Events are at George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus and at other locations throughout Virginia, DC, and Maryland. Except where noted, all events are free and open to the public, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and partners.



Civil War Historians Bill Backus and Robert Orrison- Preview Event @ Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim
Sep 24 @ 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Bill Backus is the Historic Site Manager at Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park and Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre.  He has also worked for the National Park Service at Vicksburg National Military Park and Petersburg National Battlefield. Robert Orrison has worked in the history field for more than 20 years and currently serves as the Historic Site Operations Supervisor for Prince William County. Together, Backus and Orrison have co-authored A Want of Vigilance: The Bristoe Station Campaign. The book traces the campaign from the armies’ camps around Orange and Culpeper northwest through the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and along the vital railroad―to Centreville and back―in a back-and-forth game of cat and mouse. Sponsored by the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, and the Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim.

Preview Event: Mystery Writer Edith Maxwell @ Cascades Library
Sep 24 @ 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Agatha Award-nominated mystery writer Edith Maxwell is known for her Local Foods Mystery series and the Country Store Mysteries. Her newest title is the debut in the Quaker Midwife Mysteries series: Delivering the Truth, which follows Rose Carroll, an unconventional 1880s midwife. Library Journals calls Carroll “a strong and appealing heroine,” while Catriona McPherson praises the historical setting as “redolent and delicious.” Sponsored by the Loudoun County Public Library.

Life as a Teenager: Friendship, Romance, and Rebellion YA Panel @ Sherwood Center Performance Room A
Sep 25 @ 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Join four acclaimed YA authors as they discuss the hazards of being a teenage protagonist. Hannah Barnaby’s second novel, Some of the Parts was called  “a deeply affecting depiction of moving on after a great loss” by Publisher’s Weekly. M-E Girard’s debut novel, Girl Mans Up, follows Pen, a gender non-conforming teen struggling to own her identity and stand up for herself in the face of her old-world parents and disintegrating friendships. Author Lauren Myracle calls the book, “Fierce. Tender. Unstoppable.” Kate Hattemar is the author of The Land of 10,000 Madonnas, a book filled with the European backpacking adventures of five friends sent to fulfil a dying friend’s mysterious last wish. Shaun David Hutchinson’s We Are the Ants follows a boy abducted time and time again by aliens who offer him the chance to save the world or let it end–a question complicated by love, loss and the chaos of growing up.

YA Authors Jodi Meadows, Kristen Simmons, Robin Talley and Martina Boone @ Sherwood Center Performance Room A
Sep 25 @ 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Jodi Meadows newest book is My Lady Jane, which follows the (not quite) true tale of Lady Jane Grey, cousin to King Edward and heir to the throne of England. It is written in the comic and romantic vein of The Princess Bride. In Kristen Simmons’ Metaltown, factories are the ruling class, food is scarce and hope is in short supply. Three teens: Ty and Colin from the working class,and Lena—a ruthless daughter to the factory owner must ban together to make things right. In As I Descended, Robin Talley creates a world situated in the exclusive Acheron Academy where feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what is imagined for the determined couple Maria and Lily. Martina Boone is the author of Compulsion, the acclaimed first book in the supernatural Heirs of Watson Island trilogy set on a South Carolina plantation.

Mason Award Winner Diane Rehm @ Concert Hall, Center for the Arts
Sep 25 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

Diane Rehm will accept the 2016 Mason Award, which celebrates authors who have made an extraordinary contribution to connecting literature to the wide reading public. William Miller, Executive Director of Fall for the Book says, “The Diane Rehm Show has always fostered an appreciation for contemporary literature. In the midst of everything else going on in the world, Diane Rehm keeps a place dedicated to literature in the show each week. She’s given voice to writers and books over the years, in addition to being a writer herself. We feel her work and career perfectly exemplifies the Mason Award ideals.” Rehm was awarded the 2010 Personal Peabody Award for her more than 30 years of service in public broadcasting. She is also the author of four best-selling autobiographical books including Finding My Voice and Life with Maxie. Most recently, she wrote the book On My Own, dealing with the death of her husband of 54 years. USA Today calls the book “stunningly honest” while The Miami Herald says it is “important…poignant.” Sponsored by the Fairfax Library Foundation.

