Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Novello Festival of Reading? Not this year

Charlotte won't have a Novello Festival of Reading this fall.

That won't come as a huge surprise to anyone who's followed the Charlotte-Meckenburg Library's budget cuts in the past couple of years. Still, for book lovers who looked forward to Novello events each October, it's sad news.

Launched in 1991, the library-sponsored reading festival presented talks by dozens of great authors, including, in recent years, Khaled Hosseini ("The Kite Runner"), Christopher Buckley ("Losing Mum and Pup") and Scott Turow ("Presumed Innocent").

After budget cuts decimated the library's 2010 budget, a group of volunteers, led by UNC Charlotte's Mark West, kept the spirit of Novello alive last year with "A Tribute to Novello," featuring local authors who appeared free of charge.

This year, we'll have neither Novello nor the tribute to it. "I don't want to say it's dead, it's never going to come back," says Karen Beach, the library's community engagement director. But she doesn't know what the future holds.

UNCC's West, however, is organizing an alternative --the Uptown Fall Authors Series, which will feature authors speaking at several uptown Charlotte venues.

And if you've got your heart set on a literary festival, check out the Bookmarks Festival of Books in Winston-Salem on Sept. 10. Authors attending include Tom Perrotta ("Election"), Margaret Maron ("Bootlegger's Daughter") and Lisa See ("Snow Flower and the Secret Fan").

Also, Charlotte-area colleges and other institutions will present a number of authors, including Wes Moore ("The Other Wes Moore") at Lenoir-Rhyne University, poet Elizabeth Alexander at UNC Charlotte and Isabel Wilkerson ("The Warmth of Other Suns") at Spirit Square.

For a full listing, check out the Observer's Arts Season Preview, to be published Aug. 28.


Anonymous said...

This is truly sad... BRING NOVELLO BACK!!!