Events are at George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, located at 4400 University Drive, and at other locations throughout Northern Virginia.
Except where noted, all events are free and do not require tickets, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and partners.

Click here to download the full festival schedule


Slavery in Northern Virginia Photographic Exhibit @ Center for the Arts Lobby
Sep 12 @ 9:00 am – Oct 14 @ 5:00 pm

Freedmen’s Cemetery, by Ed Marion

Photographers from the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) have partnered with the Fall for the Book festival to create a photography exhibit featuring locations around Northern Virginia related to the state’s history with slavery and the Underground Railroad. Photos are displayed in the Center for the Art’s main lobby, located at 4373 Mason Pond Drive, from September 12-October 14, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. This exhibit is free.

Virginia— a slaveholding state and capital of the Confederacy— was home to thousands of slaves who lived and worked on the land, and sometimes sought to escape from it. Today, many relics of the slave trade still remain across Northern Virginia, interspersed between the trappings of modern life. We work and play alongside these reminders, often without realizing it. To make these spaces more visible, OLLI’s Photography Club explored the region, capturing images of plantation homes, slave quarters and jails, as well as statues erected to honor the men, women, and children who lived through these trying times. The Club’s pictures, depict the pain, sorrow, hope, and escape of the enslaved.

This photo exhibit is presented in conjunction with several Fall for the Book events, including Robinson Professor and distinguished historian Spencer Crew, who will speak about the history of slavery in America during Fall for the Book on Wednesday, October 11 at 6 p.m. in George Mason University’s Harris Theater. He will be followed at 7:30 p.m. by Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author Colson Whitehead, who will give a keynote talk on his novel The Underground Railroad. Before and after these events, an extended, digital version of the “Slavery in Northern Virginia” exhibit will be displayed in Harris Theater’s lobby. Fall for the Book runs from October 11-14, 2017, featuring over 150 authors.

Exhibit: Call & Response – “Invisible” @ Fenwick Gallery, Fenwick Library
Oct 9 @ 12:00 pm – Nov 27 @ 5:00 pm

Call & Response is an annual exhibit of collaborations between writers and visual artists, in which one calls and one responds. The result is a dynamic set of paired works of words and artistic media that resonate and speak to contemporary issues. The theme for Call & Response 2017 is INVISIBLE, in conversation with Artworks for Freedom’s campaign to raise awareness about Human Trafficking. The visual artists and writers of Call & Response will interpret the theme of INVISIBLE as it relates to victims of “invisible crimes” or unlawful actions that go unnoticed.

Call & Response is a collaboration between the School of Art, the English Department’s MFA program in Creative Writing, and University Libraries presented in conjunction with Fall for the Book festival.

China vs. Washington: A Cold War Story @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Oct 11 @ 10:30 am – 11:45 am

Winning the Third World examines afresh the intense and enduring rivalry between the United States and China during the Cold War. Gregg A. Brazinsky shows how both nations fought vigorously to establish their influence in newly independent African and Asian countries. Presenting a detailed narrative of the diplomatic, economic, and cultural competition between Beijing and Washington, Brazinsky offers an important new window for understanding the impact of the Cold War on the Third World. Sponsored by the Department of History and Art History.

History and Mystery: Michael Sims’ Arthur & Sherlock @ George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center
Oct 11 @ 10:30 am – 11:45 am

The latest from acclaimed author Michael Sims traces the history of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous creation, Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is the English-speaking world’s most popular fictional detective, and the life of his creator is equally intriguing. In Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes, Michael Sims traces Conan Doyle’s journey to becoming the father of modern mystery. The Washington Post calls this book “Enlightening.”

Fighting A Drone War @ George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center
Oct 11 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

Drones are changing the conduct of war. In Drone: Remote Control Warfare, Hugh Gusterson explores the significance of drone warfare from multiple perspectives, drawing on accounts by drone operators, victims of drone attacks, human rights activists, international lawyers, military thinkers, and more, as well as maps the “ethical slippage” over time in the Obama administration’s targeting practices. Foreign Affair calls the book “a thoughtful examination of the dilemmas this new weapon poses.”

State-Sponsored Suspicion and YA @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Oct 11 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

New York Times best-selling author L.M. Elliott’s YA novel Suspect Red takes on McCarthyism in America when a 1950’s teen named Richard establishes a controversial friendship. As the nation’s paranoia is at an all-time-high, Richard is torn between proving his patriotism, and continuing a friendship with someone who understands his love of art and literature. Martin Sherwin, George Mason University professor specializing in Cold War-era politics and nuclear history supplies the historical context. Sherwin is also the recipient of a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for the co-authored book American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J Robert Oppenheimer.

The American Revolution Re-examined @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F
Oct 11 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved it, named a finalist for the Pulitzer prize, Larrie Ferreiro refocuses the discussion of the American Revolution to include the untold history of Spain and France’s integral help in securing victory. Called “Impressive” by The Wall Street Journal, Brothers at Arms reveals the birth of the American nation as the centerpiece of an international coalition fighting against a common enemy. Sponsored by the Department of History and Art History.

A True MVP: The Life of Bullet Bill Dudley @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F
Oct 11 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Bullet Bill Dudley: The Greatest 60-Minute Man in Football by Steve Stinson explores the extraordinary life of Hall of Fame football star Bill Dudley, the most versatile NFL player in history. As a WWII veteran and leader in his local community, Dudley is remembered for his steadfast sense of purpose and desire to help those around him.

Fulbright Scholars on Writing in the World @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Oct 11 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

How did spending an academic year in another country as a Fulbright Scholar impact the way we think, write, and experience the world? Four former scholars discuss the impact of their time abroad on their writing. Matt Davis traveled to Syria and Jordan and is the author of When Things Get Dark: A Mongolian Winter’s Tale. He is the director of Mason’s Alan Cheuse International Writers Center. Tania James spent her Fulbright in India, after which she wrote the novel The Tusk That Did the Damage. Kimberly Burge spent her year in South Africa and wrote The Born Frees: Writing with the Girls of Gugulethu.

Susan Bordo on The Destruction of Hillary Clinton @ George's 3rd Floor, Johnson Center, George Mason University
Oct 11 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Susan Bordo, professor of Women and Gender Studies at the University of Kentucky discusses her book The Destruction of Hillary Clinton, in which she outlines this destruction in three key areas: gendered stereotypes and double standards, political forces, and media influence. The Forward wrote that her book “offers a clear analysis of how a candidate who received the overwhelming majority of the popular vote, did not win the presidency.” Sponsored by Women & Gender Studies.

Illuminating our International Borderlands @ Room CC115, NVCC Annandale Campus
Oct 11 @ 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Award-winning travel writer Stephanie Elizondo Griest’s All the Agents and Saints: Dispatches from the U.S. Borderlands is a meditation on the lands on the fringes of the nation, and those who live on that periphery. From examining her changing native home of South Texas to hearing stories from Mohawks from the Akwesasne Nation, Griest weaves together a narrative of places both north and south marked by the legacy of colonialism and the practices of the Border Patrol. Her other titles include Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana and Mexican Enough.

Investigating the Self through Poetry, Science, and History @ Lord of Life Church
Oct 11 @ 2:15 pm – 3:40 pm

Two local poets talk history, science, and identity. Kim Roberts is the author of The Scientific Method, which explores Roberts’ tangled history of science, Washington, D.C., and being Jewish in the nation’s capital. Molly McCully Brown’s collection The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded imagines what her life with cerebral palsy may have been like if she had been born during the height of the eugenics and sterilization movement in Virginia, and gives voice to the women who were. Sponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Abundant Grace @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Oct 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

The Grace & Gravity series of anthologies of fiction has arrived at its seventh and final volume of work featuring D.C. women writers: Abundant Grace. Politics & Prose bookstore says this volume is “about picking your battles, paying attention, phantasmagoria, spirit animals, and death/change.” Authors featured in the Abundant Grace: Grace & Gravity anthology discuss the colorful corners of life common to their collected stories. Featuring Virginia Pye, Jenny Drummey, Sinta Jimenez, Caron Martinez, Nicole Miller, and Margaret Hutton. Moderated by Arielle Bernstein.

Better Said Than Done Storytelling Workshop @ George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center
Oct 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Learn to tell a good story in this one-hour workshop that focuses on beginnings and endings, and engaging audience members with humor and wit. Better Said Than Done is a community of storytellers based in Fairfax who perform shows all around Northern Virginia. The shows include a series of storytellers’ themed and true personal stories. The workshop will be lead by founder Jessica Robinson and veteran storyteller Mary Supley Foxworth.

