matthew Broderick, and Bette Midler. The book of course is better, but I also love the movie.

My favorite: The Inn at Lake Devine (though this changes because I love all of her books)

Elinor Lipman Books - Give one a try -- you will not be disappointed

The Inn at Lake Devine
The Inn at Lake Devine

This book is a look at prejudice through the eyes of a young Jewish girl.

Then She Found Me [THEN SHE FOUND ME M/TV]
Then She Found Me [THEN SHE FOUND ME M/TV]

This book is sweet and the movie by the same name is wonderful.


Sue Miller - She lives in Massachusetts

Sue Miller has written some wonderful novels, and I've sadly only read a handful of them. I will add these others to my list to read because I've never been disappointed in her writing or storytelling.

My favorite: The World Below

Sue Miller's Novels - The Good Mother was made into a movie

While I Was Gone (Oprah's Book Club)
While I Was Gone (Oprah's Book Club)

What a twist there is to this story. Read it and be surprised.


Robert B. Parker - He Has Passed Away But Lived in Massachusetts

The late Robert Parker is another New England author that I admire, but I've not read many of his books. He wrote 65 books. What I have read have been compelling and well written. I love the Jesse Stone movies.

My favorite: Split Image

Jodi Picoult - She Lives in New Hampshire

Jodi Picoult is probably right up there with Stephen King as one of the most popular and well-known New England authors. She is such a talent, prolific, and tackles the tough topics in her novels. When I read one of her novels, it's like a lesson in whatever topic she's writing about (like Asperger's Syndrome or the Amish) but told beautifully with a story you don't want to end.

My favorite: House Rules (until I read her next one)

Jodi Picoult's Novels - I really enjoyed her first book, Songs of the Humpback Whale

Anita Shreve - She Lives in Massachusetts

Anita Shreve is a wordly author who lives in New England but ventures away from this geography in some of her books. And that's okay. I think my favorites are the books set in New England though, like A Wedding in December, Light on Snow, Sea Glass, Strange Fits of Passion. I could go on.

My favorite: A Wedding in December because it was like a two-fer (one of the characters was writing a book... I love a story within a story!)

Anita Shreve - Pick a book, any book!

Kurt Vonnegut - Gone but Never Ever Forgotten

Kurt Vonnegut. Yep, he lived in New England, in Massachusetts. He was a crazy man, a crazy writer, good crazy of course. You're probably familiar with Vonnegut's writing and either love it or not. I have to say, his writing is genius but I have to be in the right mood to read it.

My favorite: Galapogos

Favorite New England Writers

Which of these is your favorite New England writer?

See results

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Share your love (or hate) of New England authors please.

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    • DebbieDJ LM profile image

      DebbieDJ LM 

      6 years ago

      I love Jodi Piccoult!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I once ... make that twice ... met Stephen King while I was working at a hotel in Maine, but I have to admit I've never actually read any of his books. Some of these other New England authors, though, are among my favorite writers, including Anita Shreve, Wally Lamp and John Irving.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 

      6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Didn't realize so many of these authors were from New England!

    • LisaDH profile image


      6 years ago

      Great idea for a lens. New England has certainly produced some great writers.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love so many of these authors you mention, especially Jodi Picoult and Chris Bohjalian. A couple of others that I can think of: Elizabeth Berg and Alice Hoffman (I *think* they're still both local).

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Born in Germantown but lived in Massachusetts: Louisa May Alcott (Little Women). John Preston also grew up in Medfield MA and later lived in Maine - his writing was not to most people's taste, (described by him as pornographic) ......

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      7 years ago from Central Florida

      I love New England, and was surprised how many of these I haven't read. I've been focusing mostly on New England memoirs.


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