Boston Book Festival

October 15, 2016




The seventh annual Boston Book Festival took place on October 23-24, 2015. We kicked off the festivities Friday evening with a keynote featuring Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood in conversation with short story writer Kelly Link. Tickets to Atwood’s keynote had been sold out since July, and the 800+ attendees who packed Old South Church found the conversation well worth the wait.

BBF Saturday offered a preview of the colder months to come, with blustery winds and temperatures in the 40s making things brisk for our intrepid volunteers and exhibitors. But over 20,000 attendees, knowing that cold weather is the perfect time to curl up with some good books, flocked to more than sixty separate events at more than a dozen venues around Copley Square and throughout Back Bay.

Especially popular were the kids' keynote session with Newbury medalist Louis Sachar and our first-ever YA keynote featuring Libba Bray (in conversation with Robin Brenner, who wore full flapper regalia in honor of Bray’s latest novel), as well as our keynotes for the grownups: architect Moshe Safdie, surgeon Atul Gawande, novelist and short story writer Colum McCann, and literary critic James Wood.

More than 150 other presenters also enthralled and engaged attendees at such sessions as “Speculative Science,” “Hits, Hooks, and Jam Bands,” “Racial Justice and Community Activism in the Age of Black Lives Matter,” and “The Science of Food,” as well as numerous sessions on fiction, from One City One Story to post-apocalyptic novels. We welcomed sessions developed by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, Design Observer magazine, and Pessoa magazine, as well as four community-developed BBF Unbound sessions on topics ranging from teaching religion to crossing genres.

Kids and teens had plenty to keep them busy, and many families flocked to the recently reopened Johnson Building at the Boston Public Library to see award-winning picture book authors and illustrators such as Paul O. Zelinsky and Molly Bang read from and demonstrate their work in the beautiful new Children’s Library. Older kids could head around the corner to the BPL’s super-cool Teen Central room, where superstar authors such as Rebecca Stead, M. T. Anderson, and Jason Reynolds spoke about their recent fiction for middle-grade and teenage readers.

Outdoors, our 70+ exhibitor booths featured (shivering) representatives from small presses, bookstores, literary nonprofits, and MFA programs. The centerpiece of our street fair was the big BBF tent, where BBF merchandise, membership, and info shared space with Brookline Booksmith and Presenting Partner 90.9 WBUR, whose on-air hosts chatted with visitors throughout the day (when they weren’t moderating some of our biggest sessions). Tour guides from Boston By Foot led history buffs on walking tours through the literary history of the Back Bay, and talented Berklee College of Music students warmed up the crowd with their funky beats and infectious energy.

Attendees ended their BBF Saturday with one of three wrap-up sessions: a “Poems and Pints” reading at a local nightclub, a conversation with longtime agent and first-time novelist Bill Clegg, or a sold-out memoir keynote session featuring musician Amanda Palmer in conversation with her husband Neil Gaiman. Attendees were treated to a musical performance by Palmer as well as one of the first glimpses at the couple’s brand-new baby. The good news is that no matter which option they chose, attendees really couldn’t go wrong!

2015 AUDIO

Thanks to our partnership with The Drum Literary Magazine, we’re crafting audio from selected BBF 2015 sessions into great new BBF podcasts that you can take on the go. Select podcast episodes are now available on the iTunes store and the Podcast app on your iOS device. Additional episodes will be posted soon (subscribe to the podcast via iTunes for all the latest content).

Android users: you can access our podcasts via the Stitcher app. Our episodes are available on Stitcher here.

Listen to Stitcher

You can also stream our podcasts on SoundCloud:

Fiction Keynote: Colum McCann, Host: Claire Messud
Nonfiction Keynote: Atul Gawande, Host: Meghna Chakrabarti
The Trial of Abraham: Harvey Cox, Alan Dershowitz, Host: Judge David Barron
YA Keynote: Libba Bray, Host: Robin Brenner
Art, Architecture, and Design Keynote: Moshe Safdie, Host: Sarah Goldhagen
The Supremes: A Towering Giant and a Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Irin Carmon, Wil Haygood, Shana Knizhnik, Host: Anthony Brooks
Hits, Hooks, and Jam Bands: Walter Holland, Alan Light, John Seabrook, Host: Tom Ashbrook
YA: Boys to Men: Matt de la Peña, Brendan Kiely, Jason Reynolds, Andrew Smith, Host: Amy Pattee
Racial Justice and Community Activism in the Age of Black Lives Matter: Laurence Ralph, Jason Sokol, Host: Callie Crossley
What We Talk About When We Talk About Sex: Rachel Hills, Lauren Holmes, Dylan Landis, Host: Nancy Bauer
But Enough About Me: Reimagining the Memoir: Heidi Julavits, Nina MacLaughlin, Host: Megan O'Grady

2015 VIDEO

Memoir Keynote: Amanda Palmer, Host: Neil Gaiman (with special guest Maria Popova)

The following sessions were videorecorded by C-SPAN2 for broadcast on BookTV.

Clicking the title of the session will take you to BookTV’s website, where you can watch the videos online.

New Threats in the Modern Age: Gabriella Blum, Bruce Schneier, Jessica Stern, Host: Juliette Kayyem
Making Sense of War: Bryan Doerries, Joe Klein, Host: Lisa Mullins
Humanities Keynote: James Wood


Lauren Acampora

M.T. Anderson

Alicia Anstead

Tom Ashbrook

Jabari Asim

Margaret Atwood

Molly Bang

Judge David Barron

Nancy Bauer

Deborah Becker

Matt Bell

Eugenia Bell

Megan Mayhew Bergman

Charles Blackstone

Gabriella Blum

Jared Bowen

Libba Bray

Robin Brenner

Anthony Brooks

Willow Brugh

Irin Carmon

Antonio Casilli

Christopher Castellani

Meghna Chakrabarti

Robin Chase

Bill Clegg

Ann Collette

Josh Cook

Harvey Cox

Deborah Cramer

Christina Crawford

Callie Crossley

Edwidge Danticat

Nadine Darling

Laura Davidson

Peter Davis

Matt de la Peña

Jennifer De Leon

Camille DeAngelis

Elena Delbanco

Alan Dershowitz

Rachel DeWoskin

Bryan Doerries

Nilma Dominique

Juan Enriquez

Sorche Fairbank

Sukey Forbes

François Furstenberg

Chris Fussell

Neil Gaiman

Atul Gawande

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord

Amanda Gefter

Luisa Geisler

Patricia Reilly Giff

Matthew Gilbert

Ethan Gilsdorf

Carrie Goldberg

Sarah Goldhagen

Charlotte Gordon

Chris Grimley

Lani Guinier

Deborah Halber

Wil Haygood

Rachel Hills

Walter Holland

Lauren Holmes

Michelle Hoover

Jonathan Horn

Michael Horn

Gregory Howard

Tasneem Zehra Husain

Heidi Julavits

Charles Kaiser

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Kirun Kapur

Sarah Kay

Juliette Kayyem

Daniel Kelm

Chip Kidd

Brendan Kiely

Joe Klein

Shana Knizhnik

Laura Koenig

George Krupp

Stephen Kurkjian

Dylan Landis

Henriette Lazaridis

Holly LeCraw

Lynn Levin

Alan Light

Kelly Link

Bill Littlefield

Joseph Luzzi

Christopher Lydon

Kenji Lopez-Alt

Bonnie MacBird

Carolyn Mackler

Nina MacLaughlin

Emily St. John Mandel

Bob Mankoff

Sonia Manzano

John Markoff

Anastacia Marx de Salcedo

Courtney Maum

Simon Mawer

Colum McCann

General Stanley McChrystal

Cammie McGovern

Kim McClarin

Jennifer McMahon

Cathryn Mercier

Claire Messud

Ben Mezrich

Leigh Montville

Meg Mitchell Moore

Bob Morris

Lisa Mullins

Christopher Muther

Sandra Newman

Matthew Neil Null

Megan O'Grady

January Gill O'Neil

Chinelo Okparanta

Amaryah Ornstein

Erik Owens

Amanda Palmer

Jonathan Papernick

Mark Pasnik

Amy Pattee

Charles Pierce

Heidi Pitlor

Janet Polasky

Karyn Polewaczyk

Steven Pressman

Laurence Ralph

Nuno Ramos

Lisa Randall

Jason Reynolds

Cindy Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Ruth R. Rogers

Lisa Rourke

Louis Sachar

Moshe Safdie

Allison Saltzman

Stephen Savage

Bruce Schneier

Elaine Sciolino

John Seabrook

Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Richard Shacon

Stefany Shaheen

B.A. Shapiro

Steve Sheinkin

Jim Shepard

Tamara Ellis Smith

Andrew Smith

Jason Sokol

John Spooner

Rebecca Stead

Erin Stead

Philip Stead

Katherine Stewart

Andrew McConnell Stott

Nancy Rubin Stuart

Roger Sutton

Laura Tavares

Chris Taylor

Julia Tejblum

Rupert Thomson

Anthony Tjan

Jessica Treadway

Dawn Tripp

Lily Tuck

Lou Ureneck

Alexandre Vidal Porto

Joanna Weiss

Linda K. Wertheimer

Michael Witwer

James Wood

Deb Wood

Robin Young

Paul Zelinsky



The sixth annual Boston Book Festival took place on October 23-25, 2014. Following a week of rain and wind (which didn’t damp the spirits of attendees at our Thursday evening memoir keynote with Herbie Hancock or our Friday evening fiction keynote with Susan Minot), BBF Saturday dawned clear and bright, a perfect New England autumn day.