Slavery & Beyond: Recovering History through Family Memory @ Research Hall Room 163, George Mason University
Sep 26 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

In this discussion, you will meet three people—a black historian, a white journalist, and a white poet—who have used their family histories as gateways to historical reclamation. Hear why they have made a lifelong commitment to this work, how it has changed their lives, and why you might want to embark on a similar journey. Anthony Cohen has twice walked to Canada on routes of the Underground Railroad, and in 2014 followed in the steps of his great-great grand uncle, who returned from freedom in Canada to enlist for service in the Civil War. A documentary of that journey, Patrick & Me, will be released nationwide in 2018. Committed to embodied, immersion experiences of history, Cohen both directs his own foundation—Button Farm Living History Center, in Germantown, Maryland—and serves as Director of Historical Interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Journalist Karen Branan spent two decades in state archives, the Library of Congress, and the wilds of family interviews to uncover the story of a 1912 “kinship lynching,” in which she is implicated by blood relation to both the white sheriff and one of the black victims. The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth was published in early 2016 and has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. As she was finishing her book, Karen met poet and Mason professor Susan Tichy, a distant cousin, whose book Trafficke was about to be published. Susan also had required twenty years to research, write, and then totally rewrite her family’s journey from 17th c. Scotland through 200 years of slaveholding in Maryland. Though Trafficke is complete, her search for the families and individuals enslaved by her ancestors, and for their descendants, continues. Her website, Magruder’s Landing, brings together people of all races who claim a genetic or historical connection to her Magruder/McGruder family.

Tropical Conservation: Perspectives on Local and Global Priorities: Panel @ Fenwick Reading Room, 2nd Floor Fenwick Library, George Mason University
Sep 26 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

In Tropical Conservation: Perspectives on Local and Global Priorities, editor A. Alonso Aguirre brings together experts who primarily work in Africa, Latin America and Asia to introduce important conservation concepts and real world applications to issues that affect the tropics and subtropics; a region with 75% of the world’s human population as well as 90% of its biodiversity. These issues, such as climate change, environmental sustainability, and emerging diseases must be studied and addressed on a global scale. Aguirre is joined by his contributors, Thomas Lovejoy who coined the term “biological diversity”; Larry Gorenflo, who focuses on how people adapt to their natural and cultural surroundings; Ingrid Visseren-Hamakers, whose research centers on international biodiversity governance; Harald Beck, who studies mammal-plant interaction and ecosystem engineering in temperate and tropical ecosystems; Andrew Taber, an environmental pioneer and authority on Neotropical wildlife; Elizabeth Loh, who studies anthropogenic land-use change; and wildlife biologist and veterinarian, Iga Stasiak.

Memoirist Penny Guisinger and Essayist Sue Landers @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza, George Mason University
Sep 26 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Penny Guisinger’s book Postcards from Here is a memoir told through vignettes which takes on the difficulties and politics of being gay and divorced in a rural Maine town at the moment where gay marriage becomes legal. The essays stitch together a portrait of life in a coastal town, including raising children, gardening, porcupines, and other hazards of living. Author Arielle Geenberg praises, “Guisinger’s prose is alert and alive, visible and vibrant.” Sue Landers’ new book, Franklinstein, is a hybrid collection of poetry and prose which “tells the story of one Philadelphia neighborhood, Germantown—a historic, beloved place, wrestling with legacies of colonialism, racism, and capitalism.” Yolanda Wisher calls the book “a church of stained glass truth-telling.”

M.F.A. Alumni Reading with Renee Angle, Allison Cobb, Matt Norman and Alyson Foster @ George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center, George Mason University
Sep 26 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

A descendent of Mormon pioneers and a former Mormon herself, poet Renee Angle wrote WoO, the self-described “creative translation of the original 116 pages of The Book of Mormon lost by Joseph Smith.” WoO is Angle’s debut collection, ten years in the making. Allison Cobb is the author of three books of poetry, including Born2 and Green-Wood. Her newest collection, Cobb’s newest collection, After we all died, was a finalist for the National Poetry Series. Matthew Norman is the author of the novel, We’re All Damaged, which follows a man dealing with a crop of troubles including divorce and death who meets a complicated woman who might change everything. Kirkus Reviews calls it, “A smart, funny, and surprisingly emotional tale about letting go and moving on.Alyson Foster’s newest book is Heart Attack Watch, a collection of short stories built around disasters large and small; moments for which we can never prepare. Kirkus calls the book, “electric,” saying Foster has a “masterful use of tension and language.” Her stories are beautiful, violent, and always gripping.

