Bestselling mystery writer Sue Grafton, two-time national championship basketball coach Rick Pitino and celebrated Kentucky writer Wendell Berry will be among the nearly 200 authors and illustrators participating in the Kenucky Book Fair on Saturday.
The 32nd annual event will be at the Frankfort Convention Center, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., is one of the nation’s largest and oldest book fair and draws about 4,000 patrons. Proceeds from the fairs, which exceed $350,000 to date, have been donated to school and public libraries and literacy programs across the commonwealth.
“While helping our public and school libraries is our main mission,” said KBF president Carl West, “being able to have a venue for authors and readers to interact and celebrate the profession of writing is rewarding as well.”
Grafton, who is from Louisville, is the popular writer of the alphabet-series novels, and her latest is “W is for Wasted.” She will also sign “Kinsey and Me” and other titles.
“We’re delighted to have Ms. Grafton with us,” said KBF Manager Connie Crowe. “Every year we have people asking when she will here to sign books. So this is the year and we expect a big turnout by readers to meet her and have her sign her books.”
Pitino guided the University of Louisville to is third national title last season, becoming the first coach to win championships at two different schools. He will sign “The One-Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life.”
Berry, a recipient of the National Humanities Medal in 2010, will sign his latest poetry collection, “This Day: New and Collected Sabbath Poems 1979-2012” along with several other titles. The 79-year-old writer from Henry County has been referred to as a literary treasure in Kentucky.
Among other noteworthy national and Kentucky authors who will be in attendance are George Ella Lyon, Bobbie Ann Mason, Marcia Thornton Jones, Ann Ross, Susan Crandall, Frank X Walker, Duffy Brown, Jonathan Greene, Ann H. Gabhart, Jan Watson, Shelley Lee Riley, Al Smith, Eleanor Clift, Carolyn Dupont, Virginia Smith and Laurien Berenson.
Other familiar names include Tim Farmer, Joe B. Hall, James Archambeault, Gene Burch, Billy Reed, Bill Noel, Steve Flairty, Abigail Keam, Guy Mendes, Jonathan Miller, James C. Nicholson, Judith Owens-Lalude, C.L. Parker, Russell Rice, Tom Wallace, and Georgia Green Stamper.
The book fair also will have symposiums, presentations and readings throughout the day. The KBF and Kentucky Historical Society will present the panel, “Desegregating Baseball: The Kentucky Connection,” featuring “Pee Wee” Reese as performed by Dick Usher, a Kentucky Humanities Council Chautauqua actor, at the Old Capitol at 1 p.m.
The third annual Children’s Day, also at the convention center, will kick of the activities from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Friday, with more than 30 authors of books for children and young adults. Several of the authors making presentations include Lyon, Mark Wayne Adams, Nancy Kelly Allen, Leigh Anne Florence, Tom Freese, Fran Ridell, Kristin Tubb, Angela Spady, and Tim Callahan.
The KBF is free and open to the public. For more information, visit kybookfair.blogspot.com.