West Coaster Goes Native to Write Life of New England WASP Family

Maggie Shipstead was not yet 30 when she finished her first novel, Seating Arrangements. The story, as she described it in a recent interview, is about “an ever-so-slightly dysfunctional Waspy family holding a shotgun wedding on a resort island.”

Ms. Shipstead has never been to the Vineyard before. It is of Nantucket that she speaks, naturally.

Hip Hop Graffiti Novel Celebrates Lasting Legacy of Ephemera

Best-selling author Adam Mansbach claims that he’s “really bad” at not working. He has spent a lifetime of summers at his family’s longtime home in Chilmark, times full of idyllic pleasures — bodysurfing, grilling fish from Larsen’s, living in a house overlooking a beach — that anyone would find enviable. But Mr. Mansbach cites his time on the Vineyard as his most productive as a writer.

In Her Education, It's Never Too Late to Learn You Should Have Known Better

There is a large group of literature in the American canon referred to as “coming of age.” Though Susan Choi will discuss her new book, My Education, at a Saturday afternoon panel at the Harbor View Hotel entitled Coming of Age, she says it only partially belongs there.

Finding Your Voice in the Faltering Silence

Someone once told me that writers are peoplwho have failed at other careers. That’s not always true, but it is for me. I went straight from college to work as a union organizer in Mississippi. This was perhaps the worst career choice you could make in 1981, when Ronald Reagan took office and promptly busted the air traffic controllers union.

Approaching Wine Appreciation With Full Body, Brain and Heart

When Eric Asimov visits the Island for the book festival it will be his first time on the Vineyard in 30 years. His last trip was marked by trying his first farm-fresh egg. He was in college at the time, sleeping on a friend’s floor, and for breakfast one morning they went to the neighbor’s next door to fetch the eggs for breakfast.

No Woman Is an Island, No Islander Alone in Tale of Accidental Purpose

For a parent, a child’s teenage years can be a frustrating time, when adulthood and independence start to rear their twin heads. Most parents, though, have the benefit of knowing the ins and outs of their child, having raised them since birth. But what if you were to skip the younger years entirely and suddenly find yourself a first-time parent to a 15 year old?

Book Festival Branches Out

In past years the Martha’sVineyard Book Festival was a one-day event taking place at the Chilmark Community Center. This year the organizers have added a second day at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown.

August Book Festival Hosts Stellar Lineup

Summer reads are one thing, but the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival is quite another. In its fifth year, the festival occurs the first weekend in August every other year and highlights the Island’s rich literary history while bringing some of the best known authors to the Vineyard. The weekend features some of the country’s leading authors and includes readings, panel discussions, author interviews and book signings.

Book Festival Is Sunday

W e keep reading. When the writing is bad, it’s a fleeting disappointment but when it’s good, there’s nothing better. When it’s good, it matters in the moment and in our memory; nothing matters more.

Few words are new, but lately they come at us in torrents. Words, words, words career toward us, screaming, tweeting, each true enough but incomplete. Words alone are isolating; writing, telling stories, that’s what takes the isolation away.

Readers All Right in the Rain, Book Festival Is Huge Success

It’s official: Kindle and e-books may flourish, but real books with pages you can turn are here to stay. Just as television thrived without disposing of movies, books and book lovers will never go away. Last Sunday’s Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival proved it.

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