Thursday, Oct. 11 – Daily Schedule

Thursday, October 11 Schedule at a Glance

Join us in celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Fall for the Book

All events are free and open to the public. Plan your visit and your parking in Mason Pond by clicking here.

Full schedule details can be found here.

Events are at George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, 4400 University Drive, unless otherwise noted.

In case of rain, all events in the Sandy Spring Bank Tent will be relocated to Dewberry Hall, located on the ground floor of the Johnson Center: 4477 Aquia Creek Ln, Fairfax, VA 22030

All Day


Literature of the Chinese-American Experience
with Vanessa Hua & Yang Huang
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Two writers explore the generational, familial, and cultural bonds in Chinese and Chinese-American life. Yang Huang’s interconnected story collection My Old Faithful, which won the Juniper Prize for Fiction, follows one family from China to America over the course of thirty years. Huang paints “a nuanced portrait of family life, full of pain, surprises, and subtle acts of courage.” Vanessa Hua’s novel A River of Stars follows a pregnant Chinese woman as she makes her way to California trying to claim her own American Dream. Celeste Ng calls it “an utterly absorbing novel about the ruthless love of parenthood and the universal truth that sometimes family runs deeper than blood alone.”

Native Americans and the Southern Imagination
with Gina Caison & Kirstin Squint
Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room F
Gina Caison and Kirstin Squint discuss their research into the intersections of Southern and Native American experiences. In her book Red States: Indigeneity, Settler Colonialism, and Southern Studies, Caison argues that notions of Native American identity in the U.S. South can be understood by tracing how audiences in the region came to imagine indigeneity through texts ranging from theatrical and musical performances, pre–Civil War literatures, and contemporary novels. In LeAnne Howe at the Intersections of Southern and Native American Literature, Kirstin Squint explores the innovative and award-winning works of poetry, drama, and fiction from the prominent Chocktaw writer.


Recovering Zimbabwe’s Legacy
with Tinashe Mushakavanhu
Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room F
In this expansive project called Reading Zimbabwe, Tinashe Mushakavanhu constructs a national bibliography of his home country by collecting, cataloging, digitizing, and making available over the Internet information of as many Zimbabwean publications from the 1950s to the present as it is possible to identify and locate. Zimbabwe’s legacy of publishing is in clear danger of disappearing which has consequences on the quality of writing and education now available in the country.

What Does It Take to Achieve the Impossible?
with Billy Shore
George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center
In The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men, Billy Shore, writer, philanthropist, and business leader, tells the story of a small cadre of scientists—collaborators and competitors— who are determined to develop a vaccine for malaria—a feat most tropical disease experts have long considered impossible. Shore is the co-founder of No Kid Hungry, and its parent organization Share Our Strength, which has raised more than $600 million to fight hunger and poverty. Sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Well Being.

In Businesses We (Don’t) Trust
with Barie Carmichael
Research Hall, Room 163
Powered by the rise in consumer-driven social media content, corporations struggle to maintain their customers’ trust. Reset: Business and Society in the New Social Landscape by Barie Carmichael and James Rubin traces the global decline of trust in business at the same time that the public’s expectations for its role in society are rising. The authors provide a strategic roadmap for businesses to navigate the new era, rebuild trust, and find their voice. Rubin and Carmichael offer case studies of reputations lost and found, suggesting fundamental strategies to mitigate risk and build the corporate brand. Reset is an essential guide to navigating the pitfalls and taking advantage of the opportunities of the new era.

When You Gotta Go: How Public Toilets Fail our Private Needs
with Lezlie Lowe
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Why are public restrooms so crappy? Lezlie Lowe has the answers. Her book No Place To Go: How Public Toilets Fail our Private Needs is Number One in addressing the politics of where we’re allowed to “go” in public. From pay to use toilets to deserted alleyways, the book is a marriage of urbanism, history, social narrative, and pop culture that shows the ways—momentous and mockable—public bathrooms just don’t work.


Global Literature: Israel, Dhaka, & The Frozen North
with Evan Fallenberg, Heidi Sopinka, & Helena Thorfinn
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza 
Cheuse Center Director Matt Davis facilitates a panel of authors with novels set in different corners of the globe. The Parting Gift by Evan Fallenberg tackles jealousy, obsession, and revenge, as it shrewdly explores the gender expectations of men as lovers, as fathers, and as Israelis and Palestinians. Tiger Trails by Helena Thorfinn tells the story of a Swedish woman who once worked for the Swedish Embassy in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, and – after a recent terror attack – she has returned with her husband to continue her work in human rights. The Dictionary of Animal Languagesby Heidi Sopinka details the life and work of a 90-year-old British woman who abandoned her love, her art, and her home in Paris during WWII to conduct research of animal languages in the “frozen North.”

