Maddie Frost


It begins in solitude—a thought, idea, character or setting tickling the edges of the mind. The writer nurtures this seed, holding it up to the light or letting it evolve in the dark, depending on what is required to help it grow and expand.

The journey can then continue for years, logging miles on the computer or pad, or actual ones, crisscrossing the country or the world. There is research to do, interviews to conduct and lives to understand, either real or imagined. Gradually, the idea develops into a tangible thing to hold and to share.

Which is when the relationship grows to that magical connection between writer and reader, something no other medium can deliver, this distant yet intimate whispering of words from one heart to another.

Most often it ends there, which is satisfying enough. But every other year, here on the Island, the relationship leaps to a new level at the Martha’s Vineyard Book festival, where for a weekend a community of authors and readers talking together about that hard and glorious road from idea to published book is created.

The festival begins Friday, August 2, at the Performing Arts Center with a conversation between Chelsea Handler and Seth Meyers. It then takes up residence at the Chilmark Community Center with an array of panel discussions on Saturday, August 3 and author talks and interviews on Sunday, August 4. For a complete schedule of events and a parking map, go to

Consider this an appetizer for the main meal this weekend, a series of profiles of many of the authors traveling here from around the world.

As a journalist, Jim Acosta wants you to know that he never wanted to make himself the story.

It is estimated that roughly 250 million people are living in countries where they were not born.

Sigrid Nunez did not expect her seventh novel to have as its protagonist a writer living in New York.

Chef Kwame Onwuachi has cooked for high 
society and for oil spill crews.

A dogged reporter on the four a.m to noon shift at the New York Times was tired.

My Ex-Life, by Stephen McCauley, is a wry, endearing and often very funny novel.

John Grisham will participate in a discussion with Amor Towles on Sunday, August 4 at 9:30 a.m.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. has been vacationing on the Vineyard since 1981.

Lisa Taddeo spent eight years doing research and interviews for Three Women.

Gary Shteyngart will take part in a panel on transformative friendships in fiction.

From her earliest years, Janet Messineo knew she wanted to be a great fisherman.

Fay Wray, a noted beauty from the Golden Age of Hollywood, had two main love interests in her life.


More events on the Vineyard Gazette's Calendar.