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David Joy Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Where All Light Tends to Go (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Weight of this World (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Line That Held Us (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
When These Mountains Burn (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Those We Thought We Knew (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Publication Order of Anthologies

Gather at the River(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Born on December 11, 1983, this young 32-year old novelist is quite popular for a number of interesting and unique works. His writing career spans a number of years and during this period he has written a number of books which have won him critical acclaim apart from being accepted by thousands of readers as a quality writer with lot of thoughts behind his books. Apart from three novels, all of which have won critical acclaim, he also has written a memoir and a number of short stories. He also has written ten essays on a variety of subjects. Hence during his decade long writing career he has been able to make a place for himself amongst thousands of his fans. He also has been noticed by various organizations and has quite a few nominations for his works.

His Personal Life

He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina. He shifted base to Cullowhee at an early age and completed his literature from the Western Carolina University and got into writing at an early age. He received his BA Literature graduation in the year 2007 and also completed his MA in professional writing in the year 2009. He was fortunate to have been mentored under the likes of Ron Rash, Pamela Duncan, and Deidre Elliot. Before getting into full time writing he worked in various capacities in different organizations. He started his working career as a Teaching Assistant and Write Center Tutor in the Western Carolina University and the last job he did was as a Manager in The Cashiers Historical Society. However, his passion for writing helped him to move over to this new profession and since then there has been no looking back. Being just 32 years old there are reasons to believe that he still has quite a bit of writing left in him and what we are now witnessing is the budding of this talented writer into a great talent. He certainly has a bright future.

Awards And Recognitions

His talent for writing was too obvious not to get noticed. Though he is famous for the Edgar Award for his book Where All Light Tends To Go, there are a number of his works which too have caught the attention of critics. His book, “The Start Shall Withdraw Their Shining” won the 2014 South Million Writers Award Nomination. The same book also was nominated in 2013 for the Pushcart Prize Nomination. He also was the 2012 finalist for the famous Reed Award and the Ragan Old North State Award from The North Caroline Literary and Historical Association for Growing Gills. He also has won several first and second prize awards from North Carolina Press Association and was awarded in the Best Lighter Columns and Best Serious categories. The same association has also awarded him twice in 2010 and 2011 for the Best Investigative Reporting. For the year 2008-2009 he also won the Outstanding Award as a scholar from the Western Carolina University.

We will now have a look at a few of his works. Since the numbers of books written by him are quite a few, it would certainly not possible to have a review done of all the books. But we will try and review two works of his, which have won him critical acclaim and made him what he is today.

Where All The Lights Tend To Go

This book is centered round Cashiers, North Carolina which is known for people of different kinds and different thought processes as is the case with any small village. However, the world which Jacob McNeely lives is perhaps the cruelest of the lot. His father earns his living by running a meth ring and the local authorities are seemingly not bothered about it and turn a blind eye to it. Jacob has not had the best of childhood and had to drop out of school. This has resulted in his being cut off from his peers and he has no other option but to work for his father. He is working in the hope that one day his much awaited payday will come. His only silver lining is perhaps living the dream of getting united with his lover Maggie, who he feels is destined for much higher successes in life.

Life is getting onto to him and he has only two choices. He can either be with his father, waiting for that elusive day when he will get rich or elope with his lover and leave the mountains. The second option is easier said than done in an orthodox and conservative little village where blood flows thicker than water.

His Second Book

His other book Weight Of The World is about a character Thad Broom who is looking to move ahead in life after having returned from combat and having participated in war. However, the past continues to haunt and disturb him and he cannot forget the days he spent in Afghanistan. The things which he saw continue to make him feel uneasy. On the other hand his mother April is haunted by some weird feelings and trauma and she has carried on with this for years. He also is in love with Aiden McCall. He is torn between duty and circumstances, love and friendship and his and his lover’s lives literally get torn apart when both of them witness the accidental death of a drug dealer and they are charged with doping and other charges. They have to face the reality as it is and come out unscathed or run the real risk of being consumed by it totally and getting destroyed in the process. It certainly is unputdownable as the book weaves through various twists and turns. The book has been hailed by critics and admirers alike and according to some reviews, he book is taut and there isn’t one extra word in the book. It is a book which exhibits extreme grit and determination against very difficult and demanding circumstances and certainly shows the character and courage of the writer.


In fine there is no denying the fact that David Joy is a multifaceted talent and apart from writing some of the most thrilling mystery books he also has penned essays which delve on various topics of daily interest and which concern the average man on the street.

Book Series In Order » Authors » David Joy

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