Posts by Suzy Rigdon

Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman is “one of this country’s smartest and most reliable critics,” says The New York Times, but—and this is rare—he’s also a popular novelist. 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 (Game of Thrones) 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. It debuted as an NBC/Universal television series on the SyFy channel this January. Entertainment Weekly calls the new 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.” To The Hollywood Reporter, The Magicians “ability to be entertaining and compelling with remarkable consistency … is a real and pleasant surprise.” 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. (A graduate of both Harvard and Yale, he was the first journalist to make a call on the iPhone!). When Time chose ‘You’ as its Person of the Year in 2006, Grossman wrote the story; he did it in 2010 again for Mark Zuckerberg. 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 WiredThe Believer, and The Village Voice among many others. His next book is tentatively titled The Bright Sword. Set after the fall of Camelot, it “will tell of the knights following in the wake of King Arthur, Sir Lancelot and others of the Round Table,” according to Viking Books.

 

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Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead (c) Madeline Whitehead

Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad (an Oprah’s Book Club selection and winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award), The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York. Whitehead’s reviews, essays, and fiction have appeared in a number of publications, such as 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 was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has taught at the University of Houston, Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, New York University, Princeton University, Wesleyan University, and been a Writer-in-Residence at Vassar College, the University of Richmond, and the University of Wyoming. He lives in New York City.

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Whitehead and Cover

And the Pulitzer goes to…

Colson Whitehead for The Underground Railroad! 

 

“For a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.” – The Pulitzer Committee in their announcement on April 10, 2017.

Whitehead and CoverPulitzer Prize

First Oprah named it one of her Book Club picks. In November 2016, it won the National Book Award. Then President Obama recommended it to the nation. Now, Colson Whitehead’s groundbreaking novel The Underground Railroad has won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. Congratulations!


Whitehead at Fall for the Book

On Wednesday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m., come listen to this bestselling, award winning author talk about his fascinating novel as he kicks off Fall for the Book’s 19th annual festival! His reading will take place in Harris Theater on George Mason University’s Fairfax campus.

In addition to The Underground Railroad Colson Whitehead is also the author of the novels 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 was previously a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

 

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Headliner Duo

Announcing Fall for the Book’s 2017 Headliners

And we’re off! Our Festival Headliners are here!

Headliner Duo

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.

Check out this great piece in the Washington Post from March 23, 2017!


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.

THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD


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.

Make Your Home


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.

TheMagicians


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.

headwater


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.

Other People_Sheilds


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!

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Win $500 in 2017 Poster Contest

Design an artistic poster, win money, and see your work all over the region!

*The Postmark Deadline has been extended until April 22nd!*

Grand Prize: A cash award of $500


Fall for the Book Wants To See Your Artwork!

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Winning 2016 poster by Ben Small

2017 marks the 19th anniversary of Fall for the Book festival, and we’re putting out a call for a poster for the celebration. The grand prize-winning poster will be a cornerstone of the upcoming festival’s annual marketing campaign and will be seen by thousands. Fall for the Book is one of the oldest and largest literary festivals in the country. The 2016 festival attracted more than 25,000 attendees to venues throughout the DC metro region and was advertised using the poster design by Ben Small (pictured below).  Past festivals have featured authors and performers for all ages, including Sandra Cisneros, Diane Rehm, Tim O’Brien, Diana Gabaldon, Jodi Picoult, Richard Russo, David Baldacci, Dave Barry, Cheryl Strayed, Sonia Sanchez, Alice Walker, Neil Gaiman, Michael Chabon, Rita Dove, Katherine Boo, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Ann Patchett, Chinua Achebe, Sherman Alexie, Michael Cunningham, E.L. Doctorow, Khaled Hosseini, Sue Miller, Pat Conroy, and Joyce Carol Oates.

The festival planners seek a full-color poster that celebrates the interaction between readers and writers, and calls people’s attention to the festival’s October dates; however, there are two additional requirements this year: the tagline “Read On” and please, no leaves!

The poster will be printed in the summer and distributed throughout the capital region. Entries will be judged by the festival staff. Entries should appear in the same form as the final artwork—hard copy; hi-resolution electronic files will be necessary for reproduction of the winning poster.


