Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters will host the sixth annual Palm Beach Book Festival with an exciting group of New York Times bestselling authors, several of whom have books featured on the New York Times list of books to watch in 2020. The festival will take place on Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in FAU’s University Theatre, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. Tickets for the full day are $75, and individual panel tickets are $20 and $25, and can be purchased at fauevents.com or by calling 561-297-6124. Free parking is included with admission, and lunch will be for sale at the event.
The first panel will start at 10 a.m. and is titled “Twisted History: Larry Loftis in conversation with Louis Bayard.” Loftis is the USA TODAY and international bestselling author of the nonfiction spy thrillers “Code Name: Lise—The True Story of the Woman Who Became WWII's Most Highly Decorated Spy” and “Into the Lion's Mouth: The True Story of Dusko Popov—World War II Spy, Patriot, and the Real-Life Inspiration for James Bond,” which have been translated into multiple languages and published around the world. His third nonfiction spy thriller, “The Princess Spy,” will hit bookstores in March 2021. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, Loftis was a corporate attorney and adjunct professor of law.
Bayard is a New York Times Notable Book author and has been shortlisted for both the Edgar and Dagger awards for his historical thrillers, which include “The Pale Blue Eye” and “Mr. Timothy.” His most recent novel was the critically acclaimed young-adult title “Lucky Strikes.” Bayard lives in Washington, D.C. and teaches at George Washington University.
The second panel, which starts at 11 a.m., is titled “You Don’t Have to be Jewish (to love this panel).” Patricia Marx, in conversation with Cathleen Schine, will talk about Jewish mothers, spouses and siblings. Marx has been contributing to The New Yorker since 1989. She is a former writer for “Saturday Night Live” and “Rugrats,” and is the author of several books. Marx was the first woman elected to the Harvard Lampoon. She has taught screenwriting and humor writing at Princeton, New York University, and Stonybrook University and she was the recipient of a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship.
“The Grammarians” is Cathleen Schine’s 11th novel. Often compared to Nora Ephron, Nancy Mitford, and Jane Austen, Schine is one of our great comic novelists. Her much-loved novels include “The Love Letter,” “Alice in Bed,” “Rameau’s Niece,” “The Three Weissmanns of Westport,” and “They May Not Mean To, But They Do.”
At 12:10 p.m., the Oprah Book Club panelists Leigh Haber (O Magazine), Jeanne Cummins, Kate Elizabeth Russell, and Liz Moore will address the social issues of immigration, #MeToo and the opioid epidemic. Russell was born and raised in eastern Maine. She holds a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Kansas and an M.F.A. from Indiana University. Her work has appeared in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Mid-American Review, and Quarterly West, among other literary journals. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin. This is her first novel, hailed by Stephen King as “a well-constructed package of dynamite.”
Cummins three books include “The Outside Boy,” “The Crooked Branch,” and the bestselling memoir “A Rip in Heaven.” Her upcoming novel “American Dirt” is one of the most anticipated books of 2020 and has already been sold as an adaptation for a motion picture.
Following a lunch break, the 2 p.m. panel titled Protest and Power: U.S., U.K. and #RealFakeNews will feature Mark Thompson in Conversation with Joy-Anne Reid and David Kogan. Thompson became president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company in November 2012. He has directed the Company’s strategy and presided over an expansion of its digital and global operations. Under his leadership, digital subscriptions have grown from 500,000 to nearly four million and the Times has successfully branded out into other digital products like Cooking and Crosswords, has launched one of the world’s most successful podcasts, and recently premiered “The Weekly,” a new TV news program for FX and Hulu.
Before joining the Times Company, Thompson served as director-general of the BBC, where he reshaped the organization to meet the challenges of the digital age, ensuring that the BBC remained a leading innovator with the launch of services such as the BBC iPlayer. He also oversaw a transformation of the BBC itself, driving productivity and efficiency through the introduction of new technologies and a bold organizational redesign. His book, “Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?,” which is based on lectures he gave as a visiting professor at Oxford University, was published in the United Kingdom and the United States in September 2016. Thompson was educated at Stonyhurst College and Merton College, Oxford.
Reid is a political analyst at MSNBC and host of “AM Joy.” Her latest book “The Man Who Sold America: Trump and the Unraveling of the American Story,” was published in June 2019 and is a New York Times best seller. She is the author of the book “Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide” and the co-editor, with Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne, of “We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama.” Reid’s columns and articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Miami Herald, New York Magazine and The Daily Beast. Reid has previously worked in local TV news as a talk radio producer and host, and in politics as a Florida press secretary for America Coming Together (2004) and a Florida press aide for the Barack Obama campaign (2008). As the former managing editor of TheGrio.com, Reid led a staff of 12 young journalists in exploring stories and issues of importance to African-Americans. Later, she was tapped to host her first branded cable news show titled “The Reid Report,” a daily news program on MSNBC. Reid graduated from Harvard University with a concentration in film in 1991. She and her husband Jason own a documentary film production company. They reside in New York and have three children.
Kogan has had an extensive career in journalism and business management. He began in newspapers in 1979, wrote his first book “The Battle for the Labour Party” at the age of 24, and then joined the BBC where he worked in radio and television in New York from 1984 to 1985. He joined the international news agency Reuters in 1988 first as managing editor and then global managing director of Reuters TV. He covered such stories as the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, Nelson Mandela’s release in South Africa and the civil war in Yugoslavia. In 1998 he created Reel Enterprises which was responsible for negotiating major commercial deals in media and sports. Kogan was the Chief executive of the renowned photographers’ agency Magnum Photos from 2014 to 2019. He has had a wide range of non-executive directorships including on the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office for which he has been awarded the Order of the British Empire. He is now a writer and broadcaster on UK and international politics.
The Palm Beach Book Festival at FAU is sponsored by the Batmasian Family Foundation and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County. For more information about the festival, visit palmbeachbookfestival.com or call 561-297-2595.
Saturday, March 21 at 10:00am to 3:00pm
University Theatre 777 Glades Rd.