Get an early look at this year’s Fall for the Book au­thor lineup

The Washington Post Sunday - - BOOK WORLD - BOOK WORLD BY RON CHARLES book­world@wash­post.com

Even be­fore the win­ter clothes are packed away, here comes a sneak peek at one of Wash­ing­ton’s great fall book fes­ti­vals.

Now in its 19th year, Fall for the Book, based at Ge­orge Ma­son Uni­ver­sity, re­cently an­nounced that Col­son White­head will open the fes­tiv­i­ties on Oct. 11. White­head’s most re­cent novel, “The Un­der­ground Rail­road,” won a 2016 Na­tional Book Award and has been high on The Wash­ing­ton Post best­seller list since it was pub­lished in Au­gust.

An­other high­light at Fall for the Book will be a read­ing by Lev Gross­man on Oct. 14. His “Ma­gi­cians” tril­ogy, which be­gan in 2009, is the ba­sis for a Syfy TV se­ries now in its sec­ond sea­son. (The show’s sexy mix of ad­ven­ture and hu­mor has got me com­pletely un­der its spell.) Gross­man, who re­cently stepped down as Time mag­a­zine’s book critic, will reis­sue his first novel, “Warp,” in Septem­ber — 20 years after it was orig­i­nally pub­lished.

Each year, all the in­com­ing fresh­man at Ge­orge Ma­son Uni­ver­sity are given a copy of the same book by an au­thor at­tend­ing Fall for the Book. This year, it will be Jen­nine Capó Crucet’s “Make Your Home Among Strangers” (2015), her cel­e­brated de­but novel about a young wo­man try­ing to bridge two cul­tures. Crucet will speak at the fes­ti­val on Oct. 12. A pro­fes­sor of English and eth­nic stud­ies at the Uni­ver­sity of Ne­braska, Crucet was raised in Mi­ami by Cuban par­ents. The ti­tle story of her 2009 col­lec­tion, “How to Leave Hialeah,” won an O. Henry Prize.

Nonfiction writer David Shields and poet Ellen Bryant Voigt will also be ap­pear­ing at the fes­ti­val, along with more than 100 other his­to­ri­ans, nov­el­ists, mem­oirists, po­ets and chil­dren’s au­thors who will be an­nounced later this year.

Fall for the Book, which in­cludes work­shops, panel dis­cus­sions and awards pre­sen­ta­tions, will take place at Ge­orge Ma­son Uni­ver­sity and lo­ca­tions around North­ern Vir­ginia from Oct. 11 to 14. All the events are free and open to the pub­lic. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to fall­forthe book.org.

MADELINE WHITE­HEAD

Col­son White­head, au­thor of “The Un­der­ground Rail­road,” will open the fes­tiv­i­ties.

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