Novelists Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie @ Rust Library
Sep 26 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Stephanie Dray is an award-winning, bestselling and two-time RITA award nominated author of historical women’s fiction. Her critically acclaimed series about Cleopatra’s daughter has been translated into more than eight different languages and won the Golden Leaf. She is co-author of America’s First Daughter: A Novel, with Laura Kamoie, which Steve Berry calls, “A delectable and poignant read, carefully paced and plotted with pitch perfect dialogue.” Dray is joined by her co-author, Laura Kamoie, who holds a doctoral degree in early American history from The College of William and Mary, has published two non-fiction books on early America, and most recently held the position of Associate Professor of History at the U.S. Naval Academy before transitioning to a full-time career writing genre fiction as the New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kaye. America’s First Daughter is her debut novel. Sponsored by the Loudoun County Public Library.

Novelist Jen Michalski @ Research Hall Room 163, George Mason University
Sep 26 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Jen Michalski is the author of several novels, short story collections and novellas. Her 2013 novel, The Tide King won the the Big Moose Prize, and won first place in its category at the Somerset Awards for contemporary/literary fiction. Her newest book is The Summer She Was Under Water. HTMLGiant calls Michalski “an astonishingly sensitive writer.” PANK cites her “masterful hand, at once compassionate and unflinching, possessed of extraordinary, aesthetic restraint.”

Children’s Book Author Shannon Jones @ Duncan Library
Sep 27 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Shannon Jones is the author of the globetrotting children’s book series, KeeKee’s Big Adventures. KeeKee, the adventure-loving traveling calico kitty explores the world, including Athens, Rome and Paris, all from her hot air balloon. KeeKee’s newest trip is to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Forward Reviews says of Athens, Rome: “this clever kitty introduces icons of the country to eager readers with funny dialogue, approachable factoids, and images that will amuse and delight.” Sponsored by the Duncan Branch Friends.

Children’s Book Author Shannon Jones @ Duncan Library
Sep 27 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Shannon Jones is the author of the globetrotting children’s book series, KeeKee’s Big Adventures. KeeKee, the adventure-loving traveling calico kitty explores the world, including Athens, Rome and Paris, all from her hot air balloon. KeeKee’s newest trip is to Amsterdam, Netherlands. Forward Reviews says of Athens, Rome: “this clever kitty introduces icons of the country to eager readers with funny dialogue, approachable factoids, and images that will amuse and delight.” Sponsored by the Duncan Branch Friends.

Everywhere Stories Anthology Panel @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center Plaza, George Mason University
Sep 27 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Panelist Clifford Garstang is the editor of the globe-trotting anthology called Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet, Volume II,  which includes twenty short stories in twenty different countries. The stories follow the theme “It’s a Mysterious World,” and includes Frances Park’s story, “The Monk in the Window” set in Korea, Joel Hodson’s story “Memiş the Conqueror” set in Turkey, Brandon Patterson’s story “Jonkshon” is set in Sierra Leone, and Chris Cleary’s story, “An Idea of the Journey” is set in Norway.

Stillhouse Press Poetry Reading with Bryan Borland and Christina Olson @ Grand Tier III, Center for the Arts, George Mason University
Sep 27 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Bryan Borland is the author of three collections of poetry, including his new book, Dig from Stillhouse Press. Poet Denise Duhamel says of Dig, Bryan Borland wields a deft and lyrical hand, cracks open the heart, and imagines a mind where madness is beautiful and ‘everything is instinct.’” Christina Olson describes her new collection, Terminal Human Velocity as trying “to make sense of the natural world and our human role within it.” In it, she uses varied personas, including the voice of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton to discuss a variety of topics, from “last suppers” on death row, to scientific phenomena.