The Chance of Salvation: How Americans Chose Their Religion
with Lincoln A. Mullen
Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room F
The United States has a long history of religious pluralism, which results in Americans switching religions more often than any other nation. The Chance of Salvation: A History of Conversion in America by Lincoln A. Mullen traces the history of the distinctively American idea that religion is a matter of individual choice. Christianity Today says Mullen “handles conversion narratives with respect, but without abandoning a critical, scholarly eye…[he] helps us see how a distinctly evangelical approach to salvation had ripple effects beyond evangelicals, and he should be commended for it.” Sponsored by the Department of History and Art History.

NEW TIME – 1:30pm
March for Freedom
with Congressman John Lewis & Andrew Aydin
Concert Hall, Center for the Arts
March: Book One, this year’s selection for the Mason Reads program, is the first in the trilogy of graphic memoirs from Congressman John Lewis, written with Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. March follows Lewis’s remarkable journey in the Civil Rights Movement, from his youth in rural Alabama, to meeting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to the steps of City Hall. It is a testament of the power of nonviolent protest in the battle against segregation. Lewis and Aydin will speak about the books at this year’s Mason Reads event. Sponsored by the Office of Orientation and George Mason University Libraries.

Beast: A Catalan Poet’s Exploration
with Irene Solà
Grand Tier III, Center for the Arts – NEW LOCATION
Award-winning Catalan artist, poet and filmmaker Irene Solà’s debut poetry collection Beast was awarded the Amadeu Oller Poetry Prize. The Poetry Books Society calls it “a darkly imaged, startling and lyrically precise exploration of gender, identity, sexuality and multiple forms of desire.” Ben Rivers calls Beast “Sensuous, precise, and profoundly generous in their glimpses of strikingly private narratives, Sola’s poems feel perfectly placed for the strange heat of our times…”


Laugh Out Loud Reads Inman Majors
with Jill Orr
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Hilarity surrounds two main characters who have a lot expected of them: a single mother and an investigative journalist. Inman Majors’ novel Penelope Lemon: Game On follows the title character, who is a recent divorcée, closet Metallica fan, and accidental subversive, as she navigates the expectations of suburban motherhood. In Jill Orr’s The Bad Break: A Riley Ellison Mystery, a librarian-turned-journalist is faced with a murder investigation and a bridezilla as she desperately tries to prove she can handle the increasing demands of her new job. Author Lian Dolan says, “I loved this fresh page-turner―it’s fun, funny, and moves like lightning.”

Tilting into the Truth
with Nicole Harkin
Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room C
When Nicole Harkin was nine-years-old, she learned her father was comatose 120 miles away from home. And, then the hospital nurse informed Nicole’s mother that another woman was also visiting their father every day, whenever the family wasn’t there. That is when everything tilted: her parent’s marriage, her family, and her understanding of the truth. Tilting: A Memoir chronicles this chapter of Harkin’s life and the after effects using both pathos and humor. Kirkus Reviews credits Harkin with doing “a fine job of mining her childhood for sweet stories that contrast with the sour turn that her parents’ marriage takes.”

Hard to Do:The Surprising Feminist History of Breaking Up
with Kelli Maria Korducki
George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center
Kelli María Korducki discusses her book, Hard to Do: The Surprising Feminist History of Breaking Up, which examines the relatively short history of romantic love, tracing how the myth of economic equality between men and women has transformed the ways women conceive of domestic partnership. With perceptive, reported insights on the ways marriage and divorce are legislated, the rituals of twentieth-century courtship, and contemporary practices for calling it off, Korducki reveals that, for all women, choosing to end a relationship is a radical action. Sponsored by Student Support and Advocacy Center.

Biking Across America: A Climate Scientist’s Journey
with David Goodrich
Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room F
After a high-level career as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, Switzerland and other top climate organizations, scientist David Goodrich set out on a trip across America with his bicycle, camera, and notebook to tackle the widespread misinformation and denial of climate change. For A Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist’s Bicycle Journey Across the United States, Goodrich rode 4,200 miles from Delaware to Oregon speaking to people from all walks of life he met along the way.

Understanding Racism in America
with Ibram X. Kendi
Research Hall, Room 163
Some Americans cling desperately to the myth that we are living in a post-racial society, that the election of the first Black president spelled the doom of racism. In Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues that racism in America is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever, and if we have any hope of grappling with this stark reality we must first understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated, and enshrined in American society. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. In shedding much-needed light on the murky history of racist ideas, Kendi offers us the tools we need to expose them–and in the process, gives us reason to hope. Sponsored by African and African American Studies. 


