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Virginia Festival of the Book welcomes big anniversary with big names

The Virginia Festival of the Book will be marking its 30th anniversary with a busy day on March 23, serving up its Historical Fiction Breakfast at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel before heading to the Paramount Theater for a day of events with authors Danica Roem, Ada Limón, Roxane Gay and Percival Everett at the Paramount Theater.

The festival, set for March 20 to 24 in a variety of Charlottesville locations, will start its busy Saturday at 10 a.m. March 23 with the Historical Fiction Breakfast, which features Brinda Charry, Adriana Trigiani, and Jeannette Walls speaking with fellow author Rachel Beanland and describing the moments in time that inspired their works of historical fiction.

The event is $60. VIP options include seating for two at a reserved front-row table for $180 and a front-row table for eight for $575.

At the Paramount, Roem takes the stage at 10:30 a.m. March 23 for a conversation with Gary Nimax, chair of the University of Virginia’s LGBTQ Committee. Roem, Virginia’s first transgender state senator and former metal band singer, is the author of “Burn the Page: A True Story of Torching Doubts, Blazing Trails and Igniting Change.” Tickets are $15; students get in for $8.

U.S. Poet Laureate Limón, a recent MacArthur Fellow, is next, at 1 p.m. Her latest book is “The Hurting Kind,” and readers also know her for “Bright Dead Things,” a National Book Award Finalist, and “The Carrying,” a National Book Critics Award winner. This event is $30; students pay $15.

Gay, the author of “Bad Feminist” and “Hunger” and New York Times columnist, will be on hand at 4 p.m. for a discussion of “Opinions: A Decade of Arguments, Criticism and Minding People’s Business.” Tickets are $30; they’re $15 for students.

At 6:30 p.m., Pulitzer Prize finalist Percival Everett will bring his latest novel, “James: A Novel,” to Paramount audiences. “James” is a reimagining of Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” through the eyes of the character Jim. Tickets are $15 and $8.

Book lovers who’d like to get one ticket to all four events will pay $75 for priority seating, $125 for couples’ priority seating and $25 for students’ priority seating. The all-day pass is available online at and

Book sales and signings will be available with Roem, Limón and Gay after their respective events; books pre-signed by Everett will be sold after his.

The Virginia Festival of the Book, a program of Virginia Humanities, got its start in 1995. Information will be available soon about the Wordy Thirty Anniversary Party and other festival events. For tickets and information, go to


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