Each year, the annual Fall for the Book festival sees a bump in attendance. Most years, in fact, the increase is by a thousand or more. But for Art Taylor, marketing director for the event, this year has some new excitement.

“While quality is the hallmark of all of our author participants … we’re also excited when authors that we’re proud of and enthusiastic about also capture a wide public enthusiasm as well.”

For the past decade, Fall for the Book, organized by the City of Fairfax and George Mason University, has worked to bring well-known authors and up-and-comers to the area to give festival attendees an inside look at the writing and publishing process.

In addition to nationally-recognized authors, Fall for the Book gives Mason professors a chance to publicize their own work.

“Events will feature Mason professors showcasing their own works and alumni talking about their experiences,” said Taylor. “Lee Thomas, a Mason alum who’s now an Emmy Award-winning TV reporter in New York, [appeared] on Sunday, and several [alumni] of Mason’s MFA program in creative writing will read from their recent works on Thursday afternoon.”

But ultimately, the festival aims to work with the university to bring literature to its campus.

“While the festival has broadened its geographic scope in recent years … Mason remains our base,” said Taylor, “and our commitment to serving the student population remains paramount to our mission.”


Known as an expert in noir fiction, Edgar Award-winning author Megan Abbott will be visiting Mason.

In addition to being published in several noir anthologies and collections, Abbott was the editor of A Hell of a Woman: An Anthology of Female Noir, a compilation of mystery and crime stories which was nominated for an Edgar award. In 2006 Abbot won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for her novel Queenpin.

Abbott will be visiting Research I on Thursday to discuss her four noir novels, including her latest, Bury Me Deep.


Ann Patchett, this year’s Fairfax Prize award winner, is no stranger to accolades. Her first novel, 1992’s The Patron Saint of Liars, was named a New York Times notable book.

As her works continued to evolve, Patchett earned several more literary honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship.

In addition to her extensive list of writings, Patchett has contributed to such prestigious magazines as The New York Times, The Atlantic and The Washington Post. She has also received praise for her short story work. In 2006 she was editor for The Best American Short Stories.

Before her acceptance of the Fairfax Awards, student and professional actors will be performing a stage production of selected scenes from her novels today from 7:30-9 p.m. in Harris Theater.


Greg Mortenson is as highly decorated for his writing as he is for his humanitarian efforts. His book Three Cups of Tea : One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time was number one on The New York Times bestseller list.

He was also awarded the Star of Pakistan, or Sitara-e-Pakistan, for his efforts to promote literacy and education in the Middle Eastern country.

Mortenson works to promote education among children, especially young girls. While this work has gained him acclaim in Pakistan, he has also endured threats from Americans following 9/11 and investigations by the CIA. Mortenson will be speaking on Friday at the Concert Hall of Mason’s Center for the Arts.