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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.