With a lack of book stores around town, is Alexandria, Virginia lacking in events for authors? Alexandria, Virginia is often cited as a well-read City but, this reader wants to know, should Alexandria ‘up its game’ for authors?
Dear Red Brick Town,
Full disclosure. We fly today’s rag as a result of frustration.
But we also think the topic is worthy of discussion.
What we want to know – Is Alexandria lagging behind when it comes to nabbing marquee author events?
The thought came to me last week. On Saturday, the better half and I drove to Politics and Prose to see Tom Gjelten discuss his new book, A Nation of Nations. Apparently, it was his only area appearance.
We also wanted to see London-based author Flora Fraser talk about her new book, The Washingtons: George and Martha, “Join’d by Friendship, Crown’d by Love.” Her Mount Vernon appearance was sold out, for paying members only. We thought about a return trip to Politics & Prose but crossing the diamond during the week can take the fun out of going.
In both these cases, it seems to me that Alexandria would have been the best fit for the authors and audience. Gjelten’s book covers Fairfax County and Alexandria has had a similar immigrant story. Even the lady who introduced Gjelten seemed to sheepishly admit that Fairfax County was “sort of local” for the lit-heads in D.C.
In the case of Fraser’s book, Alexandria and Washington go together like beer and pretzels.
Don’t get me wrong. The Alexandria Archaeology Museum, Gadsby’s Tavern, the City Library, the Lyceum, Hooray for Books! and Barnes and Noble all do a great job with hosting authors. But still, something seems lacking.
Any thoughts? Is the status quo good enough or should Alexandria, which is often cited as a city of readers, up its author event game?
– Jay Roberts