Alex George

Bestselling Novelist
Unbound Book Festival Founder

Readings & Lecture Topics

  • On Writing
  • An Evening with Alex George


Alex George is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, and is also a bookseller, a director of a literary festival, and a lawyer. Born in England, George moved to the United States in 2003. Novelist Sara Gruen shares her praise for George and A Good American: “This lush, epic tale of one family’s journey from immigrants to good Americans had me alternately laughing and crying, but always riveted. It’s a rich, rare treat of a book, and Alex George is a first-rate talent.” The novel was named a #1 Indie Next Pick, a Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers Pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, a Midwest Connections Pick, and a a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Setting Free The Kites was celebrated as an Indie Next Pick, a Barnes and Noble Best Fiction Pick, a Library Reads Choice and a Midwest Connection Pick. George’s newest novel, The Paris Hours, is forthcoming from Flatiron Books in 2020.

George is the founder and director of the Unbound Book Festival and owns the Skylark Bookshop, an independent bookshop in downtown Columbia, MO. He previously worked for eight years as a corporate lawyer in London and Paris before moving to the United States. George continues to be a practicing attorney in his spare time. “I decided to tell an immigration tale soon after I moved to the United States myself,” George shared about writing A Good American. “Writers are often told, ‘Write what you know.’ It struck me that the experience of packing up my life and moving to another country, with no expectation that I would ever return home, was something worth writing about.” George has been named as one of Britain’s top ten “thirtysomething” novelists by the Times of London, and was also named as the Independent on Sunday’s “face to watch” for fiction in its Fresh Talent feature.

George is married to the writer, professor, and critic, Alexandra Socarides. They live in Columbia with their four children.

Alex George’s Website


Alex George is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, and is also a bookseller, a director of a literary festival, and a lawyer. Born in England, George moved to the United States in 2003. George is the founder and director of the Unbound Book Festival and owns the Skylark Bookshop, an independent bookshop in downtown Columbia, MO. George continues to be a practicing attorney in his spare time. He has been named as one of Britain’s top ten “thirtysomething” novelists by the Times of London, and was also named as the Independent on Sunday’s “face to watch” for fiction in its Fresh Talent feature. George is married to the writer, professor, and critic, Alexandra Socarides. They live in Columbia, Missouri with their four children.


THE PARIS HOURS (2020)

In glittering 1927 Paris, Josephine Baker dances with Ernest Hemingway, Maurice Ravel plays a lonely piano, and Gertrude Stein hosts her legendary salons. Yet alongside these creative geniuses, a quartet of ordinary men and women are forging their own extraordinary stories. Since the death of her beloved employer, housemaid Camille has lived with a secret: when Marcel Proust asked her to burn his notebooks, she saved one for herself. Now it has disappeared, and she is desperate to recover it before her betrayal is revealed. Across town, lovesick painter Guillaume is also racing against the clock, with only a few more hours to repay a debt that threatens to bury him alive. Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children, seeking connection in a city that has never felt like home. While Souren relentlessly relives his tragic past, journalist Jean-Paul is unable to confront his own, searching for his missing daughter in every stranger’s face. As the hours tick toward midnight, the City of Lights pulls these four characters ever closer, until their paths collide in an unforgettable climax. Symphonic and profound, The Paris Hours shows us that even the forgotten residents of Paris are as dazzling as the glorious city they inhabit.

SETTING FREE THE KITES (2017)

“George’s effortless and beautiful prose flows off of the page to construct a timeless narrative of love, loss, kinship and how the connections we make will almost always find a way to affect us for the rest of our lives.” —Oxford Citizen

Setting Free the Kites tells the story of two teenagers, Robert Carter and Nathan Tilly, and the summers that mark turning points in their lives. The boys are unlikely friends: Robert is cautious, reticent, an observer; Nathan is curious, daring, and an eternal optimist. Yet when they meet on the first day of school in their coastal Maine town in 1976, they form a bond that both come to depend on. Their friendship is forged in the crucible of two family tragedies, and together the boys navigate paths away from heartbreak, finding comfort in unexpected places: the blistering crash of rock and roll records, the mysteries of a long-closed paper mill, and kites soaring high above a windswept beach. Nathan’s unflagging confidence is the catalyst for many of their adventures, but as the boys discover, too much hope can be a dangerous thing. When Robert and Nathan take summer jobs at the local rundown amusement park, they make their first forays into a less innocent world. Amid the dilapidated thrill rides and concession stands, they come to understand that all of us keep secrets from the ones we love. In the process, they uncover some unexpected truths about family, desire, and revenge–and, most of all, about themselves. Compelling, heart-breaking, and deeply human, Setting Free the Kites is a funny, moving drama that explores the pain and joy of childhood, and the glories of youthful friendship.

A GOOD AMERICAN (2013)

“This lush, epic tale of one family’s journey from immigrants to good Americans had me alternately laughing and crying, but always riveted. It’s a rich, rare treat of a book, and Alex George is a first-rate talent.” —Sara Gruen

Set in a fictional Midwestern town and spanning more than a century, the novel tells the story of three generations of the Meisenheimer family. Beginning with an improbable love affair ignited by the power of song, the story follows an unorthodox young couple as they flee to America in search of a new life together. Their new home, Beatrice, Missouri, is filled with unforgettable characters: a jazz trumpeter from the Big Easy who cooks a mean gumbo, a teenage boy trapped in the body of a giant, a pretty schoolteacher who teaches more than just music, a minister who believes he has witnessed the second coming of Christ, and a malevolent, bicycle-riding dwarf. From bare-knuckle prizefighting and Prohibition to sweet barbershop harmonies and the Kennedy assassination, and beyond, the family is caught up in the sweep of history. Each new generation discovers afresh what it means to be an American, and in the process they sometimes finds out more about themselves than they had bargained for. Poignant, funny, and heartbreaking, A Good American is a novel about being an outsider – in your country, in your hometown, and sometimes in your own family. It is a universal story about the families we create and places we call home.