#BookBingoNW2020: Debut Book by Author Over 50

Does age matter when we’re talking about a book’s author? It does for this specific Book Bingo square! Here we’re celebrating authors who published their first book after they reached 50, reminding us it’s never too late to start writing.

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantas

Washington state author Karl Marlantas published his first book at 64 — an epic, visceral novel about a young Marine lieutenant and his battalion facing combat in the mountain jungle of Vietnam in 1969. Marlantas, who served his own tour of duty as a Marine in Vietnam, won numerous awards, both for his military service and for this bestselling novel.

My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

The first Hispanic justice appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, was 58 when her first book was published. It’s an inspiring memoir that recounts how her Puerto Rican upbringing in the South Bronx, her education and her other life experiences led to her successful career in law. También disponible en Español.

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

At 66, retired English teacher Frank McCourt published his first book, which rose to number one on bestseller lists and won a Pulitzer Prize. Not bad for a debut author! This is a sometimes grim, but sometimes hilarious, memoir that details his poverty-stricken childhood in Brooklyn and then Limerick, Ireland during the Great Depression.

Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris

Who knew you could publish a humorous memoir about punctuation at 63? Mary Norris did. She mined her career as a proofreader and copy editor at The New Yorker and produced an entertaining account of her relationship with commas, pencils and dirty words.

The Night of the Gun: A Reporter Investigates the Darkest Story of His Life, His Own by David Carr

David Carr was a well-known New York Times journalist before publishing his first book at 51, a brutally honest memoir about his hellish experiences as an addict who struggles to parent his twin daughters on his own. Carr tracks down and interviews those who saw him at his worst and documents their recollections, which often contradict his own. You might recognize Carr from his scene-stealing appearances in the 2011 documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times

For more debut books by authors over 50, check out our book list!

For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2020 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2020 on social media. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures .

~posted by Hannah Jo

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