festival to cover many genres
Book lovers of all ages can take a break
from the solitary act of reading and writing to get together and
discuss their passion for the written word, whether it's listening
to a suspence writer or a traditional storyteller, at the sixth
annual Virginia Festival of the
Book, VABook!, to be held March 22 through 26 in Charlottesville.
Over its five-year history, attendance at this four-day event
has grown, with more than 13,000 people attending VABook! 99.
Audience members go to readings, book signings, informal conversations,
panel discussions and workshops -- in all, more than 200 events,
free and open to the public, designed for those who love to read.
During the festival, an entire day is dedicated to family literacy.
Last year's Motheread and Fatheread program drew over 800 parents
and children for book-related activities. Produced by the Virginia
Foundation for the Humanities, the festival features authors and
publishing professionals in programs for adults and children.
Cokie and Steve Roberts will be the guest speakers at the Friday
luncheon. The couple recently published From This Day Forward,
a non-fiction book about the institution of marriage, including
their own successful 33-year union. Cokie covers politics, Congress
and public policy for ABCNews and also serves as a news analyst
for National Public Radio. She and her husband write a weekly
column syndicated by United Media and appearing in major newspapers
around the country. Steve currently writes for the New York Daily
News and regularly appears on CNN and PBS.
Held at the Omni, the benefit luncheon costs $30 and tickets must
be reserved in advance. The 2000 festival will also feature U.Va.
poets and writers Rita Dove, Charles Wright and John Casey, as
well as National Book Critics Circle Award winner Reynolds Price,
poets Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez and Henry Taylor, and best-selling
authors David Baldacci, a Law School alumnus, and Connie Briscoe.
Non-fiction writers include medical author Abraham Verghese, psychiatrist
Kay Redfield Jamison and philosopher Martha Nussbaum.
Highlighting the children's and family literacy programs are Caldecott-winning
author and illustrator David Wisniewski, Newbery Honor winner
Sharon Bell Mathis and storyteller Dylan Pritchett.
In addition the festival's publishing program will include Carol
Brown Janeway, editor-in-chief of Knopf; Edwin Barber, vice president
of W.W. Norton, and Diane Zoi of amazon.com. For information,
call 924-6890 or visit the web site at www.vabook.org.