Poet Dana Levin @ Grand Tier III, George Mason University
Sep 27 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Poet Dana Levin is the author of several collections of poetry, including In the Surgical Theatre, which won the John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares, the Witter Bynner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the PEN/Osterweil Award; Wedding Day; and Sky Burial.  Her most recent collection, Banana Palace has been called “Intimate and hypnotic” by Ploughshares, and Robert Pinsky says the “Images that are satisfyingly clear . . . and excitingly inexplicable.” In this new collection, Levin uses humor, jump-cut imagery, and popular culture references in preparation for the approaching apocalypse. Levin’s honors include awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Library of Congress, the the Guggenheim Foundation, among others. Her work has been widely anthologized and has won several Pushcart Prizes.

Short Story Writers Paula Whyman and Rion Amilcar Scott @ George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center, George Mason University
Sep 27 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Paula Whyman is the author of You May See a Stranger, a linked story collection following protagonist Miranda Weber, who is a “hot mess.” Publishers Weekly called the book “Honest and sharply observed. . . Together, these smart, artful stories capture a woman’s life and the moments that define her.” Author Blake Bailey praises her saying, “Paula Whyman is that all-too-rare phenomenon in American fiction: a serious writer who happens to be funny.” Lisa Williams calls Rion Amilcar Scott’s Insurrections, “A wildly impressive and ambitious collection of stories.” Scott’s debut collection features thirteen stories about the lives and struggles of the African American residents of Cross River, Maryland. Kirkus says, Insurrections is made of “Sad, violent, frustrating stories told in high-energy language, creating a very real imaginary world.”

Science Writer S. Scott Graham @ Johnson Center Meeting Room A, George Mason University
Sep 27 @ 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm

Chronic pain is a medical mystery, debilitating to patients and a source of frustration for practitioners. S. Scott Graham’s research involves studying the medical rhetoric surrounding the complex and often contentious field of pain medicine. In this ever-changing field, researchers and policymakers have worked the last thirty years to establish standards while navigating some of the most challenging philosophical issues of Western science. In his newest publication, The Politics of Pain Medicine, Graham explores the resonance between pain science’s efforts to establish an integrated mind/body approach to treating this pain. Sponsored by the George Mason University Society of Technical Communication.

Military Historian Edward G. Lengel @ Sherwood Community Center
Sep 27 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

American Military historian Edward G. Lengel is editor in chief of the Papers of George Washington and a professor at the University of Virginia. He has researched and written extensively on our nation’s first president, and was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize. His publications include General George Washington: A Military Life, and most recently, First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His– and the Nation’s– Prosperity, which breaks new ground in the study of Washington’s history and personality. The Journal of the American Revolution says of First Entrepreneur: “It is fascinating, enlightening and very convincing. Highly recommended.” Sponsored by the Virginia Historical Society.

Novelist Lauren Groff @ Harris Theater, George Mason University
Sep 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Lauren Groff is the author of several books, including her newest, Fates and Furies. Kirkus gave the novel a starred review, saying, “The plotting is exquisite, and the sentences hum; Groff writes with a pleasurable, bantering vividness.” She has also written The Monsters of Templeton, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, a collection of stories called Delicate Edible Birds,and Arcadia, a New York Times Notable Book. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous publications, including the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, as well as three editions of Best American Short Stories.

Screening of Reidar Jönsson’s My Life as a Dog @ Johnson Center Cinema, George Mason University
Sep 27 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Join Reidar Jönsson, Swedish writer, director and playwright for a screening of the 1985 adaptation of his novel My Life as a Dog. The book and film follow thirteen year old Ingemar who is struggling to create a life for himself after his mother is dying of tuberculosis, and he is sent away to live with a number of pseudo-relatives. It won two Golden Rams and a Golden Globe Award and received two Oscar nominations for Best Film and Best Screenplay. After the screening, stay for a Q&A with Jönsson.

