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MV Book Festival Individual Author Talks & Book Signings

Sunday, August 4th 8:30am-4:30pm Individual Author Talks (FREE)

The festival line-up includes a stunning array of Pulitzer Prize and National Book award-winners, and New York Times best sellers. Local authors are featured, and there is a focus on topical issues, including the role of the media, immigration, equality, race, gender, higher education, food, fishing, and sports. Book signings follow each session; book sales by Bunch of Grapes Bookstore.

Sponsorships allow this world-class literary event to remain FREE. Sponsorships provide front row seating, priority parking, and other benefits, making it easy to enjoy the full content of the festival. Sponsorships are limited. Get yours now by going to

Volunteer at the book festival. Email to help at the festival.

Thanks to Our Sponsors Vineyard Gazette, WBUR-FM, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Cape Air, and Stina Sayre Design. Grants provided by Cape Cod Five Charitable Fund, Mass Center for the Book, & Mass Cultural Council. Proudly presented in association with the Chilmark Town Affairs Council.

Menemsha Tent

Jim Acosta

The Enemy of the People
in discussion with Rita Braver

John Grisham

The Reckoning
in discussion with Amor Towles

Admiral William McRaven

Sea Stories
in discussion with Bob Barnett

Nathaniel Brooks Horwitz

in discussion with David Blight
Spying on the South
A Tribute to
Tony Horwitz

David Blight

Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

Lisa Taddeo

Three Women
in discussion with Mindy Todd

Ruth Reichl

Save Me the Plums
in discussion with Joan Nathan

Valerie Jarrett

Finding My Voice
in discussion with Michele Norris

Squibnocket Tent

Stephen McCauley

My Ex-Life
Introduced by
Elizabeth Benedict

Valeria Luiselli

Lost Children Archive

Nana Kwame

Friday Black

Jia Tolentino

Trick Mirror
in discussion with Amy Zimmerman

Sigrid Nunez

The Friend

Gary Shteyngart

Lake Success
in discussion with Bill Eville

Richard Russo

Chances Are…

Juliet Grames

Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna
in discussion with Dawn Davis

Nicole Galland

On the Same Page

Stonewall Tent

David Wallace-Wells

Uninhabitable Earth
in discussion with Jeremy Hobson

Tatiana Schlossberg

Inconspicuous Consumption
in discussion with Alexandra Styron

Suketu Mehta

This Land is Our Land

Bob Barnett

A talk on politics and publishing

Eric Klinenberg

Palaces for the People

Mindy Aloff

Dance in America: A Reader's Anthology
in discussion with David White

Emily Bernard

Black is the Body
in discussion with Patricia Sullivan

Mark Leibovich

Big Game: The NFL in Dangerous Times
in discussion with Shira Springer

Corky, Dana, Lori & Tracey Pollan

Mostly Plants: 101 Delicious Flexitarian Recipes from the Pollan Family
in discussion with Susie Middleton

CCC Hall

Mary Norris

Greek to Me
in discussion with George Gibson

Chef Kwame Onwuachi

Notes from a Young Black Chef
In discussion with Jessica Harris

Dani Shapiro

in discussion with Ruth Faden

Tina Cassidy

Mr. President: How Long Must We Wait?
in discussion with Carol Gilligan

Judge Richard Gergel

Unexampled Courage
in discussion with Irving Cohen

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow

Victoria Riskin

Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir
in discussion with Jenny Allen

Holden Thorpe and Buck Goldstein

Our Higher Calling: Rebuilding the Partnership between America and Its Universities

Janet Messineo

Casting Into the Light: Tales of a Fishing Life
in discussion with Warren Doty

All talks end at 4:30 pm. Book signings follow each talk.

Download a printable version of the complete festival schedule here.

Moderator Bios

Jenny Allen Writer and performer Jenny Allen is the author of Would Everybody Please Stop?, which was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. Called “one of the funniest writers in America,” Jenny’s essays have appeared in humor anthologies, The New Yorker and The New York Times, among other publications.

Bob Barnett is a partner at Williams and Connelly in Washington, D.C. During his thirty years of practice, Bob has become one of the premier representatives of authors, television news correspondents, and producers. He frequently represents former government officials transitioning to the private sector and has played a key role in debate preparation for ten national presidential debates.

Elizabeth Benedict is a bestselling novelist, journalist, teacher of creative writing, editor, and writing coach. She has published five acclaimed novels, including the bestseller Almost, the National Book Award finalist Slow Dancing, The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers, and many reviews, essays, and articles in national publications.

Rita Braver Nine-time Emmy Award-winner Rita Braver is a national correspondent for CBS News’ CBS Sunday Morning, where she reports on everything from arts and culture to politics and foreign policy. She has interviewed presidents, cabinet secretaries, and celebrities and reported on topics ranging from the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to the Clinton White House to the rise of political correctness on campus.

Dawn Davis is the Vice President, Publisher, and founder of 37 Ink, an imprint within the Atria Publishing Group of Simon and Schuster, which publishes books from a diverse array of cultures and viewpoints. Prior to launching 37 Ink, she was Editorial Director and then Publisher of Amistad imprint at HarperCollins where she published the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Known World by Edward P. Jones. She is a member of the MV Book Festival Advisory Board.

Warren Doty Long-time Chilmark selectman Warren Doty is dedicated to the mission of keeping Menemsha Harbor as a working waterfront supporting both the recreational and commercial fisherfolk of the Island. Warren is also the President of the Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund and a Board Member of the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust.

