Friday, September 30 Festival Events

Friday, September 30 Events

And with today’s events, Fall for the Book’s 18th annual festival comes to a close. But not without a bang! For the final day of our festival we have a knockout lineup, including children’s author Cece Bell, novelist Bernice McFadden, and our 2016 Fairfax Award Presentation to Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street. Spend your Friday at George Mason University, Epicure Cafe and more and enjoy the last day of these incredible events.

All George Mason University festival events previously scheduled for the Sandy Spring Bank Tent have been relocated to Dewberry South, on the ground floor of the Johnson Center. This change is reflected in the following schedule. 

 *Events in this email are divided by location for your browsing convenience.*


George Mason University

4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA

10 A.M.

Novelist Bernice McFadden

Dewberry South, Ground Floor Johnson Center

The Washington Post calls Bernice McFadden’s book, The Book of Harlan, “simply miraculous… spellbinding.” When Paris falls to the Nazis during World War II, two African American musicians in town to perform, Harlan and his friend Lizard, are thrown into Buchenwald—the notorious concentration camp in Weimar, Germany—irreparably changing the course of Harlan’s life. The book expertly twines McFadden’s own familial ancestry with real and imagined characters alike, while ranging across six decades and two continents. Sponsored by African and African American Studies.


11 A.M.

Novelist Debra Spark

Dewberry South, Ground Floor Johnson Center

Debra Spark is the author of five books of fiction. Her newest novel, Unknown Caller, is “a funny, moving, and genuinely surprising story about families, misunderstandings, secrets, falls from grace, and chances for redemption” told in reverse. Author Steve Stern calls it “a pageant of mysteries.” Spark has been received numerous awards including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, a Bunting Institute fellowship, a Pushcart Prize, and the John Zacharis/Ploughshares award for best first book.


12 P.M.

Cookbook Author Melanie Underwood–CANCELLED

Dewberry South, Ground Floor Johnson Center

Take your taste buds on a delicious ride with Melanie Underwood’s new cookbook,Making Artisan Cheesecake: Expert Techniques for Creating Your Own Creative and Classic Recipes. Underwood presents the classic and well-loved cheesecake in a new, adventurous, and modern way, and answers any questions that might be asked by home cooks and bakers–foodies who love delicious classic desserts. The book features eighty recipes, including Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Honey and Lavender, Mascarpone and Raspberry Cheesecake, Hot Chocolate Cheesecake and many more.


1 P.M.

Journalist Mei Fong

Dewberry South, Ground Floor Johnson Center

Formerly a Wall Street Journal China correspondent, Mei Fong won a Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for her reporting on China’s economic boom and its environmental and social struggles in the face of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Her best-selling book One Child: The Story of China’s Most Radical Experiment chronicles the history and effects of China’s one-child policy while also weaving in her own reflections on trying to become a mother. The New York Review of Books calls One Child “a searing, important, and eminently readable exploration of China’s one-child policy.”


2 P.M.

How to Make 3D Printed Sculptures of 4D Things with Mathematician Henry Segerman

The Hub Ballroom

Abstract: Our brains have evolved in a three-dimensional environment, and so we are very good at visualising two- and three-dimensional objects. But what about four-dimensional objects? The best we can really do is to look at three-dimensional “shadows”. Just as a shadow of a three-dimensional object squishes it into the two-dimensional plane, we can squish a four-dimensional shape into three-dimensional space, where we can then make a sculpture of it. If the four-dimensional object isn’t too complicated and we choose a good way to squish it, then we can get a very good sense of what it is like. We will explore the sphere in four-dimensional space, the four-dimensional polytopes (which are the four-dimensional versions of the three-dimensional polyhedra), and various 3D printed sculptures, puzzles, and virtual reality experiences that have come from thinking about these things. I talk about these topics and much more in my book, Visualizing Mathematics with 3D Printing. Sponsored by the Department of Mathematical Sciences Colloquium, and the Topology, Arithmetic and Dynamics Seminar. 

Novelist Cathy Cruise

Dewberry South, Ground Floor Johnson Center

Cathy Cruise is the author of the the novel A Hundred Weddings which follows Katie Jacobs, a woman burned out on weddings since her wedding-planner mother dragged her along to every event during her childhood. Now, in the face of her sister’s wedding, Jacobs must spend a summer with family, old flames and a neurotic dog to help prepare for her sister’s big day. Cruise is an alumna of the Mason M.F.A. program.


3 P.M.

Life Changing Books Discussion with Bethanne Patrick

Dewberry South, Ground Floor Johnson Center

In her new anthology, The Books That Changed My Life: Reflections by 100 Authors, Actors, Musicians, and Other Remarkable People, editor and novelist Bethanne Patrick brings together stars of all walks of life–authors, actors, CEOs and more, to talk about the books that influenced them. Publisher’s Weekly calls the book, “Lively, addictive . . . The short entries are like literary snack food: once readers start consuming them, they may find it difficult to stop.” Avid readers and writers, as well as those aspiring to be both will love this book.


4 P.M.

Poet Patrick Rosal

Dewberry South, Ground Floor Johnson Center

Patrick Rosal is the author of four full-length poetry collections. His newest book, Brooklyn Antediluvian, was called by Publisher’s Weekly “an earth-shattering performance.” Patricia Smith says of the collection, “The poet’s wide-aloud love song to New York’s most boisterous borough is a deftly-crafted tour-de-force, a sleek melding of lyric and unflinching light.” He also is the author of Boneshepherds, My American Kundiman, and Uprock Headspin Scramble and Dive. His collections have been honored with the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award, Global Filipino Literary Award and the Asian American Writers Workshop Members’ Choice Award. Sponsored by the Split This Rock.