Novelist Susan Muaddi Darraj @ President’s Dining Room, 2nd Floor, CE Building, NOVA Annandale
Sep 28 @ 12:30 pm – 1:15 pm

Susan Muaddi Darraj is the author of The Inheritance of Exile, which was a finalist in the AWP Book Awards Series and named ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year in Short Fiction. Her new book, A Curious Land: Stories from Home, was named winner of the AWP Grace Paley Award for Short Fiction. Carol Fadda-Conrey calls it “immensely powerful, intimate, and complex.” Sponsored by the NOVA Lyceum Committee and the Division of Language and Learning.

Psychologist Jeffrey Arnett @ Harris Theater, George Mason University
Sep 28 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

In 2000, psychologist Jeffrey Arnett coined the term “emerging adulthood” to describe the ever-evolving age between the late teens and mid-twenties. For over a decade he has studied emerging adults across different demographics and countries, looking in particular at risk behavior and consumption of media in youth. On the tenth anniversary of its publication, Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens to the Twenties has been re-released in a new edition covering all of the developments in media use, social class issues and the other distinctive problems of this life stage. Sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, George Mason University Life, and the George Mason Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence.

Stillhouse Press Prose Reading with Mark Polanzak and Matthew Fogarty @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza, George Mason University
Sep 28 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Mark Polanzak’s new hybrid memoir, Pop! revolves around the sudden death of his father, told partly through fictionalized stories. Author Lucas Mann says Pop! is “a beautiful, exhilarating book, one I won’t soon forget.” Matthew Fogarty’s Maybe Mermaids & Robots Are Lonely: Stories and a Novella focuses on a host of bizarre, quirky and notorious characters, even featuring Bigfoot and Elvis. Stillhouse Press says, Fogarty “has an obvious affinity for the fabulist, often exploring elements of magical realism, the ethereal and slipstream.”

M.F.A. Fellows Reading @ George’s, 3nd Floor, Johnson Center, George Mason University
Sep 28 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Join George Mason M.F.A. Fellows as they read from their work. All students are third year M.F.A. candidates who have been awarded fellowships in order to pursue writing their theses. Poet Douglas Luman will read alongside poet Madeleine Wattenberg, non-fiction writer Kerry Folan, and fiction writer Sarah Ellis Bates. Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program.

YA Author Anne Blankman @ Gum Spring Library
Sep 28 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Anne Blankman‘s debut novel, Prisoner of Night and Fog, was named a “Flying Start” by Publishers Weekly and a Sydney Taylor Notable Book by the Association of Jewish Libraries. The sequel, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist and a Romantic Times Top Pick. Blankman’s newest book, Traitor Angels, follows Elizabeth Milton, daughter of Paradise Lost author John Milton on a mysterious quest with a handsome Italian scientist to protect her father. Voice of Youth Advocates says, it “Will leave the reader breathless with each unpredictable plot twist.” Sponsored by the Loudoun County Public Library.

Journalist Dina Gold @ Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Dina Gold is a former London-based BBC investigative journalist. Her new book, Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18, Berlin is a non-fiction historical narrative centered on a Jewish family’s legal battle to reclaim ownership of a building stolen from them by the Nazis in the 1930s. Marvin Kalb, senior advisor to the Pulizer Center says Stolen Legacy is “An exceptional adventure in Holocaust literature. Dina Gold combines investigative journalism with a keen sense of history to uncover a story everyone should read.” 

Civil War Historian James McPherson @ Harris Theater, George Mason University
Sep 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

James McPherson is a Pulitzer-prize winning author and Civil War historian. His 1988 prize-winning book, Battle Cry of Freedom sparked a new wave of interest in Civil War sites and research. McPherson has twice won the Lincoln Prize, once in 1998 for the book, For Cause and Comrades: Why Men Fought in the Civil War and was a co-winner in 2009 for Tried by War: Abraham Lincoln as Commander in Chief. The New York Times says of him, “Few historians write as well as McPherson, and none evoke the sound of battle with greater clarity.” In 2007, he became the first recipient of the Pritzker Military Library Literature Award for lifetime achievement in military history. Sponsored by the Department of History and Art History.

