Smarten Up Your Feed: 8 Authors to Follow on Instagram
By now it's widely accepted that reading actually makes you smarter. Or, to be more precise, reading can increase brain connectivity and improve your basic, fluid and emotional intelligence. Sorcery!
If you're searching for some motivation to get stuck into one of the books piling up beside your bed, refresh your social feed with the addition of some of the best bookworms around. Hit follow on eight of our favourite book enthusiasts who also happen to be acclaimed authors themselves.
At just 26 years old, Bri Lee released Eggshell Skull, a memoir documenting her time as a judge's associate Brisbane and the subsequent filing of her own complaint through the Australian justice system. Sexism and sexual abuse are front and centre in Eggshell Skull, as Bri recalls both personal experience and observations of people at the mercy of the justice system. It's intense, gripping, educational and, somehow, uplifting.
Like all good writers, Bri is an avid reader. Her Instagram account is full of recommendations to add to your own reading list, with well-crafted mini reviews in the captions. There are also selfies, food shots, and plenty of fresh flowers – she does Instagram well.
Esmé Weijun Wang
Esmé Weijun Wang's 2016 debut novel, The Border of Paradise, is a gothic drama about a woman raising her two children alone following their father's suicide. In the book, the mother enacts a version of tong yang xi – an old Chinese tradition where families adopted poor girls so that they may be raised alongside their sons and eventually marry them.
Fascinatingly, Esmé experienced the illness known as Cotard's Syndrome, which makes people believe that they have already died (there's a great Washington Post feature about it that's worth a read). Unlike the subject matter she's written about, her Instagram account carries a pastel-heavy aesthetic of lightness, with flowers and animals featuring amongst quotes that'll make you laugh or learn – or both!
Marlee Silva is the founder of Tiddas 4 Tiddas, the Instagram platform and podcast that empowers young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women by sharing their stories and celebrating their successes – showing the diversity of success looks like. She's also the author of the upcoming My Tidda, My Sister (out in September) which shines a light on Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander women and their impact on a culture that is defined by its resilience.
Marlee's Instagram account is a behind-the-scenes highlight reel that shows the work she does and the people she champions. You can also see some pics of her family home in Dharrawal Country, taken for our very own Bed Threads Makers home tour series.
Chanel Miller came to prominence in 2015 as Emily Doe after being sexually assaulted on campus at Stanford University by Brock Turner. A year after she read her victim impact statement at Turner's sentencing hearing, Buzzfeed published it online; it went viral and became an integral marker of the Me Too movement in 2017. Chanel remained anonymous until September 2019, when she released her memoir, Know My Name, now an acclaimed bestseller that gives voice to victims of sexual assault and sustains the discussion about rape on college campuses. Not only is Chanel a talented writer, she also draws #relatable comics, which on their own would be worth adding her to your feed.
This Australian media fixture is a delight on Instagram. Some lols, some book promo, some famous faces reading passages from her book. In Phosphorescence (also one our top 10 reads this month) explores how and where we retain happiness, and asks whether we should reconsider the places we seek out joy and contentment.
Her Instagram handle alone will give you an idea of the lols that'll ensue if you hit Follow. Jia Tolentino is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of last year's Trick Mirror. If you haven't read it yet, you've probably been meaning to. As she explains in the book, it's impossible to be truly authentic on social media (and what is authenticity anyway?) But as far as a curation of a NYC literary It Girl life goes, hers seems relatively honest. On her account you'll see plenty of flashback photos from her wild days of partying mixed in with baby bump selfies from present day – at the time of writing she is ready to drop, so to speak.
LA-based writer Brit Bennett's second novel, The Vanishing Half, is the New York Times bestseller about race and identity told through the story of identical twin sisters. (It's also one of our must-read books this month.) Follow Brit for an insight on her life as one of today's most successful novelists – she'll also serve as executive producer on HBO's The Vanishing Half limited series adaptation.
Glennon Doyle is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Untamed – also one of our top 10 recommended reads for this month. The memoirist began in the blogosphere, writing about her struggles with bulimia, addiction, marriage and parenthood. After one of her blog posts went viral, she was courted by agents and publishers, starting a bidding war for rights to her first book, Carry On, Warrior. Since then she's received praise from Oprah and Reese Witherspoon (the Hello Sunshine-produced biopic is surely imminent) and on Instagram she continues that brutal honesty that struck a chord with so many people.