Fans started lining up early in the morning for kids' keynote presenter Rick Riordan, who was met by more than a thousand rockstar-worthy screams from the crowds packed into Trinity Church. Later in the day, an equally enthusiastic (if somewhat more sedate) crowd packed Trinity again to hear history keynote presenter Doris Kearns Goodwin offer timely insights into presidential leadership. World-famous architect Norman Foster, our art, architecture, and design keynote speaker, also dazzled Trinity audiences with insights into his singular vision and innovative designs.

Elsewhere in Copley Square and Back Bay, BBF’s illustrious lineup of more than two hundred presenters charmed and captivated attendees at more than five dozen sessions. Popular sessions included those on digital culture, memoir, and parenting, as well as a gathering of South Asian authors, a discussion of civil rights, and a vision of the future of libraries. Festivalgoers eagerly found their way to new venues, including popular sessions featuring French writers at the French Cultural Center and an equally packed series of BBF Unbound community-developed sessions at First Church.

Kids had plenty to keep them busy and happy all day long, especially at our new Character Connection tent in Copley Square Park, where they could meet characters like Corduroy and Llama Llama—and take part in a costume parade themselves. Authors and illustrators, including Anna Dewdney and Chris Raschka, shared their works with the picture book set, while older kids crafted puppet characters, guffawed at master storytellers, and met favorite authors like Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, and Ann M. Martin.

The glorious autumn weather drew an estimated 32,000 attendees to tour our 70+ exhibitor booths, including small presses, bookstores, literary nonprofits, and MFA programs. The centerpiece of our street fair was the big BBF tent, where BBF merchandise and info shared space with Brookline Booksmith and Presenting Partner 90.9 WBUR, whose on-air hosts chatted with visitors throughout the day (when they weren’t moderating some of our biggest sessions). Celebrating the kickoff of Boston’s new literary cultural district, tour guides from Boston By Foot led history buffs on walking tours through the literary history of the Back Bay. On the Berklee Stage, an eclectic music lineup engaged music fans all day long. 826 Boston’s booth, where attendees could get their photo with Bigfoot, and Fidelity’s booth, where kids could literally picture the future, were highlights for kids completing the Passport to Imagination scavenger hunt. Young BBF fans also learned that they’ll soon have a new opportunity for festive fun, at the BBF’s newly announced kids' festival, HUBBUB, premiering June 20, 2015.

Enthusiastic attendees ended their BBF Saturday with one of two wrap-up sessions: a “Poems and Pints” reading at a local bar or a fun-filled Words and Music literary “jam session,” where novelists Wesley Stace, Stacey D'Erasmo, and Kate Racculia enjoyed conversations with emcee Paul Harding, punctuated with musical interludes by Stace and the band Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library.

Over and over we hear from attendees who hate to choose between the many fascinating sessions at the BBF. The good news is that thanks to our archived audio recordings, they don’t really have to. Download sessions to your computer or portable audio device, and you can take the BBF with you in the car, to the gym, or on a walk. It’s the best way we know to pass the time until the next BBF in October 2015!

2014 AUDIO

Audio recordings are available for the following sessions from BBF 2014:

(Note: clicking the title of a session will play the audio file in a new window. To download the file to your hard drive, right-click (PC) or ctrl-click (Mac) and select “Download linked file” from the menu that appears.)

Africa: Looking on the Bright Side: Dayo Olopade, David Sengeh, Host: Calestous Juma
Art, Architecture, and Design Keynote: Norman Foster, Host: Paola Antonelli
Artist Books and Books About Art: Elena Foster, Leslie Pell van Breen, Host: Joseph Koerner
BBF Unbound: Inspiring Young Readers to Be the Change: Katie Smith Milway, Elizabeth Suneby, Hosts: Patti Quigley, Helen Rosenfeld
BBF Unbound: Fact vs. Fiction: The Business of Publishing: Amaryah Orenstein, Rebecca Podos, Lana Popovic, Host: Katherine Flynn
BBF Unbound: Poets in the Asylum: Alex Beam, Wendy Ranan, Kathleen Spivack, Host: Doug Holder
BBF Unbound: The Whydunnit in Crime Fiction: Sheila Connolly, Ray Daniel, Kate Flora, Arlene Kay, Marian Lanouette, Edith Maxwell, Liz Mugavero, Leigh Perry, Barbara Ross, Host: Julie Hennrikus
Beyond the Book: Fizgerald, Joyce, and Zweig: Kevin Birmingham, Maureen Corrigan, George Prochnik, Host: Christopher Lydon
Civil Rights: Icons and Unsung Heroes: Peniel E. Joseph, Kenneth Mack, Jeanne Theoharis, Host: Callie Crossley
Conscious Choice and Mindful Living: Peter Georgescu, Ellen Langer, Host: Anthony Tjan
Creativity: Agony and Ecstasy: Sarah Lewis, Jan Swafford, Miles Unger, Host: Michael Hawley
Digital by Design: Vikram Chandra, Judith Donath, Howard Gardner, Host: Jason Pontin
Fiction: Another Country: Lily King, Joseph O'Neill, Rupert Thomson, Host: James Wood Fiction Keynote: Susan Minot, Host: Dayo Olopade
Fiction: Literary Thriller: Elisabeth Elo, Sue Miller, Edgard Telles Ribeiro
Fiction: Love and Loss: Jaime Clarke, Leah Hager Cohen, Celeste Ng, Host: Jessica Keener
Fiction with a Twist: William Giraldi, Ben Mezrich, Lauren Oliver, Host: Robin Young
Finding Our Way: Hiawatha Bray, John Edward Huth, Host: Bruce Gellerman
History Keynote: Doris Kearns Goodwin, Host: Jack Beatty
Kids' Keynote: Rick Riordan
Lesley MFA Faculty and Alumni Read from New Work: Rafael Campo, Leah Hager Cohen, Sara Farizan
Libraries of the Future: Matthew Battles, Jeffrey Schnapp, Host: Joshua Glenn
Memoir Keynote: Herbie Hancock, Host: Roger Brown
Memoir: Journeys Home and Abroad: H. D. S. Greenway, Richard Hoffman, Alden Jones, Host: Peter Stothard
My Memoir, My Quest: Rebecca Mead, Joanna Rakoff, Max Tegmark, Host: Ethan Gilsdorf
Middle Grade: Masters of Fantasy: Holly Black, Soman Chainani, Cassandra Clare, Gregory Maguire
One City One Story: Jennifer Haigh, Host: Alicia Anstead
The Parent Trap: Jennifer Senior, David McCullough Jr., Host: Carey Goldberg
Perilous Journeys: Scott Anderson, Vicki Croke, Carl Hoffman, Host: Jeremy Hobson
Poetry: Charlotte Boulay, Dan Chiasson, Host: Kirun Kapur
(Post) Modern Love: Jennifer Finney Boylan, Margo Howard, Daniel Jones
Reading Like a Writer: Suspense: Rory Flynn, Peter Swanson, Host: Dawn Tripp
Readings: Pushing Boundaries: Jay Cantor, Tova Mirvis, Bradford Morrow, Host: Dawn Tripp
Readings: Relationships: Hester Kaplan, Yannick Murphy, Annie Weatherwax, Host: Michelle Hoover
Repairing the World: Jacqueline Bhabha, Joshua Greene, Timothy Phillips, Host: Gabriella Blum
South Asian Authors: Geeta Anand, Vikram Chandra, Host: Ulka Anjaria
Sports Writing: Local Heroes: Ben Bradlee Jr., Christopher Klein, Host: Bill Littlefield
State of Mind: Consciousness and Thinking: Stanislas Dehaene, Daniel Dennett, Host: Deborah Becker
Storytime: Anna Dewdney
Storytime: Tony DiTerlizzi
Storytime: Chris Raschka
Storytime: David Ezra Stein
Technology: Promise and Peril: Nicholas Carr, Andrew McAfee, David Rose, Host: Sacha Pfeiffer
True Story: Michael Blanding, Matthew Gilbert, Jessica Lander, Lawrence Lindner, Robert C. Pozen, Host: Jared Bowen
Twenty Questions with Steve Almond: Steve Almond, Host: Henriette Lazaridis YA: Tackling Tough Topics: C. Desir, Sara Farizan, Brendan Kiely, Stephanie Kuehn, Host: Laura Koenig

