They call the guest list of the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival summer series author “Olympics” because the lineup is so impressive: 22 winners (including Nobel Prize and Pulitzer), bestsellers, celebrities, politicians and more.
The series is set up in two locations, both outside: the grounds of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven for Thursday and Friday, and the Chilmark Community Center for Saturday and Sunday. COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for members of the public on site; masks are requested. Off-site shuttles will be available.
Those who need or want to stay at home, however, can still participate virtually – and, of course, without being on the island. Live streaming of events is an option, at https://mvbookfestival.com/2021-live-stream.
So who is coming and what are they talking about? Kicking off at 6 p.m. Thursday at the museum involves Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman interviewing biographer and historian Walter Isaacson, author of “Code Breaker.”
Other prominent authors include Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar (“Antitrust”); Pulitzer Prize winner Louis Menand (“The Free World”); New York writers Elizabeth Kolbert (“Under a White Sky”) and Andrew Marantz (“Antisocial”); and NBC News contributor Heather McGhee (“The Sum of Us”).
Friday events at the museum, 151 Lagoon Pond Road, are designed as reflective panels on race, feminism, politics and journalism. These include:
At 11 am: “What the hell? Land and Our Future ”on what we’ve done to our planet and what we can do to save it, with Kolbert, food journalist Mark Bittman (“ Animal, Vegetable, Junk ”); and Simon Winchester (“Land”), moderated by Glenn Roberts, seed preservation pioneer and founder of Anson Mills.
At 12:30 pm: “Racism and Exclusion”, with historian Vernon Burton (“Justice Deferred”), McGhee and historian Patricia Sullivan (“Justice Rising”), moderated by lawyer and social justice advocate Barbara Phillips.
At 2:00 p.m .: “Mothers and Daughters”, with Sadeqa Johnson (“Yellow Wife”), first novelist Torrey Peters (“Detransition, Baby”) and Pen / Faulkner award winner Deesha Philyaw (“The Secret Lives of Church Ladies ”), Moderated by Bon Appétit editor-in-chief Dawn Davis.
3:15 pm: “Our Political Future”, with former Hill staffer Adam Jentleson (“Kill Switch”), political analyst John B. Judis (“The Politics of Now”) and Congressman from Michigan Andy Levin, hosted by NPR Washington correspondent Mara Lisson.
At 6 p.m., there will be a Vineyard Gazette celebration examining the effect on Facebook news, Google, funding, politics and other factors, with Jelani Cobb, a New Yorker writer, journalism professor and author; Cecilia Kang, New York Times technical reporter; and Marantz; Hosted by Don Baer (Chairman of the Board of PBS, Former Global Chairman and CEO of Burson-Marsteller and White House Communications Director for President Clinton. A reception will follow.
The Saturday and Sunday events, moved up the island to central Chilmark at 520 South Road, will focus on interviews with the authors.
Saturday morning, from 10 a.m .: Isaacson, Johnson, Jentleson and Peters. Saturday afternoon, from 12:30 pm: Bittman, Kang, Sullivan, Vernon Burton and Armand Derfner (“Justice Deferred”) and Kolbert.
Sunday morning, from 9 am: Klobuchar, Philyaw and Brandon Taylor (“Filthy Animals”), McGhee and Danielle Dreilinger (“The Secret History of Home Economics”). In the afternoon, Winchester, Judis, Sebastian Junger (“Liberty”), Menand, and a closing panel on “Considering Our Future”.
All events will be billed in advance with featured books included in the ticket price. Day, half-day and individual tickets are available. Live events will be free.
For tickets and more information, visit https://mvbookfestival.com.
Contact Kathi Scrizzi Driscoll at [email protected] Follow on Twitter: @KathiSDCCT.