Tucson Festival of Books

Laura McNeal



Kel Casey

Rebecca Potter

Laura McNeal is the author of "Dark Water," a finalist for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature in 2010, the historical novel, "The Practice House," "The Incident on the Bridge" and four critically-acclaimed novels co-written with her husband, Tom, all of them published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. She holds a master's in fiction writing from Syracuse University and was awarded a 2022 research residency at Baylor University. 

In her new book, The Swan's Nest", set in January 1846, struggling poet Robert Browning wrote to famed poet Elizabeth Barrett, chronically ill, expressing his love for both her and her verses. By September 1846, they married in secret (her family disapproved) and headed to the fresh airs of Italy. McNeal, goes adult with this retake on a happy literary couple.

"Let me count the ways I love The Swan's Nest: as a transporting romance, as a meticulous recreation of history, as a compelling examination of social hierarchies, and as an expose of the evil that can lurk behind fortunes. It's a bold feat to enter the minds of geniuses, but Barrett and Browning, as well as the wonderful cast of supporting characters, are as believable as they are beautifully written. Laura McNeal has constructed a gorgeous, faithful, and gripping rendering of poetry's most enduring love story."

-- Nina de Gramont, author of international bestseller The Christie Affair

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Awards: PEN Literary Award, California Book Award


Scheduled events:
Friends and Sponsors only: Hot Off The Press
Sponsors and Friends of the Festival are invited to a books launch party with authors in attendance.

Student Union South Ballroom (Seats 200, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 9, 8:30 am - 9:30 am

Panelists: Marie Arana, Cara Black, C.J. Box, Alisyn Camerota, Margot Douaihy, Rajani LaRocca, Laura McNeal, Zibby Owens, Ron Rapoport, Deborah Taffa, Moses Utomi, Tia Williams
Penning the Past
Asha Lemmie, Laura McNeal and Elizabeth Silver have come to the festival with stories about well-known authors from the past. Did their own experience as authors help shape the narrative? Where do they draw the line between fact and fiction as they craft their historic novels?

Student Union Sabino (Seats 87)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sat, Mar 9, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Fiction / Literature
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA BookStore Tent (on Mall) (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Asha Lemmie, Laura McNeal, Elizabeth Silver
Moderator: Irene McKisson
Journey to the Past: Bringing History to the Pages
Authors Elizabeth Crook, Laura McNeal, Denene Millner and Elizabeth Silver bring history onto the page ... with all the good, bad and ugly that comes along the way. Delve into the past and gain a glimmer of a different time with atmospheric and rich new stories.

Koffler Room 218 (Seats 142, Wheelchair accessible)  View this venue on the Festival map
Sun, Mar 10, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Fiction / Literature
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area - UA BookStore Tent (on Mall) (following presentation)  View this venue on the Festival map

Panelists: Elizabeth Crook, Laura McNeal, Denene Millner, Elizabeth Silver
Moderator: Rae Goodnight

Books:
The Swan's Nest
Fiction / Literature
Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
March 2024
ISBN 9781643753201
320 pages

The Incident on the Bridge
Fiction / Literature
Ember
April 2017
ISBN 9780307930996
336 pages