Stillhouse Press Reception @ George's, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center, George Mason University
Sep 28 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Celebrate a new year and four new releases with Stillhouse Press. Gather for hors d’oeuvres and drinks, as well as meet Stillhouse’s literary lineup: Matthew Fogarty of Maybe Mermaids and Robots are Lonely: Stories and a Novella, Mark Polanzak of the hybrid memoir, Pop!, and poets Bryan Borland of Dig and Christina Olson of Terminal Human Velocity.

United States Poet Laureate 2001-2003: Billy Collins @ Reston Community Center
Sep 28 @ 8:00 pm – 9:15 pm

Tickets: $15 Reston/$20 Non-Reston

“Luring his readers into the poem with humor, Mr. Collins leads them unwittingly into deeper, more serious places, a kind of journey from the familiar to quirky to unexpected territory, sometimes tender, often profound.” – The New York Times. Billy Collins is an American phenomenon. No poet since Robert Frost has managed to combine high critical acclaim with such broad popular appeal. His work has appeared in a variety of periodicals including The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The American Scholar, he is a Guggenheim fellow and a New York Public Library “Literary Lion.” His last three collections of poems have broken sales records for poetry. His readings are usually standing room only, and his audiences – enhanced tremendously by his appearances on National Public Radio – include people of all backgrounds and age groups. Tickets will go on sale on August 1 for Reston and August 8 for Non-Reston and can be purchased online at or by calling 703 476 – 4500 (press 3). This event is part of the Professional Touring Artist Series only at The CenterStage at the Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Sponsored by the Reston Community Center.

Short Story Writers Jacob Appel and Susan Perabo @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza, George Mason University
Sep 29 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Jacob Appel is a widely-published and award-winning novelist and short story writer. New Pages calls his new collection of other-worldly stories, Miracles and Conundrums of the Secondary Planets, “Engaging, surprising, and often deeply affecting.” Anything seems possible in these fascinating and varied stories. In Why they Run the Way they Do, Susan Perabo weaves the banal and bizarre together as a way to illuminate the triumphs and tragedies of daily life. In these twelve short stories, characters celebrate the everyday truths of people facing unusual or challenging situations…often of their own making. Author Jenny Offill says Perabo has written “darkly beautiful stories about love and loss and every gradation between. Each one is suffused with astonishing wit and tenderness.”

MasonReads Author Jon Mooallem @ Concert Hall, Center for the Arts
Sep 29 @ 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Jon Mooallem will speak at the capstone event for this year’s Mason Reads program. His book, Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America was given to all incoming George Mason freshman. Students will participate in programming throughout the semester and attend Mooallem’s reading. Wild Ones was chosen as a notable book of 2013 by The New York Times Book Review, The New Yorker and Canada’s National Post among others. Mooallem has been a Contributing Writer to the New York Times Magazine since 2006 and also contributes to This American Life, Wired, California Sunday Magazine and many other magazines and radio shows.

Poets Oliver Bendorf and Natalie Diaz @ George’s, 3rd Floor, Jonson Center, George Mason University
Sep 29 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Poet Oliver Bendorf’s collection, The Spectral Wilderness, won the 2013 Stan & Tom Wick Poetry Prize, and has been called “Astonishing” by The Literary Review. The Spectral Wilderness was named the Best Poetry Book of 2014 by Entropy Magazine. Mark Doty says, “It’s a joy to come nearer to a realm of experience little explored in American poetry, the lives of those who are engaged in the complex project of transforming their own gender…” Poet Natalie Diaz  is Mojave and is an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian community. Her collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec examines memory’s role in human identity. Adrian Matejka says “Diaz both embraces and subverts mythology in whatever form it shows up—Indigenous, Western, [or] counterculture,” and that “she is a poet who will help us write into the future as she excavates the past and interrogates the present.” Sponsored by So to Speak.

Santa Fe Writer’s Project Panel @ Research Hall, Room 163, George Mason University
Sep 29 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Founded in 1998 by Andrew Gifford, the Sante Fe Writer’s Project is an independent press which embraces the mission of artistic preservation, recognizing exciting new authors, and supporting new trends and ideas beyond those of the current publishing industry. Gifford, SFWP editor and author of the forthcoming memoir, We All Scream: The Fall of the Gifford’s Ice Cream Dynasty, moderates a panel of SFWP authors including Tara Laskowski, of the thrilling short story collection, Bystanders, Brandon Wicks, of the “keenly observed” and “compulsively readable” debut novel American Fallout, and Daniel Ford, of Ordination: Book One of the Paladin Trilogy, called “compelling” and “sharp” by Publisher’s Weekly. All panelists are alumni of George Mason University.