GUIDELINES

Deadline: Postmarked April 22, 2017  ** Newly extended deadline

The poster must include:
• The Fall for the Book logos
• The festival dates: October 11-14, 2017
• The website (www.fallforthebook.org)
• The tagline “Read On”
• Room for a QR Code, to be inserted later.
Though Fall for the Book does not have a yearly theme, you may want to highlight the following information in your design. *This information has been updated*:
• Four Days | 150 Authors
• Northern Virginia
• Readings, Discussions, Performances & More
Please, as mentioned above, no leaves.

You can find out more about the festival by exploring the festival website and our app, available in iTunes and GooglePlay.
Email Suzy Rigdon at suzy@fallforthebook.org to obtain electronic files of the 2017 logo.

Submission Details:

• Artwork must be 11” x 17” and can be vertical or horizontal. Do not matte or frame artwork.

• All two-dimensional media are accepted, including computer-generated images. Note: Chalk, charcoal and pastel entries should be sealed with a fixative spray to prevent smearing. Do not laminate entries.

• Three-dimensional entries will not be accepted.

• While collaborations are welcome, collaborators must split the prize money.

• Artists may submit multiple posters. You may send all your posters in one package.

• Participants accept all responsibility for late, lost, misdirected or illegible entries. Entries sent with insufficient postage will be disqualified. Fall for the Book is not responsible for entries damaged, destroyed or lost during the judging process.

• Fall for the Book reserves the right to alter the final poster design or to reject all submissions for the final poster design.

• All submissions become the property of Fall for the Book and may be used for commercial purposes. No entries will be returned, so please keep all your files and/or scan your work.

• In consideration for the opportunity to enter the Fall for the Book Poster Contest, participants agree to allow Fall for the Book to use their names and photographs for promotional and publicity purposes.

• Finalists may be asked for additional materials including a disk or CD of all poster files.

IMPORTANT: Entries must include the artist’s name, address, phone number, and valid e-mail address on the back of each poster. Only original artwork will be considered. Please do not use copyrighted images or materials.


All submissions must be mailed to:

Fall for the Book Festival

English Department – MS3E4

George Mason University

Fairfax, VA 22030

Deadline: Postmarked April 22, 2017  ** Newly extended deadline

Please contact Suzy Rigdon at suzy@fallforthebook.org with any questions.

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FftB Website Banner

New Year, New Look!

New Year, New Look at Fall for the Book

We’re excited to ring in 2017 with a newly-designed website! While you’re here, click around and take a look, then check back for more updates as we get closer to the festival.

Kwame

Newbery Award-winner Kwame Alexander reads alongside a fan in 2015


Thank You For Your Donations!

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In an incredible show of generosity from YOU–our festival Friends– we raised 218% of our year end giving goal. An anonymous donor matched gifts dollar-for-dollar up to $2,500.

 

But our work isn’t done yet. Fall for the Book can still use your help! Please consider Becoming a Friend of the Festival to support what we do and get great perks in the process, like advance notice of headliners, VIP tickets and more! Click here for details. 

To join, send your check payable to “Fall for the Book” to:
Fall for the Book
George Mason University, MS 3E4
4400 University Drive Fairfax, VA 22030

Or donate by clicking the PayPal button below:

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AWP Bookfair Fun! 

This year, AWP is on Fall for the Book’s home turf and we couldn’t be more excited! So come see us February 8-11, 2017 at the Washington Convention Center. We’ll be at booth 501, alongside George Mason University’s MFA program, Stillhouse Press, Phoebe Journal & more. We’d love to see you!

FftB AWP Location

 

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Thank You For Helping Us Reach Our 2016 Giving Goal!

Thank You For Helping Us Reach Our 2016 Giving Goal!

With only a few short weeks remaining in 2016, we asked for your help to raise $2,500 as a way to kick off our fundraising to bring in the best of the best authors for our 19th annual festival! An anonymous donor agreed to match any donation up to our goal of $2,500 through December 31! And they did! 

