2010 National Book Award winner Jaimy Gordon will present the Settle Session at the West Virginia Book Festival on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 1 p.m. at the Charleston Civic Center. The session is named in honor of the grande dame of West Virginia literature, Mary Lee Settle.
Gordon’s fourth novel, “Lord of Misrule,” is set at Indian Mound Downs, a fictitious racetrack in West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle. In addition to winning the National Book Award, the novel was a Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award (which was founded in 1980 by Mary Lee Settle) and won the Tony Ryan Award for the year’s best book about horse racing. The novel’s authenticity comes from Gordon’s years spent working at racetracks in Charles Town, W.Va., and Green Mountain, Vt.
Gordon’s previous books include “Bogeywoman,” “She Drove Without Stopping” and “Shamp of the City-Solo.” Born in Baltimore, Gordon teaches at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and in the Prague Summer Program for Writers, but she regards West Virginia as her second home.
Best-selling thriller writer Lee Child, basketball legend Jerry West, former Secret Service agents Gerald Blaine and Clint Hill, and self-help author Dave Pelzer have already been announced as part of the line-up for the festival, which will be held Oct. 22 and 23 at the Charleston Civic Center. The annual, two-day event celebrates books and reading and offers something for all age groups. A variety of authors will attend, participating in book signings, readings, workshops and lectures. Activities for children include special programs and a section of the Marketplace filled with children’s activities. Admission to the festival is free.
The event is presented by The Library Foundation of Kanawha County, Inc., Kanawha County Public Library, the West Virginia Humanities Council, The Charleston Gazette and the Charleston Daily Mail and is sponsored by The Martha Gaines and Russell Wehrle Memorial Foundation, Segal & Davis Family Foundation, Pam Tarr and Gary Hart, Target, Wal-Mart and Borders Express. For more information, visit www.wvbookfestival.org.