And we’re off! Our Festival Headliners are here!
Colson Whitehead of The Underground Railroad, and Lev Grossman of The Magicians Series– now a hit show on the SyFy Channel– will be joined by other major writers including Jennine Capó Crucet, poet Ellen Bryant Voigt and nonfiction writer David Shields. The festival, which runs from October 11-14, 2017, will welcome a robust list of poets, historians, novelists, memoirists, children’s authors, YA writers and more at George Mason University and locations around Northern Virginia. This year, the festival is four days long and is partnering with the City of Fairfax’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 14, to bring a day of literary and artistic events to audiences from throughout the region.
Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
Colson Whitehead will kick off the festival at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11, in Harris Theater on George Mason’s Fairfax campus. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling The Underground Railroad–an Oprah’s Book Club selection and winner of the National Book Award—as well as The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and a collection of essays, The Colossus of New York. Whitehead’s reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, including the New York Times, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper’s and Granta. He has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers Award, the Dos Passos Prize, a fellowship at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
Jennine Capó Crucet, Make Your Home Among Strangers
Jennine Capó Crucet will speak at the capstone event for this year’s Mason Reads program on Thursday, October 12, at 4:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall, Center for the Arts, on Mason’s Fairfax campus. As part of the Mason Reads program, her novel Make Your Home Among Strangers from St. Martin’s Press will be given to all incoming freshman. Students will participate in programming throughout the semester as well as attend Crucet’s reading. Make Your Home Among Strangers was recently long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her story collection, How to Leave Hialeah, won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, the John Gardner Book Award, the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and it was named a Best Book of the Year by the Miami Herald, the Miami New Times, and the Latinidad List. A winner of an O. Henry Prize and a Bread Loaf Fellow, Crucet has published her writing in Guernica, Ploughshares, Epoch, The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, and other magazines.
Lev Grossman, The Magicians Trilogy
Lev Grossman will read on Saturday, October 14, at 5 p.m. in Harris Theater. His #1 bestselling Magicians trilogy has transformed fantasy and is now a hit TV series on SyFy in its critically acclaimed second season. George R.R. Martin writes: “The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea.” Grossman’s #1 New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy has been published in 25 countries. Entertainment Weekly calls the show “a looking-glass fiction held up to a world cluttered with looking-glass fictions” and an “American pop-aware enterprise with an abundance of salty cynicism and sex magic, plus a sinister force of antagonism.” For the past decade, Grossman was both the book critic and the lead technology writer at Time, covering virtually every cultural and technological revolution of the new millennium. He has interviewed and profiled the major drivers of cultural change in the Internet era, from Steve Jobs to Jonathan Franzen to John Green. Grossman has also written for Wired, The Believer, and The Village Voice, among many others.
Ellen Bryant Voigt, Headwaters
Ellen Bryant Voigt grew up on her family’s farm in rural Virginia. She earned her BA from Converse College and MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her most recent collections include Headwaters (2013), Messenger: New and Selected Poems 1976-2006, and Shadow of Heaven (2002). Bryant Voigt’s poems often traverse the worlds of motherhood, the rural South, family, and music. Poet Edward Hirsch wrote of her early book, Claiming Kin (1976), that Bryant Voigt’s work demonstrates “a Southerner’s devotion to family and a naturalist’s devotion to the physical world.” Her collection Kyrie (1995), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award, is a book-length sonnet sequence exploring the lives of people affected by the influenza epidemic of 1918–1919. She has also written a collection of essays, The Flexible Lyric (1999), and with Gregory Orr co-edited Poets Teaching Poets: Self and the World (1996), a selection of essays on writing.
David Shields, Other People: Takes and Mistakes
David Shields is the internationally bestselling author of twenty books, including Reality Hunger (named one of the best books of 2010 by more than thirty publications), The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead (New York Times bestseller), Black Planet (finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award), and Other People: Takes and Mistakes (Knopf, 2017). James Franco’s film of I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel was also released in 2017. The recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, Shields has published essays and stories in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s, and Believer. His work has been translated into twenty languages.
Fall for the Book is Northern Virginia’s oldest and largest festival of literature and the arts. All events are free and open to the public thanks to the generous support of sponsors including the Fairfax County Public Library, George Mason University, the Fairfax Library Foundation, and the City of Fairfax. For more information, visit our newly-designed website: fallforthebook.org. Check back in the coming weeks as our author lists grows!