Off the Clock - Local Author and Unbound Book Festival Planner Balances Life, Career and Community

Apr 20, 2017

Credit Alex George / University of Missouri

Alex George is a lawyer by day, and an author by even earlier in the day. The author of six books, including Setting Free the Kites – published by Penguin in February, is also organizing the Unbound Book Festival, in its second year running this April.

The festival will bring acclaimed writer Salman Rushdie, author of such books as Midnight’s Children and The Satanic Verses to Columbia.

George said that as the festival organizer, he was glad to bring someone of Rushdie’s celebrity to Unbound and is excited to see Rushdie in front of an audience.

“He’s got so much charisma so much personality than he’s just going to stand up on that stage in Jesse auditorium and in front on 1700 people and for 90 minutes he’s just going to hold them in the palm of his hand and…I can’t wait.”

George began his own literary career several years ago while working as a lawyer in London. He said he was complaining to friends about a string of bad books he’d recently read when it was suggested to him that he should try writing himself.

Credit Alex George / University of Missouri

George manages to write while continuing his day job by waking up every day at 5 a.m., when he says he works in total silence for a few hours before waking the kids up.

“People expect the secret to a successful literary career to be about sort of a felicitous way with metaphor but it’s not actually. It’s about time management and just stamina really.”

It was on a book tour for his previous book, A Good American, that George got the idea to organize the Unbound Book Festival.

“I was invited to attend various book festivals and I thought this would be a really good thing for Columbia because as you know, Columbia is a town that loves its festivals.”

George said he and his team of organizers learned plenty from last year’s event and decided to condense its offerings this year, focusing more on panel and author-to-author conversations so that attendees would be able to see more of the writers they are interested in.

The festival will take place  April 21 -22.