Variety is the core theme of the Martha’s Vineyard Author Series this year.  

From food to politics, fiction to nonfiction, authors will be hosting talks throughout the summer, along with the unique journeys behind those books. The lineup includes Frank Bruni, Percival Everett, Joan Nathan, Michele Norris, Ruth Reichl, Amor Towles and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.  

The series begins on July 11, with Mr. Bruni discussing his book, The Age of Grievance. Mr. Towles follows on July 14 and Mr. Everett on July 21. Events will be held at the Chilmark Community Center and the regional high school Performing Arts Center. 

Choosing the lineup is always a purposeful endeavor, said Suellen Lazarus, director of the author series.

First talk is July 11, featuring Frank Bruni.

“We try to match what we think are the topical issues that people are interested in with what great books are coming out,” Ms. Lazarus said. “We’re always focused on the newest books and we don’t have anything that’s more than 12 to 18 months old.” 

The moderators are also a crucial part of the talks, she said. This year, television producer Shonda Rhimes and NPR political consultant Mara Liasson will host panels.  

This summer’s representation of additional types of media is exciting, Ms. Lazarus said. 

“A couple of the authors works have been turned into movies or been serialized,” she said.

The author series takes place every other year, alternating with the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival. The book festival began in 2005, with events focused around one weekend each August. The author series launched in 2012, with individual events occurring over the course of the summer. 

“[Having both] is a way to keep us in the eyes of the publishers who believe this is a great format for their authors but also to our audience,” she said.  

Having the authors interact with the Vineyard community is also rewarding, Ms. Lazarus said. 

“It’s a real pleasure to see the dynamics between the author and the audience,” Ms. Lazarus said. “The other thing is that the authors meet other authors and collaborate, or the authors meet community members and collaborate. So relationships are built over this that have both effects, in terms of creativity but also lifetime friendships are formed because of it.” 

Ms. Lazarus said she is pleased with how much the event has grown since its inception.

“The coming together of the community to make this happen is something pretty terrific,” she said.  

For tickets and information on other authors, visit