Audio is not available for the following sessions:

BBF Unbound: The Personal Is the Political: Askold Melnyczuk, Qais Akbar Omar, ZZ Packer, Host: Jennifer De Leon
BBF Unbound: The Whydunnit in Crime Fiction: Sheila Connolly, Ray Daniel, Kate Flora, Arlene Kay, Marian Lanouette, Edith Maxwell, Liz Mugavero, Leigh Perry, Barbara Ross, Host: Julie Hennrikus
Boston Stories: Doug Most, Belinda Rathbone, Jenna Russell, Bob Ryan, Neil Swidey, Host: Nicole Lamy
Childhood Treasures: The Role of Illustration in Children’s Literature: Sterling Hundley, Maria Tatar, Host: Johanna Geary
Finnish Lessons: Pasi Sahlberg, Host: Nicholas Negroponte
Mayors Rule: Benjamin Barber, Mayor Dan Rivera, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Mayor Lisa Wong, Host: Bob Oakes
Meg Wolitzer and Claire Messud in Conversation: Claire Messud, Meg Wolitzer
Middle Grade: Journeys Near and Far: Paul Durham, Laura Godwin, S. E. Grove, Ann M. Martin, Host: Rachel Keeler
Noodleheads: Norah Dooley, Joe Pagliuca, Tony Toledo, Alan White
Note-by-Note Cooking: Hervé This
Poems and Pints: Major Jackson, Kirun Kapur, Jill McDonough
Reading Like a Writer: Historical: Ursula DeYoung, Susanna Kaysen, E. B. Moore
War and Memory: Marc Crépon, Jay Winter, Host: Paul Jankowski
Where’s My Good Review?: Peter Stothard
Words and Music: Stacey D'Erasmo, Kate Racculia, Wesley Stace, Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library, Host: Paul Harding
Writer Idol: Sorche Fairbank, Kimiko Nakamura, Amaryah Orenstein, Dawn Tripp, Host: Christopher Castellani
Writing in French in New England: Jean-Claude Redonnet
YA: Reality, Meet Fantasy: A. S. King, Scott Westerfeld, Meg Wolitzer, Host: Cathryn Mercier

2014 VIDEO

The following sessions were videorecorded by C-SPAN2 for broadcast on BookTV.

Clicking the title of the session will take you to BookTV’s website, where you can watch the videos online.

Digital By Design: Vikram Chandra, Judith Donath, Howard Gardner, Host: Jason Pontin
Mayors Rule: Benjamin Barber, Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Mayor Dan Rivera, Mayor Lisa Wong, Host: Bob Oakes
State of Mind: Consciousness and Thinking: Daniel Dennett, Stanislas Dehaene, Host: Deborah Becker
Technology: Promise and Peril: Nicholas Carr, Andrew McAfee, David Rose, Host: Sacha Pfeiffer


Steve Almond

Geeta Anand

Scott Anderson

Ulka Anjaria

Alicia Anstead

Paola Antonelli

Helene Atwan

Benjamin Barber

Matthew Battles

Alex Beam

Jack Beatty

Deborah Becker

Jacqueline Bhabha

Kevin Birmingham

Holly Black

Michael Blanding

Gabriella Blum

Charlotte Boulay

Jared Bowen

Jennifer Finney Boylan

Ben Bradlee, Jr.

Hiawatha Bray

Roger Brown

Rafael Campo

Jay Cantor

Nicholas Carr

Christopher Castellani

Soman Chainani

Vikram Chandra

Dan Chiasson

Cassandra Clare

Jaime Clarke

Leah Hager Cohen

Sheila Connolly

Maureen Corrigan

Marc Crépon

Vicki Croke

Callie Crossley

Ray Daniel

Stanislas Dehaene

Jennifer De Leon

Daniel Dennett

Stacey d'Erasmo

C. Desir

Anna Dewdney

Ursula DeYoung

Tony DiTerlizzi

Judith Donath

Norah Dooley

Paul Durham

Elisabeth Elo

Sorche Fairbank

Sara Farizan

Kate Flora

Katherine Flynn

Rory Flynn

Elena Foster

Norman Foster

Howard Gardner

Johanna Geary

Bruce Gellerman

Peter Georgescu

Matthew Gilbert

Ethan Gilsdorf

William Giraldi

Joshua Glenn

Laura Godwin

Carey Goldberg

Meredith Goldstein

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Joshua Greene

H.D.S. Greenway

S.E. Grove

Jennifer Haigh

Herbie Hancock

Paul Harding

Michael Hawley

Julie Hennrikus

Jeremy Hobson

Carl Hoffman

Richard Hoffman

Doug Holder

Michelle Hoover

Margo Howard

Sterling Hundley

John Edward Huth

Major Jackson

Paul Jankowski

Alden Jones

Daniel Jones

Peniel E. Joseph

Calestous Juma

Hester Kaplan

Kirun Kapur

Arlene Kay

Susanna Kaysen

Rachel Keeler

Jessica Keener

Brendan Kiely

A. S. King

Lily King

Christopher Klein

Laura Koenig

Joseph Koerner

Stephanie Kuehn

Nicole Lamy

Jessica Lander

Ellen Langer

Marian Lanouette

Henriette Lazaridis

Sarah Lewis

Lawrence Lindner

Bill Littlefield

Christopher Lydon

Kenneth Mack

Gregory Maguire

Ann M. Martin

Edith Maxwell

Andrew McAfee

David McCullough Jr.

Jill McDonough

Rebecca Mead

Askold Melnyczuk

Cathryn Mercier

Claire Messud

Ben Mezrich

Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library

Sue Miller

Katie Smith Milway

Susan Minot

Tova Mirvis

E.B. Moore

Bradford Morrow

Doug Most

Liz Mugavero

Yannick Murphy

Kimiko Nakamura

Nicholas Negroponte

Celeste Ng

Joseph O'Neill

Bob Oakes

Lauren Oliver

Dayo Olopade

Qais Akbar Omar

Amaryah Orenstein

ZZ Packer

Joe Pagliuca

Leslie Pell van Breen

Leigh Perry

Sacha Pfeiffer

Timothy Phillips

Rebecca Podos

Jason Pontin

Lana Popovic

Robert C. Pozen

George Prochnik

Patti Quigley

Kate Racculia

Joanna Rakoff

Wendy Ranan

Chris Raschka

Belinda Rathbone

Jean-Claude Redonnet

Edgard Telles Ribeiro

Rick Riordan

Mayor Dan Rivera

David Rose

Helen Rosenfeld

Barbara Ross

Jenna Russell

Bob Ryan

Pasi Sahlberg

Jeffrey Schnapp

David Sengeh

Jennifer Senior

Kathleen Spivack

Wesley Stace

David Ezra Stein

Peter Stothard

Elizabeth Suneby

Roger Sutton

Jan Swafford

Peter Swanson

Neil Swidey

Maria Tatar

Max Tegmark

Jeanne Theoharis

Herve This

Rupert Thomson

Anthony K. Tjan

Tony Toledo

Dawn Tripp

Miles Unger

Mayor Martin J. Walsh

Annie Weatherwax

Scott Westerfeld

Alan White

Jay M. Winter

Meg Wolitzer

Mayor Lisa A. Wong

James Wood

Robin Young


2013 AUDIO

Audio recordings are available for the following sessions from BBF 2013:

(Note: clicking the title of a session will play the audio file in a new window. To download the file to your hard drive, right-click (PC) or ctrl-click (Mac) and select “Download linked file” from the menu that appears.)

