Monday, October 7, 2013

Authors converge in Charlotte for a festival and feast

In my humble opinion, October in Charlotte hasn't been quite the same since the 2010 demise of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg library's excellent Novello Festival of Reading. But here's the good news: Some dedicated book lovers are helping fill the Novello vacuum with two literary events this month.

The first, on Saturday, Oct. 12, is the Center City Literary Festival, sponsored by UNC Charlotte and UNC Charlotte Center City. The free festival includes a carnival-like afternoon program for children from noon- 3:30 p.m. and an evening program for adults from 6:30-9:30 p.m. All events take place at UNCC Center City, 320 E. Ninth St.

The children's program will feature a giant Scrabble board and a 30-foot blue heron puppet, among other things. Participating writers include Janaka Lewis ("Brown All Over"), Andrew Hartley ("Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact"), children's playwright Elizabeth Murray and Gail Haley, the only picture book author from North Carolina to win a Caldecott Medal. She'll read from "The Green Man."

The evening program includes three UNCC professors who are also authors: Aimee Parkison ("The Innocent Party"), Karen Cox ("Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture") and Andrew Hartley ("Macbeth, a Novel", co-authored with David Hewson.)

On Monday, Oct. 14, a slew of authors converge for food, drink and book talk at the Charlotte Chapter of the Women's National Book Association's annual Bibliofeast. The event begins with a cash bar at 6 p.m. at Maggiano's Little Italy at SouthPark, 4400 Sharon Road. Then there's dinner, followed by what the WNBA calls "a moveable feast" of nine authors who discuss their books with diners at each table. Tickets are $45 for WNBA members and $55 for nonmembers.

This year's author lineup includes Wilton Barnhardt ("Lookaway, Lookaway"), Diane Chamberlain ("Necessary Lies"), Nora Gaskin ("Time of Death" and "Until Proven"), Susan Gregg Gilmore ("The Funeral Dress"), Tommy Hays ("What I Came to Tell You"), Cassandra King ("Moonrise"), Rebecca Lee ("Bobcat and Other Stories"), Jamie Mason ("Three Graves Full") and John Milliken Thompson ("Love and Lament").