March brings the Tucson Festival of Books

It’s been unseasonably winterly in Tucson. Three nights in a row that temperatures have plunged to below 30 degrees! Pastel sheets and pillowcases are spread over my plants. Car windshields had to be scraped by early risers. There were many early morning accidents, which, in my mind, can mean only one thing from frigid Maine winters — the veneer of dreaded black ice on the roads.

Everybody’s freezing. Everybody’s complaining. Guess what? It’s supposed to be in the mid-70s on Thursday. It’s Tucson.

But it’s not the end of cold weather that I’m already looking forward to in March; it’s the third annual Tucson Festival of Books. People filling University of Arizona auditoriums to the brim, giddily anticipating a favorite author’s talk about her writing process. That can only be good.

I’ll take a few minutes to sit in the food court with a cup of gelato, happily watching some of the more than 80,000 festival- goers clutching books to their chests the weekend of March 12-13.  I won’t be able to peruse even a fraction of the books on display.

But a taste will suffice.

Author friends will be coming here to participate. Olivia and Thacher Hurd will travel from Berkeley, Martha Dudman from our beloved Mount Desert Island, Maine.

And I’ll make new book buddies, I’m sure. I already have.

The History/Memoir/Biography committee works so well together. Our committee includes two editors, the head archivist at the Arizona Historical Society, a publicist at UA Press, an author/anthropologist, and a colleague in women’s studies at the UA.

On Saturday, March 12, I’ll be moderating “Right on! Far out! Looking Back at the Sixties,” a panel with the following authors:

Joyce Maynard’s “Looking Back: A Chronicle of Growing Up     Old in the Sixties” was written when she was 19. I couldn’t put it down back then.

Mark Rudd documents his political passions and leadership of the student anti-war movement of the ’60s at Columbia University in “Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weathermen.”

My friend Martha returns to college in her second memoir, “Expecting to Fly: A Sixties Reckoning.” Her first, “Augusta, Gone,” is about her harrowing relationship with her teenage daughter.

Powerhouses all three. Here I go, diving back into the world of book events, and the ’60s. Join us.

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2 Responses to March brings the Tucson Festival of Books

  1. Mark Rudd! The Sixties! Ah, memories of a happy-wild time. Can’t wait for this panel!

    • sheilawill says:

      Ah yes, Monica, we see the ’60s as the good old days! Mark Rudd will also do “Writers as Social Activists” workshop. I’ll be the moderator of the ’60s panel. Looking forward to that!

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