Bill Eville is a writer and the managing editor of the Vineyard Gazette. After a successful career in film and television production, he discovered he preferred writing to movies, and his essays and articles have appeared in The New York Times, This American Life, The Moth, the Vineyard Gazette, and many other publications.

Ruth Faden Bioethicist Ruth Faden is the founding director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. An international expert on the ethics of science, global justice, and food policy, Dr. Faden is the author and editor of many books and articles on biomedical ethics and health policy and has served on numerous national advisory committees and commissions.

David Foster Ecologist David Foster is the author of A Meeting of Land and Sea: Nature and the Future of Martha’s Vineyard. He is a faculty member in biology at Harvard University, Director of the 4,000-acre Harvard Forest, and Principal Investigator for the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research program as well as serving on the board of the Trustees of Reservations, the Edey Foundation and the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

George Gibson joined Grove Atlantic as the Executive Editor in January 2017 after a 23-year career at Bloomsbury where he edited and/or published a number of acclaimed works of nonfiction, including Dava Sobel’s Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter, Mark Kurlansky’s Salt, and Carol Anderson’s White Rage. George began his career in the book business in 1972 as a clerk at The Old Corner Bookstore in Boston, which was then the oldest continuously running bookstore in America. He is a member of the MV Book Festival Advisory Board.

Carol Gilligan is Professor of Humanities and Applied Psychology at New York University and the author of In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development, described by Harvard University Press as “the little book that started a revolution.” Other books include Meeting at the Crossroads: Women’s Psychology and Girls’ Development, a New York Times notable book of the year, Why Does Patriarchy Persist?, Joining the Resistance, and The Birth of Pleasure.

Jessica Harris Educator and culinary historian Jessica Harris is the author of twelve cookbooks documenting the foods and foodways of the African Diaspora. Her most recent book is High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America. She has written extensively about the culture of Africa in the Americas. In 2019, she was included in the Cookbook Hall of Fame by the James Beard Association.

Jeremy Hobson Radio journalist Jeremy Hobson is the co-host of NPR’s Here & Now. He conducts nearly 2,000 interviews a year on a range of topics, speaking with world leaders, governors and members of Congress, as well as actors, musicians, business leaders, athletes, scientists, and journalists.

Susie Middleton Cook-writer-farmer Susie Middleton is the Martha’s Vineyard-based author of four cookbooks: Fast, Fresh & Green, The Fresh & Green Table, Fresh From the Farm and Simple Green Suppers: A Fresh Strategy for One-Dish Vegetarian Meals. Susie is the former chief editor for Fine Cooking magazine and is currently Special Projects Editor for the Vineyard Gazette Media Group.

Joan Nathan is the author of eleven cookbooks including her latest work, King Solomon’s Table. Her previous cookbook, Quiches, Kugels and Couscous, was named one of the 10 best cookbooks of 2010 by NPR, Food and Wine, and Bon Appétit magazines, and she is a regular contributor to The New York Times and Tablet Magazine. She is a member of the MV Book Festival Advisory Board.

Michele Norris Journalist Michele Norris is an NPR host and special correspondent. She leads The Race Card Project, an initiative to foster a wider conversation about race in America, which won a Peabody Award in 2014. She hosted NPR’s evening news program, All Things Considered for many years, and her 2010 memoir, The Grace of Silence, sheds new light on America’s complicated racial history. She is a member of the MV Book Festival Advisory Board.

Shira Springer Journalist Shira Springer covers stories at the intersection of sports and society for WBUR and NPR. She also writes regular columns on women’s sports for the Boston Globe and Sports Business Journal and teaches journalism at Boston UniversityShe’s contributed to the essay collections “Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History” and “Our Boston: Writers Celebrate the City They Love.”

Alexandra Styron is the author of the memoir, Reading My Father, the novel, All the Finest Girls, and a new book, Steal This Country: A Handbook for Resistance, Persistence and Fixing Almost Everything, a timely call for citizen activism. She teaches memoir writing in the MFA program at Hunter College. She is a member of the MV Book Festival Advisory Board.

Patricia Sullivan is a Professor of History at the University of South Carolina focusing on modern African American history, the Civil Rights Movement, and race, reform and politics in the US. Her books include Lift Every Voice: The NAACP and the Making of the Civil Rights Movement, Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era and Freedom Writer: Virginia Foster Durr, Letters from the Civil Rights Years. She is a member of the MV Book Festival Advisory Board.

Mindy Todd is the host and producer of The Point on WCAI, which examines critical issues for Cape Cod and the Islands. With more than 30 years of experience in radio and television covering nearly all aspects of broadcasting, she has been the anchor of her own morning show, a radio disc jockey, a traffic reporter, a television news anchor and reporter, a program director, and talk show host.

Amor Towles is the New York Times bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow, ranked as one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the St. Louis Dispatch, and NPR, and Rules of Civility, one of the Wall Street Journal’s best books of 2011. Having worked as an investment professional in Manhattan for over twenty years, he now devotes his full time to writing.

David White is the Artistic Director and Executive Producer at The Yard in Chilmark, MA, an artist/company creative residency, presentation and educational center dedicated to the nurturing of outstanding artists in contemporary dance and related art forms. He also chairs the National Council of Florida’s Atlantic Center for the Arts, and until 2011, he was the Director of ARTVENTURES New England, a statewide program in New Hampshire focusing on rural community cultural development and arts accessibility.

Amy Zimmerman Journalist Amy Zimmerman is an entertainment reporter for The Daily Beast. Her work focuses on popular culture, including sexual abuse and harassment in Hollywood and the music industry and the me-too movement.