“Shepherd plots page-turning twists and revelations with ease and excels in her knowledge of historical maps and cartographical mysteries. [The author] promises that “something magical happens” when a person follows a map that lies, and this book will make you believe it. A highly inventive novel that pushes the boundaries of reality.” — Kirkus Reviews

Peng Shepherd is the nationally bestselling, award-winning author of All This and More, The Cartographers, and The Book of M.

Her novels have been acclaimed as a “Best Book of the Year” by the Washington Post, a “Best Book of the Summer” by the Today Show and NPR, and featured in the New York Times, the LA Times, and on Good Morning America, as well as translated into more than ten languages. Her work has also been optioned for TV and film.

A graduate of New York University’s MFA program, Peng is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She was born in Phoenix, Arizona, where she rode horses and trained in classical ballet, and has lived in Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, London, Mexico City, and New York. When not writing, she can be found planning her next trip or haunting local bookstores.

Peng's Featured Titles

All This and More: A Novel

William Morrow |
Literary Fiction

LA Times Most Anticipated Book of Summer

“[A]bsolutely spellbinding… Just when you think you’ve got a handle on where it’s going, something forces you to rethink everything you think you knew.” — Booklist

“A tantalizing and well-knit story.” — Publishers Weekly

“Shepherd returns with another clever novel that plays with time and space.” — LA Times

From the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of The Cartographers and The Book of M comes an inventive new novel about a woman who wins the chance to rewrite every mistake she’s ever made… and how far she’ll go to find her elusive “happily ever after.” But there’s a twist: the reader gets to decide what she does next to change her fate.

One woman. Endless options. Every choice has consequences.

Meek, play-it-safe Marsh has just turned forty-five, and her life is in shambles. Her career is stagnant, her marriage has imploded, and her teenage daughter grows more distant by the day. Marsh is convinced she’s missed her chance at everything—romance, professional fulfillment, and adventure—and is desperate for a do-over.

She can’t believe her luck when she’s selected to be the star of the global sensation All This and Morea show that uses quantum technology to allow contestants the chance to revise their pasts and change their present lives. It’s Marsh’s only shot to seize her dreams, and she’s determined to get it right this time.

But even as she rises to become a famous lawyer, gets back together with her high school sweetheart, and travels the world, she begins to worry that All This and More’s promises might be too good to be true. Because while the technology is amazing, something seems a bit off.…

Can Marsh really make her life everything she wants it to be? And is it worth it?

Perfect for fans of Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library and Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, bestselling author Peng Shepherd’s All This and More is an utterly original, startlingly poignant novel that puts the reader in the driver’s seat.

The Cartographers: A Novel

William Morrow |
Literary Fiction

USA TODAY AND LA TIMES BESTSELLER

Finalist for the LA Times Book Prize!

The Cartographers is one of those brilliant books you have to read twice.” — Washington Post

“There are echoes of Borges and Bradbury, Pynchon and Finian’s Rainbow, but Ms. Shepherd’s exhilarating and enjoyable work casts a magical glow all its own.” — Wall Street Journal

From the critically acclaimed author of The Book of M, a highly imaginative thriller about a young woman who discovers that a strange map in her deceased father’s belongings holds an incredible, deadly secret—one that will lead her on an extraordinary adventure and to the truth about her family’s dark history.

What is the purpose of a map? 

Nell Young’s whole life and greatest passion is cartography. Her father, Dr. Daniel Young, is a legend in the field and Nell’s personal hero. But she hasn’t seen or spoken to him ever since he cruelly fired her and destroyed her reputation after an argument over an old, cheap gas station highway map.

But when Dr. Young is found dead in his office at the New York Public Library, with the very same seemingly worthless map hidden in his desk, Nell can’t resist investigating. To her surprise, she soon discovers that the map is incredibly valuable and exceedingly rare. In fact, she may now have the only copy left in existence…because a mysterious collector has been hunting down and destroying every last one—along with anyone who gets in the way.

But why?

