NBCC at the Fall for the Book Festival September 22

By Mark Athitakis

On September 22, NBCC board member Marcela Valdes will lead a discussion on the popularity and significance of autobiography at George Mason University's Fall for the Book festival. Three authors (including one NBCC award winner) will attend; they are:

Peter Manseau is the author the memoir Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son; the novel Songs for the Butcher’s Daughter; and most recently Rag and Bone: A Journey Among the World’s Holy Dead. He has won the National Jewish Book Award, the Sophie Brody Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Jewish Literature, and the Ribalow Prize for Fiction, and he was shortlisted for the Mercantile Library First Novel Award. He is also a founding editor of and coauthor of Killing the Buddha: A Heretic’s Bible.

E. Ethelbert Miller is the author of several collections of poems; his most recent, How We Sleep On The Nights We Don’t Make Love, was an Independent Publisher Award Finalist. His memoir Fathering Words: The Making of An African American Writer was selected by DC WE READ for its one book, one city program sponsored by the D.C. Public Libraries, and in his most recent memoir, The 5th Inning, Miller returns to “baseball, the game of his youth, in order to find the metaphor that will provide the measurement of his life.”

Ariel Sabar’s debut book, My Father’s Paradise: A Son’s Search for his Family’s Past, won the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. His second book, Heart of the City, was published this year. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Washington Monthly, and other publications.

Panel moderator Marcela Valdes is the books editor of The Washington Examiner and a contributing editor for Publishers Weekly. She writes for The Nation, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Los Angeles Times, The Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, and Bookforum, among other publications. She was a founder of Críticas, the English-language magazine devoted to Spanish-language books.  She is now serving her second term on the Board of Directors of the National Book Critics Circle.

The NBCC panel discussion takes place on Thursday, September 22, at 6 p.m. in Student Union Building II, Rooms 3, 4 and 5.