Gallery Talk: Call & Response – “Invisible” @ Fenwick Library Main Reading Room, Room 2001
Oct 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Call & Response is an annual exhibit of collaborations between writers and visual artists, in which one calls and one responds. The result is a dynamic set of paired works of words and artistic media that resonate and speak to contemporary issues. The theme for Call & Response 2017 is INVISIBLE, in conversation with Artworks for Freedom’s campaign to raise awareness about Human Trafficking. The visual artists and writers of Call & Response will interpret the theme of INVISIBLE as it relates to victims of “invisible crimes” or unlawful actions that go unnoticed.

Call & Response is a collaboration between the School of Art, the English Department’s MFA program in Creative Writing, and University Libraries presented in conjunction with Fall for the Book festival.

Queerness and Family with James Allen Hall @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F
Oct 11 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

In the essays of I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well, James Allen Hall takes readers along on his journey growing up queer in Florida, and surviving his family’s mental illnesses, meth addiction and incarcerations. Lia Purpura praises Hall saying his “work lays bare all manner of vulnerability, not to confess or shock, but to reckon into language the nearly unsayable.” I Liked You Better is the winner of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s 2016 Essay Collection Competition, selected by Chris Kraus.

Documentary: The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo @ Johnson Center Cinema, Ground Floor, Johnson Center
Oct 11 @ 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Using an innovative mix of dramatization and archival footage, award-winning director Phillip Rodriguez and associate co-writer David Ventura explore the tragic and inspiring life of Oscar Zeta Acosta, a civil rights activist and founding figure in Gonzo journalism alongside Hunter S. Thompson. Rodriguez’s script comes straight from interviews with Acosta and Thompson to create an intimate and accurate portrayal of the enigmatic figure. A screening of the documentary will be followed by a talk with the director and co-writer.

A Journey Through 1930s South @ Fenwick Reading Room, 2nd Floor, Fenwick Library
Oct 11 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Historian Jennifer Ritterhouse discusses Discovering the South: One Man’s Travels through a Changing America in the 1930s, a travelogue that follows Jonathan Daniels, editor of the Raleigh News and Observer, through the post-Civil War south. Ritterhouse brings together Daniels’ unpublished notes and archival evidence to show how a young, white, and liberal-minded man came to know the South in a changing political and social landscape. This event is part of the University Libraries’ Mason Author Series. Sponsored by the Department of History and Art History.

Challenging the College Skills Gap @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F
Oct 11 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Are college graduates really ready to enter the working world? Against the backdrop of the heated political debate of public higher education, Matthew Hora challenges the idea of the “skills gap” which says students need more technical training. Instead, he suggests the critical importance of habits of mind such as problem solving, teamwork, and communication. Sponsored by George Mason’s Higher Education Program.

Dosas and Dreidels @ Chantilly Library
Oct 11 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Can Sadie climb her way to save the holiday? In Pamela Ehrenberg’s newest picture book Queen of the Hanukkah Dosas, Sadie’s multicultural family celebrates Hanukkah by swapping latkes for dosas. When they all get locked out of the house before the celebration, Sadie’s climbing skills come in handy. Young readers will also love Ehrenberg’s board book Planting Parsley.

Fairy Tales for Grown Ups with Laura Packer @ George Mason University, Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room G
Oct 11 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

What happens before once upon a time and after happily ever after? Did Beauty love the Prince or the Beast? What’s all the fuss about poisoned apples anyway? Join storyteller Laura Packer for the other side of enchantment. No Disney princesses, singing teapots or emasculated wolves. Darker. Sexier. Funnier. Grimmer.

Life on the Line: Migration, Nation, and the Word @ George's 3rd Floor, Johnson Center, George Mason University
Oct 11 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Memoirist and novelist Courtney Brkic, poet Tarfia Faizullah, and children’s author Juana Medina, and poet Vivek Narayanan come together to wrestle with issues surrounding language and land barriers. Brkic is a Croatian American, Faizullah is a daughter of Bangladeshi immigrants, Medina is a Colombian American, and Vivek Narayanan was born in India and raised in Zambia. Moderated by Danielle Badra.

On “Othering” with David Shields @ George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center
Oct 11 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Can one person really know another? In Other People: Takes and Mistakes, essayist David Shields presents what the publisher calls “an intellectually thrilling and emotionally wrenching investigation of otherness: the need for one person to understand another person completely, the impossibility of any such absolute knowing, and the erotics of this separation.” In essays covering Kurt Cobain, the agony of first love, alter egos and more, Shields explores the possibilities, and impossibilities, for human connection. Sponsored by Mason’s Creative Writing Program.

Underground Railroad Scholar Talks Slavery in America @ Harris Theater, George Mason University
Oct 11 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Spencer Crew, a distinguished Robinson Professor will discuss the historical context of slavery in America as a preview to Colson Whitehead’s discussion of his award-winning novel The Underground Railroad. Crew spent six years as president of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and twenty years working at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. Let Crew orient you in this crucial point of American history.

Depth Charges with Rick Campbell @ Oakton Library
Oct 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Retired Navy Commander and novelist Rick Campbell will discuss Blackmail, his latest military thriller about a surprise missile strike by the Russian government that forces the U.S. to risk everything to avoid world war. Fans of Tom Clancy will be drawn to Campbell’s authenticity and attention to detail. His first three books The Trident Deception, Empire Rising, and Ice Station Nautilus were all Barnes & Noble Top-20 bestsellers. Sponsored by the Friends of the Oakton Library.

The Mysterious Case of Conan Doyle @ Pohick Regional Library
Oct 11 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Michael Sims and Stefan Bechtel discuss the spiritual and authorial journey of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of detective Sherlock Holmes. Holmes is the English-speaking world’s most popular fictional detective, and the life of his creator is equally intriguing. In Arthur and Sherlock: Conan Doyle and the Creation of Holmes, Sims traces Conan Doyle’s journey to becoming the father of modern mystery. The Washington Post calls this book “Enlightening.” Bechtel’s Through a Glass, Darkly: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the Quest to Solve the Greatest Mystery of All takes on the question of whether Doyle’s spiritualism could be substantiated. Could the mind behind Sherlock contact the dead? Sponsored by Friends of the Pohick Regional Library.

Colson Whitehead and The Underground Railroad @ Harris Theater, George Mason University
Oct 11 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead kicks off the festival by discussing his bestselling book, The Underground Railroad. The book which follows Cora, an outcast slave on a Georgian plantation in her attempt to escape North on the underground railroad, has captured the minds and hearts of the nation. The Pultizer committee says the book is “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 LA Times says the book “could not be more timely and necessary.”


This event is free and does not require tickets. 

Poet Tarfia Faizullah: Women as Witness @ George’s, 3rd Floor, Johnson Center
Oct 11 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Bangladeshi-American poet Tarfia Faizullah will read from her collection, Seam, which U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey calls a “gorgeous and powerful debut.” Her poetry explores the ethics of interviewing, and the history of female survivors of the Bangladesh Liberation War. Faizullah has won a number of awards for her poetry, including the 2015 Great Lake College Association New Writers Awards.

Islam in North America: Colloquium @ Johnson Center, Ground Floor, Gold Room
Oct 12 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

The last few years have seen an impressive amount of publications on various aspects of the American Muslim experience. This panel presents works that adopt multiple theoretical and methodological lenses. Sponsored by Ali Vurak Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies.

As the World Burns @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Oct 12 @ 10:30 am – 11:45 am

In biting prose, Dave Housley’s fourth short story collection Massive Cleansing Fire casts the end of the world in a humorous light as it glows in the embers of the apocalypse. The linked collection features a range of characters–from clowns to cameramen–in situations that all literally go down in flames. Housley’s other collections include If I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home, Commercial Fiction, and Ryan Seacrest is Famous, and he is a founding editor of Barrelhouse Magazine.  

Native Americans in Colonial Virginia @ Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room G
Oct 12 @ 10:30 am – 11:45 am

Kristalyn Shefveland’s Anglo-Native Virginia closely examines indigenous and colonial trade in Virginia between 1646-1722, and how this shaped our state as we know it. This UGA Press publication “examines Anglo-Indian interactions through the conception of Native tributaries to the Virginia colony, with particular emphasis on the colonial and tributary and foreign Native settlements of the Piedmont and southwestern Coastal Plain.” Shefveland explains how the effects of these interactions are still evidenced in the current nature of our state and region.