 

 

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Didn’t get a chance to give in 2016 but would like to still contribute? Donate by clicking on the PayPal button or following the directions to mail a check at the bottom of this email.




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“What an incredible treat to meet these creative artists, some of whom we had read and others we had not, at the VIP receptions for Friends of Fall for the Book. We look forward each September to new and wonderful literary adventures.”- Joy, a Friend

Friends chat with Mason Award winner Diane Rehm at the VIP reception before her event. They shared wine, snacks and some good laughs.

Friends meet Amy Tan in 2011 during her VIP Reception.

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Doing Good. Supporting Literature.

Fall for the Book is an independent, IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit run solely by donations. Each year we bring over 150 authors of all genres and styles to George Mason University and the D.C. Metro area. Our mission is to:

• Advance children’s education by hosting specially tailored writing workshops or readings for students at the elementary, middle and high school levels and by publishing an annual anthology of student writing in partnership with the Northern Virginia Writing Project and Dominion.

• Make literature fun by showcasing literary events in an active, engaging atmosphere that includes skits, dance, storytelling and more, and by introducing young people to living authors whose work they’re reading in the classroom.

• Connect readers and authors at all levels, offering book lovers the chance to meet and greet their favorite writers and hear behind-the-scenes stories of writing and publishing.

• Build community by connecting with senior centers, book clubs, special interest community groups, libraries, bookstores and many others.

• Encourage cultural diversity by combining common points of cultural reference with forums for discussion of our shared stories.

 

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Keep the Superstars Coming!

Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Jodi Picoult and Sandra Cisneros all took the Fall for the Book stage over the last five years to accept our prestigious awards. Packed crowds of readers of all ages came out to meet their literary heroes.

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The Perks of Friendship

All levels of friendship include recognition in our program and on our website, advance notice of who will be at the festival and when, and an invitation to the Festival Preview Reception in the summer, where you’ll meet the Fall for the Book leadership team and get insights into all the festival activities before anyone else. Higher tiers even include front row seats at the readings, tickets to our VIP receptions and free parking. For a full breakdown of Friendship Levels and their perks, Click Here.

A young reader gets her book signed by Laura Murray.

Fans meet Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie after her 2006 reading.

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How Can I Donate? 

To join, checks or money orders can be made out to Fall for the Book and sent to our mailing address:

ATTN: William Miller
Fall for the Book
4400 University Drive
MS 3E4
Fairfax, VA 22030

Or join online by making your donation through PayPal by clicking the bottom of this page. Have questions or need more info? Contact us at 703.993.3986 or email friends@fallforthebook.org.

Don’t forget, as you do your holiday shopping on Amazon, set Fall for the Book as your charity of choice on Smile.Amazon.com, and we will receive a portion of the profits from your purchases. 

Thank you for your support!




The late Chinua Achebe visited Fall for the Book in 2008.

Here’s to 18 fantastic years more!

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Thank You For Helping Us Reach Our 2016 Giving Goal!

Help Fall for the Book Continue to Grow

With only a few short weeks remaining in 2016, we asked for your help to raise $2,500 as a way to kick off our fundraising to bring in the best of the best authors for our 19th annual festival! An anonymous donor agreed to match any donation up to our goal of $2,500 through December 31! And they did! 

We raised 218% of our goal thanks to readers like you! 218

Didn’t get a chance to give in 2016 but would like to still contribute? Click here to Donate securely through PayPal:




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“What an incredible treat to meet these creative artists, some of whom we had read and others we had not, at the VIP receptions for Friends of Fall for the Book. We look forward each September to new and wonderful literary adventures.”- Joy, a Friend

Friends chat with Mason Award winner Diane Rehm at the VIP reception before her event. They shared wine, snacks and some good laughs.

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Why Donate to Fall for the Book?

Fall for the Book is an independent, IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit run solely by donations. Each year we bring over 150 authors of all genres and styles to George Mason University and the D.C. Metro area. Our mission is to:

• Advance children’s education by hosting specially tailored writing workshops or readings for students at the elementary, middle and high school levels and by publishing an annual anthology of student writing in partnership with the Northern Virginia Writing Project and Dominion.

