The Fall for the Book Festival — based at George Mason University and taking place Sept. 21-26 throughout Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland — has just announced the recipients of the two major award it gives out each year.
Novelist E.L. Doctorow captures the top honor in 2009: the Fairfax Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts. His last novel, The March, won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and his new novel, Homer & Langley, will be published on the eve of the festival. He’ll read from that and accept the prize on Thursday evening, September 24, at Mason’s Fairfax, VA, campus.
Earlier in the week, Fall for the Book presents the Mason Award to novelist, poet, and filmmaker Sherman Alexie. The award honors a writer whose work has helped to bring great literature to a wide reading public. Alexie accepts his award on Tuesday evening, September 22, at Mason’s Fairfax campus.
And Fall for the Book has recently earned mention in the staff picks section of Washington City Paper‘s annual Best of D.C. issue. The festival ranked number 2 as best book festival (behind the behemoth that is the National Book Festival), but Mark Athitakis devoted most of the write-up to Fall for the Book’s accomplishments and initiatives. (Watch out, first place; here we come!)