Recording History on the Frontlines @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F
Oct 12 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 pm

Author Yasutsune “Tony” Hirashiki and editor Terry Irving discuss the story of Tony’s harrowing career as a TV cameraman in Vietnam detailed in On the Frontlines of the Television War. Hirashiki was an ABC News cameraman from 1966 to 2006, and was considered one of the best cameraman in the history of the company. “Once we had experienced Vietnam, one way or another, we’d always come back,” he said of what became known as the “Television War.”

The French and Russian Revolutions @ Sherwood Center
Oct 12 @ 11:50 am – 1:15 pm

There have been several revolutions in European history since the 17th century, but the French and Russian revolutions have been the most consequential. Despite much scholarly work, historians seldom compare these twin upheavals in Europe. Two specialists– Jack Censer, co-author of The French Revolution and Napoleon in Global Perspective, and Rex Wade, author of The Russian Revolution, 1917 — will consider why these revolutions eventually led to bloody civil wars. Sponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Making America Green @ The Hub Ballroom
Oct 12 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

Stanford professor Mark Jacobson details his roadmap for converting the U.S. to 100% renewable energy within the next few decades. His career has largely focused on air pollution and global warming, and he’s written multiple books and articles on global and national renewable energy options. His most recent, a textbook titled Air Pollution and Global Warming: History, Science, and Solutions has been called “engaging and comprehensive.” Sponsored by the Department of English, Department of Philosophy, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, the School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, and the Sierra Club.

When the World Breaks Open @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Oct 12 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

In the memoir When the World Breaks Open, Seema Reza chronicles her journey from being a suburban mom to using her own lessons to build a unique writing and art program in military hospitals. Using a non-linear narrative, Reza exposes her triumphs and fears and regret through the dissolution of a dysfunctional marriage, and investigates her own experiences and societal attitudes towards loss, love, motherhood and community, undermining the idea that strength requires silence.

Islamic Law: Colloquium @ Johnson Center, Ground Floor, Gold Room
Oct 12 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

How Islamic law, both ancient and modern, relates to multiple areas of inquiry has created one of the most impressive volumes of academic production. Publications reviewed in this panel provide an exciting spectrum on the study of Islamic law. Sponsored by Ali Vurak Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies.

Grit and Glamour of 1920s Boston @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Oct 12 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Colin Sargent’s novel The Boston Castrato grabs 1920s Boston out of history and vividly mixes in fiction. The Parker House Hotel; shipbuilders, politicians and utter rogues who raise the city from the dirt all shimmer into reality as an outsider dives into its quaking heart.

At the Margins: Invisibility and Marginalized Communities @ Special Collections Research Center, Fenwick Library
Oct 12 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Join us for an Artists’ Book Open House at the Fenwick Library Special Collections Research Center!
For this month’s event we take on the theme of invisibility, and present these works as an extension of the discussions happening around Artworks for Freedom, and Fenwick Gallery’s ongoing exhibition, Call and Response. These artists’ books explore issues of marginalization and highlight the perspectives and voices of the “invisible,” those persons and communities at the edges of society.
Visitors will have an opportunity for hands-on interaction with these materials, and to learn how Mason students and researchers can use these materials as a source of visual, formal, and thematic inspiration.
The Special Collections Research Center is located in 2400 Fenwick on the second floor of Fenwick Library.
Janet Mock on Surpassing Certainty @ Harris Theater
Oct 12 @ 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm

Janet Mock, New York Times bestselling author of Redefining Realness, TV host, speaker, and trans advocate will speak on navigating her twenties without a roadmap. Her newest memoir Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me traces her journey of becoming an adult: moving out, falling in and out of love, and working her way up in the magazine industry. Her work has appeared in publications such as Marie Claire, The New Yorker, and Allure. Sponsored by African & African American Studies and Women and Gender Studies.

Coxey’s Crusade for Jobs: Unemployment in the Gilded Age with Jerry Prout @ Sherwood Center
Oct 12 @ 2:15 pm – 3:40 pm

In Coxey’s Crusade for Jobs, Dr. Jerry Prout chronicles the march from Ohio to Capitol Hill led by Jacob Coxey, a successful Gilded Age businessman. Coxey used the march to draw attention to his plan to put millions of American’s back to work in an age of vast unemployment and disparagement of unemployed “tramps”. Prout delves into the history of the march through the eyes of embedded journalists, whose stories dominated national headlines over the month-long trek. H-Net Reviews recommends the book “for those interested in Coxey’s Army, the history of unemployment, and the longer legacies of American protests.” Sponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

The Sociopath Next Door @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Oct 12 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Dr. Jeremy Balint’s darkest traits come to the surface in Jacob Appel’s thrilling novel The Mask of Sanity, which examines sociopathy and masks of identity in modern society. When Balint discovers his wife is having an affair, he decides on murder to achieve revenge. Appel is an extensively-published author, physician, attorney, and former Ivy League professor who has made a study of sociopaths like Balint.

Islam, Globalization and Cosmopolitanism: Colloquium @ Johnson Center, Ground Floor, Gold Room
Oct 12 @ 3:30 pm – 5:30 pm

This panel explores citizenship debates in Muslim contexts and its connections to cultural manifestations of ethno-racial identities, as well as global trends around poverty, environmentalism, and rights-based discourses. Sponsored by Ali Vurak Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies.

Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum @ Johnson Center, 3rd Floor, Meeting Room F, George Mason University
Oct 12 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Georgetown University professor, and early childhood expert William Gormley discusses the importance of critical thinking for students and educators in his book The Critical Advantage, which takes “a wide-ranging look at the important role of critical thinking in preparing students for college, careers, and civic life.”

Jennine Capó Crucet Makes a Home Among Strangers @ Concert Hall, Center for the Arts, George Mason University
Oct 12 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

In Make Your Home Among Strangers, Jennine Capó Crucet follows Lizet, a daughter of Cuban immigrants as she navigates being a first generation college student, coming to terms with her new status as a minority, and facing the immigration battle of a local boy which makes national news. The novel asks readers what it means to be an American today. Crucet will speak at the capstone event for this year’s campus Mason Reads program. Sponsored by George Mason University Libraries and the Office of Orientation. 

MFA Fellows Reading @ George's 3rd Floor, Johnson Center, George Mason University
Oct 12 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Every year, George Mason’s Creative Writing Program awards fellowships to some of the most promising writers pursuing an M.F.A. Join the winners of the 2017 fellowships: poet Jesse Capobianco, nonfiction writer Liesel Hamilton, poet Alayna Nagurny, and fiction writer Ben Rader. Sponsored by Mason’s Creative Writing Program.

Partners on the Page @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room G, George Mason University
Oct 12 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Laura Micciche, distinguished professor of English at the University of Cincinnati and editor of Composition Studies, discusses the power of partnerships in the writing community and the genre of written acknowledgments. Micciche argues in her latest publication, Acknowledging Writing Partners, that written acknowledgments are “a lens for viewing writing as a practice of indebted partnerships…[and] that reveal writing’s connectedness.” Sponsored by Writing Across the Curriculum.

Brief Encounters with the Extraordinary @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F
Oct 12 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

The fantastic, strange, and hauntingly beautiful come together in the short stories of authors Amber Sparks and A. A. Balaskovits. Praised by The Washington Post as “a masterful work of speculative fiction,” Sparks’s collection The Unfinished World features a wide cast of characters–from time travelers to orphaned taxidermists–rendered in lyrical prose. Winner of the 2015 Santa Fe Writers Project Awards, Balaskovit’s debut collection Magic for Unlucky Girls transforms fairy tales, twisting and turning familiar tropes into stories that are refreshing and unique.

Gish Jen on East Meets West @ George's 3rd Floor, Johnson Center, George Mason University
Oct 12 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

For centuries, there have mysteries and misunderstandings between the East and West. Gish Jen explores this relationship in The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East West Culture Gap, specifically looking at how differences of the self and society complicate and enrich debates between cultures. The Washington Post describes Jen as “uniquely suited to explore this topic.”

