Authors on Twitter often display their personalities and artistry on the social media platform in a way that the written page doesn’t provide. Their conversational tweets are often witty, inspirational and endearing. (Bonus: sometimes they’ll drop the occasional hint about their upcoming work). Take John Green, author of the YA best seller The Fault in Our Stars, whose 2 million-plus followers eagerly devour his musings on everything from the World Cup to the upcoming TFIOS film. Author Maya Angelou was another favorite on Twitter. In fact her last tweet, “Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God” — posted May 23, just five days before her passing — has since been retweeted nearly 100,00 times. So it seems appropriate — whether you are over John Green or missing Dr. Angelou — that we share a list of oh-so-hot authors to follow on Twitter.
1. Teju Cole (@ tejucole)
Cole has won the respect of the literary community for his deeply nuanced offerings that delve into the contrast between the home of his youth — Nigeria — and his life in the United States. The recipient of a Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award for his 2011 novel Open City, Cole’s tweets read like that of an anthropologist, all sharp observances about his travels and international news. One recent tweet: “The sad privilege of traveling in Palestine, knowing that people we met in one place are kept by vicious law from going with us to the next.”
2. Bryan Lee O’Malley (@radiomaru)
This graphic artist/cartoonist uses Twitter as a launch pad to speak directly to the fans of his Scott Pilgrim series, sharing humorous anecdotes that are always entertaining. Case in point: “Just thinking about this because i found an old notebook of my ideas and stuff from 2000 and i was like WOW, WHAT AN IDIOT.” Look out for poignant commentary about pop culture — not excluding his own (“my new book Seconds is GREAT and it’s not really like Scott Pilgrim at all except the energy and the cute”).
3. Ruth Reichl (@ruthreichl)
A food writer and cookbook author for over four decades, Reichl’s exquisite food-centric tweets make you feel deeply reflective — and really, really hungry. “Cool breeze. Blue sky. Bare feet on green grass. Cold rare grilled steak piles on buttered bread. Pink pickled onions. Lemonade. Home!” she wrote in one recent tweet, her 140 characters reading like a haiku. Another, a thoughtful reflection on life’s simple pleasures: “Gentle rain. Green world. Fresh ginger tea, fragrance spirals through the air. Sliced apricots. Blueberries. Thick local cream. Peaceful.”
4. Alisa Valdés (@MizAlisa)
Passionate, opinionated and always interesting, The Dirty Girls Social Club author shares tweets that offer poignant reflections on everything from literature, to media and current affairs. One recent tweet: “Most US Latinos are not immigrants. Most US immigrants are not Latinos. Time to show this reality in film and TV. Enough stereotypes.” Valdés — a noted advocate for Hispanic literacy — also shares tweets that are plain old uplifting, taking to Twitter last month to note, “Being happy in the face of great injustice doesn’t mean you’re shallow; it means you’re resilient and determined.”
5. Paulo Coehlo (@paulocoelho)
The Brazilian writer (The Alchemist, Eleven Minutes) has a Twitter feed that reads like a bilingual stream of consciousness, chock-full of philosophical musings including, “When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you are not saying ‘No’ to yourself,” and “Today don’t beg, don’t ask, just thank God in silence for all the blessings in your life.”