• Make literature fun by showcasing literary events in an active, engaging atmosphere that includes skits, dance, storytelling and more, and by introducing young people to living authors whose work they’re reading in the classroom.

• Connect readers and authors at all levels, offering book lovers the chance to meet and greet their favorite writers and hear behind-the-scenes stories of writing and publishing.

• Build community by connecting with senior centers, book clubs, special interest community groups, libraries, bookstores and many others.

• Encourage cultural diversity by combining common points of cultural reference with forums for discussion of our shared stories.

 

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Readers of all ages connecting with Fairfax Prize winner Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street

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The Perks of Friendship

All levels of friendship include recognition in our program and on our website, advance notice of who will be at the festival and when, and an invitation to the Festival Preview Reception in the summer, where you’ll meet the Fall for the Book leadership team and get insights into all the festival activities before anyone else. Higher tiers even include front row seats at the readings, tickets to our VIP receptions and free parking. For a full breakdown of Friendship Levels and their perks, Click Here.

A young reader gets her book signed by Laura Murray.

How Do I Become a Friend? 

To join, checks or money orders can be made out to Fall for the Book and sent to our mailing address:

ATTN: William Miller
Fall for the Book
4400 University Drive
MS 3E4
Fairfax, VA 22030

Or join online by making your donation through PayPal by clicking the button on the top of this page. Have questions or need more info? Contact us at 703.993.3986 or email friends@fallforthebook.org.

Don’t forget, as you do your holiday shopping on Amazon, set Fall for the Book as your charity of choice on Smile.Amazon.com, and we will receive a portion of the profits from your purchases. 

Thank you for your support!

Tania James signs a copy of her book for a happy student.

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Thank You From Fall for the Book!

Thank You! 

From everyone here at Fall for the Book, we want to thank our sponsors, partners and of course YOU, our readers who came out to support our literary community during our 18th annual festival. We hosted nearly 200 authors at George Mason University and at locations around VA, MD and DC in what was our biggest and most successful festival to date. We couldn’t put on such a great event without all of your support and attendance. And thank you to our fantastic authors who traveled from all over the country (and world!) to visit us.

We wanted to share some highlights from this week’s festival and encourage you to share your own memories on our Twitter and Facebook pages. Please also take a moment to give us feedback on our 2016 app by clicking here or by scrolling to the bottom. Thank you!

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A Week To Remember

Sunday night, September 25, Diane Rehm accepted the 2016 Mason Award before speaking with WAMU’s general manager J.J. Yore about her book On My Own, her illustrious career on the radio and what comes next.

On Monday, September 26, sociologists Earl Smith and Timothy McGettigan discussed their important new text called A Formula for Eradicating Racism: Debunking White Supremacy in front of a packed crowd of students, faculty and community members, as well as GMU TV!

Jon Mooallem entertained and enlightened students on a rainy Thursday afternoon by discussing his book Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America, which was given to all incoming George Mason freshman as part of the MasonReads program.

Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street and A House of My Own, delighted readers with an extended reading to close out this year’s festival on Friday, September 30. New as well as lifelong readers of her work lined up afterwards to meet this influential writer.

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Off Campus Festival Delights

One of the great things about Fall for the Book is that thanks to friends and sponsors, festival events occur throughout Northern Virginia, MD and D.C. Here is just a sampling of those fantastic readings!

Urban fantasy author Patricia Briggs delighted fans at the Alden Theater on Thursday night in a fantastic reading. Thank you to the Fairfax County Public Library both for sponsoring the event and for these great photos!

Young adult authors Sarah Porter, A.J. Hartley, and Carrie Jones took over One More Page Books in Arlington, VA for an unforgettable night of literary fun!

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Mobile App Feedback

We’d love to hear from you! We want to make our mobile festival app as helpful to you as possible, so we’d like to invite you to answer this short, 7 question survey about how you used the app so we can improve it for next year. Please click here to start the survey. Thank you for your time!

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Like what you saw this year and want to help us keep it going? 

Consider becoming a Friend of Fall for the Book and donating to support our non-profit. Your donation comes with perks including access to VIP functions with headliners, free parking and more! Click here for more details. 

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MangoST

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.*

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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! 

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