Local authors shortlisted for 2022 Connecticut Book Awards

Westport veterinarian Melissa Shapiro's dog, Piglet, who is deaf and blind, poses with her new book.

Westport veterinarian Melissa Shapiro's dog, Piglet, who is deaf and blind, poses with her new book.

Contributed photo

Earlier this month Connecticut’s Center for the Book announced the finalists for the 2022 Connecticut Book Awards. 

The finalists include a list of authors and illustrators from the Nutmeg state or who wrote a book set in Connecticut in 2021. According to the center’s director Lisa Comstock, the official winners of the Connecticut Book Awards will be announced at a ceremony held at the Hartford Public Library on Oct. 23.

The nonfiction finalists include:

Connecticut native Kat Chow, who wrote her memoir “Seeing Ghosts” about processing her grief after her mother’s death.

Branford’s Joanne Goldblum wrote about poverty and public policy in “Broke in America” with Colleen Shaddox.

New Haven’s Mark Oppenheimer wrote about a 2018 shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in “Squirrel Hill.

Rhode Island’s Ravi Shankar details his experience while he was incarcerated in Hartford in his memoir “Correctional.”

Westport’s Melissa Shapiro shares the story of adopting and training a puppy with disabilities in “Piglet.”

Four locals were listed for their 2021 poetry collections:

Newington’s Cristina Baptista wrote “Taking Her Back” inspired by her voyage on the last remaining wooden whaleship, the 1841 vessel Charles W. Morgan.

Margaret Gibson of Preston wrote “The Glass Globe” about her experience with her late husband’s Alzheimer’s.

Sandy Hook’s Charles Rafferty examines the patterns of life in “A Cluster of Noisy Planets.

James Whitley of Waterbury tackles matters of the heart in “Songs for a Solo Voice.”

Tochi Onyebuchi is a New Haven author and contributed a short story to Amazon's "Trespass." 

Tochi Onyebuchi is a New Haven author and contributed a short story to Amazon's "Trespass." 

Christina Orlando/AP

In the fiction category:

Manchester’s Megan Collins’ latest thriller “The Family Plot” involves a secret past, an isolated mansion and family baggage.

New Haven author Tochi Onyebuchi’s “Goliath” is set in a future New Haven where the wealthy have abandoned the planet for different space colonies.

Eric Lehman of Hamden’s novel “9 Lupine Road” is about an FBI agent who finally meets his birth father only to be informed he’s a werewolf.

Connecticut native Ruth Ozeki’s “Book of Form and Emptiness” is about a boy who can hear inanimate objects.

Connecticut native Forsyth Harmon’s book “Justine” is about a young woman who becomes obsessed with a stranger. 

For young readers:

Ledyard author Winsome Hudson Bing’s “Soul Food Sunday” and Plainville author Cindy Rodriguez’s “Three Pockets Full” were recognized.

Bei Bei Goes Home: A Panda Story” by Wallingford’s Cheryl Bardoe and “Walrus Song” by Farmington’s Janet Lawler were recognized as nonfiction picture books.

For middle grade nonfiction Watertown author Sarah Albee’s “Fairy Tale Science” and Vernon author Linda Zajac’s “Robo-Motion: Robots That Move Like Animals” were recognized.

For middle grade fiction, Westport author Michaela MacColl’s “View From Pagoda Hill,” Waterford author Beth Turley’s “The Flyers” and Canton author Beth Vrabel’s “To Tell You the Truth” were recognized. “

The Secret Life of Kitty Granger” by Hamden’s G.D. Falksen and “Mercury Boys” by Chandra Prasad were recognized for their young adult fiction.

Spirit of Connecticut award:

Emily Layden’s book “All Girls” is set in Connecticut and the Albany, N.Y. author has been named the finalist for the 2021 Spirit of Connecticut award. According to the press release, the award is  in memory of longtime Connecticut Humanities director Bruce Fraser and “celebrates Connecticut’s sense of place.”