Writing Terror: An Exploration of Fear (BBF 2013 kick-off event): Wes Craven, Mary Louise Kelly, Jessica Stern, Valerie Plame Wilson, Host: Joe Klein

Meet the Medalists (BBF 2013 kids' kick-off event): Jack Gantos, Kate DiCamillo, Rebecca Stead, Host: Megan Lambert

Art and Technology: Abelardo Morell, Clifford Ross, Host: Michael Hawley
BBF Unbound: Bring Your Nonprofit’s Story to Life: Paul Reynolds, Peter H. Reynolds, Erin Sunderland
BBF Unbound: Marriage and Divorce: Cynthia Copeland, Tom Matlack, Wendy Plump, Host: Sally Fay
BBF Unbound: The Plot Conjurers: Peter Abrahams, Linda Barnes, Mike Cooper, Sara J. Henry, Steve Ulfelder, Host: Hallie Ephron
BBF Unbound: World Literature for Kids: Jennifer Cusack, Jennifer Hanson
BBF Unbound: Writing About Health: Cheryl Alkon, Laurie Edwards
Being and Becoming: Identity in Fiction: Amity Gaige, Miriam Karmel, Jessica Keener, Host: Ann Kingman
Best American Sports Writing: Bill Littlefield, Nicole Pasulka, Jason Schwartz, Glenn Stout, Host: Bob Ryan
The Civil War: Thomas Fleming, Harold Holzer, Barbara Krauthamer, Brenda Wineapple, Host: Carol Bundy
Fiction: Americans Abroad: Christopher Castellani, Caleb Crain, Henriette Lazaridis Power, Russ Rymer, Host: Dawn Tripp
Fiction: Dirty, Crazy, Endless Love: Nicholson Baker, Andre Dubus III, Jamie Quatro, Host: James Wood
Fiction: Domestic Disturbances: George Harrar, Ann Leary, Tom Perrotta, J. Courtney Sullivan, Host: Robin Young
Fiction: Out of Darkness: Paul Harding, Ayana Mathis, Host: Kim McLarin
Foreign Policy: The 1950s as Prelude: William Keylor, Stephen Kinzer
The Great Gatsby: Revisualizing a 1920s Classic in 2013: Sam Wolfe Connelly
Happiness and Success: Francesca Gino, Michael Norton, Anthony Tjan, Host: Andrew McAfee
Heroes and Antiheroes: Chuck Klosterman, Claire Messud, Gregory Nagy, Host: Joseph Koerner
Herstory: Women in History: Carla Kaplan, Eve LaPlante, Megan Marshall, Host: Deborah Becker
Historical Fiction: Imagining the Past: Amy Brill, Michèle Forbes, Dennis McFarland, Julie Wu, Host: Michelle Hoover
Islam and Pakistan: Shahan Mufti, Host: Shahla Haeri
Kids' Keynote: Tomie dePaola, Host: Anna Staniszewski
Lives in Law: Alan Dershowitz, Nancy Gertner, Host: Meghna Chakrabarti
Mapping Your Story: Michael Blanding
Memoir: Descendants: Eileen Rockefeller, Najla Said, Monica Wood, Host: Callie Crossley
Memoir: Husbands, Fathers, Sons: Alysia Abbott, Anthony D'Aries, Kim McLarin, Host: Anthony Brooks
Middle Grade: Graphic (Non)Fiction: Don Brown, Heidi Stemple, Maris Wicks, Jane Yolen, Host: Laura Koenig
Middle Grade: Read Your Own Adventure: Erin Dionne, Chris Grabenstein, Kathryn Lasky, Wendy Mass, Host: Elissa Gershowitz
Obsessives: Jason Anthony, Ty Burr, Margalit Fox, Joshua Kendall, Host: Tom Ashbrook
Our Boston: Mike Barnicle, Madeleine Blais, Leigh Montville, Lesley Visser, Host: Bob Oakes, Introduction: Gary Gentel
Page and Stage: Teen Spoken Word: Host: Regie Gibson
Readings in the Forum: Americana: Lisa Borders, Elizabeth Graver, JoeAnn Hart, Ladette Randolph, Host: Dawn Tripp
Readings in the Forum: Love and Hope: Douglas Bauer, Daphne Kalotay, Douglas Trevor, Host: Michelle Hoover
Readings in the Forum: Secrets and Lies: Andrew Goldstein, Douglas Kennedy, Randy Susan Meyers, Host: Dawn Tripp
Revision and Instinct: Holly LeCraw
The Rise and Fall of Nations: Noah Feldman, James Robinson, Host: Meghan O'Sullivan
Shakespeare and Leadership: Richard Olivier
The State of Cities: Vishaan Chakrabarti, Leigh Gallagher, Moses Gates, Anthony Townsend, Host: Jeremy Hobson
Stories on Stage: Youth Literacy Theatre, Hyde Square Task Force
Synthetic Biology: Designing Life: Emily Anthes, Juan Enriquez, Craig Venter, Host: Sacha Pfeiffer
True Crime: Kevin Cullen, Charles Graeber, Mirta Ojito, Nancy Jo Sales, Host: David Boeri
The Writing Life: Literary Biography: J. Michael Lennon, David Margolick, Rose Styron, Host: John Taylor (Ike) Williams
YA: Legends Revisited: Shelly Dickson Carr, Marissa Meyer, Maggie Stiefvater, Nancy Werlin, Host: Robin Brenner
YA: Other Worlds: Alexandra Coutts, Jessica Khoury, Lissa Price, Host: Maya Escobar

Audio is not available for the following sessions:

Keynote: Salman Rushdie, Host: Homi Bhabha

BBF Unbound: The Boston Marathon—Telling Tragedy’s Story: Carlos Arredondo, Kristen Daly, Sean Flynn, Scott Helman, Charles Krupa, Jenna Russell, Host: Kelley Tuthill
Flash Fiction Open Mic: Hosts: Ethan Gilsdorf, Steve Macone Jack Gray: Pigeon in a Crosswalk: Jack Gray, Host: Jared Bowen
One City One Story: Rishi Reddi, Host: Alicia Anstead
Poems and Pints: Charles Coe, Susan Donnelly, X.J. Kennedy, Jan Schreiber
Poetry: Headliners: Frank Bidart, Mary Jo Salter
Poetry: Opening Session: Jonathan Galassi, Jennifer Militello, Vijay Seshadri
Poetry: Spoken Word: Regie Gibson, José Olivarez
Poetry: Voices of Cambridge: Lucie Brock-Broido, Stephen Burt, David Rivard
When Pictures Speak: Kelly DuMar
Writer Idol: Steve Almond, Sorche Fairbank, Lauren Macleod, Mitchell Waters, Host: Christopher Castellani
You’re the Expert: Myq Kaplan, Brendan Pelsue, Robert Woo, John Overholt, Host: Chris Duffy