Gwendolyn Brooks at 100 @ Room 163, Research Hall
Oct 12 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Panelists blend creative and critical analysis in a celebration of the work of Gwendolyn Brooks. The daughter of two writers–Henry Blakely and Gwendolyn Brooks–Nora Brooks Blakely founded Brooks Permissions, a company which manages her mother’s body of work and promotes its continuing relevance in the 21st century. She is joined by Quraysh Ali Lansana, author of Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks, and poet Melissa Green.

Research in Rhetoric: Digital, Visual & Archival Methods @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room G, George Mason University
Oct 12 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

GMU STC sponsors its third Fall for the Book event, a panel on Research in Rhetoric: Digital, Visual & Archival Methods. This panel features three scholars with diverse research and publication experience in the fields of rhetoric, composition, and communication. In Digital Rhetoric: Theory, Method, Practice (2015), Dr. Douglas Eyman reviews a range of methods and practices from fields within the humanities, social sciences, and information sciences to determine how traditional rhetoric applies to digital rhetoric in theory and in practice. In Still Life with Rhetoric (2015), Dr. Laurie Gries uses the digital research method of iconographic tracking to study the circulation and transformation of the iconic Obama Hope image, to explore the movement of visual rhetorics in networked environments. In American Lobotomy: A Rhetorical History (2014), Dr. Jenell Johnson details the rhetorical history of lobotomy and its varied representations in the contexts of medicine, politics, and popular culture, to examine the socio-cultural influences of biomedicine. These three scholars discuss how they selected, used, and tailored different research methods from their fields, as well as methods borrowed from other fields, to develop their research projects and book publications. A Q&A with the audience follows the formal presentations. Sponsored by the Mason Society for Technical Communication.

A History of Concentration Camps @ Richard Byrd Library
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Journalist Andrea Pitzer reveals the harrowing and dehumanizing history of concentration camps across the span of six continents in One Long Night. In the unflinching narrative, Pitzer tells the reader, “Old camps reopen, new ones are born.” Drawing on testimony, research, and fieldwork, Pitzer renders a poignant look at the terrifying reality of human imprisonment. Sponsored by Friends of the Richard Byrd Library.

A Woman’s Fight: Seeking Justice in an Uncivil Time @ Charles E. Beatley, Jr. Central Library
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Paula Tarnapol Whitacre’s A Civil Life in an Uncivil Time: Julia Wilbur’s Struggle for Purpose takes us back 150 years to illustrate the all-too-human tale of a woman’s fight for justice during the Civil War. Julia Wilbur spent many years in Alexandria, VA aiding escaped slaves and Union soldiers, as well as being heavily involved with the women’s suffrage movement. Tarnapol’s depiction has been called “rich” and “beautifully written.”

Ana Homayoun on Youth Social Media Wellness @ City of Fairfax Regional Library, 10360 North St, Fairfax, VA
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Ana Homayoun’s Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens Thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World offers families insight into an ever-changing online world. Guiding parents, educators, and students to find ways to work together to promote self-regulation and healthy socialization, Social Media Wellness is a tool for minimizing distractions, decreasing stress, and boosting productivity. Sponsored by Friends of the City of Fairfax Regional Library.

Better Said Than Done Storytelling Show @ The Auld Shebeen, Fairfax
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

The popular storytelling group Better Said Than Done, which performs all over Northern Virginia, join the festival with a show at a favorite local venue. Every show is themed and features 100% true, personal stories told by the cast members. This year’s theme is: “Air Guitar: Stories of Faking, Music, and Playing with Heart.” Featuring Mary Supley Foxworth, Jessica Robinson, Jack Scheer, Robert Lovejoy, and Miriam Nadel.

Catherine Fleming Bruce, Activism and Social Movements Expert @ Sherwood Regional Library, 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria, VA
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Catherine Fleming Bruce discusses The Sustainers: Being, Building and Doing Good through Activism in the Sacred Spaces of Civil Rights, Human Rights and Social Movements, which won the 2017 Historic Preservation Book Prize. The full-color, pictorial book educates and inspires a new wave of activists through its in-depth look at the preservation of already-hallowed spaces of justice. “The Sustainers took an authentic, grassroots approach to beginning a conversation about the tangible preservation and intangible meanings of African American sites,” said Michael Spencer, associate professor of historic preservation and director of the Center for Historic Preservation. “Such a conversation has long been a goal of preservationists in an effort to better represent the underserved African American community.”

Please purchase your book prior to the event. Visit


Hemingway Undercover @ One More Page Books
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Former CIA officer and historian at the CIA Museum Nicholas Reynolds unveils the untold story of novelist Ernest Hemingway’s secret life undercover as a U.S. and Soviet spy in Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy. The book chronicles Hemingway’s recruitment by Soviet spies to his sympathies for Castro’s politics. Reynolds’ work examines how the novelist’s undercover work influenced his writing in books such as The Old Man and the Sea, as well as how the covert operations affected Hemingway’s declining mental health.

The Secret Hanging: Virginia’s Disturbing History @ Kings Park Library
Oct 12 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Jim Hall held a 36 year career in news reporting and editing for The Caroline Progress and The Free Lance-Star. In The Last Lynching in Northern Virginia: Seeking Truth at Rattlesnake Mountain, which focuses on a complex and disturbing chapter in Virginia history, Hall explores the case of the controversial hanging of a black man in 1932, which some called a suicide while others claimed it was a lynching. Sponsored by Friends of the Kings Park Library.

Echoes of Vietnam @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F
Oct 12 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

In Forever Vietnam: How a Divisive War Changed American Public Memory, David Kieran analyzes the contested memory of the Vietnam War to show how it shapes American foreign policy today. Kieran focuses on how Americans remember six key events, ranging from  the siege of the Alamo in 1836 to September 11, 2001. Sponsored by the Department of History and Art History.

Immigration Today: A Writer’s Discussion @ George's 3rd Floor, Johnson Center, George Mason University
Oct 12 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Three award-winning writers come together to discuss immigration and writing. Jennine Capó Crucet, author of Make Your Home Among Strangers, writes of the story and struggle of a child of Cuban immigrants. Gish Jen, author of The Girl at the Baggage Claim: Explaining the East West Culture Gap examines the distances between cultures. Marie Marquardt, author of the YA novel The Radius of Us discusses gang culture surrounding the US/Mexico border.

Shoestring Theatre Company Presents: Lonesome Pine Podcast and The Best Doctor in Town @ Village Gallery
Oct 12 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

When Robin Dern, a Washington, DC reporter, is asked to help solve the mystery of a missing girl, she travels to the dark mountains of Southwest Virginia. Once there, she’s enveloped in a deeper and more dangerous situation than she ever imagined. You’ll meet the cast and experience the first episode in this 6-part, original mountain tale called Lonesome Pine. Also during this recording, preview excerpts from the production The Best Doctor in Town. Premiering in April during Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts 2018, this original play drops you into a tingling thriller set in a Virginia hospital where people are desperate for medical care. Trouble is, patients seem to meet untimely deaths and the only people who are suspicious include a disgraced police officer, a discredited reporter and a chief medical resident who just may be a thief.  Get ready to meet The Best Doctor in Town. Sponsored by the Fairfax Commission on the Arts.

Unlocking the Past: A Grandson’s Narrative of the Holocaust @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room G, George Mason University
Oct 12 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

Noah Lederman’s memoir A World Erased: A Grandson’s Search for his Family’s Holocaust Secrets, poignantly captures stories of his grandparents’ Holocaust experiences. Booklist describes it as a “vital contribution to Holocaust collections.” Lederman uncovers his grandparents’ past, from the detailed account of Poland pre-WWII, to the extermination camps, to the repression of memories by holocaust survivors.

Keep Out!: Jason Reid on the History of Teen Rooms @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Oct 13 @ 10:30 am – 11:45 am

Jason Reid’s Get Out of my Room! A History of Teen Bedrooms in America explores everything from posters to personal space in teen bedrooms as a surprising source of cultural power over the years. Reid emphasizes how shifts in the economy, demographic changes, and technological advances shaped the way that teenagers came to “own” their spaces over the years to become “autonomous.” The Times Higher Education calls this book “engaging and affectionately written.”

The Legacy of Memory @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 10:30 am – 11:45 am

Sonja Yoerg’s novel All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary of lives. A Vermont native, Yoerg sets the novel in her home state in the 1970s, where Carole LaPorte has a so-called ordinary life but fears ending up just like her mother – locked in a mental institution. The Wide Circumference of Love by Marita Golden is a moving African American family drama of love and devotion in the face of Alzheimer’s disease. As her husband’s memory wavers and fades, Diane Tate and her children must reexamine their connection to who Gregory once was before early onset Alzheimer’s— and learn to love the man he has become.

