There's a rare and exciting opportunity later this month in Charlottesville to see the 2009 winners of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award together on the same stage.
Colum McCann, winner of the National Book Award for Let the Great World Spin, and Elizabeth Strout, winner of the Pulitzer for Olive Kitteridge, will appear together Saturday, March 20, at the Virginia Festival of the Book.
McCann and Strout will be joined by Lee Smith, author of Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger, and E. Ethelbert Miller, author of The Fifth Inning, to present a program on American Accents: An Evening with Four Distinguished Authors. The program is at 8 p.m. at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville.
The books by both McCann and Strout are terrific. While literary awards are not always indications of excellence, these two books are among the very best written in recent years.
Organizers of the Virginia Festival of the Book are to be commended for putting together an exceptional program. Take a look at the festival's website. If you're a reader, and you live nearby, you will find something -- perhaps many things -- of interest.