Newburyport Literary Festival

A Celebration of Literature, Readers, and Writers • In-Person & Virtual Events • April 26–28, 2024

2023 Fiction

Fiction | Nonfiction | Poetry | Moderators |

Listed in alphabetical order
Edoardo Ballerini

Edoardo Ballerini

Edoardo Ballerini is a two-time winner, and four-time nominee, of the Audio Publishers Association’s Best Male Narrator “Audie” Award, the audiobook industry’s top prize. In a recent profile, The New York Times Magazine called him “a master in his field… at the forefront of a new kind of celebrity.” On screen he has appeared in over 50 films and TV series, including recurring roles in The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, and 24. He will next be seen as a series regular in Hulu’s Retreat. In 2021, he teamed up with best-selling author Jess Walter to create the Audible Original The Angel of Rome, named one of Audible’s Best of the Year.

Featured Book
C.B. Bernard Book
C.B. Bernard

C. B. Bernard

C.B. Bernard is the author of the novels Small Animals Caught in Traps and Ordinary Bear (coming April 2024), as well as Chasing Alaska: A Portrait of the Last Frontier Then and Now, a Publishers Weekly and National Geographic top pick and finalist for the Oregon Book Award in nonfiction. Learn more at cbbernard.com.

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C.B. Bernard Book
Jessica Blau

Jessica Anya Blau

Jessica Anya Blau is the author of five novels, the latest of which is the bestselling Mary Jane. She also ghostwrites and she wrote the screenplay for Mary Jane, which is being produced by SONY/3000 Pictures. She currently lives in New York City.

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Jessica Blau Book
Kate Bolick

Kate Bolick

Kate Bolick is the author of Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own and co-author of March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women. She teaches writing at Yale University, and writes about books and culture for The Atlantic, The New York Review of Books, and The New York Times, among other publications. Her next book, Every Friend a Phantom, is forthcoming from Random House in 2024. She grew up in Newburyport, MA, and lives in New Haven, CT.

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Jessica Blau Book
Jennifer Close​

Jennifer Close

Zoom EventNo Reservations Required — Sunday 4:45 PM

Jennifer Close is the best-selling author of Girls in White Dresses, The Smart One, The Hopefuls, and Marrying the Ketchups. Born and raised on the North Shore of Chicago, she is a graduate of Boston College and received her MFA in Fiction Writing from the New School. She now lives in Washington, DC and teaches creative writing at George Washington University.

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Jennifer Close​ Book
Wyn Cooper

Wyn Cooper

Wyn Cooper has published one novel, Way Out West, and five books of poems, including, most recently, Mars Poetica. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Poetry, as well as in 25 anthologies of contemporary poetry. His poems have also been turned into songs by Sheryl Crow, David Broza, and Madison Smartt Bell. He lives in Vermont and works as a freelance editor. His website is www.wyncooper.com

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Wyn Cooper Book
Nancy Crochiere

Nancy Crochiere

Nancy Crochiere wrote a humor column about family life for Massachusetts newspapers for thirteen years, then published a collection titled The Mother Load. She has worked as a development editor for various educational publishers and has written essays for The Boston Globe, Writer’s Digest, and WBUR’s Cognoscenti blog. She began her fiction career by penning creative notes excusing her daughters’ tardiness at school. With her girls now grown, she lives north of Boston with her husband, a lawyer and marathoner, and a few house plants that could use more attention. Graceland is her first novel.

