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Visiting Authors Series

Every year, thousands of book lovers come together at the Center to explore writings, hear author’s takes on their work, and interact with celebrated authors in a variety of forums. Our events include author meet-and-greets, book signings, a community read, panel discussions, children and teen’s activities, and more. Check below for information on this year's authors.

Book Fair Event with Anne Blankman

Anne Blankman's debut novel, Prisoner of Night and Fog, was named a "Flying Start" by Publishers Weekly and a Sydney Taylor Notable Book by the Association of Jewish Libraries. The sequel, Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke, was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist and a Romantic Times Top Pick. Her most recent novel, a young adult romantic historical adventure titled Traitor’s Angels, was released in 2016.

Anne Blankman may have been meant to be a writer because her parents named her for Anne of Green Gables. She graduated from Union College with degrees in English and history, which comes in handy when she writes historical fiction. After earning a master's degree in information science, Anne began working as a youth services librarian. Currently, she lives in Richmond with her family. When she's not writing young adult fiction, she's working at her amazing library branch, learning to knit (badly), and reading.

Co-hosted by the Jewish Women's Club 

Book Fair Event with Nancy Wright Beasley

In 1998, Nancy was so moved by the stories re-created in the Virginia Holocaust Museum that she began researching the experiences of the Israel “Izzy” Ipson family and members of four other Jewish families who lived in Lithuania during World War II. Her research helped document how 13 Jews survived the Holocaust by living in a 9’x12’x 4’ underground hole, their lives sustained by a poor Catholic farm family and became the award-winning book: Izzy’s Fire: Finding Humanity in the Holocaust.

Beasley’s second book focusing on the Holocaust, The Little Lion, was published in 2016 and told the story of Laibale Gillman, a Lithuanian teen who sacrificed his life implementing a plan that would save the lives of family members – at a time when some 40,000 individuals were being executed within a few miles.

Nancy Wright Beasley’s journalistic career spans 35 years, including seven years as a state correspondent for The Richmond News Leader from 1979-1986. She has been a personal columnist and a contributing editor for Richmond Magazine since 1998 and has written national award-winning columns and articles for that magazine, as well as several other publications.

Book Fair Event: Lunch with Chef Rossi

Rossi, who credits America as her home town, grew up in a camper wedged on the top of a Ford pick-up truck and had visited most of the country by the time she was 10 years old. She grew up “orthodox light” (her family kept the meat and dairy dishes separate but ate McDonalds’ fish sandwiches). Her wacky sense of humor and international food fusions reflect her Hungarian Yiddish background and her love of all things loaded with flavor.

Her book, The Raging Skillet, is one woman’s story of cooking her way through some of life’s biggest challenges in New York City’s most unlikely kitchens. The book features anecdotes from a life of food plus recipes—ranging from pizza bagels to tuna tartare—to close each section.

*This event includes lunch with menu items suggested by Chef Rossi. Lunch and book talk with be followed by coffee, dessert and book signing. Friend of the Arts and Artist level Patrons subscribers pay $10 for lunch 804.285.6500 (book talk and dessert included). All sponsorship levels ($1,500+) receive this event as part of their package.