In Pursuit of Truth


An Evening with the National Book Awards

African American Heritage  •  Books & Literature

On March 24, 2018, during the twenty-fourth annual Virginia Festival of the Book, 2017 National Book Awards finalists Erica Armstrong Dunbar (Never Caught) and David Grann (Killers of the Flower Moon) joined 2017 National Book Awards longlisted author Kevin Young (Bunk) in a discussion of the stories and facts their books brought to light, the hidden impacts of racism and social inequality in America that their work speaks to, and ultimately, the pursuit of truth in their award-winning nonfiction. The discussion was moderated by National Book Foundation executive director Lisa Lucas.

The mission of the National Book Foundation and the National Book Awards is to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of great writing in America. More than sixty years since its creation, the National Book Awards continues to recognize the best of American literature, raise the cultural appreciation of great writing, promote the enduring value of reading, and advance the careers of established and emerging writers. To learn more, visit NationalBook.org.

This program was sponsored by UVA Arts through a Faculty Research Grant for the Arts and hosted by the National Book Foundation, Encyclopedia Virginia, and the Virginia Indian Program at Virginia Humanities

Listen to the audio recording of this program via Soundcloud:

In Pursuit of Truth

Plus these 2018 Festival audio recordings you might enjoy:

Life’s Essential Questions: A Conversation with Jim Ryan

Jim Ryan’s (Wait, What?) seemingly simple but life-changing questions offered paths to thoughtful deliberations for readers of all ages.

China’s Rise: International Relations

Howard French (Everything Under the Heavens) discussed U.S.-China relations, sorting through contexts of history, strategy, and current events.

The Gilded Age: Exploring the Arts, Architecture, and Social Activism

Denise Kiernan (The Last Castle), Donna Lucey (Sargent’s Women), and Johanna Neumann (Gilded Suffragists) shared their highly-regarded works on the fine arts (John Singer Sargent’s portraits), architecture (the Biltmore estate in Asheville, NC), and the women’s suffragist movement (seen through the involvement of women in New York’s social class) during the Gilded Age.

Pop-Up Book Club

The Virginia Festival of the Book staff launched a Pop-Up Book Club to feature selected 2018 Festival titles for book club discussions. The 2018 list included Long Way Down, a young adult bestseller by Jason Reynolds, histories (by David Grann and Nancy MacLean, among others), a memoir by J. Drew Lanham, and both literary and genre fiction. Each of these captivating books raises discussible topics and, with a keen awareness of the demands on one’s time, accomplishes that in a manageable length. Feel free to explore the 2018 list of books, and book discussion guides for all of the books are linked to the authors’ pages on VaBook.org

If you are interested in learning more about the Festival, or exploring a Pop-Up Book Club for the 2019 Virginia Festival of the Book, please contact Maggie Guggenheimer at [email protected].

Special Thanks

We appreciate the support of all of the Festival sponsors and donors and, particularly, the sponsorship of this program by UVA Arts through a Faculty Research Grant for the Arts.

The 2019 Virginia Festival of the Book

The 25th anniversary Virginia Festival of the Book will take place March 20-24 in Charlottesville and Albemarle County, Virginia. Headlining speakers for select programs in the 2019 Festival will be announced on Wednesday, September 26, 2019, at which point more details will be available at VaBook.org. Tickets for those programs will be made available for sale on Thursday, September 27.

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