2016 Iowa City Book Festival Lineup

The seventh Iowa City Book Festival schedule will feature bestsellers, Pulitzer Prize winners, strong ties to Iowa and authors from around the world. In addition, strong partnerships with area groups will bring programs on topics that include environmentalism, sustainability, global politics, and end-of-life care. The festival will be held Oct. 4-9, 2016.

With an expanded schedule – adding two days to the traditional four to create the longest Iowa City Book Festival yet – the program will feature evening events from Tuesday through Saturday, in addition to the regular lineup of readings, panel discussions, demonstrations and more.

Highlights of those evening events include the unveiling of the latest YA novel from bestselling author Rick Riordan, who will present his forthcoming novel, The Hammer of Thor, which is the second book in the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy. That ticketed event will be held at the Englert Theatre at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7, and is presented by the festival and Prairie Lights. Tickets are $24, and attendees receive an autographed copy of the new book. Tickets will go on sale at the Englert box office and www.englert.org on Tuesday, July 12 at 12:30 p.m. (UPDATE: This event has sold out).

Other headliners include Suki Kim discussing her New York Times bestselling book of investigative literary nonfiction about her time teaching English in North Korea, Without You, There is No Us.

Kim is this year’s selection for the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights’ One Community One Book project. As in the past, the Book Festival is partnering with the UICHR to bring the program author to Iowa City.

That is one of many partnerships that will lead to strong programming in October. Other highlights include:

  • Angelo Volandes, author of The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care, will appear on Tuesday, Oct. 4, in conjunction with Iowa City Hospice/Honoring Your Wishes;
  • Andrea Wulf will discuss The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, on Thursday, Oct. 6, in a partnership with the University of Iowa Office of Sustainability;
  • University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop graduate Leslie Jamison will discuss her essay collection, The Empathy Exams, on Friday, Oct. 7, in partnership with the Examined Life conference.

The festival traditionally has a strong selection of fiction represented on its schedule, and this year will be no different. Highlights include:

  • Puliter Prize winner and UI alum Robert Olen Butler, who will read from his new novel, Perfume River, which examines family ties and the legacy of the Vietnam War through the portrait of a single North Florida family.
  • John Domini of Des Moines, who will read from his acclaimed new collection of short stories, Movieola.
  • Former northeast Iowa deputy sheriff Donald Harstad, who returns with November Rain, the latest in his beloved Carl Houseman mystery series.
  • F. Paul Wilson, author of the wildly popular “Repairman Jack” series, will discuss his new stand-alone medical thriller, Panacea.
  • Former Gazette news reporter Nathan Hill returns to Iowa City with The Nix, his highly touted debut novel.

Other authors scheduled to appear include Julie Rubini (Missing Millie Benson), Crystal Chan (Bird), Jennifer L. Knox (Days of Shame and Failure), Marc Nieson (Schoolhouse), James Brooks (Mesa of Sorrows), Tom Lutz (And the Monkey Learned Nothing), Anais Duplan (Take This Stallion), and many more.

Other than the Riordan event, all festival events are free and open to the public.

Most events will be held on Saturday, Oct. 8. The full schedule will be released closer to the event. For specific times and locations for festival events, or to learn more about programs and authors, please visit www.iowacitybookfestival.org or follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/iowacitybookfestival or Twitter (www.twitter.com/iowacitybookfest) .

Iowa City was named a UNESCO City of Literature in 2008 in recognition of its rich literary heritage culture. It is one of only 20 Cities of Literature worldwide, and the only one in the United States, to hold this honor.