To answer that question, Nell embarks on a dangerous journey to reveal a dark family secret and discovers the true power that lies in maps…

Perfect for fans of Joe Hill and V. E. Schwab, The Cartographers is an ode to art and science, history and magic—a spectacularly imaginative, modern story about an ancient craft and places still undiscovered.

The Book of M: A Novel

William Morrow |
Literary Fiction

Brad Thor’s Summer 2018 Fiction Pick for THE TODAY SHOW!

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY Elle • Refinery29 • PopSugar • Verge

Author of LA Times Prize finalist The Cartographers

The Book of M is devastating and inventive as Shepherd examines the value of memory, packing in imaginative twists as she goes.” —USA Today

“Eerie, dark, and compelling, [The Book of M] will not disappoint lovers of The Passage and Station Eleven.” —Booklist

WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE UP TO REMEMBER?

Set in a dangerous near future world, The Book of M tells the captivating story of a group of ordinary people caught in an extraordinary catastrophe who risk everything to save the ones they love. It is a sweeping debut that illuminates the power that memories have not only on the heart, but on the world itself.

One afternoon at an outdoor market in India, a man’s shadow disappears—an occurrence science cannot explain. He is only the first. The phenomenon spreads like a plague, and while those afflicted gain a strange new power, it comes at a horrible price: the loss of all their memories.

Ory and his wife Max have escaped the Forgetting so far by hiding in an abandoned hotel deep in the woods. Their new life feels almost normal, until one day Max’s shadow disappears too.

Knowing that the more she forgets, the more dangerous she will become to Ory, Max runs away. But Ory refuses to give up the time they have left together. Desperate to find Max before her memory disappears completely, he follows her trail across a perilous, unrecognizable world, braving the threat of roaming bandits, the call to a new war being waged on the ruins of the capital, and the rise of a sinister cult that worships the shadowless.

As they journey, each searches for answers: for Ory, about love, about survival, about hope; and for Max, about a new force growing in the south that may hold the cure.

Like The Passage and Station Eleven, this haunting, thought-provoking, and beautiful novel explores fundamental questions of memory, connection, and what it means to be human in a world turned upside down.

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Conversations with Q&A and Book Signing (in-person or virtual)

Peng loves to share her experience about the writing life. She’s happy to discuss individual books, the craft of fiction, the creative process, things which inspire her, what she wishes she’d known as a young writer, and anything else you’d like to ask!

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Literary Festivals and Writers Conferences

Peng has been a panelist at the Tucson Festival of Books, the Los Angeles Festival of Books, the Southern Festival of Books in Nashville, the Slice Literary Conference in Brooklyn, the Literary Feast in Ft. Lauderdale, WriterCon in Milwaukee, and more, as well as served as the keynote author for the Colorado Book and Arts Festival.

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Writing Workshops

Peng has taught creative writing to undergraduates at New York University, as well as to adults at the Writing Excuses Workshop and Retreat and the Jericho Online Summer Festival of Writing. She enjoys working with emerging writers to help them hone their craft and prepare their manuscripts for the agent search or publication.

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Crafting a Cartography Mystery: Seeking the Truth about Maps through Fiction

This is a talk where author Peng Shepherd shares her experience writing The Cartographers, a mystery novel based on a 1930’s map containing a New York phantom settlement which took on a life of its own. She will discuss what the journey taught her about stories, mapmaking, and how the two disciplines are much more similar than they might first appear.

Peng’s Events Link

The Cartographers Reading Guide Link

Peng’s Book Club Questions Link

Honors, Awards & Recognition

National bestseller
USA Today bestseller
LA Times bestseller
Indie bestseller
Finalist for the LA Times Book Prize
Washington Post “Best Book of the Year”
Amazon “Best Book of the Year”
Elle “Best Book of the Year”
Today Show “Best Book of the Summer”
NPR “Best Book of the Summer”
Indie Next Pick
National Endowment for the Arts fellowship recipient
Elizabeth George Foundation grant recipient
Neukom Institute for Literary Arts Award winner
Ignyte Award winner
Long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award
MFA in Creative Writing from New York University

Media Kit

By clicking the link below you will be directed to a Google Docs Folder
where you can download author photos and cover images.

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