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  • Writer's pictureJenna King

Idaho authors you should know about

Idaho is known for a lot of things, but did you know this state has a lot of famous authors as well? Ranging from small to big authors with Netflix deals, the Gem State has put out a lot of talent into the universe. 

Alan Heathcock 

Born in a Chicago suburb, Alan Heathcock came to Boise to get an MFA from Boise State University in 2003 and has lived here since. His first collection of short fiction is called VOLT, published in 2011 with Graywolf Press. It was selected as an Editor’s Pick for The New York Times Book Review and The Oxford American. 

Heathcock is also known for Zero Percent Water and Fort Apache. He has been awarded fellowships from several organizations, including the Idaho Commission on the Arts. Heathcock also won the Boise Weekly Best Living Idaho Writer in 2012.

Anthony Doerr 

Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Doerr is probably best known for All the Light We Cannot See, which recently got a Netflix limited series starring Hugh Laurie and Aria Mia Loberti. 

Doerr was raised in Cleveland, Ohio but now lives in Boise with his wife and twin sons. He was the writer in residence for the State of Idaho from 2007 to 2010. 

His most recent book, Cloud Cuckoo Land, is partially based in Idaho and is definitely one to check out! 

Ernest Hemingway 

Yes … that Ernest Hemingway. He was raised in Oak Park, Illinois and owned permanent residences in Key West and Cuba, but purchased a home in Ketchum in 1959. 

He wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls in a variety of places, including Sun Valley, in the 1940s. It is one of his more notable works, including The Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and The Sea

Hemingway is buried in the Ketchum cemetery with the following eulogy that he wrote for a friend inscribed on his memorial: 

Best of all he loved the fall

the leaves yellow on cottonwoods

leaves floating on trout streams

and above the hills

the high blue windless skies

...Now he will be a part of them forever.

Tara Karr Roberts 

Tara Karr Roberts put out her debut book this year, after years of being a freelance journalist and journalism and english professor at the University of Idaho in Moscow. 

Wild and Distant Seas is a historical fiction book that follows four generations of women through life and as they discover what they want their futures to look like. With Moby Dick as the starting point, the story takes you from 19th century Nantucket to Boston, Brazil, Florence and Idaho. 

“Roberts breathes new life into a classic tale with a radiant cast of women at the helm. Wholly absorbing and beautifully written, Wild and Distant Seas is sure to someday be a classic in its own right.”

-Ruth Emmie Lang, author of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance and The Wilderwomen

Tara Westover

Tara Westover was born in Clifton, Idaho and was the youngest of seven children. She had a challenging upbringing, as her parents were Mormon survivalists and were suspicious of doctors, hospitals, public schools and the federal government. 

She wrote a memoir called Educated in 2018 about her upbringing, her adventure to get into college and studying abroad at Trinity College in Cambridge. The book spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and was voted the No. 1 Library reads pick by American librarians. 

Westover now lives in London. 

If you ever have any questions about the ever-changing marketplace or know someone looking to buy or sell, please do not hesitate to reach out!

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