Alysia Abbott

Peter Abrahams

Cheryl Alkon

Steve Almond

Alicia Anstead

Emily Anthes

Jason Anthony

Carlos Arredondo

Tom Ashbrook

Nicholson Baker

Linda Barnes

Mike Barnicle

Douglas Bauer

Deborah Becker

Homi Bhabha

Frank Bidart

Madeleine Blais

Michael Blanding

David Boeri

Lisa Borders

Jared Bowen

Robin Brenner

Amy Brill

Lucie Brock-Broido

Anthony Brooks

Don Brown

Carol Bundy

Ty Burr

Stephen Burt

Shelly Dickson Carr

Christopher Castellani

Meghna Chakrabarti

Vishaan Chakrabarti

Charles Coe

Sam Wolfe Connelly

Mike Cooper

Cynthia Copeland

Alexandra Coutts

Caleb Crain

Wes Craven

Callie Crossley

Kevin Cullen

Jennifer Cusack

Kristen Daly

Anthony D'Aries

Tomie dePaola

Alan Dershowitz

Kate DiCamillo

Erin Dionne

Susan Donnelly

Andres Dubus III

Chris Duffy

Kelly DuMar

Laurie Edwards

Juan Enriquez

Hallie Ephron

Maya Escobar

Sorche Fairbank

Sally Fay

Noah Feldman

Thomas Fleming

Michèle Forbes

Margalit Fox

Marc Fucarile

Amity Gaige

Jonathan Galassi

Leigh Gallagher

Jack Gantos

Moses Gates

Gary Gentel

Elissa Gershowitz

Nancy Gertner

Regie Gibson

Ethan Gilsdorf

Francesca Gino

Andrew Goldstein

Chris Grabenstein

Charles Graeber

Elizabeth Graver

Jack Gray

Shahla Haeri

Jennifer Hanson

Paul Harding

George Harrar

JoeAnn Hart

Michael Hawley

Scott Helman

Sara J. Henry

Jeremy Hobson

Harold Holzer

Michelle Hoover

Daphne Kalotay

Carla Kaplan

Myq Kaplan

Miriam Karmel

Jessica Keener

Mary Louise Kelly

Joshua Kendall

Douglas Kennedy

X.J. Kennedy

William Keylor

Jessica Khoury

Ann Kingman

Stephen Kinzer

Joe Klein

Chuck Klosterman

Laura Koenig

Joseph Koerner

Barbara Krauthamer

Charles Krupa

Megan Lambert

Eve LaPlante

Kathryn Lasky

Ann Leary

Holly LeCraw

J. Michael Lennon

Bill Littlefield

Lauren MacLeod

Steve Macone

David Margolick

Megan Marshall

Wendy Mass

Ayana Mathis

Tom Matlack

Andrew McAfee

Dennis McFarland

Kim McLarin

Claire Messud

Marissa Meyer

Randy Susan Meyers

Jennifer Militello

Leigh Montville

Abelardo Morell

Shahan Mufti

Gregory Nagy

Michael Norton

Bob Oakes

Mirta Ojito

Jose Olivarez

Richard Olivier

Meghan O'Sullivan

John Overholt

Nicole Pasulka

Brendan Pelsue

Tom Perrotta

Sacha Pfeiffer

Wendy Plump

Henriette Lazaridis Power

Lissa Price

Jamie Quatro

Ladette Randolph

Rishi Reddi

Paul Reynolds

Peter Reynolds

David Rivard

James Robinson

Eileen Rockefeller

Eileen Rosenthal

Marc Rosenthal

Clifford Ross

Salman Rushdie

Jenna Russell

Bob Ryan

Russ Rymer

Najla Said

Nancy Jo Sales

Mary Jo Salter

Jan Schreiber

Jason Schwartz

Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Nijay Seshadri

Bob Shea

Anna Staniszewski

Rebecca Stead

Heidi Stemple

Jessica Stern

Maggie Stiefvater

Glenn Stout

Rose Styron

J. Courtney Sullivan

Erin Sunderland

Anthony K. Tjan

Anthony Townsend

Trevor Douglas

Dawn Tripp

Kelley Tuthill

Steve Ulfelder

Craig Venter

Lesley Visser

Mitchell Waters

Nancy Werlin

Maris Wicks

John Taylor (Ike) Williams

Valerie Plame Wilson

Brenda Wineapple

Robert Woo

James Wood

Monica Wood

Julie Wu

Jane Yolen

Robin Young

Youth Literacy Theatre


Boston Book Festival 2013 from Boston Book Festival on Vimeo.



Variety, vitality, and vigorous discussion characterized the atmosphere at the fourth edition of the Boston Book Festival on October 27, 2012. Page to Screen, our Friday night kickoff event, set the tone right away, with a lively conversation among authors whose books have been adapted for film and television. Close to eight hundred cinephiles filled Old South Church to hear Buzz Bissinger, Rachel Cohn, Andre Dubus III, Nick Flynn, and Daniel Handler discuss—and vigorously debate—the pros and cons of adaptation.

On Saturday, BBF’s illustrious lineup of nearly 150 presenters continued to dazzle attendees at close to four dozen sessions held in venues in and around Copley Square. Popular sessions included those on The Hobbit, British literature, and Whitey Bulger, as well as a dynamic discussion on the future of reading, a star-studded panel of short story writers Junot Diaz, Jennifer Haigh, and Edith Pearlman, and the pairing of Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel with noted futurist Ray Kurzweil. Festivalgoers discovered new and unexpected voices at our Readings in the Forum series and at our BBF Unbound community-curated sessions.

Hundreds of kids (and more than a few grown-up fans as well!) packed Old South Church to see Lemony Snicket as our Kids Keynote-and to hear Daniel Handler, Snicket’s “representative,” play the accordion, too! Kids had plenty to keep them busy and happy all day long, from the appearance of costumed characters like Frog and Toad, Curious George, and Max the Bunny in StoryPlace to Hyde Square Task Force’s Youth Literacy Theatre’s energetic dramatization of favorite stories. Older kids who attended the “Whodunit?” session on mysteries could then practice their own detection skills in our “Read a Mystery, Solve a Mystery” workshop.

The glorious fall weather drew thousands to tour our 70+ exhibitor booths, including small presses, bookstores, literary nonprofits, and vendors offering services to aspiring writers. The centerpiece of our street fair was the big BBF tent, where BBF merchandise and info shared space with Brookline Booksmith and Presenting Partner 90.9 WBUR, whose on-air hosts chatted with visitors throughout the day. The Drum Literary Magazine encouraged attendees to take a stroll in the warm sunshine while listening to the collaborative “Books, Actually” interactive audio project set at the BBF.

The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hospitality tent, with its Curious George photo booth, was a popular stopping place, as was the Berklee Stage, where an eclectic music repertoire engaged music fans all day long. 826 Boston’s booth—where attendees were invited to discover their inner superhero—was a highlight for kids completing the Passport to Imagination scavenger hunt. Many who attended sessions or visited exhibitors went home with armfuls of new books, stocking up for the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, which we dodged by a matter of hours!

If you missed this year’s BBF, or just want to relive it, check out the audio recordings from some of our events—and be sure to watch our slide show! See you next year for our fifth anniversary!

2012 AUDIO

Audio recordings are available for the following sessions from BBF 2012:

(Note: clicking the title of a session will play the audio file in a new window. To download the file to your hard drive, right-click (PC) or ctrl-click (Mac) and select “Download linked file” from the menu that appears.)

Page to Screen (BBF 2012 kick-off event): Buzz Bissinger, Rachel Cohn, Andre Dubus III, Nick Flynn, Daniel Handler, Host: Wesley Morris

Alexander McCall Smith: Alexander McCall Smith, Host: Robin Young
All About You: Writing Memoir: Shonna Milliken Humphrey
BBF Unbound: Books Behind Bars: William Gaul, Michael Krupa, Edson Monteiro, Host: Robert Waxler
BBF Unbound: Writing the War: Dario DiBattista, Colin Halloran, Lauren Johnson
Black Culture: Music and More: Emily Bernard, Leonard Brown, Tsitsi Ella Jaji, Host: William Banfield
The Brain: Thinking about Thinking: Eric Kandel, Ray Kurzweil, Host: Sacha Pfeiffer
The Economy: Advice for the Winner: Esther Duflo, Jeffrey Frieden, Andrew McAfee, Michael Porter, Host: Adam Davidson
Edith Wharton: Real and Imagined: Jennie Fields, Irene Goldman-Price, Francesca Segal, Host: Alan Price
Fiction: Heaven Knows: Alan Lightman, Ben Marcus, Tom Perrotta, Host: Elisa New
Fiction: The Short Story: Junot Diaz, Jennifer Haigh, Edith Pearlman, Host: Christina Thompson
Fiction: Time and Place: Alex Gilvarry, Tayari Jones, Dennis Lehane, Host: Nicole Lamy
Future of Reading: Robert Darnton, Nicholas Negroponte, Baratunde Thurston, Cheryl Toto, Maryanne Wolf, Host: Sep Kamvar
Graphic Novels: Drawing the Story: Charles Burns, Chip Kidd, Chris Ware, Host: Eugenia Williamson
Great Brits and Books: Rachel Brownstein, Leah Price, Lisa Rodensky, Maria Tatar, Host: Henriette Lazaridis Power
The Hobbit: There and Back Again: Wayne Hammond, Corey Olsen, Christina Scull, Host: Ethan Gilsdorf
How to Write a Crime Novel: Hank Phillippi Ryan
Jewish Jocks: Franklin Foer, Steven Pinker, Larry Summers, Marc Tracy, Host: Bill Littlefield
Keynote: Richard Ford, Host: Claire Messud
Kids' Keynote: Lemony Snicket, Host: Jef Czekaj
Memoir: Parents and Children: Buzz Bissinger, Leslie Maitland, Alexandra Styron, Alex Witchel, Host: Leslie Gilbert-Lurie
An Ocean Apart: Chip Kidd, Vahram Muratyan, Host: Adeline Sire
One City One Story: Anna Solomon, Host: Ladette Randolph
Political Culture: Nancy L. Cohen, Philip K. Howard, Randall Kennedy, Lawrence Lessig, Michael Sandel, Host: Tom Ashbrook
Secrets of the Advice Columnists: Meredith Goldstein, Margo Howard
Self-Publishing with Blurb: Geary Zendejas
Serious Satire: Kevin Bleyer, Baratunde Thurston, Lizz Winstead, Host: David Bernstein
Triumph of the City: Edward Glaeser, Barbara Berke, Ayanna Pressley, Host: Bob Oakes
True Crime: The Whitey Bulger Story: Thomas Foley, Dick Lehr, Host: David Boeri
True Story: Personal Visions: Deni Béchard, Patricia Ellis Herr, John Spooner, Host: Anthony Brooks
What’s Next for Women?: Anita Hill, Madeleine Kunin, Hanna Rosin, Host: Meghna Chakrabarti
Why Picture Books Matter: Harry Bliss, Anna Dewdney, Kadir Nelson, Host: Leonard Marcus
YA: Overcoming Adversity: Kathryn Burak, Jo Knowles, Barry Lyga, Host: Amy Pattee
YA: The Future Is Now: _Rachel Cohn, Cory Doctorow, Gabrielle Zevin, Host: M.T. Anderson _

