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Book fests in Massachusetts and Vermont feature literary luminaries, writing workshops

Jill Lepore, Celeste Ng, and Andre Dubus III are among the writers who will appear at the Concord Festival of Authors and the Brattleboro Literary Festival

Harvard's Jill Lepore will read at the opening event of the Concord Festival of Authors.
Harvard's Jill Lepore will read at the opening event of the Concord Festival of Authors.Kayana Szymczak/The New York Times/file

Readers, the good news is you can stay home in your slippers for the 2020 streaming versions of two long-running New England literary festivals.

The 28th annual Concord Festival of Authors kicks off Friday, Oct. 16, with New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer finalist Jill Lepore accepting the Ruth Ratner Miller Award for Excellence in American History. Lepore will read from her latest work, “If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future.”

The festival’s slate also includes Celeste Ng (“Little Fires Everywhere”), Whitney Scharer (“The Age of Light”), Lawrence Millman (“Goodbye, Ice: Arctic Poems”), and Marjan Kamali (“The Stationery Shop”). The two-week-long program closes out with a keynote by novelist and short-story writer Jennifer Haigh, who will discuss the importance of storytelling amid a national crisis.


Slated to run though Oct. 31, and sponsored by the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library, the festival is brimming with panels and unique offerings, such as a workshop on writing about coronavirus; a live online performance of “Unboxed,” presented by the Umbrella Arts Center; and panels on anti-racism and reconstruction, and Greta Gerwig’s 2019 film adaptation of “Little Women,” which filmed in Concord.

A full list of events can be found at concordfestivalofauthors.com.

The Brattleboro Literary Festival, founded in 2002, runs from Oct. 16-18, via Zoom. Attendees can sign up for fiction/poetry or nonfiction tracks, or pick and choose from both. Presenters include Caroline Leavitt (“With or Without You”), Megha Majumdar (“A Burning”), Andre Dubus III (“House of Sand and Fog”), Major Jackson (“The Absurd Man”), and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman (“Arguing With Zombies”). Two presenters — Natalie Diaz, poetry, and Deesha Philyaw, fiction — were recently shortlisted for the 2020 National Book Award.

The complete schedule is available at brattleboroliteraryfestival.org.

Diti Kohli can be reached at diti.kohli@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ditikohli_.