Going Viral: The Vaccination Debate @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

Sociology and child welfare expert Jennifer Reich gives a glimpse into her decade-long research on vaccine refusal in America. In Calling the Shots: Why Parents Reject Vaccinations, Reich dissects a wide range of perspectives on this controversial topic – from the parents who refuse vaccinations, to the pediatricians whose research shows this decision can be devastating. Reich allows readers the opportunity to understand this disagreement and consider the possible solutions.

Great Minds of the Harlem Renaissance @ Research Hall, Room 163
Oct 13 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

Jeffrey Stewart and MaryLouise Patterson examine two key figures of the Harlem Renaissance: Langston Hughes and Alain Locke. In The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, Stewart chronicles the education and career of Locke, the queer philosopher and architect of the Black Arts Movement. Patterson is the editor of Letters from Langston, which contains the writer’s correspondence throughout the Jazz Age and beyond. Sponsored by African and African American Studies.

Murder in the Roaring Twenties @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm

For many, the roaring 1920s in America is a time of great intrigue – a time of speakeasies, flappers, and silent cinema. Mary Miley uses this decade as the backdrop for her murder mystery novels including her newest publication, Murder in Disguise. Follow the novel’s protagonist, Jessie Beckett, as she investigates the murder of a Hollywood film projectionist. Miley will discuss her novel which blends together mystery, historical fiction, and romance.

200 Years of Jane Austen: A Teatime Celebration @ Old Town Hall
Oct 13 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

Drink tea and eat crumpets as two prominent Jane Austen scholars discuss her life and work to mark the 200th anniversary of her death. George Mason University Professor Kristin Samuelian is the editor of Broadview’s edition of Emma, and has written on Austen and “Managing Propriety.” Amy Smith wrote All Roads Lead to Austen: A Year-Long Journey with Jane, after spending a year traveling Latin America hosting Austen book clubs across the continent, and stumbling onto her own Señor Darcy. This is a paid reception event and the charge covers the cost of tea, drinks, and food. Register online HERESponsored by Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

The Idea of the Muslim World @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Cemil Aydin, Professor of History at University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, sheds light on the intellectual origins of longheld misconceptions that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims constitute a single religio-political entity. In The Idea of the Muslim World: A Global Intellectual History. Edmund Burke III writes, “Aydin provides a global lens for viewing the ways in which modernity has shaped both Muslims’ understandings of their global role, and the ways in which we understand the place of Muslims in the world.” Sponsored by Ali Vurak Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies.

The Young and The Restless @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

Gabrielle Lucille Fuentes’s historical fiction novel, The Sleeping World is about fascists, freedom, family, and punk rock set in 1970’s Post-Franco Spain. Protagonist Mosca is a university student searching for her long-lost brother, who was taken by the authorities. With a strong emphasis on the power of music, The New York Times described the book as “a politically conscious adventure story in which Fuentes manages to strike a powerful balance between vivid characterization and ideological critique, capturing a generation for whom David Bowie and the Ramones were not merely pop icons but heroes.”

Beasts of Arlington, VA @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Bill Schweigart shares the experience of crafting a horror series: The Fatal Folklore trilogy. The first novel, The Beast of Barcroft, takes place right in our neighboring town of Arlington, Virginia. Learn how Schweigart creates fear in a familiar setting, with protagonist Ben McKelvie living in a nearby DC suburb whose life is threatened by an otherworldly predator.

Justin Gest and The New Minority @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 3:00 pm – 4:15 pm

Only a few decades ago, the white working class made up the majority population in the United States and the United Kingdom. More recently, however, members of the working class have become what Justin Gest refers to as “new minorities.” Gest shares his latest publication, The New Minority: White Working Class Politics in an Age of Immigration and Inequality, making a case for what led to white working class radicalization and rising support for unexpected political candidates, including Donald Trump. Gest focuses on two specific working-class cities – Youngstown, Ohio and Dagenham, England – to understand the political landscape in these once-thriving cities.

Mason’s Poetry Alumni @ Fenwick Reading Room, Fenwick Library, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Listen to poems from new books by Mason’s esteemed alumni: Sarah Marcus, Sheila McMullin, Ranjani Murali, Nicole Tong, and Sarah Ann Winn. Marcus uncovers nature, wilderness, desire, and trauma in They Were Bears. In daughterrarium, McMullin writes of the human spirit, human body, loss and compassion.  Murali reads from Blindscreens, the 2016 Almost Island Manuscript winner. Tong continues with verse on loss with How to Prove a Theory. And Winn reads from her latest publication, Alma Almanac, the winner of 2016 Barrow Street Book Prize. This event is part of the University Libraries’ Mason Author Series. Sponsored by So to Speak and the Office of Student Media.

Exploring Boundaries of Life and Loss @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Join memoirist Amy Butcher and short-story writer and essayist Rachel Yoder for their prose centered on the struggle, survival, and strength of people in extraordinary circumstances. Butcher discusses Visiting Hours, what Kirkus Reviews calls a “gripping and poignant memoir” about her friendship with a man with untreated mental illness who murdered his girlfriend. Butcher digs through research after finally returning to the city of the crime scene to find answers and closure. Yoder is the founder of draft: the journal of process, creator and host of The Fail Safe podcast, and has had her fiction and nonfiction published in The Paris Review, The Missouri Review, Best American Short Stories, and more.

Handmaids and Hunger Games: Dystopian Fiction @ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza
Oct 13 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Rhonda Shary and Sarah Canfield explore the question, “What impact is dystopian fiction having on the world today?” Panelists discuss the history, distinguishing features, and topicality of dystopian fiction, from classics such as We and 1984 to recent works including The Handmaid’s Tale, Parable of the Sower, The Hunger Games, and V for Vendetta, and in “literary” films from Metropolis to Children of Men. While dystopian themes have always expressed warning and anxiety, recently they seem to have become less fictional and more factual, as we confront the rise of technology and science, religious extremism, environmental stresses, income inequality, and strife over reproductive control and the impact of overpopulation. By highlighting issues of class, race, gender, and politics in the real world, dystopian works express society’s fears of the unknown, act as a literature of witness in times of social change, and promote strategies of resistance to injustice, asking the questions:  What can we do to prevent disaster from happening to us? What went wrong here, and how can we make it right?

Meet Valerie Tripp: American Girl Author @ Burke Centre Library
Oct 13 @ 4:30 pm – 5:45 pm

Author Valerie Tripp is best known for her American Girl book series for beloved characters such as Felicity, Josefina, Samantha, and Kit, who inspire young girls to use their imaginations. Her latest American Girl character, Maryellen, is a fun-loving girl growing up in Florida in the 1950s, whose adventures take her on a roadtrip around the country. Tripp calls writing for American Girl her “ideal job” because she gets to use her love of history to help children learn. Sponsored by Friends of the Burke Centre Library.

Poetry Night Out @ Epicure Cafe
Oct 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Grab a table and gather ‘round for an evening of poetry. Shara McCallum’s Madwoman explores the complexities of growing from girl to woman in a personal, haunting collection. A nuanced collection on queerness and desire, Jenny Johnson’s In Full Velvet was called “a valentine-as-testament to the mysteries and mandates of human love” by The Rumpus. Debra Nystrom has won a number of awards–including two Virginia Commission for the Arts Fellowships. Night Sky Frequencies is her most recent collection.

Reporting on Trump and the 2016 Election @ Fenwick Reading Room, Fenwick Library, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Reporter Jared Yates Sexton and essayist Tim Denevi discuss covering the squabbles, scandals, and victories of the 2016 presidential election. Denevi wrote about the election for outlets like LitHub and New York Magazine. Jared Yates Sexton reported on Trump’s campaign from the beginning. His book The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters on Your Shore: A Story of American Rage chronicles the nation’s most unexpected and divisive election to date, from an insider’s perspective.

