The Mississippi Book Festival may be a relative newcomer to the literary scene, but in three short years, the event has become a can’t-miss event for book lovers and aspiring writers. World-renowned writers Salman Rushdie and Jesmyn Ward will headline when this “Literary Lawn Party” takes over the Mississippi State Capitol and downtown Jackson on August 18, 2018.
Memoirist Rick Bragg, presidential historian Jon Meacham and food writer Julia Reed will also join the 2018 roster of authors. While the full lineup is still under wraps, past events have featured bestselling authors John Grisham and Greg Iles, Pulitzer Prize winners Richard Ford and Jon Meacham and many more.
Rushdie will speak about how he got started as a professional writer more than 40 years ago, winning the prestigious Booker Prize for “Midnight’s Children.” Rushdie’s literary accomplishments also led him to join the ranks of royalty after Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 2007. No stranger to Mississippi’s literary legacy, the internationally acclaimed author delivered the inaugural Eudora Welty Lecture at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., in 2016.
Ward, a native of DeLisle, Miss., has won the National Book Award twice—for “Salvage the Bones” in 2011 and “Sing Unburied, Sing” in 2017—making her the first woman to win twice for fiction. Ward has quickly ascended as a contemporary heir to the state’s brilliant literary tradition, a foundation laid by legends such as William Faulkner, Eudora Welty and Richard Wright.
The Mississippi Book Festival will also feature dozens of author panels and interviews, covering genres and topics like historical fiction, non-fiction, memoir, young adult, cooking, poetry, art, music and more.
Families will find fun at Kids Corner, a child-friendly area under the shade of oaks on the Capitol lawn, while up-and-coming and independent writers will showcase their works at Authors Alley on Mississippi Street.
For more information, please visit the Mississippi Book Festival website.