Tayari Jones, John Lewis, Elizabeth Strout, Elizabeth Kostova, and Angie Thomas to Headline 20th Anniversary Fall for the Book Festival


Tayari Jones, John Lewis, Elizabeth Strout, Elizabeth Kostova, and Angie Thomas to Headline 20th Anniversary Fall for the Book Festival                                              

Fairfax, Virginia- May 2, 2018: Fall for the Book will turn 20 years old in style with a star-studded lineup of headliners including novelists Tayari Jones, Elizabeth Kostova, and Elizabeth Strout; YA author Angie Thomas; and Congressman John Lewis. Other major writers will include Paul Hawken, Tom McAllister, Leslie Pietrzyk, Khaled Beydoun, and Katharine Weber. The festival, which runs from October 10-13, 2018 will welcome a robust list of poets, historians, novelists, memoirists, children’s authors, YA writers and more at George Mason University and locations around Northern Virginia. Saturday, October 13, Fall for the Book is partnering with the City of Fairfax’s Fall Festival to bring a day of literary and artistic events to audiences from throughout the region. In honor of the 20th anniversary, Fall for the Book is proud to also host the inaugural award ceremony for its new post-publication book prize for immigrant writers: The Institute for Immigration Research New American Voices Award, judged by Helon Habila, Madeleine Thien, and Maaza Mengiste. The three finalists, who will appear at the festival, will be announced this summer. All festival events are free and open to the public.

Tayari Jones will headline the first night of the festival on Wednesday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m. in Harris Theatre on George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus. Jones is the author of the novels Leaving Atlanta, The Untelling, and Silver Sparrow. Her newest novel An American Marriage is a 2018 Oprah’s Book Club Selection. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, Jones has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. This event is sponsored by the Fairfax Library Foundation.

Congressman John Lewis will speak at the capstone event for this year’s Mason Reads program on Thursday, October 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall in the Center for the Arts on Mason’s Fairfax campus. As part of the Mason Reads program, his graphic memoir March: Book One will be given to all incoming freshman. Students will participate in programming throughout the semester as well as attend his reading. Congressman Lewis will be joined by his co-writer Andrew Aydin. March is a #1 New York Times Bestselling series of graphic novels, which have won honors from the Robert F. Kennedy Book Awards and the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, among many others. His newest graphic memoir Run will be published in August. John Lewis is the U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th district and an American icon known for his role in the Civil Rights Movement. Sponsored by George Mason’s University Libraries and Office of Orientation.

Elizabeth Strout will speak on Friday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Harris Theater. Strout is the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Olive Kitteridge; the #1 New York Times bestseller My Name Is Lucy Barton; The Burgess Boys, a New York Times bestseller; Abide with Me, a national bestseller and Book Sense pick; and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. Her most recent novel is the instant New York Times bestseller Anything is Possible. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, includingThe New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine. Elizabeth Strout lives in New York City and speaks at literary series, libraries, and colleges and universities across the country. Sponsored by the Friends of the George Mason Regional Library.

Elizabeth Kostova will be in conversation with critic Bethanne Patrick on Saturday, October 13 at 3 p.m. in Harris Theater. Kostova is the author of three novels: The Historian, The Swan Thieves, and most recently The Shadow Land. The Historian was the first debut novel in U.S. publishing history to debut at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, has been translated into 40 languages, and won Quill and Independent Bookseller Awards. The Swan Thieves was also a New York Times Bestseller and has been translated into 28 languages. Her short fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in such periodicals and anthologies as The Mississippi Review, Poets & Writers Magazine, The Best American Poetry, The Michigan Quarterly, and Another Chicago Magazine.

Angie Thomas will close out the festival on Saturday, October 13 at 5 p.m. in Harris Theater by discussing her #1 New York Times bestselling young adult novel The Hate U Give with Bethanne Patrick. Widely known as the Black Lives Matter-inspired YA novel, The New York Times has called The Hate U Give “a stunning, brilliant, gut-wrenching novel that will be remembered as a classic of our time.” For its “pointed examinations of gun violence, racial profiling, and political activism,” Entertainment Weekly says it is “the best—and most important—book you’ll read this year. The book has already been adapted as a major feature film. This event is sponsored by the Fairfax County Public Library.


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.

Suzy Rigdon, Festival Manager

suzy@fallforthebook.org | 703-993-4039

4400 University Drive, MS 3E4