Iowa City Book Festival Lineup

The eighth Iowa City Book Festival schedule will feature bestsellers, Pulitzer Prize winners, strong ties to Iowa and authors from around the world. In addition, strong partnerships with area groups will bring programs on topics that include environmentalism, sustainability, global politics, and end-of-life care. The festival will be held Oct. 4-9, 2016.

With an expanded schedule – adding two days to the traditional four to create the longest Iowa City Book Festival yet – the program will feature evening events from Tuesday through Saturday, in addition to the regular lineup of readings, panel discussions, demonstrations and more.

Highlights of those evening events include the unveiling of the latest YA novel from bestselling author Rick Riordan, who will present his forthcoming novel, The Hammer of Thor, which is the second book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy. That sold-out event will be held at the Englert Theatre at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, and is presented by the festival and Prairie Lights.

Other headliners include Suki Kim discussing her New York Times bestselling book of investigative literary nonfiction about her time teaching English in North Korea, Without You, There is No Us.

Kim is this year’s selection for the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights’ One Community One Book project. As in the past, the Book Festival is partnering with the UICHR to bring the program author to Iowa City.

That is one of many partnerships that will lead to strong programming in October. Other highlights include:

  • Angelo Volandes, author of The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care, will appear at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4, at the Coralville Center for Performing Arts in conjunction with Iowa City Hospice/Honoring Your Wishes; 
  • Andrea Wulf will discuss The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World, at noon on Thursday, Oct. 6, in the Old Capitol Senate Chamber, in a partnership with the University of Iowa Office of Sustainability;
  • University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Leslie Jamison will discuss her essay collection, The Empathy Exams, at 6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, in the Hotel Vetro ballroom, in partnership with the Examined Life conference. 

The festival traditionally has a strong selection of fiction represented on its schedule, and this year will be no different. Highlights include:

  • Roxane Gay, the acclaimed novelist, essayist, and commentator, who will receive the City of Literature’s annual Paul Engle Prize at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6, at the Coralville Public Library.
  • Puliter Prize winner and UI alum Robert Olen Butler, who will read from his new novel, Perfume River, leads a strong Saturday lineup at the festival. Butler’s book examines family ties and the legacy of the Vietnam War through the portrait of a single North Florida family.
  • Former Gazette news reporter Nathan Hill, who returns to Iowa City with The Nix, his highly touted debut novel. Hill has been compared to Thomas Pynchon and John Irving, and the New York Times wrote that he has “talent to burn.”
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. will discuss his new novel of politics and race, Grant Park.
  • F. Paul Wilson, author of the wildly popular “Repairman Jack” series, will discuss his new medical thriller, Panacea.

Other authors scheduled to appear include Donald Harstad (November Rain), Dan Barry (Boys in the Bunkhouse), Claire Hoffman (Greetings from Utopia Park), Jennifer L. Knox (Days of Shame and Failure), Aleksandar Hemon (The Lazarus Project), Tom Lutz (And the Monkey Learned Nothing), Michelle Hoover (Bottomland), and many more.

Other than the Riordan event, all festival events are free and open to the public.

Most events will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8. For specific times and locations for festival events, or to learn more about programs and authors, please visit www.iowacitybookfestival.org or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/iowacitybookfestival or Twitter (www.twitter.com/iowacitybookfest) .

 

Iowa City was named a UNESCO City of Literature in 2008 in recognition of its rich literary heritage culture. It is one of only 20 Cities of Literature worldwide, and the only one in the United States, to hold this honor.

 

Upcoming Readings

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