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May Reading List: Pick Up These 9 Books by Michigan Women Authors

April 29, 2021

Take a break from Netflix and pick up one of these must-read books by female Michigan authors

By Zoe Makhool

Featured photo by Nick Fewings


By Julie Buntin

Julie Buntun

Julie Buntin teaches creative writing at the University of Michigan. Her debut novel, “Marlena,” follows a 15-year-old who moves to a rural town in Michigan following her mom’s divorce. Everything about her new town is lonely — until she meets her eccentric neighbor Marlena.

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls 

By Anissa Gray

Anissa Gray

Anissa Gray was born and raised in western Michigan. After a career in broadcast journalism at CNN, she took her love for storytelling in a new direction and pursued fiction writing. Her debut book, “The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls,” is about a Michigan family dealing with the aftermath of generations of trauma. If you enjoy fast-paced stories of scandal and sisterhood, this is a must-read!

I Have the Answer 

By Kelly Fordon

Kelly Fordon

Award-winning poet and fiction writer Kelly Fordon lives and teaches in Detroit. Published by Wayne State University in 2020, her most recent book, “I Have the Answer,” is a collection of 13 short stories, centered around characters dealing with grief, illness, childhood trauma and more.

Salt Body Shimmer

By Aricka Foreman

Aricka Foreman

Detroit native Aricka Foreman is a poet, educator, editor and interdisciplinary writer. Through the intersections of race, class, gender and sexuality, her latest book of poems, “Salt Body Shimmer,” voices the American experience that contemporary women face.

Us Three 

By Jamie Berris

Jamie BerrisMichigan-based Jamie Berris writes women’s fiction with multidimensional and strong female characters. “Us Three” tells the story of three women, with three unique personalities, in three different phases of life, who, through some unexpected events, become the best of friends.


Shades, Detroit Love Stories 

By Esperanza Cintrón

Shades book

Native Detroiter Esperanza Cintrón is the author of “Shades, Detroit Love Stories,” a collection of interconnected short stories about romantic encounters that take place in historical spaces across the city. Cintrón has a doctorate in English Literature and teaches literature at Wayne County Community College.

We Hope for Better Things

By Erin Bartels

Erin Bartels

Lansing resident Erin Bartles is the award-winning author of “We Hope for Better Things,” a fictional story about Elizabeth Balsam, a Detroit Free Press reporter who is tasked with a strange request: to look up a relative she didn’t know she had in order to deliver an old camera and a box of photos. From there the story unfolds with exciting mystery, a journey through Detroit history, and forbidden love.

It’s Not All Downhill From Here 

By Terry McMillan

Terry McMillianBorn and raised in Port Huron, New York Times bestselling author Terry McMillan discovered her love of literature while working at a local library. Her latest book, “It’s Not All Downhill From Here”, is a story about loss, friendship and resilience. Named one of the best books of the year by Marie Claire and Good Housekeeping, it should definitely be on your summer reading list!

Early Morning Riser

By Katherine Heiny

Katherine HeinyKatherine Heiny, a writer from Midland, spent her summers with her husband and children in Boyne City. Her new book, “Early Morning Riser,” a story about an unconventional family set in Boyne City, is inspired by the small northern Michigan town. Learn more about Heiny and her experience writing the novel here.

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