The University of Albany has announced an Albany Book Festival has been set for Friday, September 28th, which will kick off with an installation ceremony for new State Author Colson Whitehead and new State Poet Alicia Ostriker at 7:30 pm. The daylong Book Festival program includes events with featured writers Doris Kearns Goodwin, Gregory Maguire, Walter Mosley, and Jonathan Santlofer.
Noted writers of history include Pulitzer Prize-winners Gilbert King, Annette Gordon-Reed, and William Kennedy, along with Mark Kurlansky (Milk! And Salt) and Michael W. Twitty (The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South).
Other attending authors include: major bestselling mystery authors Laura Lippman, Joseph Finder and Linda Fairstein; Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who spoke at the Democratic Convention in 2016; Abdi Nor Iftin, the Somali refugee who wrote Call Me American; Irish comedian and author Maeve Higgins; and Francis Lam, host of “The Splendid Table.”
Writers Institute founder William Kennedy will sign a new collection of his writing published by SUNY Press, titled Bootlegger of the Soul: The Literary Legacy of William Kennedy.
There will be also be a Children’s Literature Room with hands-on activities, a space for Young Adult fiction, workshops on the craft of writing for aspiring authors, book sales by local booksellers, and book signings by dozens of Capital Region authors.
Featured authors/events at the Albany Book Festival include:
One of America’s best-known historians, Doris Kearns Goodwin earned the Lincoln Prize for the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals, the basis for Steven Spielberg’s Academy Award-winning film “Lincoln.” Her new book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, will be published in September.
Gregory Maguire, UAlbany alumnus, Albany native, and author of the best-selling Wicked series, the inspiration behind the blockbuster Broadway musical Wicked.
William Kennedy, founder of the NYS Writers Institute, will be on hand on Saturday to sign copies of the newly published Bootlegger of the Soul: The Literary Legacy of William Kennedy, a retrospective collection of his long and distinguished career which will includes speeches, a play and a short story by Kennedy, as well as in-depth interviews, reviews and scholarly essays on his work. You can read more about the book here.
Walter Mosley, best known for his mysteries featuring the character Easy Rawlins, has also written a handful of penetrating literary novels that wrestle with questions political and philosophical. His latest book, John Woman, is a convention-defying novel of ideas about the sexual and intellectual coming-of-age of an unusual man who goes by the name Woman.
Jonathan Santlofer, author of five novels including The Death Artist and Anatomy of Fear, editor of the collection It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art. His memoir, The Widower’s Notebook, was published in July. UAlbany Distinguished Teaching Professor Jeffrey Berman will join the discussion.
More information can be found on the Albany Book Festival website.