MFA Fellows Reading
with Andrew Art, Anney Bolgiano, Kate Branca, E. Rhōdes Thompson
Research Hall, Room 163
Come hear the fellowship-winning writers of George Mason University’s MFA Creative Writing program. Andrew Art is an award-winning poet and the Heritage Student Writer Fellow in poetry. Fiction Fellow Anney Bolgiano was recently published in Politics & Prose District Lines, an anthology of Washington, D.C. writers. Kate Branca, the Thesis Fellow in nonfiction, is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Poetry Fellow E. Rhōdes Thompson is an award-winning poet and the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Hellscape. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program.

Translating the Classics
with Lawrence Ellsworth
Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room G
Learn about the swashbuckling adventure of translating the classics. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis’ journey with the clever d’Artagnan have been given new life by Lawrence Ellsworth in his edition of Alexandre Dumas’s The Three Musketeers. Ellsworth then keeps the drama of Cardinal Richelieu, Queen Anne, and King Louis XIII going in his new translation of the sequel, The Red Sphinx.

Wanting More: Coming-of-Age Novels
with Leslie Pietrzyk & Jon Pineda
Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
The coming-of-age novel is a staple of great literature. Silver Girl, by Leslie Pietrzyk is set in the American Midwest with a main character itching to leave her poor family behind in exchange for a rich best friend and a few frat parties. Then, as the relationships she forms begin to define her, the girl is faced with greed, desire, and a local psychopath called the Tylenol Killer. Jon Pineda’s novel, Let’s No One Get Hurt takes place in the American South. 15-year-old Pearl is squatting on a houseboat with her father and his three friends when she meets the rich teenage boy whose parents own that very property. They become unequal friends as Pearl learns about how differences in race and socioeconomics can result in violence and humiliation.

The Secret History of A Modern Suburb
with Patricia Farrell Donahue, Lynn Eaton, & Laura Wickstead
Fenwick Reading Room 2001, 2nd Floor, Fenwick Library
In writing any history, authors depend on primary and secondary sources to provide the basic facts surrounding people, events and places from the past. Yet, these sources offer far more than just facts. They can enrich any history by bringing forth the voices of participants found in diaries, letters, photographs, newsletters, newspaper articles, and other archival materials. The author of Participation, Community, and Public Policy in a Virginia Suburb: Of Our Own Making, Patricia Donahue, teams up with the directors of two archive collections, Laura Wickstead, the Virginia Room Librarian at the City of Fairfax Regional Library, and Lynn Eaton, Director of the George Mason University Libraries Special Collections Research Center, to discuss Donahue’s work in the archives. The directors will talk about how that material came to their repository, and the importance of archives in documenting current culture for future researchers and writers.

The Real Relationship between the U.S. and Mexico
with Andrew Selee
George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center
Especially relevant in today’s America, Andrew Selee’s Vanishing Frontiers: The Forces Driving Mexico and the United States Together illustrates how the U.S.-Mexico border is more like a seam than a barrier. With or without a wall, deeply intertwined social, economic, business, cultural, and personal relationships weave together the two economies. Through portraits of business leaders, migrants, chefs, movie directors, police officers, and media and sports executives, this book looks at this emerging Mexico, showing how it increasingly influences our daily lives in the United States in surprising ways–the jobs we do, the goods we consume, and even the new technology and entertainment we enjoy. Andrew Selee, President of the Migration Policy Institute and past Director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, will be in conversation with George Mason University Professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, author of Los Zetas Inc. Together they will paint a realistic portrait of the border region that few Americans see. Sponsored by the Institute for Immigration Research and the Schar School of Policy and Government.

You Eat What You Are
with Lucy M. Long
Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room C
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are” ~ Brillat-Savarin. Food is more than just the combination of nutrients we ingest. Food creates interaction and introspection. Food is culture, and the study of this culture, or foodways, is a growing field which focuses on how we interact with each other through and around food. Folklorist Lucy M. Long, founder of the Center for Food and Culture and a prolific writer on foodways, will lead a discussion and cooking demonstrations as we explore how food defines us culturally, socially, and personally. Sponsored by Folklore Roundtable and the Alan Cheuse International Writers Center.