The Association of Small Bombs @ Johnson Center, Meeting Room F, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm

Acts of terrorism have the power to consume our news sources, conversations, and worries. Karan Mahajan unpacks this troubling topic in his award-winning novel, The Association of Small Bombs, a National Book Award Finalist and Winner of the Bard Fiction Prize. Mahajan illustrates the effects that terrorism has on its victims and its perpetrators with the tale of two brothers, Tushar and Nakul Khurana and their “small bomb.” The Wall Street Journal says that Mahajan’s work “is not the first novel about the aftermath of a terrorist attack, but it is the finest…at capturing the seduction and force of the murderous, annihilating illogic that increasingly consumes the globe.” Sponsored by George Mason’s Creative Writing Program.

Fairfax of Virginia: The Story of America’s only Peerage @ Historic Blenheim
Oct 13 @ 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

The Honorable Hugh Fairfax— a descendant of Thomas 6th Lord Fairfax, the Proprietor of the Northern Neck of Virginia and brother of Nicholas, 14th Lord Fairfax– will give a brief introduction to his new book, Fairfax of Virginia: The Forgotten Story of America’s Only Peerage. He will describe how the family came to America and why, what they did there over the 150 years they lived there, and why they finally returned to England. The talk will be accompanied by a visual presentation. A limited supply of books, signed by the author, will be available for purchase after the talk. Sponsored by the City of Fairfax.

Bestselling Pakastani Novelist Mohsin Hamid talks Exit West @ Harris Theater, George Mason University
Oct 13 @ 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm

The New York Times called internationally-bestselling novelist Mohsin Hamid “one of his generation’s most inventive and gifted writers.” His groundbreaking novel Exit West follows two young people who meet and fall in love in a country teetering on the brink of civil war. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide they must leave their homeland and their old lives behind. O, the Oprah Magazine says “Lyrical and urgent, the globalist novel evokes the dreams and disillusionments that follow Saeed and Nadia….and peels away the dross of bigotry to expose the beauty of our common humanity.” NPR calls Exit West A breathtaking novel…[that] arrives at an urgent time.” Hamid is also the author of the New York Times bestselling novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Sponsored by the Fairfax Library Foundation.


This event is free and does not require tickets. 

Community Day Book Fair @ Merten Hall Lawn, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

Throughout Fall for the Book’s Community Day, browse the selections of a number of local publishers and magazines for a Book Fair for the whole family. George Mason University’s Campus Bookstore provides a full selection of Fall for the Book authors’ books for sale and signing. In true festival style, we’ll also be hosting Syncretic Press, Potomac Review, The Northern Virginia ReviewStillhouse PressGazing GrainSo To Speak, Phoebe, Washington West Film Festival, and Paycock Press

Falling for the Story Reading @ Merten Hall, Room 1203
Oct 14 @ 10:30 am – 12:15 pm

Every year, the Northern Virginia Writing Project publishes an anthology of exemplary writing by students of NVWP Teacher Consultants. Come listen to young authors read their poetry and prose from the newest anthology. Sponsored by Northern Virginia Writing Project.

Falling for the Story Reading @ Merten Hall, Room 1203, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 10:30 am – 12:15 pm

Every year, the Northern Virginia Writing Project publishes an anthology of exemplary writing by students of NVWP Teacher Consultants. Come listen to young authors read their poetry and prose from the newest anthology. Sponsored by Northern Virginia Writing Project.

Live Taping of Book Club for Kids Podcast @ Merten Hall, Room 1204
Oct 14 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

The Book Club for Kids Podcast celebrates middle grade books and the kids who love them, by bringing together young readers to discuss their favorite works. The podcast was awarded the “Literacy in Media” prize. In this episode, host Kitty Felde and her young readers are joined by Linda Oatman High, author of the middle-grade book One Amazing Elephant, to discuss the story of 12-year-old Lily, a girl who unexpectedly befriends the elephant Queenie Grace whom she previously disliked, as they both mourning the passing of Lily’s grandfather.

Mystery Writers in Your Own Backyard @ Merten Tent
Oct 14 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Virginia mystery writers will introduce readers to the wealth of mystery around them, and how readers can benefit from this. The panel will overview “famous,” popular, and new Virginia mystery authors and major mystery novels set in Virginia, including the 50 Shades of Cabernet anthology featuring authors Rosemary Shomaker and Kristin Kisska, supported by novelist, historian, and winery owner Mary Miley who wrote the book’s foreword. They’ll be joined by Fred Shackelford, author of the novel The Ticket, about a lotto winner who hatches a devious scheme to protect his money. Panelists will also discuss the benefits to readers of connecting with mystery authors — from inclusion in book launch parties, social media and in-person conversations and relationships, and receipt of advance chapters, to a spot on an author’s “street team.”

Pirate Story Hour @ Old Town Hall
Oct 14 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Ahoy there, mateys! All hands on deck for Story Hour with the Fairfax Librarians! Parents and preschoolers (ages 3-5) are invited to set sail with us for pirate stories, activities, and a chance to walk the plank. Sponsored by the Fairfax Commission on the Arts.

Worlds Real and Imagined: Urban Fantasy Panel @ Merten Hall, Room 1201
Oct 14 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Layering the real world with the fantastic, these urban fantasy authors combine cityscapes and the supernatural. A. J. Hartley’s Firebrand takes place in a an imagined land modeled after South Africa. Part paranormal fantasy, part thriller, Adriana Arrington’s debut novel Bleed Through follows a schizophrenic character who must decide what are hallucinations and what’s real after witnessing a grisly murder. Dust Bath Revival by Marianne Kirby mixes classic and contemporary horror in a Southern Gothic with zombies.

Writer to Author: The Road to Publication @ Merten Hall, Room 1202, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Want to become a published author? Join the conversation with marketer Jennifer Crawford; memoirist Joanne Lozar Glenn; publisher Meredith Maslich; and professional storyteller Jessica Robinson. Crawford tackles the world of marketing for writers, as Glenn discusses her publication, Memoir Your Way: Tell Your Story Through Writing, Recipes, Quilts, Graphic Novels, and More, which was written by a group of 6 artists known as The Roundtable. Maslich peels the curtain back to the publishing world and Robinson talks about opportunities available for writers in the storytelling profession. Come hear more about the writer-to-author process from these professionals in the writing community.

Best Home Cooking @ Merten Hall, Room 2500
Oct 14 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Learn from Mighty Salads cook Emily Conner as she demonstrates her home recipes that celebrate good food for real people. Conner has contributed over 100 recipes to Food52, and has had her work published in their salad cookbook as well as Ice Cream & Friends.

Fort-Building Time with Megan Wagner Lloyd @ Old Town Hall
Oct 14 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Bring the whole family and cozy up with children’s author Megan Wagner Lloyd. Her upcoming picture book Fort-Building Time follows a group of friends who build a fort for every season and discover along the way that every fort is the perfect fort. With vibrant colors and rich detail, Wagner reminds readers of all ages that it’s never a bad time to build a fort. Sponsored by the Fairfax Commission on the Arts.

In the Shadow of Fame @ Merten Hall, Room 1202, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Melanie McCabe seeks to discover more about her father in His Other Life: Searching for my Father, His First Wife, and Tennessee Williams. Following her father’s death, McCabe was surprised to learn about his former wife Hazel, her romance with playwright Tennessee Williams, and Williams’ choice to create characters based on McCabe’s father and Hazel; so she set out to find answers. Elizabeth Winder follows Marilyn Monroe in Marilyn in Manhattan: Her Year of Joy, 1954, the one year the iconic actress lived in Manhattan, which forever changed her career. Andrew Gifford documents the fall of his family’s D.C. ice cream empire in We All Scream: The Fall of the Gifford’s Ice Cream Empire. Gifford is the last living Gifford heir to the fortune…if there had been a fortune. Instead, there is a tale of theft, betrayal, and suicide in the fall of Gifford’s.

Mystical Books: Tor Fantasy Panel @ Merten Hall, Room 1201
Oct 14 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Join authors from Tor publishing for a magical discussion on creating worlds and building empires. Brian Staveley is the acclaimed author of the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series and his new standalone novel, Skullsworn, which takes readers back to his series’ beloved world. K. Arsenault Rivera is an emerging voice whose debut novel, The Tiger’s Daughter has already received praise from VE Schwab, Seanan McGuire, and Roshani Chokski.  Award-winner Fran Wilde is the author of Cloudbound.