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Nancy Crochiere Book
KJ Dell'Antonia

KJ Dell'Antonia

KJ Dell’Antonia is the New York Times bestselling author of The Chicken Sisters, In Her Boots, How to Be a Happier Parent and the forthcoming Playing the Witch Card. She is also the former editor of The New York Times’ Motherlode blog, the co-host of the #AmWriting podcast, and a passionate bookstagrammer (@kjda). She lives in Lyme, New Hampshire, with her husband and family, and she has to go outside every day, or else she—and her dogs—will go slightly insane. Photo credit: KateSeymourPhotography

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KJ Dell'Antonia Book
Alena Dillon

Alena Dillon

Alena Dillon is the author of Mercy House, a Library Journal Best Book of 2020, The Happiest Girl in the World, a Good Morning America pick, My Body Is A Big Fat Temple, a memoir of pregnancy and early parenting, and her latest novel, Eyes Turned Skyward. Her work has appeared in publications including The Daily Beast, LitHub, River Teeth, Slice Magazine, The Rumpus, and Bustle. She teaches creative writing and lives on the north shore of Boston with her husband, children, black lab, and lots of books.

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Alena Dillon Book
Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III

Andre Dubus III’s seven books include the New York Times bestsellers House of Sand and Fog, The Garden of Last Days, and his memoir, Townie. His most recent novel, Gone So Long, has been named on many “Best Books” lists, including The Boston Globe’s “Twenty Best Books of 2018.” He has two new books forthcoming, his novel Such Kindness, due in June 2023, and a collection of personal essays, Ghost Dogs, due in the winter of 2024. Mr. Dubus has been a finalist for the National Book Award, and has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, The National Magazine Award for Fiction, two Pushcart Prizes, and is a recipient of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His books are published in over twenty-five languages, and he teaches full-time at the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

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Andre Dubus III Book
Allegra Goodman

Allegra Goodman

Allegra Goodman’s novels include The Chalk Artist, Intuition, The Cookbook Collector, Paradise Park, and Kaaterskill Falls (a National Book Award finalist). Her fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Commentary, and Ploughshares and has been anthologized in The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. She has written two collections of short stories, The Family Markowitz and Total Immersion and a novel for younger readers, The Other Side of the Island. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, The New Republic, The Boston Globe, The Jewish Review of Books, and The American Scholar. Raised in Honolulu, Goodman studied English and philosophy at Harvard and received a PhD in English literature from Stanford. She is the recipient of a Whiting Writer’s Award, the Salon Award for Fiction, and a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced study. She lives with her family in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is writing a new novel. Photo credit: Nana Subin.

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Allegra Goodman Book
Kai Harris

Kai Harris

Kai Harris is a writer and educator from Detroit, Michigan who uses her voice to uplift the Black community through realistic fiction centered on the Black experience. She resides in the Bay Area with her husband, three daughters, and dog Tabasco, where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Santa Clara University.
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Kai Harris Book
JD Jackson

JD Jackson

JD Jackson is an audiobook narrator, actor, husband, and father. He has narrated over 400 audiobooks titles. He received his MFA from Temple University, a BA from Dillard University, and prides himself on his ability to teach beginning acting to anyone of any age. Considered a versatile narrator, he’s narrated Pulitzer Prize winning works of Fiction and Poetry. He has won multiple Audie Awards. He was inducted into Audiofile magazine’s Golden Voices Hall of Fame. In 2020, he was named Booklist magazine’s Voice of Choice. He was recently awarded Go On Girl National Book Club’s inaugural Best Narration of the Year Award.

Featured Book
Kai Harris Book
Jenny Jackson

Jenny Jackson

Jenny Jackson is a vice president and executive editor at Alfred A. Knopf. A graduate of Williams College and the Columbia Publishing Course, she lives in Brooklyn Heights with her family. Pineapple Street is her first novel.

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Jenny Jackson Book
Robin Kall

Robin Kall

Robin Kall has always been an avid reader. From sneaking copies of Judy Blume from her childhood librarian to developing her own radio program, Reading With Robin, in 2002, Robin is a literary influencer and book pusher in her own right. Over the past 20 years Robin has built a devoted and passionate following in her local Rhode Island, online, and wherever there are readers. In addition to her talk show, Robin has hosted countless “can’t miss” author events including her annual Evening With Authors, Summer with Robin, and collaboration with The Lenox Hotel in Boston. Robin is a graduate of Binghamton University and lives in Rhode Island with her husband and their corgi.

