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Stephanie Powell Watts

Stephanie Powell Watts is an associate professor of English at Lehigh University, and has won numerous awards, including the 2018 NAACP Award for Debut Fiction, a Whiting Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, and the Southern Women’s Writers Award for Emerging Writer of the Year. She was also a Chautauqua Prize and PEN/Hemingway Prize finalist for her short-story collection We Are Taking Only What We Need.

Watts was born in the foothills of North Carolina. She received her BA from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and her son.

No One Is Coming to Save Us, was Sarah Jessica Parker’s first book selection for the American Library Association’s national book club. The novel was a most anticipated or best books of 2017 by the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, Refinery 29, Nylon, Elle, Redbook, W Magazine, and The Chicago Review of Books, Book Page and other publications. The New York Times calls calls No One Is Coming to Save Us a revelatory debut from an insightful voice; with echoes of The Great Gatsby it is an arresting and powerful novel about an extended African American family in North Carolina and their colliding visions of the American Dream.

Read Stephanie’s essay, “I Love The Great Gatsby, Even If It Doesn’t Love Me Back,” published on Lit Hub, here.

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Talks and Topics

  • No One Is Coming to Save Us Author Presentation
  • More coming soon!
A skillful riff on The Great Gatsby… Watts writes about ordinary people leading ordinary lives with an extraordinary level of empathy and attention….The ways in which No One Is Coming to Save Us intersects with and veers away from Fitzgerald’s familiar plot can be very rewarding… Every departure can be seen as a sly comment on what it means to be a person of color in today’s America…. The novel’s intricately plotted relationships pay off satisfyingly in its final chapters.
— The New York Times


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Previous & Upcoming Events:

  • Feb 4, 2018: Alachua Library - Gainesville, FL
  • Feb 24, 2018: Southern Voices Festival - Hoover, AL
  • Mar 10-11, 2018: Tuscon Festival of Books - Tuscon, AZ
  • May 2, 2018: Kirkwood One Book - Kirkwood, MO
  • May 3, 2018: AViD Author Series - Des Moines, IA

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