5 P.M.

Memoirists Belle Boggs & Abigail Waldron

Dewberry South, Ground Floor Johnson Center

In Belle Boggs’ book, The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood, she explores her own experience of waiting for motherhood through what her publisher calls an “expansive contemplation of fertility, choice, and the many possible roads to making a life and making a family.” Kirkus Reviews says it is a “deeply empathetic book … about more than one woman’s challenge.” Abigail Waldron always knew she wanted to be a mother. What she didn’t realize was how difficult the journey to motherhood could be. In her new memoir, Far as the Curse Is Found: Searching for God in Infertility, Miscarriage, and Stillbirth, she wrestles with questions about God as she faces a second-trimester miscarriage and infertility. Author Connally Gilliam says, “Waldron writes like she lives–with beauty, intentionality, and a hard-wrought longing to see the goodness of God in the land of the living.” Waldron is an alumna of Mason’s M.F.A. program.


7:30 P.M.

Fairfax Prize Presentation to Sandra Cisneros

Harris Theater

Sandra Cisneros will accept Fall for the Book’s Fairfax Prize, which honors outstanding literary achievement and celebrates writers who contribute to the larger literary landscape. William Miller, Executive Director of Fall for the Book, says, “We are excited to recognize Sandra Cisneros for her literary achievements and her many contributions to American and international literature. Over the course of a writing career of more than 30 years, her work has been translated into more than 20 languages, widely anthologized, and read in classrooms throughout the world. The House on Mango Street has become a classic and is one of our defining books about coming of age and the experience of Latino families in this country.” Cisneros has been awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships and a Texas Medal for the Arts. Her other works include Caramelo, Loose Women, Have You Seen Marie?, and most recently, A House of My Own: Stories from My Life. Sponsored by the George Mason Regional Library Friends.


Burke Centre Library, Burke VA

4:30 P.M.

Children’s Author Cece Bell

Burke Centre Library, 5935 Freds Oak Road, Burke VA

Cece Bell is an author and illustrator, and has written a number of books for children, including the beloved Sock Monkey series. Sock Monkey Goes to Hollywood received an Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Award, and was named “Quirkiest Picture Book” by Publishers Weekly in 2003. In her new graphic novel memoir named a 2015 Newbery Honor Book, El Deafo, Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid. Author Raina Telgemeier says, “Full of warmth, humor, and superpowered strength, El Deafo is an absolute treat.” Sponsored by the Burke Centre Friends.


The Writer’s Center, Bethesda, MD

5:30 P.M.

Novelist Ross Howell Jr. & Memoirist Fry Gaillard

4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 

Ross Howell Jr.’s debut novel Forsaken is set in 1912 Hampton, Virginia during the trial of an uneducated African American girl accused of killing her white employer. As racial tensions roil, a white novice journalist becomes enmeshed in the aftermath. Howell Jr. weaves real court records, letters, newspaper stories, and personal accounts into his narrative to reveal characters both large and small in this tale of the Jim Crow era, and the laws that would shape the world. In his memoir Journey to the Wilderness: War, Memory, and a Southern Family’s Civil War LettersFrye Gaillard examines old letters from family members serving for the Confederacy from the perspective of his generation’s transition from believing the Civil War to be a “glorious lost cause” to viewing it through the lens of civil rights. In this moving and thought-provoking book, Gaillard meditates on the past and the changing identity of the South.


Epicure Cafe, Fairfax, VA

7 P.M.

Poetry Night Out with M. Mack, J.K. Daniels & Nancy K. Pearson

Epicure Cafe, 11104 Lee Highway

M. Mack is a genderqueer poet whose collection Theater of Parts investigates the performativity and consciousness of gendered embodiment through page-bound theatrical productions. Ze is also the author of the chapbooks Mine, Imaginary Kansas, and TravelingNancy K. Pearson’s second collection of poetry, The Whole by Contemplation of a Single Bone, won the 2015-16 Poets Out Loud Editor’s Prize. In it, she explores the possibilities of recovery and transformation in a world where “words cease to matter,” attempting to reconcile a past of addiction, depression and misdiagnosis. J.K. Daniels’ debut book of poetry, Wedding Pulls, interrogates what it  means to be married, whether lawfully or not. The poems “riff on art and myth, and the fate that is family.” The collection won the 2015 New Southern Voices Prize.


Old Town Art Gallery, Fairfax, VA

7 P.M.

Premiere Staged Reading of I Ain’t Made That Way

Old Town Art Gallery, 3950 University Drive, Fairfax, VA

Be a part of the celebration when Harlan Van Buren earns not one, but two Masters’ Degrees — a feat no one in his hometown of Keokee, Virginia has ever done. The entire coal-mining community gathers at the Blue Star Bar & Grill to celebrate, tell tall-talls and remember in this premiere staged reading of the new play, I Ain’t Made That Way, written by Amelia Townsend of Oakton and the late Dink Shackleford of Keokee. The strong cast brings years of experience to the stage and includes several George Mason University graduates. The event is free, but due to limited seating, please visit EventBrite to reserve your free ticket.


Thank you so much to everyone who came out or will come out today! Our festival happens because of readers and community members like yourself. Enjoy this final day!