Journalist Joby Warrick @ Richard Byrd Library
Sep 29 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Journalist Joby Warrick’s new book, Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction, and was named “A Best Book of 2015” by The New York Times, The Washington Post, People Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star, and Kirkus Reviews. In this timely and important text, Warrick explicates how the strain of militant Islam behind ISIS first arose in a remote Jordanian prison and spread with the unwitting aid of two American presidents. Warrick and two colleagues shared the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He is a reporter at The Washington Post. Sponsored by the Friends of the Richard Byrd Library.

Essayist Elena Passarello @ George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center, George Mason University
Sep 29 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Elena Passarello’s new collection of essays, Let Me Clear My Throat, dissects the whys and hows of popular voices, bringing their emotion to light. From Marlon Brando screaming “Stella!” to Howard Dean’s “BYAH!” Passarello examines, questions and  annotates the “soundtrack of us giving voice to ourselves.” Amy Leach says, “with her extraordinary powers of listening, Elena Passarello helps us hear the sorrow, the epiglottis, and the Allegheny River in the many wondrous things the voice can do besides talking.” Let Me Clear My Throat won the gold IPPY medal for nonfiction and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.

Mystery Writer Lynsay Faye @ Merten Hall 1201, George Mason University
Sep 29 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Lynsay Faye’s novel Jane Steele re-imagines Jane Eyre as a gutsy, heroic serial killer who battles for justice with methods inspired by Darkly Dreaming Dexter. Faye has been nominated for an Edgar Award and a Dilys Winn Award. Faye is also the author of Dust and Shadow: an Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H. Watson and the Timothy Wilde series, which includes The Gods of Gotham, Seven for a Secret, and The Fatal Flame. Sponsored by the Mystery Writers of America Mid Atlantic Chapter.

The 100th Meridian Project: A Performative Collaboration of Science and Art @ Harris Theater, George Mason University
Sep 29 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Experience a one-hour multi-media event that marries art and science to bring awareness to the issues of water ecology, land use, and public policy in the American West. Project Director Rick Davis and the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Mason present exhibits, seminars and interactive media, as well as a performance which explores the issues first raised in the 1870s by John Wesley Powell, a soldier, ethnologist and director of the United States Geological Survey. Powell’s studies of the Colorado River Basin concluded that the arid West was incapable of supporting substantial human populations at any distance from the main water sources. This production is based on Wallace Stegner’s 1954 book, Beyond the Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the American West.

Urban Fantasy Novelist Patricia Briggs @ Alden Theater
Sep 29 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Patricia Briggs is the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega urban fantasy series. Dear Author calls Fire Touched— the newest book in the Mercy Thompson series– “A brilliant installment in a fantastic series.” Fiction Vixen says that in Dead Heat, the newest Alpha and Omega book, “Briggs has created such a detailed and well thought out world that I am helpless to resist.” Urban fantasy fans will be delighted by her reading. Sponsored by Fairfax County Public Library and the McLean Community Center.

Poet Patrick Rosal @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Sep 30 @ 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Patrick Rosal is the author of four full-length poetry collections. His newest book, Brooklyn Antediluvian was called “an earth-shattering performance” by Publisher’s Weekly. 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 is also 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 Split this Rock.

Novelist Ross Howell Jr. and Memoirist Frye Gaillard @ The Writer's Center
Sep 30 @ 5:30 pm – 6:45 pm

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 Letters, Frye 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.  

Fairfax Prize Winner Sandra Cisneros @ Harris Theater, George Mason University
Sep 30 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Sandra Cisneros will accept Fall for the Book’s highest honor, the Fairfax Prize, which honors outstanding literary achievement and celebrates contributors 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 the 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. Sponsored by the George Mason Regional Library Friends.