NC Book Festival Arts & Lecture Series Season 2

We are thrilled to announce Season Two of the North Carolina Book Festival/Quail Ridge Books Arts & Lecture Series.

The Arts & Lecture Series strives to bring the most engaging authors, writers and thinkers to our state. 

The second season of the series features some of the most celebrated writers working today. They are novelists and essayists whose award-winning works cover the most compelling topics in contemporary society.

Subscriptions can be purchased here.

Season Two features:

Therese Anne Fowler, A Good Neighborhood

February 4th, 7pm

Raleigh author Therese Anne Fowler is a New York Times and USA Today best selling author whose novels present intriguing people in difficult situations, many of those situations deriving from the pressures and expectations of their cultures as well as from their families.

Her books are available in every format and in multiple languages, and are sold around the world. Z has been adapted for television by Amazon Studios. A Well-Behaved Woman is in development with Sony Pictures Television.

In a starred review of her upcoming novel A good Neighborhood, Kirkus says:

“A riveting, potentially redemptive story of modern American suburbia that reads almost like an ancient Greek tragedy…

Fowler empathetically conjures nuanced characters we won’t soon forget, expertly weaves together their stories, and imbues the plot with a sense of inevitability and urgency. In the end, she offers an opportunity for catharsis as well as a heartfelt, hopeful call to action.

Traversing topics of love, race, and class, this emotionally complex novel speaks to—and may reverberate beyond—our troubled times.”

James McBride, Deacon King Kong

March 17, 7pm

From James McBride, 2014 NC Book Festival headliner and author of the National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird, comes a wise and witty novel about what happens to the witnesses of a shooting.

In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .45 from his pocket, and in front of everybody shoots the project’s drug dealer at point-blank range.

The reasons for this desperate burst of violence and the consequences that spring from it lie at the heart of Deacon King Kong, James McBride’s funny, moving novel and his first since his National Book Award-winning The Good Lord Bird. In Deacon King Kong, McBride brings to vivid life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood’s Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself. 

As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters–caught in the tumultuous swirl of 1960s New York–overlap in unexpected ways. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.

Bringing to these pages both his masterly storytelling skills and his abiding faith in humanity, James McBride has written a novel every bit as involving as The Good Lord Bird and as emotionally honest as The Color of Water. Told with insight and wit, Deacon King Kong demonstrates that love and faith live in all of us.

Valeria Luiselli, Lost Children Archive

March 19, 7pm

From 2019 Macarthur Genius grantee and two-time NBCC Finalist, an emotionally resonant, fiercely imaginative new novel about a family whose road trip across America collides with an immigration crisis at the southwestern border–an indelible journey told with breathtaking imagery, spare lyricism, and profound humanity.

A mother and father set out with their two children, a boy and a girl, driving from New York to Arizona in the heat of summer. Their destination: Apacheria, the place the Apaches once called home.

Why Apaches? asks the ten-year-old son. Because they were the last of something, answers his father.

In their car, they play games and sing along to music. But on the radio, there is news about an “immigration crisis”: thousands of kids trying to cross the southwestern border into the United States, but getting detained–or lost in the desert along the way.

As the family drives–through Virginia to Tennessee, across Oklahoma and Texas–we sense they are on the brink of a crisis of their own. A fissure is growing between the parents, one the children can almost feel beneath their feet. They are led, inexorably, to a grand, harrowing adventure–both in the desert landscape and within the chambers of their own imaginations.

Told through several compelling voices, blending texts, sounds, and images, Lost Children Archive is an astonishing feat of literary virtuosity. It is a richly engaging story of how we document our experiences, and how we remember the things that matter to us the most. With urgency and empathy, it takes us deep into the lives of one remarkable family as it probes the nature of justice and equality today.

Each subscription to the Arts & Lecture Series comes with:

–One book for each event (A Good Neighborhood  by Therese Anne Fowler, Deacon King Kong by James McBride, and Lost Children Archiveby Valeria Luiselli).

–Priority seating and signing line access to each of these events, and

–Priority seating and signing line access to all events at the 2020 North Carolina Book Festival (February 21-23, 2020).

***Your purchase gains you access and books for all three events, though you can only choose the first date at checkout.


How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

You can e-mail

What’s the refund policy?

There are no refunds for subscriptions to season two of the Arts & Lecture Series.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

You do not. We will have your name on a list, and you will receive a pass for all three events and the Book Festival.

Is my registration fee or ticket transferrable?

Yes! You are welcome to transfer tickets.

Do I need to attend every event?

While we hope to see you at every event, if something comes up and you cannot attend one or all of them, we will hold a signed copy of the book/s for you at Quail Ridge Books.

Where are the events?

The events will either be at NCSU’s Hunt Library or Quail Ridge Books. Venue will be determined by demand.

Subscriptions can be purchased here.