March 12-25, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 5
Back Issues
Barcelona: A laboratory for learning
Lindners create endowment for art history program
Kaleidoscope opens with community celebration
Headlines @ U.Va.
Free clinic grows beyond founders’ vision
Simulators to replace use of dogs
Cooking up a winner
Robert Marquez: Engineering environmental solutions with low-tech designs
Engineers Without Borders — U.Va. engineering students share their expertise
U.Va. maps out
Ten-year milestone gives book festival celebratory theme
Storyteller, healer Martin Prechtel to visit U.Va.
Environmental writers Lopez, Philippon to speak
Book art meets ‘Literary Art’
A pillar of Carr’s Hill, housekeeper Barbara Jett retires
Ten-year milestone gives book festival celebratory theme
Opening events to commemorate 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education

By Anne Bromley

When it comes to books, you can have your cake and eat it, too, at this year’s Virginia Festival of the Book March 24-28. The festival will celebrate its 10th year with 10 cakes from local bakeries at
its opening event, set for Wednesday at noon in the Jefferson-Madison Central Library on East Market Street.

The 50th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education desegregation decision also will be commemorated at the opening event with remarks from John Stokes, a student who led protests in 1951 against segregation in Prince Edward County schools. Several other festival events will be devoted to examining the legacy of the Brown decision.

Although luncheons with authors Clyde Edgerton and David Baldacci sold out quickly, the public is invited to feast on five days’ worth of mostly free literary events, including a broad array of readings, panel discussions and literacy programs. There will even be another chance to catch Edgerton at either his book-signing (March 25, 2 p.m., New Dominion Bookshop) or the Fellowship of Southern Writers gathering the same evening, where he’ll sing in a writers’ band before reading.

Another event features Garrison Keillor, host of the public radio show, “Prairie Home Companion,” whose most recent novel is “Love Me.” Keillor will speak March 24 at 8 p.m. in the Charlottesville Performing Arts Center. One thousand tickets will be issued on a first-come, first-served basis that day beginning at 6 p.m.

Tickets will also be required for Michael Ondaatje’s talk in Newcomb Hall Ballroom March 27 at 4 p.m. and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon’s reading at 8 p.m. in the same venue on Saturday. Ondaatje — author of “The English Patient,” which was made into a popular movie — will be talking about his novel, “Anil’s Ghost,” with forensic anthropologist Victoria Sanford, who was the model for the book’s protagonist.

Chabon won a Pulitzer Prize for his 2001 novel, “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.” He also wrote “Wonder Boys,” which was made into a movie, and the scripts for two “Spiderman” movies. Chabon and Virginia Quarterly Review editor Ted Genoways will talk about the author’s work after the reading.

Other fiction writers include Alexander McCall Smith, author of the best-selling “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” and other novels about southern Africa; U.Va. alumnus Edward P. Jones, twice nominated for the National Book Award, who will read from “The Known World” at two events on March 26; and Cuban author Antonio Benitez-Rojo, who will read his work in Spanish, followed by English translation.

At a special March 25 event, U.Va. professor emeritus George Garrett, Virginia’s poet laureate, will convene the Fellowship of Southern Writers to present a series of readings in honor of acclaimed poet Eleanor Ross Taylor.

A Charlottesville resident, Taylor has published five books of poetry, most recently “Late Leisure.” Among her awards are the Library of Virginia’s Poetry Prize and the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry. Starting at 7 p.m. that night in the Albemarle County Office Building, several poets, including U.Va. English professor Charles Wright, and several authors, including Kaye Gibbons, will read from their work. In a new plot twist, Edgerton, with writers Richard Bausch and Madison Smartt Bell will entertain listeners between readings as a musical trio.

A variety of genres, including poetry, children’s literature and all kinds of nonfiction, will again be presented, as will subjects both behind the page (publishing) and coming to the page (literacy). Poetry readings vary from open-mike slams and readings accompanied by jazz, to several events featuring alumni of U.Va.’s creative writing program, to a reading of John Wayne’s poetry as told to Laurance Wieder. In addition to reading her poetry, U.Va. poet and lecturer Debra
Nystrom, who hails from Nebraska, will participate in a panel discussion on the literary West with poet Joy Harjo, Judy Blunt and Dan O’Brien.


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