Erika Swyler

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Erika Swyler

Goodreads Author

The United States



Member Since
August 2008


Erika Swyler is the bestselling author of Light From Other Stars, and The Book of Speculation. Her essays and short fiction have appeared in Catapult, Literary Hub, VIDA, The New York Times, and elsewhere.

Erika lives on Long Island, NY, with her husband and a petulant rabbit. She writes, bakes, is a casual runner, and has very strong feelings about typewriters.

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Popular Answered Questions

Erika Swyler I still don't! I've been writing in some form or another for most of my life, so I tend to think of myself as just being me, but sometimes a book appe…moreI still don't! I've been writing in some form or another for most of my life, so I tend to think of myself as just being me, but sometimes a book appears. On the occasions I've gotten to hold one of my finished books for the first time it's felt surreal, and I don't recognize myself as the person who wrote the book.

I'm a thinker. Sometimes those thoughts come out in the written form, sometimes they come out in visual art, or other things. I'm very lucky to have been able to write and publish what I have so far, but I'm aware that the shape my life takes can change at any moment. At this moment I write.
As better people have said, a writer is someone who writes. That's it!(less)
Average rating: 3.62 · 36,199 ratings · 5,678 reviews · 5 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Book of Speculation

3.60 avg rating — 32,614 ratings — published 2015 — 19 editions
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Light from Other Stars

3.81 avg rating — 2,660 ratings — published 2019 — 10 editions
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The Mermaid Girl: A Story

3.61 avg rating — 839 ratings — published 2016 — 4 editions
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The Book of Speculation

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 2015
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Colonial Comics: New Englan...

3.48 avg rating — 89 ratings — published 2014 — 5 editions
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More books by Erika Swyler…

Watch Spalding Gray perform Our Town’s legendary opening monologue.

Watch Spalding Gray perform Our Town’s legendary opening monologue.: As a failed actor (really, I...
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Published on April 16, 2021 10:37

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With circus mermaids, traveling tarot readers, and a bona fide family curse, her debut novel, The Book of Speculation, blends carnival history and...
24 likes · 16 comments

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Erika’s Recent Updates

Erika Swyler wrote a new blog post

Watch Spalding Gray perform Our Town’s legendary opening monologue.

Watch Spalding Gray perform Our Town’s legendary opening monologue.: As a failed actor (really, I...
Erika Swyler made a comment on Help an Indie Out
" Nicole wrote: "Done! Our indie just opened this past November and definitely did not need this craziness to happen. I am happy to support :)

Stay safe
...more "
" Ruth wrote: "I just finished reading Light from Other Stars for a book club meeting next Wednesday. There are so many nuggets woven throughought the s ...more "
Erika Swyler made a comment on On a Somber Note
" Ruth wrote: "So sorry for the loss of Editor and friend. Condolencez"
Thank you. She was an amazing woman.
...more "
" Fenris wrote: "Thank you for the list! I added a few to my 'to-read' shelf and had several there already. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is my favour ...more "
Erika Swyler has read
Light from Other Stars by Erika Swyler
Light from Other Stars
by Erika Swyler (Goodreads Author)
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Is it time? Yes. It's time. I wrote this book and I'm very fond of it. I hope you are too. :-) ...more
" Ruth wrote: "I am reading the Kindle book. I remember where I was when the explosion took place and the astronauts were lost. Riveting story. I love t ...more "
More of Erika's books…
“Once you’ve held a book and really loved it, you forever remember the feel of it, its specific weight, the way it sits in your hand.”
Erika Swyler, The Book of Speculation

“Perhaps the book opened a door; books have a way of causing ripples.”
Erika Swyler, The Book of Speculation

“Having all the time in the world makes getting things done impossible.”
Erika Swyler, The Book of Speculation


Vote for one book for September 2015

The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob by Mira JacobSpanning India in the 70s to New Mexico in the 80s to Seattle in the 90s, The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing is a winning, irreverent debut novel about a family wrestling with its future and its past.
  3 votes 20.0%

