Ella Wilczek, '25
The annual Boston Book Festival was held in Back Bay on Saturday, October 29, including a book fair in Copley Square and a variety of events around the area. Venues included the Boston Public Library, Boston Architectural College, Old South Church, and the Goethe Institute. There were events geared for all ages.
Keynote speaker Patrick Radden Keefe, in conversation with moderator Meghna Chakrabarti, kicked off the event Friday night. Keynote authors who spoke the following day included children’s authors Tui T. Sutherland and B. B. Alston, fiction writers Yiyun Li, Gish Yen, and Malinda Lo, and nonfiction writer Bessel van der Kolk.
This year’s festival was the first held in person for three years. The pandemic forced the 2020 and 2021 festivals online. Librarian Laura Bernheim said of its return, “It was great to be back at the Boston Book Festival in person after three years. This is a fall tradition for me for several years and it was wonderful, as usual.”
Many different authors, writing in different genres and forms, were present at the festival. Festival-goers enjoyed storytimes for young children, poetry readings, and literary walking tours as well as a workshop on writing verse novels, a panel on social change, a conversation around women and memoirs, and an exploration of popular music.
The event Making Change, for example, featured nonfiction writers Ruha Benjamin, Erica Chenoweth, and John Della Volpe in a discussion on community action, civil resistance, and Gen Z’s relationship to politics.
The street fair hosted many booksellers and publishers from the Boston area and beyond. Bookstores Brattle Book Shop, More Than Words, and the MIT Press Bookstore attended, while publishers such as Harvard University Press and Europa Editions sold copies of books.
The Berklee Festival Stage entertained the crowds with performances by Berklee students Zoe Ny and Emme Cannon, among others.