Audio is not available for the following sessions:

A Conversation about The Iliad: David Elmer, Madeline Miller
Flash Fiction Open Mic: Hosts: Steve Macone, Henriette Lazaridis Power
Page and Stage: Teen Open Mic: Host: Regie Gibson
Poems and Pints: Nick Flynn, Joan Houlihan, X. J. Kennedy, Aidan Rooney, Host: Daniel Tobin
Read a Mystery, Solve a Mystery Readings in the Forum: Families: Jessica Keener, Michael Lowenthal, Ilie Ruby, Host: Michelle Hoover
Readings in the Forum: Two Debuts and a Forgery: Meredith Goldstein, Maryanne O'Hara, B.A. Shapiro, Host: Dawn Tripp
Readings in the Forum: Uncanny Imagination: Matthew Battles, Justin Torres, Joan Wickersham, Host: Dawn Tripp
Stories on Stage: Youth Literacy Theatre
StoryPlace: Harry Bliss, Jef Czekaj, Anna Dewdney
Whodunit? Mysteries for Middle-Graders: Peter Abrahams, Jacqueline Davies, Phoebe Stone, Host: Elissa Gershowitz
Writer Idol: Host: Christopher Castellani

2012 VIDEO

The following sessions were videorecorded by C-SPAN2 for broadcast on BookTV.

Clicking the title of the session will take you to BookTV’s website, where you can watch the videos online.

Future of Reading: Robert Darnton, Nicholas Negroponte, Baratunde Thurston, Cheryl Toto, Maryanne Wolf, Host: Sep Kamvar
Triumph of the City: Edward Glaeser, Barbara Berke, Ayanna Pressley, Host: Bob Oakes
What’s Next for Women?: Anita Hill, Madeleine Kunin, Hanna Rosin, Host: Meghna Chakrabarti


Peter Abrahams

M.T. Anderson

Tom Ashbrook

William Banfield

Matthew Battles

Deni Béchard

Gabrielle Bell

Barbara Berke

Emily Bernard

David Bernstein

Buzz Bissinger

Kevin Bleyer

Harry Bliss

David Boeri

Anthony Brooks

Leonard Brown

Rachel Brownstein

Kathryn Burak

Charles Burns

Christopher Castellani

Meghna Chakrabarti

Nancy L. Cohen

Rachel Cohn

Ann Collette

Jef Czekaj

Robert Darnton

Adam Davidson

Jacqueline Davies

Anna Dewdney

Junot Diaz

Dario DiBattista

Cory Doctorow

Esther Duflo

David Elmer

Jennie Fields

Katherine Flynn

Nick Flynn

Franklin Foer

Thomas J. Foley

Richard Ford

Jeffry Frieden

Elissa Gershowitz

Regie Gibson

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

Ethan Gilsdorf

Alex Gilvarry

Edward Glaeser

Irene Goldman-Price

Meredith Goldstein

Paul Grogan

Jennifer Haigh

Colin Halloran

Wayne Hammond

Esmond Harmsworth

Patricia Ellis Herr

Anita Hill

Michelle Hoover

Joan Houlihan

Margo Howard

Philip Howard

Shonna Milliken Humphrey

Tsitsi Jaji

Lauren K. Johnson

Tayari Jones

Sep Kamvar

Eric Kandel

Robert Kane

Jessica Keener

Randall Kennedy

X.J. Kennedy

Chip Kidd

Jo Knowles

Michael P. Krupa

Madeleine Kunin

Ray Kurzweil

Nicole Lamy

Dennis Lehane

Dick Lehr

Lawrence Lessig

Alan Lightman

Bill Littlefield

Michael Lowenthal

Barry Lyga

Steve Macone

Leslie Maitland

Ben Marcus

Leonard Marcus

Andrew McAfee

Alexander McCall Smith

Claire Messud

Madeline Miller

Edson Monteiro

Vahram Muratyan

Nicholas Negroponte

Kadir Nelson

Elisa New

Bob Oakes

Maryanne O'Hara

Corey Olsen

Amy Pattee

Edith Pearlman

Tom Perrotta

Sacha Pfeiffer

Steven Pinker

Michael E. Porter

Henriette Power

Ayanna Pressley

Alan Price

Leah Price

Ladette Randolph

Carmen M. Reinhart

Lisa Rodensky

Aidan Rooney

Hanna Rosin

Ilie Ruby

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Michael Sandel

Christina Scull

Francesca Segal

B. A. Shapiro

Adeline Sire

Lemony Snicket

Anna Solomon

John Spooner

Phoebe Stone

Alexandra Styron

Larry Summers

Maria Tatar

Christina Thompson

Baratunde Thurston

Daniel Tobin

Justin Torres

Cheryl Cramer Toto

Marc Tracy

Dawn Tripp

Chris Ware

Robert Waxler

Joan Wickersham

Eugenia Williamson

Lizz Winstead

Alex Witchel

Maryanne Wolf

Robin Young

Youth Literacy Theater

Geary Zendajas

Gabrielle Zevin


Boston Book Festival 2012 Slideshow from Boston Book Festival on Vimeo.



The third annual Boston Book Festival took place on October 15, 2011. The night before, we kicked off BBF 2011 with The Art of The Wire, a provocative and timely discussion about the landmark television series with its cast and creators. More than one thousand fans packed into John Hancock Hall to hear from—and later meet—their favorite writers and actors from the show.

On Saturday, beloved author Mo Willems kicked off the day with our Kids Keynote. Hundreds of kids and parents laughed at Elephant and Piggie (who made a surprise appearance!), learned how to draw the Pigeon, and shouted “Oinky, Oink, Oink!” as they celebrated Happy Pig Day! Kids had plenty to keep them busy and happy all day long, from the appearance of costumed characters like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Curious George, and Geronimo Stilton in StoryPlace to our new Passport scavenger hunt to great sessions featuring authors like Chris Raschka and Julia Alvarez. Kids and families could even learn to make their own books at Deborah Davidson’s Building Books Workshop.

Outside, the day was sunny and mild, perfect for visiting the booths of 75 exhibitors like 826 Boston, the Brattle Bookshop, Greater Boston Food Bank, or Little Pickle Press. Food Network favorite Roxy’s Grilled Cheese kept our visitors well-fed, with the Cupcakory offering plenty of delicious sweets for dessert. Seating by the outdoor music stage was a popular place for a picnic lunch, as attendees listened to young talent from Berklee College of Music. And the big tent was a hub of activity, with BBF info and merchandise, WBUR, Google Books, and the Brookline Booksmith sharing space—and enjoying the bright sunshine that kept everyone warm and happy!

