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2019 Virginia Festival of the Book at The Paramount Theater

Virginia Festival of the BookThe Virginia Festival of the Book returns to The Paramount Theater on Wednesday, March 20 at 8:00PM with their program An Evening with Festival All-Stars – Lee Smith, Adriana Trigiani, and Douglas Brinkley. 

Then, on Thursday, March 21 at 8:00PM they will present their program All of Our Rights – America’s Legacy of Inequality. Lastly, on Saturday, March 23 at 8:00PM they will present the program Future Tense – Writers You’ll be Reading for the Next 25 Years.

Tickets for these events are on sale now and can be purchased online at, by phone at 434-979-1333, or in person at The Paramount Theater’s Box Office Monday – Friday from 10AM- 2PM at 215 East Main Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902.

About the Speakers

Douglas Brinkley, author of American Moonshot, is a professor of history at Rice University, the CNN Presidential Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Audubon. Seven of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Cronkite won the Sperber Prize for Best Book in Journalism, and The Great Deluge won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

Michael Eric Dyson, author of What Truth Sounds Like, is a university professor of sociology at Georgetown University, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and a contributing editor of The New Republic and ESPN’s The Undefeated. Ebony named him one of the 100 most influential African Americans and one of the 150 most powerful blacks in the nation.

Mitchell S. Jackson, author of Survival Math, won a Whiting Award and the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence for his debut novel, The Residue Years. His honors also include fellowships from TED, the Lannan Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.

Martha S. Jones, author of Birthright Citizens, is the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor and Professor of History at Johns Hopkins University. She was formerly a Presidential Bicentennial Professor at the University of Michigan, and was a founding director of the Michigan Law School Program in Race, Law and History.

José Olivarez, 
author of Citizen Illegal, is the son of Mexican immigrants and a poet. His work has been featured in The New York TimesThe Paris ReviewChicago Magazine, and elsewhere. In 2018, he was awarded the first annual Author and Artist in Justice Award from the Phillips Brooks House Association and named a Debut Poet of 2018 by Poets & Writers.

Sarah Smarsh, author of Heartland, is an educator, speaker, and journalist who focuses on socioeconomic class and rural America. Her book was a 2018 National Book Award finalist and examines historic economic inequality through the story of her upbringing among the working poor on a Kansas farm.

Lee Smith, author of Dimestore, was born in the small coal-mining town of Grundy, Va., and began writing stories at the age of nine. She has written seventeen works of fiction and received many
awards, including the North Carolina Award for Literature, an Academy Award in Fiction, and the Southern Book Critics Circle Award.

Adriana Trigiani, author of Tony’s Wife, is a playwright, television writer/producer, and filmmaker. She is the author of seventeen books and directed the film version of her novel, Big Stone Gap, which was shot entirely on location in her Virginia hometown. Trigiani is co-founder of the Origin Project, an in-school writing program that serves more than one thousand students in Appalachia