Introducing the 2019 Fall for the Book Headliners

Introducing the 2019 Fall for the Book Headliners

Fall for the Book, October 10-12, 2019

This year Fall for the Book will welcome an esteemed lineup of poets, historians, novelists, memoirists, children’s authors, YA writers and more at George Mason University and locations around Northern Virginia. Headliners include essayist and novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, novelist and YA author Rainbow Rowell, novelist Delia Owens, and true crime writer, David Grann. Other featured writers are David Wallace-Wells presenting the Beck Environmental Lecture, Governor Terry McAuliffe, Senator Janet Howell, novelist R.O. Kwon, true crime writer Sarah Weinman, and poets, Cole Swensen, Yona Harvey, Amaud Jamaul Johnson and Brian Teare. Fall for the Book festival, which runs from October 10-12, 2019, is partnering with the City of Fairfax’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 12 to bring a day of literary and artistic events to audiences of all ages. Literary Death Match, a fun, fast-paced literary game show will close the festival on Saturday evening. Fall for the Book is also proud to host the second annual award ceremony for its post-publication book prize for immigrant writers: The Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award, judged by Reyna Grande, Alia Malek, and E.C. Osondu. The three finalists, who will appear at the festival, will be announced this summer.


Meet the Headliners

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will headline on Friday, October 11, at 12:30 p.m. at George Mason University Center for the Arts – Concert Hall. At this capstone event Adichie will discuss her book-long essay, We Should All be Feminists, offering a unique definition of feminism, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, she explores what it means to be a woman now. Her 2012 TEDx Euston talk of the same title started a worldwide conversation about feminism. Chosen as this year’s MasonReads book, We Should All be Feminists was given to all incoming freshman. Adichie will be in conversation with Dr. Anne Holton, Mason’s interim president, as part of the Freedom and Learning Forums. These forums allow for the campus community to engage in an interactive dialogue series with the University President and extraordinary thought leaders from around the world.

Adichie’s first novel, Purple Hibiscus (2003), won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), won the Orange Prize. Her 2013 novel Americanah won the US National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books of 2013. Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017. She was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2015. In 2017, Fortune Magazine named her one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. She is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Sponsored by the Office of Orientation, University Libraries, and African and African American Studies.



Rainbow Rowell will headline Friday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sherwood Center, 3740 Old Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA Sponsored by the Fairfax County Public Library.


Rainbow Rowell lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and two sons. She’s the author of Wayward Son, Carry On, Landline, Fangirl, Eleanor & Park, and Attachments.

Delia Owens will speak Saturday, October 12, at 3:30 p.m. in Harris Theatre on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus. Owens is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of her debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing. She is also the coauthor of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa, including Cry of the Kalahari and Secrets of the Savanna. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of California in Davis. Delia has won the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, the African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. Sponsored by the Fairfax Library Foundation.



David Grann will headlineSaturday, October 12, 5 p.m in Harris Theater on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus. New Yorker writer and bestselling true crime writer, Grann doesn’t just produce captivating stories—he lives them. Whether crossing the ocean on a skiff or trekking for months through the Amazon, he immerses himself in his reporting to give his stories a pace and intensity unlike any other. In his talks, Grann explores his creative process – from what initially inspires him to investigate a story to his painstaking research and then links the (often) forgotten histories to their relevance to today. Grann’s latest book, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,  is a true crime tale that unravels one of the most sinister crimes and racial injustices in American history. With more than 30 weeks on The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list, it was a finalist for the National Book Award and ranked #1 on both Shelf Awareness and Amazon’s Single Best Books of the Year. The PBS NewsHour-New York Times Book club, ‘Now Read This,’ selected Killers of the Flower Moon for their February 2018 read. Following a highly publicized bidding war for the film rights, Killers of the Flower Moon is now in production with Martin Scorcese as director and starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Sponsored by the George Mason Friends.




Fall for the Book is Northern Virginia’s oldest and largest festival of literature and arts. All events are free and open to the public thanks to the generous support of sponsors including the Fairfax County Public Library, George Mason University, the Fairfax Library Foundation, and the City of Fairfax. For more information, visit fallforthebook.org, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.