The Underground Girls of Kabul: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan The Underground Girls of Kabul In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan by Jenny Nordberg Jenny NordbergAn investigative journalist uncovers a hidden custom that will transform your understanding of what it means to grow up as a girl
in Afghanistan
  3 votes 20.0%

American Wife American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld by Curtis SittenfeldIn Alice Blackwell, New York Times bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld has created her most dynamic and complex heroine yet. American Wife is a gorgeously written novel that weaves class, wealth, race, and the exigencies of fate into a brilliant tapestry–a novel in which the unexpected becomes inevitable, and the pleasures and pain of intimacy and love are laid bare.
  2 votes 13.3%

Circling the Sun Circling the Sun by Paula McLain by Paula McLainPaula McLain, author of the phenomenal bestseller The Paris Wife, now returns with her keenly anticipated new novel, transporting readers to colonial Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun brings to life a fearless and captivating woman—Beryl Markham, a record-setting aviator caught up in a passionate love triangle with safari hunter Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen, who as Isak Dinesen wrote the classic memoir Out of Africa.
  1 vote 6.7%

Eight Hundred Grapes Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave by Laura DaveGrowing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.
  1 vote 6.7%

Lila Lila (Gilead, #3) by Marilynne Robinson by Marilynne RobinsonLila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church—the only available shelter from the rain—and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the days of suffering that preceded her newfound security.
  1 vote 6.7%

The Book of Speculation The Book of Speculation by Erika Swyler by Erika SwylerA sweeping and captivating debut novel about a young librarian who is sent a mysterious old book, inscribed with his grandmother's name. What is the book's connection to his family?
  1 vote 6.7%

The Marriage of Opposites The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman by Alice HoffmanFrom the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things: a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro; the Father of Impressionism.
  1 vote 6.7%

The Year of Necessary Lies The Year of Necessary Lies by Kris Radish by Kris RadishOne amazing year in a remarkable woman¹s life journey becomes the inspiration for generations when she takes a huge risk, follows her heart, embraces forbidden love, and unwittingly becomes the champion of a winged world that is on the brink of extinction.
  1 vote 6.7%

Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life Tibetan Peach Pie A True Account of an Imaginative Life by Tom Robbins by Tom RobbinsIn Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward, weaving together stories of his unconventional life–from his Appalachian childhood to his globe-trotting adventures–told in his unique voice, which combines the sweet and sly, the spiritual and earthy. The grandchild of Baptist preachers, Robbins would become, over the course of half a century, a poet interruptus, a soldier, a meteorologist, a radio DJ, an art-critic-turned-psychedelic-journeyman, a world-famous novelist, and a counterculture hero, leading a life as unlikely, magical, and bizarre as those of his quixotic characters
  1 vote 6.7%

Any Human Heart Any Human Heart by William Boyd by William BoydLogan Gonzago Mountstuart, writer, was born in 1906, and died of a heart attack on October 5, 1991, aged 85. William Boyd's novel Any Human Heart is his disjointed autobiography, a massive tome chronicling "my personal rollercoaster"--or rather, "not so much a rollercoaster", but a yo-yo, "a jerking spinning toy in the hands of a maladroit child." From his early childhood in Montevideo, son of an English corned beef executive and his Uraguayan secretary, through his years at a Norfolk public school and Oxford, Mountstuart traces his haphazard development as a writer. Early and easy success is succeeded by a long half-century of mediocrity, disappointments and setbacks, both personal and professional, leading him to multiple failed marriages, internment, alcoholism and abject poverty.
  0 votes 0.0%

Kitchens of the Great Midwest Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal by J. Ryan StradalKitchens of the Great Midwest, about a young woman with a once-in-a-generation palate who becomes the iconic chef behind the country’s most coveted dinner reservation, is the summer’s most hotly-anticipated debut.
  0 votes 0.0%

The Ambassador's Wife The Ambassador's Wife by Jennifer Steil by Jennifer SteilFrom a real-life ambassador's wife comes a harrowing novel about the kidnapping of an American woman in the Middle East and the heartbreaking choices she and her husband each must make in the hope of being reunited.
  0 votes 0.0%

15 total votes

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