Novels of Going Home and Growing Up @ Merten Hall, Room 1204
Oct 14 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Rumaan Alam’s Rich and Pretty follows two best friends, Sarah and Lauren, as they reunite to plan Sarah’s wedding. As plans progress in socialite New York City, they struggle to decide if they’re growing up or growing apart. In Melissa Scholes Young’s Flood, Laura returns to her hometown of Hannibal, Missouri ten years after an historic flood for her high school reunion. Laura becomes embroiled in small town drama, and old wounds threaten to reopen.

Sisters in Crime… Writing @ Merten Tent, Merten Hall
Oct 14 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Members of the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime chat about murder, mystery, and more­—discussing their own work and celebrating Sisters in Crime’s 30th anniversary.

Book Launch: Laura Ellen Scott’s Crybaby Lane @ Merten Tent
Oct 14 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Celebrate the release of the second book in Laura Ellen Scott’s deliciously dark New Royal Mysteries series: Crybaby Lane. The first book in the series The Mean Bone in her Body is about a professor who becomes fixated on an assistant’s involvement as a witness to a grisly discovery. A gritty murder mystery with sharply drawn characters, the first book in the series has had readers waiting on the edge of their seats for the sequel–until now!

Hands-on Fun with Chiêu​ Anh Urban @ Old Town Hall
Oct 14 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Interactive children’s book author/illustrator Chiêu​ Anh Urban will delight the whole family in a book launch celebration with storytime, crafts and activities, and color tattoos. Join Chiêu in an inventively visual experience that allows children to mix and match the colors of winter and spring right before their eyes. Discover fun animal idioms in a playful guessing game story.  Titles such as the Color Wonder series, Quiet as a Mouse: And Other Animal Idioms, Away We Go!, and Raindrops are among Urban’s hands-on, novelty works. Her forthcoming title includes 123 Go! Sponsored by the Fairfax Commission on the Arts.

Live Taping of Bestiary Podcast @ Merten Hall, Room 1204
Oct 14 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

In Bestiary, Meg Sipos and Eric Botts take listeners through the strange sciences, circular philosophies, and rabbit-hole ethics of our histories with other animals.​ In this episode, Eric and Meg tell the story of a coyote living in the Erie Cemetery in Erie, Pennsylvania. For seven years, Maxine had lived peacefully, but now with a mate and small litter, she has become more territorial, intimidating visitors who pass through with dogs. If local authorities fail to trap and relocate them, the game commissioner is expected to come in and kill the family. They explore this story through the lens of folktales, myths, legends, and the natural history surrounding the coyote.

Our Political Past @ Merten Hall, Room 1201
Oct 14 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Teens grapple with issues and institutions in these YA books rooted in political history. New York Times best-selling author L.M. Elliott’s novel Suspect Red takes on McCarthyism in America when a 1950’s teen named Richard establishes a controversial friendship after Czechoslovakian neighbors move in down the street. As the nation’s paranoia is at an all-time-high, Richard is torn between proving his patriotism, and continuing a friendship with someone who understands his love of art and literature. Former reporter for the Boston Globe’s famous Spotlight Team, Dick Lehr investigated the case that would later become the basis for his novel Trell about a young African-American man convicted of a murder that he didn’t commit. Set in 1980s Boston, the novel follows an innocent young man’s search for justice.

Poets of Graywolf @ Merten Hall, Room 1203, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Celebrate the poetry published by Graywolf Press, including works of poets Mai Der Vang and Susan Stewart. In Afterland, winner of the 2016 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, Vang recounts the struggles of her Hmong family members, refugees of the exodus from Laos, and the struggle of exile suffered by Hmong people throughout history. The New Yorker says Afterland “is among the most satisfying débuts by an American poet in some time.” In contrast to Vang’s debut, Stewart presents Cinder: New and Selected Poems in celebration of her thirty-five-year career as a distinguished poet, showcasing poems of childhood, consciousness, and the natural world.

The Graphic Novel @ Merten Hall, Room 1202, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Bring the whole family for a celebration of comic books and graphic novels with artists S.L. Gallant, Paulina Ganucheau, Kevin Panetta, Jason Rodriquez, and Ben Towle. Gallant presents his artwork of a familiar hero figure as he is the longest running artist on G.I. Joe: An American Hero. Ganucheau and Panetta co-authored Zodiac Starforce, starring comic high school girls taking on the darkness of the earth. Rodriquez shares his graphic novel, Colonial Comics: New England, 1750-1775, and his revolutionary idea for exciting young adults to learn about the history of colonial New England. And Towle introduces readers to the coastal town of Blood’s Haven, with an ocean full oysters and even oyster pirates in his graphic novel, Oyster War. Sponsored by Canon Solutions America

Picturing Prince: On Photographing the Legend @ Grand Tier III, Center for the Arts
Oct 14 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Picturing Prince by the late icon’s former art director, Steve Parke, reveals stunning intimate photographs of the singer. Many images are exclusively published in the book, or are rare to the public eye.

Are You Sleeping? A Thriller @ Merten Tent
Oct 14 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Join Kathleen Barber as she delves into the electrifying world of her recent thriller. Are You Sleeping takes crime and scandal eerily close to home as a podcast reopens a murder case, and the victim’s daughter is thrust back into the mayhem after laying roots in New York.

Crushes, Computers, and Coming-of-Age @ Merten Hall, Room 1201
Oct 14 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Meet three YA authors as they chat about writing teen characters growing up and finding themselves. Christina June’s It Started with Goodbye is a modern take on the Cinderella story–but with way juicier secrets and a feisty step-abuela “fairy godmother.” Misa Sugiura’s It’s Not Like it’s a Secret explores a queer teen’s coming of age in a way that “realistically celebrates a teen’s discovery of trust in herself and in others.” For fans of retro gaming, Meg Eden’s Post-High School Reality Quest is about a teen girl whose life becomes narrated like a video game–but some things are all too real.

First Page to Last: Crafting the Short Story @ Merten Hall, Room 1202, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Dive into the art of crafting short stories with fiction writers A.G. Harmon, Edie Meidav, and Zach Powers. Harmon’s collection Some Bore Gifts is celebrated for the wide array of compelling characters portrayed in such tight short stories, including tree cutters, junk salesman, and department store pianists. In Kingdom of the Young, Mediav’s characters showcase a sense of survival, featuring child armies, cave-dwelling women in Granada, trauma-scarred veterans, and victims of dictatorships. In Gravity Changes, Powers’ fascinating characters propel stories about Satan’s divorcee, a light bulb’s husband, and gravity-defiant children.

Get Rich with Matthew Klam @ Merten Hall, Room 1204
Oct 14 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Matthew Klam’s Who Is Rich? is a provocative and darkly humorous study in midlife alienation and infidelity set in paradise. Has-been cartoonist Rich leaves family behind to teach a class at an annual conference in a New England beachside town, only to find debauchery and discontent. Who Is Rich? was an Amazon Best Book of July 2017 and has received widespread critical acclaim. The Washington Post calls it, An irresistible comic novel…a brilliant rumination on the trap of cannibalizing one’s life for art.”

Healthy, Homemade Cooking @ Merten Hall, Room 2500
Oct 14 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

JuJu Harris made a name for herself by building a repertoire of recipes for eating well on a tight budget. Join her now for a cooking demonstration on how you can eat good food without breaking the bank. Her newest cookbook is Healthy and Homemade: Eating Well on a Budget.

Pick the Plot with James Riley @ Old Town Hall
Oct 14 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Owen Connors has the ability to jump inside his favorite books. In the fourth installment of James Riley’s New York Times bestselling, middle grade Story Thieves series, Owen finds himself stuck in a Pick Your Own Plot story—and you, the reader—get to decide how his story ends. School Library Journal called the series a “fast-paced, action-packed tale.” Sponsored by the Fairfax Commission on the Arts.

True Stories From Across the Globe @ Merten Hall, Room 1203, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Come hear the work of these nonfiction forces: Sheila Kohler, Rajpreet Heir, and Shawn Wen. Kohler’s memoir Once We Were Sisters grapples with heartbreaking loss and the enduring bonds of sisterhood in her homeland of South Africa. Heir’s essays on race in America have been published in The Atlantic, the New York Times and The Washington Post. Karan Mahajan called her work “dirty, hilarious, and utterly original.” And In a Twenty Minute Silence Followed by Applause, Wen depicts the career of French mime Marcel Marceau, uncovering the unknown about the master of this lost artform.