Featured Book
Jenny Jackson Book
William Landay

William Landay

Thrills, Chills, and Bills — Saturday 2:30 PM

William Landay is the author of three previous novels: Defending Jacob, which won the Strand Critics Award for best novel; The Strangler, listed as a best crime novel of the year by the Los Angeles Times, The Daily Telegraph, and others; and Mission Flats, winner of the Dagger Award for best first crime novel. A former assistant district attorney, he lives in Boston.

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William Landay Book
Henriette Lazaridis

Henriette Lazaridis

Henriette Lazaridis’ novel Terra Nova is forthcoming from Pegasus Books in December 2022. Her debut The Clover House was a bestseller and a Target Emerging Authors pick. Other pieces have appeared in Elle, The New York Times, New England Review, and more, and have earned her a Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists Grant. She is a graduate of Middlebury College, Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar, and the University of Pennsylvania. Having taught English at Harvard, she now teaches at GrubStreet in Boston and runs the Krouna Writing Workshop in Greece.

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Henriette Lazaridis Book
Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai

Rebecca Makkai’s latest novel, I Have Some Questions for You, is to be released this February from Viking. Her last novel, The Great Believers, was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award; it was the winner of the ALA Carnegie Medal, the Stonewall Book Award, the Clark Prize, and the LA Times Book Prize; and it was one of the New York Times‘ Ten Best Books of 2018. Her other books are the novels The Borrower and The Hundred-Year House, and the collection Music for Wartime—four stories from which appeared in The Best American Short Stories. A 2022 Guggenheim Fellow, Rebecca is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada University and Northwestern University, and is Artistic Director of Story Studio Chicago.

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Rebecca Makkai Book
William Martin

William Martin

Thrills, Chills, and Bills — Saturday 2:30 PM

William Martin is the New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels, a PBS documentary, book reviews, magazine articles, and a cult-classic horror movie, too. His first Peter Fallon novel, Back Bay, established him as “a master storyteller,” and he’s been following the lives of the great and anonymous in American history ever since, taking readers from the Mayflower in Cape Cod to Ford’s Theater in The Lincoln Letter to the South Tower on 9/11 in City of Dreams. Bound for Gold (2018), sweeps readers back to California in the legendary year of 1849 and “solidifies his claim as king of the historical thriller” (Providence Journal). And his latest, the “propulsive” World War II thriller December ’41, captures the atmosphere in the United States in the weeks after Pearl Harbor. In 2005, he was the recipient of the prestigious New England Book Award, given to an author “whose body of work stands as a significant contribution to the culture of the region.” In 2015, the USS Constitution Museum gave him the Samuel Eliot Morison Award, for “patriotic pride, artful scholarship, and an eclectic interest in the sea and things maritime.” And in 2018, the Mystery Writers of America (New England Chapter) gave him the Robert B. Parker Award. He serves on the boards of many of Boston’s historical and cultural organizations, lives near Boston with his wife, and has three grown children.

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William Martin Book
Meg Mitchell Moore

Meg Mitchell Moore

Meg Mitchell Moore is the national bestselling author of seven novels and a proud member of the Festival programming committee. Her eighth novel, Summer Stage, is forthcoming in May 2023. She is not a Newburyport native, but she likes to pretend she is, as she’s lived in Newburyport longer than she’s ever lived anywhere else. She enjoys all the North Shore has to offer with her husband, three daughters, and two golden retrievers.

