Looking for something to read? Discover new authors and novels

More than 1,000 people are expected to attend this year's Martha's Vineyard Book Festival, this Sunday, at the Chilmark Community Center.
Photo by Lynn Christoffers

More than 1,000 people are expected to attend this year's Martha's Vineyard Book Festival, this Sunday, at the Chilmark Community Center.

Getting more than 20 authors together in one place at the same time may be a challenging task, but the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival has finalized its plans for a full day of discussions, book signings, and question and answer sessions.

This Sunday, the MV Book Fest will host an event during which already well-known and new emerging authors will speak about their books and answer questions from readers at Chilmark Community Center.

“People will have the chance to hear their favorite authors and to discover new ones,” organizer Suellen Lazarus said. “Authors will talk about their work, how and why they wrote what they did, and what informed their work. For some, how they went about getting it published, particularly for first novelists.”

Among the new writers, Kitty Pilgrim, Isabel Wilkerson, and Amor Towles have recently published their first books. For Ms. Pilgrim and Ms. Wilkerson, their experiences as journalists helped shape their writing. Mr. Towles is an investment banker turned novelist.

On the other hand, familiar names, such as Alison Shaw and Tom Dunlop, will contribute to the familiar topic of Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway’s wooden boats.

Ms. Lazarus said the MV Book Festival expects around 1,000 people to attend the event. She said, “The Island is full of readers, especially in the summer when we have more time to read. The book festival is a unique opportunity to see many authors in one place and one day.”

The organizers browsed various reviews, culling lists and referrals from book stores to finalize the list of authors.

“We worked closely with Edgartown Books to find out what is coming out and what is hot,” Ms. Lazarus said. “We want to appeal to a broad demographic on the Vineyard and this year, we worked to bring in younger readers and to find authors in the under-40 age group. The New Yorker 20-under-40 list was a good source.”

During the event, Tony Horwitz will introduce his wife, Geraldine Brooks, as well as Ms. Wilkerson, Pulitzer winning journalist.

Moreover, Edith Pearlman, who recently won the PEN/Malamud award for short stories, and Siddhartha Mukherjee, who won the Pulitzer for nonfiction for “Emperor of All Maladies,” will answer questions about writing nonfiction features.

The MV Book Fest has also teamed up with the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival to host a screening of Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte’s newest documentary, “Charlotte.”

“Charlotte,” a 90-minute film, follows the building process of a wooden schooner, Charlotte, built by Nat Benjamin and Ross Gannon in Vineyard Haven.

The festival begins at 11 am on Sunday and will continue until about 5 pm For more information, visit mvbookfestival.com.