Bibliomaniacs in the attic: Writers party down at Carr's Hill


In a whirlwind of words, the 11th annual Virginia Festival of the Book has come and gone. Last week, authors, poets, and all manner of random word-besotted souls gathered in Charlottesville to participate in a variety of readings, panels, discussions, exhibits, Q&A sessions, and generally seeing and being seen.

Each March, VABook!, produced by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and supported by local individuals, businesses and organizations, holds a five-day festival promoting literacy, reading, and just plain enjoyment of books. The festival– almost entirely organized by volunteer committees– is the largest gathering of writers in Virginia, pulling in roughly 300 featured participants this year for the enjoyment and edification of about 22,000 participants.

On Saturday, March 19, power literary couple Geraldine "March" Brooks and Tony "Confederates in the Attic" Horwitz hosted a reception at the home of UVA president John Casteen, in honor of the VABook authors. This well-attended reception gave folks an opportunity to meet and greet those who took part in the Eleventh Annual Virginia Festival of the Book.

The Daily Progress's Kate Andrews and friend enjoy the evening.

Carr's Hill by night– business out front, party out back

Angie Hogan poses with Mark Edmundson, author of "Why Read?"

Paul Collinge and Tom Dowd, two of the three founders of the Virginia Festival of the Book

Geraldine Brooks and Tony Horwitz, hosts of the reception, chat with Andrea Sutcliffe and her husband, Ed, the author of "Steam: The Untold Story of America's First Great Invention."

Kate Damon and Kevin McFadden, organizer of the festival, are having a blast.

Jenny Mead, president of the Charlottesville SPCA, with fiction writer Christopher Tilghman