The Future of Academic Writing and Publishing
with Douglas Eyman, Emily H. Green, Laura Wheeler Poms, John Warren, & Adam Winsler
Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room F
What is “academic writing”? How has what we call “academic writing” changed to reflect digital landscapes, diverse audiences, and new publishing platforms? This panel, comprised of academic authors, bloggers, textbook producers, and publishing professionals, discusses recent challenges to definitions of academic writing and how we might anticipate further changes in coming decades. Panelists include Adam Winsler, Emily H. Green, Doug Eyman, Laura Wheeler Poms and John Warren. Sponsored by Writing Across the Curriculum.


Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award Ceremony
with Hernán Díaz, Elena Georgiou, & Renee Macalino Rutledge
Grand Tier III, Center for the Arts
The three finalists for the inaugural Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award will each read from their books before the grand prize is awarded. Hernán Díaz is the author of the novel In the Distance, Elena Georgiou is the author of the story collection The Immigrant’s Refrigerator, and Renee Macalino Rutledge is the author of the novel The Hour of Daydreams. This post-publication book prize was created to recognize recently published works that illuminate the complexity of human experience as told by immigrants, whose work is historically underrepresented in writing and publishing. Helon Habila, Madeleine Thien, and Maaza Mengiste judged. When speaking about the prize, Habila said: “if America is a country of immigrants as it is often described, then the quintessential American literature would be the literature of immigration…  Hopefully these new voices will make us step back and look at ourselves with new eyes, and new hope and new meaning.” Sponsored by the Institute for Immigration Research.

Writing About The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson
with Tim Denevi, Margaret A. Harrell, William McKeen, & Juan F. Thompson
Fenwick Reading Room 2001, 2nd Floor, Fenwick Library
Four writers discuss Hunter S. Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas from different perspectives. Juan F. Thompson, the author of Stories I Tell Myself: Growing Up with Hunter S. Thompson and son of the legendary writer, details being raised by the father of gonzo journalism. In Freak Kingdom: Hunter S. Thompson’s Manic Ten-Year Crusade Against American Fascism, Tim Denevi examines another side of Thompson — the anti-Nixon political activist. William McKeen wrote of his interviews with Thompson in Outlaw Journalist: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson, which the Washington Post praises, “Gets it all in: the boozing and drugging…but also the intelligence, the loyalty, the inherent decency.” And memoirist Margaret Harrell’s Keep This Quiet! My Relationship with Hunter S. Thompson, Milton Klonsky, and Jan Mensaert details her experiences as Thompson’s former assistant editor and friend.


Off-Campus Events


Traveling Wild: Tales of an Ecotourist
with Mike Gunter, Jr.
Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, 4210 Roberts Rd, Fairfax
A veteran traveler with ecotourism experience on all seven continents, Mike Gunter Jr. is the author of Tales of an Ecotourist: What Travel to Wild Places Can Teach Us About Climate Change. The book showcases travel, from the hot and humid Amazon jungle to the frozen but dry Antarctic, as a simple yet spellbinding lens to better understand the complex issue of climate change. Using both keen humor and memorable anecdotes, and weaving respected scientific studies along the way, the work highlights five famous eco-destinations and fleshes out much-needed personal context to perhaps society’s greatest threat of all. Sponsored by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.


Love, Loss, and Finding New Life
with Sarahlyn Bruck & Orly Konig
Oakton Library, 10304 Lynnhaven Pl, Oakton
Both Sarahlyn Bruck and Orly Konig’s novels weave tales of love and loss, and how to pick up the pieces afterwards. In Sarahlyn Bruck’s Designer You, a newly-widowed mother challenged with grieving the loss of her husband and co-owner of their DIY empire learns how to be a single parent. In Orly Konig’s Carousel Beach, a granddaughter connects with her deceased grandmother’s first love, a 90-year-old carousel horse carver suffering from Alzheimer’s and, in doing so, “untangles the intertwined secrets of love, heartbreak, and misunderstandings between three generations of strong willed women.” Sponsored by Friends of the Oakton Library.

Virginia is for Lovers (& Romance Novelists)
with Tracey Livesay
Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave E, Vienna
One moment changes everything in Tracey Livesay’s Love Will Always Remember. After waking from a coma, Leighton Clarke faces her amnesia with her fiancé by her side. Sparks fly as her memory returns and she discovers he’s not her fiancé after all. Kirkus Reviews describes it as “Scandal meets While You Were Sleeping in a D.C.–set romance.” Love Will Always Remember is the third novel in Livesay’s Shade of Love series.