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Meg Mitchell Moore Book
Yvette Ndlovu

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu

Yvette Lisa Ndlovu is a Zimbabwean sarungano and an MFA student at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst who received her BA from Cornell University. Her work has been supported by fellowships from the Tin House Workshop, Bread Loaf Writers Workshop, and the New York State Summer Writers Institute.
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Yvette Ndlovu Book
Peter Orner

Peter Orner

PETER ORNER is the author of the novels The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo and Love and Shame and Love and the story collections Esther Stories, Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge, and Maggie Brown & Others. His previous collection of essays, Am I Alone Here?: Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. A three-time recipient of the Pushcart Prize, Orner’s work has appeared in The Best American Short Stories, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Granta, McSweeney’s, and has been translated into eight ­languages. He has been awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a two-year Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship, the California Book Award for fiction, the Edward Lewis Wallant Award for Jewish fiction, as well as a Fulbright in Namibia. He is the director of creative writing at Dartmouth College and lives with his family in Norwich, Vermont.
Photo Credit: Katie Crouch.

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Peter Orner Book
Patricia Park

Patricia Park

Patricia Park is the author of the debut YA novel, Imposter Syndrome & Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim. She is a professor of creative writing at American University, a former Fulbright Scholar and Edith Wharton Writer-in-Residence, and the author of the acclaimed adult novel, Re Jane, a modern-day retelling of Brontë’s Jane Eyre. She’s written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, the Guardian, and others. Born and raised in Queens, Patricia lives in Brooklyn, NY. Photo credit: Ars Magna. patriciapark.com, Twitter/IG/Tiktok: @patriciapark718

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Patricia Park Book
Namrata Patel

Namrata Patel

Namrata Patel is an Indian-American author who lives in Boston. Her writing examines diaspora, dual-cultural identity among Indian-Americans and explores this dynamic while also touching on both—the families we’re born with and those we choose. Namrata has lived in India, Spokane, London, and New York City. Namrata has been writing for most of her adult life and loves creating characters who are relatable and aspirational. Her heroines range from quiet to kick-ass and her heroes are swoon-worthy, if a little flawed. Her novel The Candid Life of Meena Dave is currently long listed for Best First Novel Prize by The Center for Fiction. Her second novel, The Scent of a Garden, will be released June 2023.

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Namrata Patel Book
Amy Poeppel

Amy Poeppel

Amy Poeppel is the award-winning author of the novels The Sweet Spot, Musical Chairs, Limelight, and Small Admissions. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Rumpus, Literary Hub, and Working Mother. She and her husband have three sons and split their time between New York City, Germany, and Connecticut. She would love to hear from you on Twitter or Instagram: @AmyPoeppel or at AmyPoeppel.com.

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Amy Poeppel Book
Kirthana Ramisetti

Kirthana Ramisetti

Kirthana Ramisetti worked in media for over ten years before trying her hand at fiction. She received her MFA in creative writing from Emerson College, and her work has appeared in Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and more. Her debut novel, Dava Shastri’s Last Day, was a Good Morning America Book Club selection, and her second novel, Advika, and the Hollywood Wives will be published in April 2023. A pop culture addict whose brain is a repository for random information, she’d make an excellent addition to your trivia team.

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Kirthana Ramisetti Book
Jane Roper

Jane Roper

Jane Roper is the author of two novels, The Society of Shame (April, 2023) and Eden Lake, and a memoir, Double Time: How I Survived–and Mostly Thrived–Through the First Three Years of Mothering Twins. Her essays and humor have appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, The Millions, Poets & Writers, The Rumpus, Cognoscenti, Writers’ Digest and elsewhere. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Jane currently lives just north of Boston in a drafty Victorian house on a hill with her husband and teenage twins. When she is not working, writing, parenting, cooking, hiking, indoor rock climbing or wasting time on social media, Jane can be found trying to read and promptly falling asleep.

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Jane Roper Book
Richard Russo

Richard Russo

The Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls returns to North Bath, in upstate New York, and to the characters that captured the hearts and imaginations of millions of readers in his beloved best sellers Nobody’s Fool and Everybody’s Fool.