The tent, though, was not the star of the show. That distinction goes to more than one hundred world-renowned authors, who gave presentations throughout the day in the historic venues surrounding Copley Square. Standing-room-only crowds enjoyed fascinating discussions with novelists like Jennifer Egan, Ha Jin, Jennifer Haigh, and George Pelecanos, while lovers of nonfiction were thrilled by authors like Siddhartha Mukherjee, Tony Horwitz, Lisa Randall, and Stephen Greenblatt. Capping off the day was a stimulating and inspiring Keynote presentation by Booker Prize-winning novelist and poet Michael Ondaatje.

If you missed this year’s BBF, or just want to relive it, check out our slide show, as well as the audio and videos from some of our events. See you next year!

2011 AUDIO

Audio recordings are available for the following sessions from BBF 2011:

(Note: clicking the title of a session will play the audio file in a new window. To download the file to your hard drive, right-click (PC) or ctrl-click (Mac) and select “Download linked file” from the menu that appears.)

The Art of The Wire (BBF 2011 kick-off event): Donnie Andrews, Fran Boyd, Robert Chew, Jamie Hector, Tray Chaney, Host: Rev. Eugene Rivers (Video)

Civil War: Adam Goodheart, Tony Horwitz, Charles Flood, Drew Faust, Host: Annette Gordon-Reed (Video)
Crime Fiction: Joseph Finder, Chuck Hogan, George Pelecanos, Host: Hank Phillippi Ryan
Eat Your Words: Joan Nathan, Lisa Abend, Anka Muhlstein, Amy Traverso, Host: Donna Garlough
Far Out Fiction: Gregory Maguire, Karen Russell, Chuck Klosterman, Kate Beaton, Host: Eugenia Williamson
Fiction: Time Is…: Jennifer Egan, Peter Mountford, Lawrence Douglas, Host: Henriette Lazaridis Power
Fiction: Truth and Consequences: Ha Jin, Jennifer Haigh, Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Host: Ladette Randolph
Fresh Thinking for a Small Planet: Frances Moore Lappe, Susanne Freidberg, Host: Sacha Pfeiffer
Frontiers of Science: Stephen Greenblatt, Lisa Randall, Siddhartha Mukherjee, Host: Christopher Lydon
Girls and Boys: Caryl Rivers, Rosalind Barnett, Niobe Way, Host: Richard Weissbourd
Graphic Novels: Daniel Clowes, Seth, Alison Bechdel, Host: Robin Brenner
How to Live: Sarah Bakewell, Howard Gardner, Michael Jackson, Host: Joseph Koerner
Learning Learning: Nicholas Negroponte, Sugata Mitra, Idit Harel Caperton, Host: Mark Nieker (Video)
Memoir: Carlos Eire, Ben Ryder Howe, Maisie Houghton, Sandra Beasley, Host: Leslie Gilbert-Lurie
Music Legends: Bob Blumenthal, Tim Riley, Host: William Banfield
One City One Story: Richard Russo, Host: Alicia Anstead
Poetry: New Directions: Michael Palmer, Susan Howe, Forrest Gander, Host: Jeffrey Yang
Poetry: Personae, Self-Portrait As…: Sandra Beasley, Jessica Bozek, Host: Stephen Burt
A Reason to Lead: Governor Deval Patrick, Host: Guy Raz (Video)
Sports: Writers on Deck: Jane Leavy, Thomas Whalen, Glenn Stout, Host: Bill Littlefield
Steampunk!: Kelly Link, Gavin Grant, Allison DeBlasio, Holly Black, Host: Maya Escobar
True Story: Mitchell Zuckoff, Emma Rothschild, Michael Willrich, Host: Robin Young
What’s Up with Men?: Andre Dubus III, Stephen McCauley, Tom Matlack, Jabari Asim, Host: Tom Ashbrook
YA Fiction: On the Edge: Danica Novgorodoff, Ellen Levine, Daniel Nayeri, Host: Amy Pattee

Audio is not available for the following sessions:

Alone Together: Sherry Turkle, Ethan Gilsdorf, Sue Hallowell, Host: Andrew McAfee
Building Books: Host: Deborah Davidson
Don’t Know Much About Boston History Quiz: Kenneth C. Davis
Flash Fiction Open Mic: Host: Henriette Lazaridis Power
Funny Kids' Fiction: Julia Alvarez, Meg Wolitzer, Chris Raschka, Linda Urban, Host: Kathy Piehl
Keynote: Michael Ondaatje, Host: Homi Bhabha
Kids' Keynote: Mo Willems, Host: Jef Czekaj
Readings: Local Talent: Steve Almond, Laura Harrington, Michael Klein, Host: Kim McLarin
Readings: New England Stories: Holly LeCraw, James MacManus, Dawn Tripp, Host: Michelle Hoover
Spoken Word: Host: Regie Gibson
Storytelling: Jef Czekaj, Norah Dooley
Writer Idol: Judges: Ann Collette, Sorche Elizabeth Fairbank, Caroline Zimmerman


Lisa Abend

Steve Almond

Julia Alvarez

Alicia Anstead

Tom Ashbrook

Jabari Asim

Sarah Bakewell

William Banfield

Rosalind Barnett

Sandra Beasley

Kate Beaton

Alison Bechdel

Homi Bhabha

Holly Black

Bob Blumenthal

Jessica Bozek

Robin E. Brenner

Stephen Burt

Idit Harel Caperton

Daniel Clowes

Jef Czekaj

Kenneth C. Davis

Allison DeBlasio

Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Norah Dooley

Lawrence Douglas

Andre Dubus III

Jennifer Egan

Carlos Eire

Maya Escobar

Drew Gilpin Faust

Joseph Finder

Charles Bracelen Flood

Susanne Freidberg

Forrest Gander

Howard Gardner

Donna Garlough

Regie Gibson

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

Ethan Gilsdorf

Adam Goodheart

Annette Gordon-Reed

Gavin Grant

Stephen Greenblatt

Jennifer Haigh

Sue Hallowell

Laura Harrington

Chuck Hogan

Michelle Hoover

Tony Horwitz

Maisie Houghton

Ben Ryder Howe

Susan Howe

Michael D. Jackson

Ha Jin

Michael Klein

Chuck Klosterman

Joseph Koerner

Jane Leavy

Holly LeCraw

Ellen Levine

Kelly Link

Bill Littlefield

Christopher Lydon

James MacManus

Gregory Maguire

Tom Matlack

Andrew McAfee

Stephen McCauley

Kim McLarin

Sugata Mitra

Frances Moore Lappe

Peter Mountford

Anka Muhlstein

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Joan Nathan

Daniel Nayeri

Nicholas Negroponte

Mark Nieker

Danica Novgorodoff

Michael Ondaatje

Michael Palmer

Deval Patrick

Amy Pattee

George Pelecanos

Sacha Pfeiffer

Kathy Piehl

Henriette Lazaridis Power

Lisa Randall

Ladette Randolph

Chris Raschka

Guy Raz

Tim Riley

Caryl Rivers

Emma Rothschild

Karen Russell

Richard Russo

Hank Phillippi Ryan


Glenn Stout

Amy Traverso

Dawn Tripp

Sherry Turkle

Linda Urban

Niobe Way

Richard Weissbourd

Thomas Whalen

Mo Willems

Eugenia Williamson

Michael Willrich

Meg Wolitzer

Jeffrey Yang

Robin Young

Mitchell Zuckoff



Sunny skies and more than 130 authors and presenters greeted 25,000 festival-goers on Saturday, October 16, 2010, for a day of presentations, writing workshops, interactive kids’ events, a street festival with more than 60 exhibitors, and a live music stage. In the afternoon, close to 4000 seats were filled each hour as people flocked to hear presentations and discussions by world-renowned authors and thinkers.

Some of the most popular sessions of the day included Dennis Lehane and Tom Perrotta discussing the adaptations of their books into films; Bill Bryson and Tony Hiss talking about mindfulness at home and away; “Good Idea!,” where David Edwards, Neri Oxman, Steven Johnson, and Atul Gawande wowed everyone with ideas ranging from whiffable chocolate to simple checklists to buildings that breathe, and “The Economy,” where Joseph Stiglitz, Michael Porter, and Juliet Schor debated what went wrong and how to fix it.

Standing room only crowds were also eager to hear authors discuss everything from ancient history to sports writing. And while many sessions were entertaining enough to elicit belly laughs, the poignant stories told by Marianne Leone, Nick Flynn, and Jerald Walker at the Memoir panel moved some festival-goers to tears.

