Boston Book Festival 2020 Boston Book Festival 2020

On Demand

Sunday, October 25, 2020

- EDT
Memoir: Extraordinary Beginnings [pre-recorded]
Join Stream
Mikel Jollett
Mikel Jollett
Hollywood Park
Megan Margulies
Megan Margulies
My Captain America
Honor Moore
Honor Moore
Our Revolution

These three authors were launched from situations and families that were out of the ordinary. Poet, playwright, and memoirist Honor Moore, after having written a memoir about her extraordinary father, turns to examining her relationship with her mother in Our Revolution. This mother of nine lived among the poor with Moore’s father, the Archbishop of New York, was a published author and playwright, and died young of cancer while racing to finish a memoir. In My Captain America, Megan Margulies writes lovingly about her close and formative relationship with her grandfather, the man who created the superhero comic Captain America. And Mikel Jollett, frontman for the indie band Airborne Toxic Event, describes in Hollywood Park a harrowing childhood in a cult where he barely knew his parents until the day his mother arrived to rescue him and his brother. Richard Hoffman, author of the poetry collection Noon Until Night and the memoirs Half the House and Love & Fury, hosts this session.

- EDT
Memoir: Intellectual Histories [pre-recorded]
Join Stream
Howard Gardner
Howard Gardner
A Synthesizing Mind
Rana el Kaliouby
Rana el Kaliouby
Girl Decoded
Claire Messud
Claire Messud
Kant's Little Prussian Head

A novelist and essayist, a computer scientist, and a scholar of human development discuss their lives and intellectual development. Claire Messud is the beloved author of many works of fiction and criticism. In Kant’s Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write, she examines her lived life and her literary life--which are bound together inextricably. Rana El Kaliouby talks about her personal journey and her efforts to humanize artificial intelligence by teaching machines to measure and interpret human emotions in Girl Decoded. And finally, the great Howard Gardner, originator of the theory of multiple intelligences, discusses his intellectual development in A Synthesizing Mind. Darrin McMahon, author of Divine Fury: A History of Genius, is the apt and able host of this revelatory session.

- EDT
Memoir: Race and Identity [pre-recorded]
Join Stream
Issac J. Bailey
Issac J. Bailey
Why Didn't We Riot?
E. Dolores Johnson
E. Dolores Johnson
Say I'm Dead
Sejal Shah
Sejal Shah
This Is One Way to Dance

This session explores how race, or more specifically how being nonwhite in America, has formed the identities and lives of our three memoirists. Sejal Shah, in her meditative memoir in essays, This Is One Way to Dance, explores how we are all marked by culture, language, family, and place. In her moving memoir, Say I’m Dead, E. Dolores Johnson tells the astonishing story of her black father and white mother’s flight from Indiana’s antimiscegenation laws to Buffalo, where they married in the 1940s and raised her and her siblings. Journalist Issac Bailey, author of My Brother Moochie and Why Didn’t We Riot? calls out the myth that whites where he lives, in Trumpland, support Trump because of economic distress rather than racism. Listen in to this powerful and timely set of conversations, hosted by Paris Alston, producer for Radio Boston at WBUR.  

- EDT
Memoir: Secrets, Lies, and the Mysteries of Our Youth [pre-recorded]
Join Stream
Betsy Bonner
Betsy Bonner
The Book of Atlantis Black
Nick Flynn
Nick Flynn
This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire
Helen Fremont
Helen Fremont
The Escape Artist

Secrets: almost every family has them. The three memoirists in this audio session will talk about the secrets and mysteries that haunt their lives. Helen Fremont, in The Escape Artist, explores the psychological fallout stemming from her parents’ refusal to acknowledge that they were survivors of the Holocaust. In The Book of Atlantis Black, poet Betsy Bonner delves into the mysterious and troubling facts surrounding her sister’s death in a blend of memoir and literary true crime. And poet and memoirist Nick Flynn skillfully and lyrically blends the secrets and mysteries of his early life with his own secrets in This Is the Night Our House Will Catch Fire. Journalist, writer, and founder of TheEditorial.com, Heidi Legg, delves into the truth of these memoirists’ stories about secrets, lies, and mysteries. Listen to the end for a special offer from the BBF and W.W. Norton!

