FAU Presents the Fifth Annual Palm Beach Book Festival

By polly burks | 3/4/2019

Florida Atlantic University’s Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters is hosting the fifth annual Palm Beach Book Festival with an exciting group of New York Times bestselling, celebrity authors to give a reading and presentation followed by a book signing. The festival will take place on Saturday, March 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in FAU’s University Theatre, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus. Tickets for the full day are $85, and individual panel tickets are $20, and can be purchased at www.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 will include Tayari Jones and Idra Novey, two authors featured in Oprah’s  Book Club panel. Jones is the author of the novels “Leaving Atlanta,” “The Untelling,” “Silver Sparrow,” and “An American Marriage,” which was chosen as an Oprah Book Club selection. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, The New York Times, and Callaloo. A member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, Jones has also been a recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; the Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; the United States Artist Fellowship; an NEA Fellowship; and the Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Jones is currently a professor of creative writing at Emory University.

Novey is the author of the novels “Those Who Knew” and “Ways to Disappear,” which was the winner of the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize, the 2016 Brooklyn Eagles Prize, and a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction. She is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Poets & Writers Magazine, the PEN Translation Fund, and the Poetry foundation. She’s taught at Princeton University, Columbia, NYU, Fordham, and the Catholic University of Chile. This session will be moderated by Leigh Haber, books editor for Oprah Magazine, where she curates the Reading Room section and other literary coverage.

The second panel at 11 a.m. will feature Susan Orlean, who has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. She is the author of seven books, including “The Library Book,” “Rin Tin Tin,” “Saturday Night,” and “The Orchid Thief,” which was made into the Academy Award–winning film adaptation. This panel will be moderated by Christopher Bonanos, city editor at New York magazine, where he covers arts and culture and urban affairs. He is the author of “Flash The Making of Weegee The Famous” and “Instant: The Story of Polaroid.”

Panel 3 is at 12:15 p.m. and features James Patterson, the world’s bestselling author and most trusted storyteller. He has created many enduring fictional characters and series, including Alex Cross and Michael Bennett, as well as the “Women’s Murder Club,” “Maximum Ride,” “Middle School,” and “I Funny.” Among his notable literary collaborations are “The President Is Missing,” with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and the Max Einstein series, produced in partnership with the Albert Einstein Estate. Patterson’s writing career is characterized by a single mission: to prove that there is no such thing as a person who “doesn’t like to read,” only people who haven’t found the right book. He’s given more than 3 million books to schoolkids and the military and more than $70 million to support education, as well as endowed more than 5,000 college scholarships for teachers. The National Book Foundation recently presented Patterson with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, and he is also the recipient of an Edgar Award and six Emmy Awards. He lives in Florida with his family.

This panel will be moderated by Rob Scheer, the founder of Comfort Cases, a charity whose mission is to inspire communities to bring dignity and hope to the nearly 438,000 youth in foster care in the United States. He lives with his husband and children in Maryland.

Panel 4 at 2 p.m. is “Big Bens! Authors in Conversation,” with Ben Fountain and Ben Bradlee, Jr. Bradlee is the author of the critically acclaimed “The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams” and three other books. Bradlee spent 25 years with the Boston Globe and as deputy managing editor oversaw its Pulitzer Prize–winning coverage of the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church from July 2001 to August 2002. John Slattery portrayed Bradlee in the 2015 Oscar winning film, “Spotlight.”

Fountain was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and grew up in the tobacco country in the eastern part of the state. A former practicing attorney, he is the author of “Brief Encounters with Che Guevara,” which won the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for Fiction, and the novel “Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk,” which was adapted into a feature film directed by three-time Oscar winner Ang Lee. His series of essays published in The Guardian on the 2016 U.S. presidential election was subsequently nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Commentary.

The final panel of the day starts at 3:20 p.m. and features Mitch Albom, the author of numerous books of fiction and nonfiction. He has written six consecutive No. 1 New York Times’ bestsellers, including “Tuesdays with Morrie,” the bestselling memoir of all time. He has also penned award-winning TV films, stage plays, screenplays, a nationally syndicated newspaper column and a musical. Albom’s books have collectively sold more than 39 million copies in 42 languages. He founded and oversees S.A.Y. Detroit, a consortium of nine different charitable operations in his hometown, and created a nonprofit dessert shop and food product line to fund programs for Detroit’s neediest citizens. He also operates an orphanage in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

For additional information, call 561-297-2595.