Turning the Page

The 24th annual Virginia Festival of the Book.

Former NFL wide receiver and NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, author of Chasing Space, kicks off the five-day Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville March 21. 

The Lynchburg native, who flew two space shuttle missions, is among more than 400 speaking during this, the 24th anniversary of the event that features more than 250 mostly free programs. 

The lineup includes a talk with UVA president-elect James E. Ryan, author of Wait, What? And Life’s Other Essential Questions. Other leading literary lights on the schedule include NAACP Image Award winner Jason Reynolds, author of the New York Times bestseller Long Way Down and food historian and author of The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South Michael Twitty.

The festival closes March 25 with “Writing the American Story: Diverse Voices in Distinguished Books,” a conversation with 2017 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award recipients Peter Ho Davies (The Fortunes), Tyehimba Jess (Olio), and Margot Lee Shetterly (Hidden Figures). VaBook.org 


This article originally appeared in our April 2018 issue.

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