The Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival began Friday evening at the Chilmark Community Center with a conversation between comedian and late night host Seth Meyers and top tech journalist Kara Swisher before a sold-out crowd of community members, sponsors and the festival’s featured authors.

The opening event signaled the start of the three-day festival, which featured 27 authors across many genres.

On Saturday, authors took part in various panels, discussing topical issues ranging from violence and justice to dynasty and wealth to reckoning with identity through memoir. Sunday featured one-on-one interviews.

Ms. Swisher and Mr. Meyers covered a wide range of subjects in a fast-paced rapport of wit and wisdom, delighting in their shared experience coaxing truths from tight-lipped powerhouses.

Kara Swisher and Seth Meyers headlined Friday night's opening event. — Ray Ewing

“I think smart people like to be challenged,” Ms. Swisher said, referring to Mr. Meyer’s question about why people agree to her famously frank interviews. “I think they get bored with these kinds of talking interviews and suck-up interviews. I think it gives them a challenge.”

Wrapping up their conversation, Ms. Swisher turned the microphone onto Mr. Meyers, asking him about the Screen Writers Guild (SAG) strike, and who he would like to have on his show when it does return.

Like many of the politicians the two discussed interviewing, Mr. Meyers answered the question with another question: “Would you come on my show?”

The two vowed to have each other as guests on their respective shows. But for now Ms. Swisher’s appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers will have to wait until a resolution is made in the ongoing strike, the end of which is yet to be determined.

Festival-goers arrived early Saturday morning for the first panel of the day with authors Geraldine Brooks, Rebecca Makkai, Ben Smith and Jacob Weisberg discussing the development of artificial intelligence.

Jeannette Walls being interviewed by Alexandra Styron. — Ray Ewing

Seasonal Edgartown residents Cheryl and Louis Saloom said they were inspired by the panelists.

“It really opened up our eyes to many of the issues that they deal with in their business,” said Mr. Saloom. “You know, they’re writers, so are they going to be competing with computers?”

Looking at a flier listing the line-up for the rest of the day, the Salooms said they wished they had the stamina for each and every one.

“We love this but of course the schedule is tricky because obviously you’d like to just stay for most of the day and see everyone,” said Ms. Saloom.

Another festival attendee, JC Louis, planned to stick it out all weekend.

Michelle Miller and Kwame Alexander. — Jeanna Shepard

“I wish that I could be everywhere all at once,” he said. “The first panels were just very good.”

The day wrapped up with an emotional conversation about identity, race and family among memoirists Kwame Alexander, Nicole Chung, Christian Cooper and Michelle Miller.

Sunday’s lineup began at 8:30 a.m. with Kwame Alexander, Newbury Award winner and author of 38 books, being interviewed by Angela Ards.

Mr. Alexander’s most recent book is a debut memoir called Why Fathers Cry At Night, a collection of prose, poetry and recipes for his daughters.

Among the crowd of early risers was a group of kids who had come to hear the author of some of their favorite books.

Tents were packed all weekend long. — Ray Ewing

“I really liked The Crossover and Rebound, and I wanted to see what he’s like in person,” said Emmett Taylor, who begins ninth grade at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School in the fall. “He inspired me to get his book.”

Mr. Alexander’s latest book is a departure from his typical content aimed at children. Why Fathers Cry At Night shares more mature stories and intimate details of familial and romantic love.

“This seems like a really different thing than his other stuff,” said 13-year-old Kavi Dewan. “But he was so cool to hear talk — he’s really writing what he thinks.”

Later in the morning Alexandra Styron interviewed Jeannette Walls about her new novel, Hang the Moon. The two writers share an editor and admiration for each other.

“I feel like the star is interviewing the moon,” Ms. Walls said to her audience.

Tom Rosenberg is married to Valerie Rosenberg, one of the festival’s organizers. As a sponsor, Mr. Rosenberg said he delights in the biennial opportunity to bring the Island community together, expand his reading list and meet a new collection of authors.

“My wife gets a stack of books in the spring, which becomes my summer homework,” he said.

Founder and director Suellen Lazarus.

The festival partners with Bunch of Grapes Bookstore and encourages attendees to support independent booksellers.

Molly Coogan, who owns Bunch of Grapes with her husband Brendan Coogan, said that book sales during the festival were beyond expectations.

“We are very lucky to partner with the festival. The benefit for the community is engaging with the authors, but the authors being around also moves book sales,” she said. “It is such a great celebration and support for the literary arts and bookstores.”

Ms. Coogan said that many of the authors also stopped by to purchase their peers’ books.

Journalist John Merrow attended the festival from his home in Edgartown.

“This is the most stimulating event on the Island for writers and thinkers to come together,” he said. “We wish they had it every year.”