The future was on everyone’s minds at BBF 2010, and sessions such as “The Tendencies of Technology,” “Internet or Not,” and “The Novel: A Prognosis” asked where we are, where we have been, and where we are going when it comes to books, writing, and technology. Luminaries like Nicholas Negroponte, David Shields, and Nicholas Carr attempted answers.

The culmination of our very first One City One Story project drew several hundred people who were eager to discuss “The Smile on Happy Chang’s Face” with author Tom Perrotta.

Joyce Carol Oates delivered the Keynote, first reading an unsettling story from her new collection Sourland and then engaging in a contentious and at times unintentionally hilarious conversation with moderator Faith Salie.

We added many more sessions for kids in 2010, including a Kids’ Keynote presented by Jeff Kinney, the bestselling author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Jeff delighted his eager young audience with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Greg Heffley’s beloved diary as well as some sneak peeks at the much-anticipated Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5.

We ended the day with a literary rock star revue where the ebullient Steve Almond hosted the most writerly group of rockers we’ve ever seen. People went home exhausted but happy from BBF 2010.

2010 AUDIO

Audio is not available for the following sessions:

Building Books: Host: Deborah Davidson
Fun with Fancy Nancy: Robin Preiss Glasser, Jane O'Connor, Host: Maija Meadows
Guided Open Mic: Host: Steve Almond
Hidden Treasures: How Much Is It Worth? Boston Antiquarian Book Fair
History, Mystery & Art: Elyssa East, Erica Hirshler, Da Zheng, Host: Megan Marshall
Keynote: Joyce Carol Oates, Host: Faith Salie (Video)
Kids' Keynote: Jeff Kinney (Video)
Poetry of Our Times: Elizabeth Alexander, Edward Hirsch, Ellen Doré Watson, Host: Lloyd Schwartz
Spoken Word: FreeVerse!
StoryPlace: Timothy Basil Ering, Rose Lewis, Brian Lies, Scott Magoon, Rob Scotton
Writer Idol: Host: Chris Castellani


Susan Abulhawa

Caroline Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander

Steve Almond

Alicia Anstead

Dan Ariely

Tom Ashbrook

Jenny Attiyeh

Helene Atwan

Brunonia Barry

Kate Bernheimer

Nick Bilton

Lisa Birnbach

David Boeri

Jared Bowen

Robin Brenner

Howard Bryant

Bill Bryson

Ty Burr

Stephen Burt

Thanassis Cambanis

Nicholas Carr

Noni Carter

Kristin Cashore

Richard Cohen

Justin Cronin

Callie Crossley

Jef Czekaj

Kathryn Davis

Alan Dershowitz

Elyssa East

David Edwards

Hallie Ephron

Timothy Basil Ering

Haleh Esfandiari

Noah Feldman

Joshua Ferris

Tyler Florence

Nick Flynn

Alexis Frederick-Frost

Stefanie Friedhoff

Donna Garlough

Atul Gawande

Robin Preiss Glasser

Myla Goldberg

Christina Gonzalez

Allegra Goodman

Andrew Gross

Jennifer Haigh

Eric Haseltine

Edward Hirsch

James Hirsch

Erica Hirshler

Tony Hiss

John Hockenberry

A.M. Homes

Ann Hood

Michelle Hoover

Joel Hyatt

Marlon James

Gish Jen

Steven Johnson

Peter Kadzis

Daphne Kalotay

Meg Kearney

Kevin Kelly

Chip Kidd

Jeff Kinney

David Kirkpatrick

Jarrett Krosoczka

Eric Kuhne

Nicole Lamy

Kathryn Lasky

Dennis Lehane

Marianne Leone

Rose Lewis

Brian Lies

Kelly Link

Bill Littlefield

Scott Magoon

Megan Marshall

Simon Mawer

Andrew McAfee

Jill McDonough

Maija Meadows

Richard Michelson

Katie Smith Milway

Mark Moffett

Nick Montfort

Dambisa Moyo

Nicholas Negroponte

Joyce Carol Oates

Jane O'Connor

Neri Oxman

Joan Parker

Jay Parini

Mitali Perkins

Tom Perrotta

Michael F. Porter

Henriette Lazaridis Power

William Powers

David Rakoff

Joanna Smith Rakoff

Aaron Renier

John Rich

Nir Rosen

Moshe Safdie

Faith Salie

Michael Sandel

Stacy Schiff

Juliet Schor

Kathryn Schulz

Lloyd Schwartz

Rob Scotton

James Sebenius

Amartya Sen

David Shields

Brando Skyhorse

Sarah Sogigian

Jessica Stern

Joseph Stiglitz

Francisco Stork

Sir Peter Stothard

Maria Tatar

Christina Thompson

Lionel Vital

Jerald Walker

Andy Wasif

Ellen Doré Watson

Raffi Yessayan

Kevin Young

Robin Young

Da Zheng



At the inaugural Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 24, 2009, more than 12,000 readers of all ages from across Greater Boston and New England came to Copley Square and The Boston Public Library, Old South Church, and Trinity Church to attend talks and sessions by more than 90 world-renowned authors and presenters including Nobel, Pulitzer, Caldecott and Emmy award winners, and dozens of New York Times bestselling authors. More than 40 local booksellers, businesses, and nonprofit organizations showcased their goods and services, and music groups—many from Berklee College of Music—performed live in the bustling Copley Square street fair. Boston Book Festival 2009 also featured many free participatory activities for festival-goers and their families including programming for children, writing workshops, open mic opportunities, and Writer Idol.

At the Teen Spoken Word Showcase, young Bostonians performed original works, participating in the long tradition of accomplished poetic expression in Massachusetts. In Old South Church’s sanctuary, a rapt audience of over 1000 people listened to Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk deliver the keynote address, while in the Boston Public Library’s Rabb Lecture Hall, some of our country’s greatest thinkers—Michael E. Porter, David Gergen, Lani Guinie—discussed the first year of the Obama presidency. At the 826 Boston Copley Square booth, children pounded away on typewriters and drew pictures of favorite words. In the E-Ink pavilion, festival-goers experienced the cutting edge in electronic paper and ereader technology, including flexible and color displays.

At Boston Book Festival 2009, avid readers met authors and each other and exchanged thoughts, ideas, and book recommendations, aspiring writers received encouragement and direction from established masters, and children and their families interacted with book characters, authors, and illustrators.


Russ Aborn

Kurt Andersen

Alicia Anstead

Jessica Anthony

Tom Ashbrook

Jack Beatty

Jared Bowen

Stace Budzko

Ken Burns

Dana Cameron

Stephen Carter

Billy Costa

Harvey Cox

Callie Crossley

Carolina de Robertis

Anita Diamant

Brendan DuBois

Andre Dubus III

Joseph Finder

A. W. Flaherty

Jim Fusilli

David Gergen

Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

Ethan Gilsdorf

Mary Gordon

Michael Greenberg

Lani Guinier

Steve Haber

Jennifer Haigh

Lynne Heitman

John Hodgman

Jeffrey Howe

Walter Isaacson

Jennie Israel

Mary Lou Jepsen

Bret Anthony Johnston

Neil Jones

Sheryl Julian

Calestous Juma

Brewster Kahle

Jane Kamensky

Kathleen Kent

Scott Kirsner

Deborah Kovacs

Tim Kring

Corby Kummer

Reif Larsen

Dennis Lehane

Jill Lepore

Brian Lies

Grace Lin

Elinor Lipman

Bill Littlefield

Christopher Lydon

Barbara Lynch

Michael Patrick MacDonald

Jackie MacMullan

Scott Magoon

Megan Marshall

Kim McLarin

Ben Mezrich

Richard Michelson

Nicholas Negroponte

Elizabeth Nunez

Jay O'Callahan

Brian O'Donovan

Iyeoka Ivie Okoawo

John Orwant

Orhan Pamuk

Tom Perrotta

Robert Pinsky

John Pipkin

David Pogue

Michael Porter

Alicia Potter

Iqbal Quadir

Nancy Rappaport

Richard Russo

Katherine Roy

Hank Phillippi Ryan

Anita Shreve

R. Sikoryak

Alicia Silverstone

Irene Smalls

Jessica Stern

Glenn Stout

Grace Talusan

Michael Thomas

Paul Tremblay

Scout Tufankjian

Larry Tye

Chris Van Allsburg

Cornel West

Jared T. Williams