Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Post - Athens, OH
The independent newspaper covering campus and community since 1911.
The Post

Artist Spotlight: Rainbow Rowell is the YA author everyone needs

Growing up in Nebraska, Rainbow Rowell’s writing career led her down unexpected avenues in her home state, especially throughout her college years. Now known as one of the most prominent YA authors from the 2010s for her novels like “Fangirl” and “Eleanor and Park,” the author’s legacy is one to note for years to come.

Rowell earned her journalism degree from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Following college, she became the first female columnist for the Omaha World-Herald, as well as the youngest writer on staff. Working there until 2012, she became more immersed in fiction writing, wanting to expand her writing to a wider audience.

Thus, right before she departed from the publication, she began writing her first novel in 2011, which would later become “Attachments.”Detailing the lives of two office workers turned lovers via an email chain, Rowell proved to other writers that experimenting with form and literary style could be fun and creative, even when writing about romance.

In that same year, Rowell took part in National Novel Writing Month, where she completed the first draft of her third book, “Fangirl.” Before its release, she came out with arguably her most famous work, “Eleanor and Park.” 

Set in the 1980s, the story is told from two points of view, aka Eleanor and Park. Eleanor is new to Omaha, Nebraska, trying to juggle a hostile family environment, while Park is a native to the city, known by his peers as the quiet music-lover. When the two begin to form a friendship, they realize how both their internal and external struggles match each other’s, allowing for a blossoming romance to form.

Instantly, “Eleanor and Park” became a New York Times Best Seller that year, as well as received the 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Best Fiction Book. With such a strong response to the novel, Rowell is now set to adapt “Eleanor and Park” to film, which is currently in production.

Following “Eleanor and Park” was the finalized version of “Fangirl” in 2013, becoming another beloved favorite among her following. Following twins Cath and Wren through their first year of college, the story is a bittersweet depiction of how hard navigating adolescence, love, sex and family can be in a new place, making it a relatable read for all. 

After “Fangirl,” Rowell ventured more into the realm of adult fiction, dropping her fourth novel “Landline” in 2014. However, the author returned to her roots with “Fangirl” by releasing “Carry On,” the spin-off series inspired by Cath’s favorite novel mentioned in the book. 

With much success surrounding her first five novels, Rowell moved into releasing short stories throughout 2016 and 2017, including “Kindred Spirits” and “Almost Midnight.”Yet, another big break happened for her when she signed on to create a revival of Marvel’s comic book series, “Runaways.”

Teaming up with artist Kris Anka, Rowell has led the storyline alongside Marvel’s team and the series has continued to run on a monthly basis. Her collaborations with artists didn’t stop here though. The author also joined forces in 2017 with artist Faith Erin Hicks for her novel “Pumpkinheads,” which was released two years later.

Rowell returned to writing for the “Carry On” series, dropping its follow-ups, “Wayward Son” and “Any Way the Wind Blows” in 2019 and 2021. She also continued to reimagine her past novels, dropping a manga version of “Fangirl” in 2020, as well as a second volume in 2022. 

Outside of her external work, Rowell focused again on creating more novels. Following the second volume of “Fangirl,” the author released “Scattered Showers,” an array of short stories she had written since the start of her writing career. She also announced another short story this year, titled “In Waiting.”

Now, Rowell is gearing up to release a new novel slated for next year called “Slow Dance.” The author teased on her Twitter account that the novel, expected June 4, would focus more heavily on adult topics.

Clearly, the author has made a lasting impact on YA fiction for over 10 years now, constantly working on new content for her fanbase and readers alike. If you’re looking for novels that are relatable and heartfelt about adolescence and its many quirks, Rainbow Rowell is the perfect person to take a chance on.


Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2016-2024 The Post, Athens OH