Concord will still host its 28th annual Festival of Authors but like virtually everything else, it will be held virtually.
You can catch the festival via Zoom from Friday, Oct. 16, to Saturday, Oct. 31.
The Friends of the Concord Free Public Library are proud sponsors of this beloved hometown tradition. They have worked tirelessly with countless organizations in and out of Concord for the past several months to ensure that the celebration of the world of literature goes on without a hitch.
Starting things off will be a live online presentation of the 2020 Ruth Ratner Miller Award for Excellence in American History to Jill Lepore on Friday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. The award was founded in 1998 to recognize outstanding achievements in documenting the nation’s history. It is sponsored by Ratner’s four children as a means of honoring her legacy.
Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 professor of American history at Harvard University and a staff writer for The New Yorker. She has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize twice and received the 2015 American History Book Prize for her 2014 national bestseller, “The Secret History of Wonder Woman.”
Lepore’s latest work, “If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future,” explores the influence of the Simulmatics Coporation on America from the time it was founded in 1959 to today. “If Then” is currently longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award in Nonfiction and the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year.
Lepore lives in Cambridge with her husband and their three sons. She will take questions during the event.Another event of the Festival of Authors that is not to be missed will happen Friday, Oct. 23, starting at 7 p.m., when keynote speaker Jennifer Haigh will deliver a lecture entitled “Why Stories Still Matter.” Haigh will discuss the lessons we can learn from literature and why those lessons are fundamental in the uncertain times we are living in.
Haigh is an award-winning novelist and short-story writer, best known for her critically acclaimed novel, “Heat and Light,” which book earned her a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. “Heat and Light” was also named Best Book by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and NPR. Her previous novel, “Mrs. Kimble,” won the 2004 Pen/Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction.
Haigh will be introduced by author Helen Elaine Lee, professor of comparative media studies/writing at MIT and director of MIT’s program in Women’s & Gender Studies. During the lecture, participants will be encouraged to join in on the conversation and share the stories that matter the most to them.
Concord invites anyone and everyone to the annual celebration of the written and spoken word. Even though things look a little different this year, Concord promises to deliver as wonderful a festival as ever — accessed online from the safety of your own home.
To sign up for the 2020 Concord Festival of the Arts or for a full calendar of events, visit www.concordfestivalofauthors.org today.