Thea Temple, executive director, The Writer's Garret, Dallas

Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves.

"The Plague of Doves is being compared quite favorably to Faulkner, as it is a multi-generational novel-in-stories of the enmeshed lives of the Anglos in the town of Pluto, N.D., and the Indians, and mixed-blood Metis people (of French ancestry) who live on the reservation surrounding it. Moving back and forth in time, four narrators take turns uncovering layer after layer of past and present. The Los Angeles Times says that Erdrich is 'composing symphonies filled with a complex wisdom about the strands of darkness and light that make up a human life.'"

Cristina Henriquez, Come Together, Fall Apart.

"Former Texas writer Cristina Henriquez has penned a wonderful debut collection of short stories that leads Sandra Ciseneros to ask, 'How does a young writer gather the wisdom, heart, and tenderness to write stories with such exquisite humanity?' Isabel Allende describes the collection as 'haunting' and 'truly unforgettable.'"

Dagoberto Gilb, The Flowers.

"Another work by a Texan writer, this novel is told through the voice of a Chicano teen, Sonny Bravo, living in L.A. in an apartment complex called 'The Flowers,' where he moved when his very beautiful mother married an Okie contractor. Sonny takes care of the building and becomes entangled with the lives of many of the residents, exploring what it means to 'come of age' amidst social and urban unrest. Larry McMurtry claims that this is Gilb's 'best book. It's not to be missed.'"