Ten years after the death of the magnetic Donald “Sully” Sullivan, the town of North Bath is going through a major transition as it is annexed by its much wealthier neighbor, Schuyler Springs. Peter, Sully’s son, is still grappling with his father’s tremendous legacy as well as his relationship to his own son, Thomas, wondering if he has been all that different a father than Sully was to him. Meanwhile, the towns’ newly consolidated police department falls into the hands of Charice Bond, after the resignation of Doug Raymer, the former North Bath police chief and Charice’s ex-lover. When a decomposing body turns up in the abandoned hotel situated between the two towns, Charice and Raymer are drawn together again and forced to address their complicated attraction to one another. Across town, Ruth, Sully’s married ex-lover, and her daughter Janey struggle to understand Janey’s daughter, Tina, and her growing obsession with Peter’s other son, Will. Amidst the turmoil, the town’s residents speculate on the identity of the unidentified body, and wonder who among their number could have disappeared unnoticed. Infused with all the wry humor and shrewd observations that Russo is known for, Somebody’s Fool is another classic from a modern master.

Richard Russo is the author of nine novels, most recently Chances Are . . ., Everybody’s Fool and That Old Cape Magic; two collections of stories; and the memoir Elsewhere. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which, like Nobody’s Fool, was adapted into a multiple-award-winning miniseries; in 2017, he received France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine. He lives in Port­land, Maine. Photo credit: Elena Seibert.

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Richard Russo Book
Kamila Shamsie

Kamila Shamsie

Kamila Shamsie is the author of several previous novels, most recently Home Fire, which won the Women’s Prize for Fiction, was longlisted for the Booker Prize, and was a finalist for the International Dublin Literary Award, the Costa Novel Award, and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, among other honors. She was raised in Karachi and lives in London.

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Kamila Shamsie Book
J. Ryan Stradal

J. Ryan Stradal

Zoom EventNo Reservations Required — Sunday 4:45 PM

J. Ryan Stradal is the author of New York Times bestseller Kitchens of the Great Midwest and national bestseller The Lager Queen of Minnesota. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Granta, The Rumpus, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. His debut, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, won the American Booksellers Association Indie’s Choice Award for Adult Debut Book of the Year. His next novel, Saturday Night at the Lakeside Supper Club, is forthcoming. Born and raised in Minnesota, he now lives in California with his family. Photo credit: Franco Tettamanti.

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J. Ryan Stradal Book
Amy Tector

Amy Tector

Amy Tector is the author of The Honeybee Emeralds and the Dominion Archives Mystery series. She has spent more than 20 years plumbing the secrets squirrelled away in archives and currently works at Canada’s national archives. Amy has a PhD in English literature from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and lives in Ottawa, Canada with a daughter named Violet, a husband named Andrew and a dog named Daffodil. She is an enthusiastic, but incompetent, cross-country skier.

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Amy Tector Book
Julia Whelan

Julia Whelan

Julia Whelan is a screenwriter, lifelong actor, and audiobook narrator of over 500 titles. In 2019, she won the Best Female Narrator Audie [pronounced AW-dee] for Tara Westover’s Educated. AudioFile magazine has given her its lifetime achievement award, a “Golden Voice”, and her performance of her own debut novel, the international bestseller My Oxford Year, garnered a Society of Voice Arts award. Her new novel, Thank You For Listening, was a Best of 2022 pick at Amazon, Audible, and NPR. It lost the Goodreads Choice Award in Romance, however, to a novel she narrated, Book Lovers by Emily Henry, which she absolutely agrees should have won. She is also a Grammy-nominated audiobook director, a former writing tutor, a half-decent amateur baker, and a certified tea sommelier.

Featured Book
Amy Tector Book
Adam White

Adam White

The Maine Idea — Saturday 2:30 PM

Adam White grew up in Damariscotta, Maine, and now lives with his wife and son in Boston, where he teaches writing and coaches lacrosse. He holds an MFA from Columbia University. The Midcoast is his first novel.

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Adam White Book