top of page

Alexandria Library Foundation welcomes
#1 New York Times bestselling author

Find more photos from the Alexandria Library Foundation's 2024 Author Event here.

Join us this June for the Alexandria Library Foundation 2024 Author Event. We're thrilled to welcome #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci for a conversation about his experience as an author and the historical significance and research that went into the writing of his latest book, A Calamity of Souls. The event will be emceed by Allison Seymour, Morning News Anchor, WUSA9 and Senator Tim Kaine will introduce Baldacci.

Help us to commemorate Alexandria Library’s 1939 Sit-In Anniversary. The 2024 Author Event raises funds for the Sit-In Conference Room in addition to services, materials, and programs for the Alexandria Library. You can see the event program here and read the full press release here

Check out a clip from the 2024 Author Event featuring

David Baldacci and WUSA9'S Allison Seymour here.


Alexandria Library Foundation 2024 Author Event


Thursday, June 6, 2024

Conversation & Reception 6:30–8:30 p.m.
VIP Reception 5:30–6:15 p.m.


Lettie Pate Evans Room, Addison Academic Center

Virginia Theological Seminary

3630 Bishop Walker Circle, Alexandria, VA 22304

About the book

Set in the tumultuous year of 1968 in southern Virginia, a racially-charged murder case sets a duo of white and Black lawyers against a deeply unfair system as they work to defend their wrongfully-accused Black defendants in this courtroom drama from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.

Jack Lee is a white lawyer from Freeman County, Virginia, who has never done anything to push back against racism, until he decides to represent Jerome Washington, a Black man charged with brutally killing an elderly and wealthy white couple. Doubting his decision, Lee fears that his legal skills may not be enough to prevail in a case where the odds are already stacked against both him and his client. And he quickly finds himself out of his depth when he realizes that what is at stake is far greater than the outcome of a murder trial.


Desiree DuBose is a Black lawyer from Chicago who has devoted her life to furthering the causes of justice and equality for everyone. She comes to Freeman County and enters a fractious and unwieldy partnership with Lee in a legal battle against the best prosecutor in the Commonwealth. Yet DuBose is also aware that powerful outside forces are at work to blunt the victories achieved by the Civil Rights era.


Lee and DuBose could not be more dissimilar. On their own, neither one can stop the prosecution’s deliberate march towards a guilty verdict and the electric chair.  But together, the pair fight for what once seemed impossible: a chance for a fair trial and true justice.


Over a decade in the writing, A Calamity of Souls breathes richly imagined and detailed life into a bygone era, taking the reader through a world that will seem both foreign and familiar.

About the author

David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, “because every mom needs a break now and then.”)

David published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. The feature film adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 49 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. David has also published seven novels for young readers.

A lifelong Virginian, David received his Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington, D.C.

In addition to being a prolific writer, David is a devoted philanthropist, and his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family’s Wish You Well Foundation®. Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family and adult literacy programs in the United States. In 2008 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch Feeding Body & Mind, a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through Feeding Body & Mind, more than 1 million new and gently used books have been collected and distributed through food banks to families in need.

David and his family live in Virginia.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
Baldacci Photo GRO_9679.jpg

Introduction by

Senator Tim Kaine was elected to the Senate in 2012 and serves on the Armed Services; Budget; Foreign Relations; and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees.

Tim has made boosting job opportunities for everyone a top priority. As co-chair of the bipartisan Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus, Tim focuses on expanding access to job-training programs to ensure that students of all ages are prepared with the skills they need for the jobs of the modern economy. Tim has also led successful efforts in the Senate to reduce unemployment for military families and veterans.

As a senator from one of the states most closely connected to the military and the father of a Marine Reservist, Tim is focused on crafting smart defense strategy and reducing the risk of unnecessary war. He works to ensure that the military has the resources it needs to keep the country safe and that servicemembers and veterans receive the benefits and care they have earned. He has also been the leading voice against presidents starting wars without a vote by Congress.

Tim believes that health care is a right, not something reserved just for those who can afford it, and has consistently pushed for reforms to expand access to quality care. This includes legislation to give Americans more options for affordable health insurance and to combat the opioid abuse epidemic.

Tim grew up working in his father’s ironworking shop in Kansas City. His parents taught him the value of hard work and showed him how small businesses and technical skills strengthen this country every day. After graduating from the University of Missouri, he started his public service career by running a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. He trained teenagers to become carpenters and welders, equipping them with skills to lift up themselves and their communities.

He was first elected to office in 1994, serving as a city councilmember and then Mayor of Richmond. He became Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2002 and was inaugurated as Virginia’s 70th Governor in 2006. He is married to Anne Holton, who served as Virginia Secretary of Education from 2014 until 2016 and as the Interim President of George Mason University from 2019 until 2020; she now teaches education policy at GMU. They both revel in the adventures of their three grown children and live in Richmond.


Event emcee

Allison Seymour is an Emmy Award winning news anchor who has been waking up viewers on morning news in her hometown of Washington, DC since 1999. Allison started her career in television at the Washington, DC News Bureau of ABC News, behind the scenes, after graduating from Hampton University where she is enshrined in the Mass Media Hall of Fame. After earning her Masters of Mass Communication at the University of South Carolina, Allison began her on-air career in Utica, New York. From there, she would go on to hold positions in Binghamton, NY, Albany, NY and St. Louis, Missouri, where she met her husband of 25 years, radio and television host, Marc Clarke. In her spare time, Allison enjoys spending time with her family, including three adult daughters and two shelter pups.

new headshot.png

Our Sponsors

This event is made possible thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.

Presenting Sponsors

The Brown
Sanchez Family

Library Lover Sponsors

WCLW Logo - horizontal black text (1).png

Publisher Sponsors


Editor Sponsors


Special thanks to Old Town Books Unwined

bottom of page