Stephen King and Amy Tan to Headline 2011 Fall for the Book

Posted: March 14, 2011 at 1:03 am, Last Updated: August 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Stephen King. Photo courtesy of Fall for the Book

The Fall for the Book festival at Mason has announced the winners of its 2011 awards: Stephen King will receive this year’s Mason Award, and Amy Tan will receive the Fairfax Prize.

The festival will take place Sept. 18-23 at locations on campus and throughout the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., region.

Born in the United States to immigrant parents from China, Tan rejected her mother’s expectations that she become a doctor and concert pianist and chose to write fiction instead.

Her novels are “The Joy Luck Club,” “The Kitchen God’s Wife,” “The Hundred Secret Senses,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” and “Saving Fish from Drowning,” all New York Times bestsellers.

She is also the author of a memoir, “The Opposite of Fate,” two children’s books, “The Moon Lady” and “Sagwa, The Chinese Siamese Cat,” and numerous articles for magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper’s Bazaar, and National Geographic.

Her work has been translated into 35 languages, from Spanish, French and Finnish to Chinese, Arabic and Hebrew.

She will accept the 2011 Fairfax Prize, which honors outstanding literary achievement, on Tuesday, Sept. 20, at Mason.

Amy Tan. Photo courtesy of Fall for the Book

King is one of the world’s most successful and popular writers. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories.

In 1971, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.

Less than two years later, Doubleday & Co. accepted his novel “Carrie” for publication, providing King the means to leave teaching and write full time. He has since published more than 50 books, most recently the collection “Full Dark, No Stars.”

King and his wife, novelist Tabitha King, are regular contributors to a number of charities and many libraries, and have been honored for their philanthropic activities. King will accept the Mason Award, which recognizes authors who have made extraordinary contributions to bringing literature to a wide reading public, on Friday, Sept. 23, at Mason.

“Obviously, we are pleased that writers who are this busy and who have such high visibility would take the time to come and receive recognition from Fall for the Book,” says William Miller, festival director.

“We think it shows that Fall for the Book is a serious festival that also knows how to have fun. And we’re doing it with the support of a growing number of sponsors so that we can keep it — best of all for festival-goers — always free and open to the public, within the limitations of seating, of course.”

Ticketing information for each author’s appearance will be forthcoming; for updates on these events and the entire festival, bookmark

The Mason Award presentation to Stephen King is sponsored by George Mason University Libraries and Mystery Writers of America.

Fall for the Book is Northern Virginia’s oldest and largest festival of literature and the arts. In recent years the festival has expanded from its base at Mason’s Fairfax, Va., campus to host events at select venues throughout Northern Virginia, D.C. and Maryland.

Free admission to all events is possible thanks to the generous support of sponsors, including  Fairfax County Public Library, the Association of Writers and Writing Programs and George Mason University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences and Office of University Life, in partnership with other businesses and organizations.


Write to mediarel at