Everybody Loves an Underdog
with Daniel de Visé
Kingstowne Library, 6500 Landsdowne Centre Dr, Alexandria
The Comeback: Greg LeMond, the True King of American Cycling, and a Legendary Tour de France chronicles the life of Greg LeMond, one of America’s greatest athletes, from his roots in Nevada and California to the heights of global fame, to a falling out with his own family and a calamitous confrontation with Lance Armstrong over allegations that Armstrong was doping. Author Daniel de Visé tells how LeMond waged a campaign on principle for more than a decade, ostracized from the sport he loves, before Armstrong was finally stripped of his own Tour titles for his role in the biggest doping conspiracy in the history of American sports. With a fierce attention to detail, de Visé reveals the dramatic, ultra-competitive inner world of a sport rarely seen up close, and builds a compelling case for LeMond as its great American hero.

Hotel Scarface: Mutiny & Mobsters in Miami
with Roben Farzad
Pohick Regional Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke
Blending history, true crime, memoir, and popular culture homage, Hotel Scarface: Where Cocaine Cowboys Partied and Plotted to Control Miami by Roben Farzad tells a true story set in the middle of the murder and drug capital of America in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The decadent cocaine-fueled story of the Mutiny—the hotel which inspired the legendary film Scarface—features a cast of not just big- and small-time gangsters, the hotel staff, and bodyguards, but also some of the biggest political and celebrity names of the time. Farzad also hosts the weekly podcast Full Disclosure on NPR One and is a special correspondent on PBS NewsHour. Sponsored by the Friends of the Pohick Regional Library.

JFK’s VIP Party: Great Minds Only
with Joseph A. Esposito
Richard Byrd Library, 7250 Commerce St, Springfield
In Dinner in Camelot: The Night America’s Greatest Scientists, Writers, and Scholars Partied at the Kennedy White House, Joseph Esposito, a former member of three U.S. presidential administrations, details the infamous White House dinner that took place on April 29, 1962. In attendance were forty-nine Nobel Prize winners and other intellectual elites including Robert Frost, James Baldwin, J. Robert Oppenheimer, and many others. According to Kirkus Reviews, the book creates “a fascinating entry point to the cultural and academic environments of the 1960s. . . . Esposito presents a book that makes us wonder what the world could have been and that allows us to dream, at least for 200 pages.” Sponsored by the Friends of the Richard Byrd Library.

Words, Words, Words
with the Better Said Than Done storytellers Nick Baskerville, Jessica Robinson, & Sufian Zhemukhov
The Auld Shebeen, 3971 Chain Bridge Rd, Fairfax
Join Better Said Than Done storytellers as they share true, personal stories about language, words, and interpretation. Stories are intended for an adult audience. Featuring Sufian Zhemukhov, author of Putin’s Olympics, and Jessica Robinson, the founder of Better Said Than Done, and editor of Roar: True Tales of Women Warriors, and Nick Baskerville. 

Biking Across America: A Climate Scientist’s Journey
with David Goodrich
Kings Park Library, 9000 Burke Lake Rd, Burke
After a high-level career as the Director of the UN Global Climate Observing System in Geneva, Switzerland and other top climate organizations, scientist David Goodrich set out on a trip across America with his bicycle, camera, and notebook to tackle the widespread misinformation and denial of climate change. For A Hole in the Wind: A Climate Scientist’s Bicycle Journey Across the United States, Goodrich rode 4,200 miles from Delaware to Oregon speaking to people from all walks of life he met along the way. Sponsored by the Friends of the Kings Park Library.


Cancelled Events

The White Working Class & the Workings of Immigration
with Justin Gest – Cancelled
The Spy Who Changed the World
with Bruce Berkowitz – Cancelled

Ongoing Events

Traveling Stanzas: Writing Across Borders
Center for the Arts Lobby
Open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 
The traveling digital exhibit features poems, illustrations, and videos that showcase refugee resettlement in our community. At the heart of the exhibit is an interactive touchscreen experience, allowing community visitors to browse content and participate. When visitors interact with digital creative tools such as Emerge, Thread, or other analog activities, their voices will be incorporated into the exhibit in a variety of ways—from a scrolling group poem to posted cards printed from the Emerge web application.
Using the newest technology to connect us to one of our oldest technologies—the written word—Traveling Stanzas: Writing Across Borders celebrates the diverse cultural identity of our democracy and engages a national civic dialogue through the intimate and inclusive voice of poetry.

Call and Response: “Borders” Exhibit
Fenwick Reading Room 2001, 2nd Floor, Fenwick Library
Open October 10 – November 25
Call & Response is an annual exhibit of collaborations between writers and visual artists in which one calls and one responds. The result is a set of paired works, resonating with each other, demonstrating the interplay of artistic media, and speaking of our times.This year’s theme is borders. Call & Response is a collaboration between the School of Art and the English Department’s MFA program in Creative Writing.

Get the full guide on parking, transportation, and more on our Planning Your Visit page.