- EDT
Storytime: A Place Inside of Me [pre-recorded]
Join Stream
Zetta Elliott
Zetta Elliott
A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart

Picture books offer some of the best openings for family discussions of social justice issues, so this year, we’re pleased to offer several conversations with the creators of new picture books that tackle timely themes in terms that will resonate with all members of the family. Poet Zetta Elliott has written books for all ages; in her last, she transforms a lyrical poem into a powerful picture book with dynamic artwork by Noa Denmon, tracing the evolving emotions of a young Black child over the course of a year as his community rebounds from a police shooting. Watch Elliott read her book in this on-demand video, and then tune in on October 13 for a live Q&A with Elliott, Denmon, and author and racial justice educator Francie Latour.

- EDT
Storytime: Everything Naomi Loved [pre-recorded]
Join Stream
Katie Yamasaki
Katie Yamasaki
Everything Naomi Loved

Picture books offer some of the best openings for family discussions of social justice issues, so this year, we’re pleased to offer several conversations with the creators of new picture books that tackle timely themes in terms that will resonate with all members of the family. In her new picture book, muralist Katie Yamasaki writes about a young girl who loves her vibrant city block (“It wasn’t pretty but it was alive!”) and mourns its rapid change into a place she no longer recognizes. Everything Naomi Loved offers a concrete, child-centered portrait of gentrification and, as Publishers Weekly notes in a starred review, “champions the power of ordinary people to preserve what’s lost through art.” Watch Yamasaki read her book in this on-demand video, and then tune in on October 9 for a live Q&A with author and racial justice educator Francie Latour.

- EDT
Storytime: I am Brown [pre-recorded]
Join Stream
Ashok Banker
Ashok Banker
I Am Brown
Sandhya Prabhat
Sandhya Prabhat
I Am Brown

Author Ashok Banker and artist Sandhya Prabhat have teamed up on the picture book I Am Brown, an exuberant celebration of the skin you’re in! “ I am brown / I am perfect” declares a child in the book’s opening pages, and she and a chorus of other voices join to share how they play, what they wear, where they pray, and what kind of grownups they aspire to become. Prabhat’s cheerful, colorful illustrations echo Banker’s joyful prose to create a radiant affirmation that will speak to all children. Watch Prabhat introduce readers to their book in this on-demand video and get a behind-the-scenes look at its creation!

- EDT
Storytime: Juana Medina [pre-recorded]
Join Stream
Juana Medina
Juana Medina
Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas

Author and illustrator Juana Medina has written many beloved picture books as well as two early chapter books featuring a young Colombian child, Juana, and her furry amigo Lucas. We are pleased to welcome Juana Medina as a headlining presenter at this year’s BBF and as a special guest at the Rafael Hernández two-way bilingual school as part of our Shelf Help partnership. In this session, Medina will introduce attendees to her characters and read a chapter from her latest book. Donations received in conjunction with this session will support the library collection at the Rafael Hernández School.

- EDT
Storytime: Oh, the Things We're For! [pre-recorded]
Join Stream
Innosanto Nagara
Innosanto Nagara
Oh, The Things We're For!

Picture books offer some of the best openings for family discussions of social justice issues, so this year, we’re pleased to offer several conversations with the creators of new picture books that tackle timely themes in terms that will resonate with all members of the family. In his first book, A Is for Activist, Innosanto Nagara started a movement in social justice picture books. Now, in Oh, the Things We’re For!, Nagara uses catchy rhyming text and bold illustrations to inspire young people to take action for causes they believe in, from the battle for universal healthcare and a living wage to the fight against climate change. Watch Nagara read his book in this on-demand video, and then tune in on October 15 for a live Q&A with Nagara and racial justice educator Tanya Nixon-Silberg. 

- EDT
Storytime: Okapi Tale [pre-recorded]
Join Stream
Jacob Kramer
Jacob Kramer
Okapi Tale
K-Fai Steele
K-Fai Steele
Okapi Tale

Picture books offer some of the best openings for family discussions of social justice issues, so this year, we’re pleased to offer several conversations with the creators of new picture books that tackle timely themes in terms that will resonate with all members of the family. Writer Jacob Kramer and artist K-Fai Steele's new book Okapi Tale is a companion to their earlier book Noodlephant. This time, the animal inhabitants of Beaston take on capitalism and privatization with cooperation and creativity! Watch Kramer and Steele read their book in this on-demand video, and then tune in on October 8 for a live Q&A with author and racial justice educator Francie Latour.