Fire and Floods: Eco-thriller Fiction @ Merten Tent
Oct 14 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

What happens when the environment fights back? Three authors of this year’s breathtaking eco-thrillers read and discuss their work. Tara Campbell’s novel TreeVolution explores eco-payback and technology’s role in conservation when trees begin making violent assaults on humans. Elizabeth Hand’s collection Fire combines fiction and nonfiction to tell tales of everything from post-apocalyptic terror to time-travel romance. JJ Amaworo Wilson’s novel Damnificados portrays an derelict tower in Venezuela occupied by vagabonds whose thriving, if makeshift community, must face a brutal army and a Biblical flood.

In the Mood for Love @ Merten Hall, Room 1203, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Ada Calhoun, Lindsay Detwiler and Katy Upperman chat about the art of writing about L-O-V-E across genres. In Wedding Toasts I’ll Never Give author Ada Calhoun is revered for her honesty, poignancy, and sense of humor in her memoir about the complexity of marriage. Calhoun is a contributor to the New York Times’ “Modern Love” column. Romance novelist Lindsay Detwiler shares the gripping tale of a married couple, fighting for their lives and their love in the novel Remember When. Katy Upperman continues the discussion with her debut YA novel Kissing Max Holden about a forbidden teenage romance with the boy next door.

Make Your Own Jewelry with Kara Laughlin @ Old Town Hall
Oct 14 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Join author Kara Laughlin for a jewelry-making workshop to help you glam up your wardrobe! Her most recent book Sparkle and Shine!: Trendy Earrings, Necklaces, and Hair Accessories for All Occasions book offer simple, step-by-step instructions for making DIY accessories. Fashionistas of all ages will be inspired to make their own crafty creations to personalize their looks. Sponsored by the Fairfax Commission on the Arts.

The State of Publishing @ Merten Hall, Room 1202, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Want to know more about the publishing world? Join the conversation with LitHub editor Jonny Diamond, The Rumpus editor Lyz Lenz, and writer Anna March. From these three professionals, you can learn more about opportunities to become a published writer and opportunities to tackle a career in the publishing world. Come hear the fascinating first-hand accounts from these professionals working in such a competitive industry.

Tor Teen Panel @ Merten Hall, Room 1201
Oct 14 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Mystery and magic can be found between the pages of these must-reads from Tor Teen. New York Times bestseller AJ Hartley is the author of the Steeplejack series that addresses topical issues of racism, immigration and political corruption, influenced by Apartheid-era South Africa. Cory Doctorow praised Hartley’s series as having “a richly realized world, an intensely likable character, and a mystery to die for.” Hartley’s new book is Firebrand. Sarah Porter is the acclaimed author of Vassa in the Night. Her second novel When I Cast Your Shadow is set in Brooklyn, New York… only filled with nightmarish dreamscapes of the Land of the Dead. Fans of Ransom Riggs will enjoy Porter’s haunting urban fantasy book for teens.

Unhappy in their Own Way: Novels of Family @ Merten Hall, Room 1204
Oct 14 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Lies, secrets, and threats of disintegration haunt three troubled families. Jon Raymond’s Freebird is a novel about death and politics in America today, revealing how the fates of our families are irrevocably tied to the currents of history. Emily Jeanne Miller’s The News From the End of the World spends four days at the Cape with the dysfunctional Lake family–days that might make or break them. Noley Reid’s Pretend We Are Lovely features a very hungry Sobel family. They struggle over food versus nourishment, loss, and the bond of sisterhood.

Genocide, Exile, and the Women Who Conquer Loss @ Merten Hall, Room 1203, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

In Beasts Behave in Foreign Lands, winner of the Letras Latinas/ Red Hen Poetry Prize, Ruth Irupé Sanabria writes devastating poetry on the effects, both psychological and emotional, of genocide and exile on the women in her Argentinian family. This gripping collection of poetry is the result of Sanabria’s opportunity, almost 40 years after the Fifth Army Corps kidnapped, tortured, and imprisoned her family members, to testify as a witness in the trials against this group in Bahia Blanca. After this experience, Sanabria created poems to pay tribute to the matriarchs of her family and their confrontation of such loss almost 40 years ago. Sponsored by Split This Rock.

Live Taping of Overdue Podcast @ Merten Hall, Room 1204
Oct 14 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Overdue is a podcast about the books you’ve been meaning to read. Join Andrew and Craig each week as they tackle a new title from their backlog. Classic literature, obscure plays, goofy murder mysteries: they’ll read it all, one overdue book at a time. During the taping, they will cover the original Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.

Making Artisan Cheesecake with Melanie Underwood @ Merten Hall, Room 2500
Oct 14 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Chef Melanie Underwood dazzles foodies with her inspired collection of sweet and savory cheesecakes for every palate, including the flavors Coffee-Toffee, spiced pumpkin, and roasted tomatoes with parmesan. Join Underwood for a cheesecake-making demonstration and enjoy a sweet treat!  

Psychological Drama @ Merten Tent
Oct 14 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Literary prose drives the psychological suspense in novels by Margot Livesey, Elise Levine, and Fiona Maazel. Livesey’s Mercury takes long-time wedded couple Viv and Donald down an uncontrollable path when a gorgeous, mysterious horse arrives at the stables where Viv works, and an unstoppable obsession enters their lives. Levine’s Blue Field follows mourning, thrill-seeking divers who cope with a recent loss by plunging time and again into the hellish depths that offered the cruel fate they encountered in the first place. Finally, in Maazel’s A Little More Human, a mind-reading superhero is confronted with grim possibilities of his human capabilities when photographs surface that depict him carrying out a violent crime he can’t remember committing.

Say Hello to Author Maria Gianferrari @ Old Town Hall
Oct 14 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Say “Hello!” to Zara and her loyal dog Moose, as well as a real reading dog, Cali from Heeling House! Maria Gianferrari’s Hello Goodbye Dog is a picture book that explores the loyal bond between a therapy dog and his favorite girl who have to say “goodbye” when Zara goes to school. A moving story with a focus on problem solving, Hello Goodbye Dog is sure to delight young readers and dog lovers alike. Gianferrari’s other titles include Penny & Jelly and Coyote Moon, a non-fiction picture book that encourages readers to discover nature in their own backyards.  Sponsored by the Fairfax Commission on the Arts.

Cali, the reading dog.

Stillhouse Reading & Reception @ Merten Hall, Room 1202, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Celebrate the writing published by Stillhouse Press, including works of poet Carmen Gillespie and the memoirist team of Anna Leahy and Douglas Dechow. Gillespie recreates the trials of Sally Hemings and other slaves of Thomas Jefferson’s plantation through lyrical dramatization in her latest collection, The Ghosts of Monticello. Leahy and Dechow celebrate their love for eachother and outer space in their book, Generation Space. This collaboration is described as “part memoir and part homage to the unquenchable thirst of exploration,” with Leahy and Dechow writing alternating chapters. They will be joined by the guest judge of Stillhouse’s poetry contest, Kyle Dargan.

Teens with a Touch of Magic @ Merten Hall, Room 1201
Oct 14 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

What’s a girl to do in a world full of magic? Save the day, of course! In S Jae-Jones’ debut novel Wintersong, nineteen-year-old Liesl makes a deal with the Goblin King, and puts the love of her life–her music–on the line. Set in a magical freak show, Amanda Foody’s Daughter of the Burning City is tantalizingly dark and mysterious. Bestselling author Tamora Pierce praises the novel as having “a world like no other and heroism of the weirdest kind.” Dreams come to life in Kerry Reed’s Dreamscape turn reality into an epic quest to wake up out of a nightmare.

Kids Comic Book Workshop @ Old Town Hall
Oct 14 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Join Jason Rodriquez, comic book editor and author of Colonial Comics: New England, 1750-1775, and artist Liz Laribee for a comic drawing workshop. This workshop will teach kids to create their own comics when they have a story to tell.  Sponsored by the Fairfax Commission on the Arts.

Fantasy and Magicians with Lev Grossman @ Harris Theater, George Mason University
Oct 14 @ 5:00 pm – 6:15 pm

Lev Grossman’s #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.” Quentin Coldwater is a brilliant but miserable high school math genius who is admitted to an elite, secret school for magic. His newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind a beloved children’s story. Entertainment Weekly calls the show an “American pop-aware enterprise with an abundance of salty cynicism and sex magic, plus a sinister force of antagonism.” Sponsored by the Fairfax County Public Library.

This event is free and does not require tickets.