Literary Notes: Book festivals are around the corner, in Williamsburg, at ODU, and online for kids (and parents and teachers) – Daily Press

Trouble, you find us. What are we to make of it?
Next week, ODU’s annual literary festival explores the question, celebrating “writers who address the storms of past and present, and the changes wrought upon us, as we turn to face the future.” The theme: “Afterwards.” Events, free, are a mix of in-person and streamed at
One key speaker: a Yemeni author, Mansoor Adayfi, online, 10 a.m. Oct. 6. His new memoir, “Don’t Forget Us Here: Lost and Found at Guantanamo,” recounts his 14-plus years held without charges at Guantanamo, and the story of the prison. (ODU’s Gordon art galleries will feature his and other detainees’ art starting Jan. 18.)
Next Sunday is the kickoff, with readings by poet Elaine Fletcher Chapman (“Reservoir,” “Hunger for Salt”) and author Greg Larson (“Clubbie”). Events end Oct. 7 with a Virginia Beach workshop by Lisa Beech Hartz, whose Seven Cities Writers Project brings workshops to underserved areas; and a reading by Kelli Jo Ford (“Crooked Hallelujah”). There’s no President’s Lecture Series talk to end the festival this year.
In between: Monday, poet Gabrielle Calvocoressi (“Apocalyptic Swing”); ODU’s Sheri Reynolds (novels “The Tender Grave,” “The Rapture of Canaan”) and Benjamín Naka-Hasebe Kingsley (poetry, “Dēmos: An American Multitude,” “Colonize Me”); and Tom Lin (novel, “The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu”).
Tuesday, Dantiel W. Moniz (stories, “Milk Blood Heat,” a National Book Foundation “5 Under 35″ honoree); ODU’s Molly McCully Brown (essays, “Places I’ve Taken My Body”; and poetry, “The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded”); and Matt Bell (novel, “Appleseed”).
And Wednesday, Meredith Talusan (memoir, “Fairest”); playwright Kareem Fahmy (“A Distinct Society”); poet Amanda Galvan Huynh (“Songs of Brujería”); journalist and Hampton University educator Lynn Waltz (“Hog Wild”).
Parking and other details:; 757-683-3991; or [email protected]
Saturday: Williamsburg Book Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with speakers and exhibits by publishers and authors. Main speaker: Stephanie Storey, art history novelist, on creating art in fiction. Her novels: “Oil and Marble,” on Leonardo and Michelangelo, translated into six languages; and “Raphael: Painter in Rome.” Also: poets Bill Glose, Henry Hart, Ed Lull, Ron Smith and Sofia Starnes; Mike Krentz on novel writing; and a panel on improving book clubs. The nonprofit festival benefits Williamsburg’s Literacy for Life. At the Stryker Center, 412 N. Boundary St., across from the Williamsburg Regional Library.
And the Virginia Children’s Book Festival offers a free session online at 1 p.m. each weekday through October: Register; archived sessions and lesson plans are also online.
Reunion: John Millar reports that he and some people who became characters in his semi-autobiographical novel reunited in Virginia Beach a couple weekends ago. “The Wars Among the Paines” (Koehler Books, 616 pp.) follows the Paine family from World War I through Vietnam.
From Anthony Doerr, “Cloud Cuckoo Land.” (Scribner, 640 pp.) A “magical literary puzzle,” says Kirkus, involving a book, and hope. Here, a manuscript by Diogenes is found in 15th-century Constantinople — and connects to a translator in the 1950s who, in 2020, encounters a bomb in a library — and connects again to a girl in 2146.
Also: New at and Colson Whitehead, “Harlem Shuffle” … Lauren Groff, “Matrix” … Joy Williams, “Harrow” (she has just been awarded the 2021 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, in recognition of her body of work). … Sally Rooney, “Beautiful World, Where Are You” … And a look at paperbacks including John Banville’s “Snow” and “What Are You Going Through,” Sigrid Nunez’s tale of a woman helping a friend end her life.
— Erica Smith, [email protected]