This event has ended. Visit the official site or create your own event on Sched.
Welcome to the schedule for BBF 2016! Please note that with the exception of the following sessions (Life without Envy, The Art of Perspective, Writing with Risk, Sound Advice, and Lore), absolutely every session at the BBF is free, and no tickets or preregistration are required. Thanks, and enjoy your day!

Sign up or log in to bookmark your favorites and sync them to your phone or calendar.

Special Events [clear filter]
Friday, October 14


Storytelling for Page and Screen: Emma Donoghue, Maria Semple, and Tom Perrotta
A good story, well told, is the aim of screenwriters and novelists alike. This year, we’re kicking off the BBF with an exploration of storytelling in these different modes, as told by three pros who have seen both sides. Hometown favorite Tom Perrotta is no stranger to Hollywood, having seen several of his books adapted for the big screen; these days, he’s busy creating the third and final season of HBO’s The Leftovers, based on his own bestselling novel. One-time television writer turned current bestselling author Maria Semple’s structurally playful new novel, Tomorrow Will Be Different, has been called “achingly funny” by Kirkus. Meanwhile, Semple’s beloved novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette is also under development as a feature film. And Emma Donoghue, whose latest historical novel, The Wonder, grapples with faith and trust, has also tackled the task of adaptation, transforming her award-winning novel Room into an equally decorated film, earning Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for best adapted screenplay. Joining these three talented and versatile storytellers is Robin Young, cohost of WBUR’s Here & Now and also an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Sponsored by Hachette.

avatar for Robin Young

Robin Young

Robin Young brings more than twenty-five years of broadcast experience to her role as co-host of Here & Now, a WBUR-produced daily news magazine that airs on NPR stations nationwide. She is a Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker who has also reported for NBC, CBS and ABC television... Read More →

avatar for Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue

Kickoff Presenter
Emma Donoghue is an award-winning writer of novels, plays, short stories, and nonfiction whose bestselling 2010 novel Room--along with her adapted screenplay for the 2015 film directed by Lenny Abrahamson--is a striking depiction of parenthood and love in the midst of the horror of... Read More →
avatar for Tom Perrotta

Tom Perrotta

Kickoff Presenter
Tom Perrotta is an acclaimed novelist, essayist, and screenwriter whose articles and essays have been published in the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Guardian, and GQ. He is the author of five novels, including Election, The Abstinence Teacher, The Wishbones, and Little Children... Read More →
avatar for Maria Semple

Maria Semple

Kickoff Presenter
Maria Semple debuted as a novelist in 2008 with the publication of This One is Mine, followed in 2012 by the nationally-bestselling epistolary novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which won the 2013 American Library Association Alex Award and was a 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction... Read More →


Friday October 14, 2016 8:00pm - 9:00pm
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA
Saturday, October 15


Kids' Keynote: Jon Klassen

Two turtles find one fantastic hat. “But there is only one hat. And there are two of us.” So what happens next? With his trademark deadpan humor and understated style, award-winning author and illustrator Jon Klassen tops off his beloved “Hat” trilogy with the thoroughly satisfying We Found a Hat, sure to delight preschoolers and parents alike. After providing a brief introduction to those charismatic turtles and a glimpse at how he works, Klassen will talk with the Horn Book’s Elissa Gershowitz—and with you! So bring your questions, and wear your favorite hat! Sponsored by Simmons College. Sponsored by Simmons College.

avatar for Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is senior editor of the Horn Book Magazine and online content editor for The Horn Book, Inc. She is a current member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee. Links: More About The Horn Book... Read More →

avatar for Jon Klassen

Jon Klassen

Kids' Keynote
Jon Klassen is a bestselling illustrator and author of children’s books who earned a 2013 Caldecott Medal for his book This is Not My Hat, as well as the 2011 New York Times Best Illustrated Book award for its sequel I Want My Hat Back. Combined, both books have spent more than... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 10:30am - 11:30am
BPL Rabb Hall 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


YA Keynote: Kami Garcia Talks with Samantha Lane

As author of Unbreakable and as one-half of the writing duo that brought teen readers Beautiful Creatures and its phenomenally popular sequels, Kami Garcia has become one of the most successful authors of YA contemporary fantasy. Now, with The Lovely Reckless, Garcia is turning her pen in a new direction: contemporary realistic fiction, with a gritty romance set in the world of street racing that Kirkus Reviews calls “a wild and enjoyable ride.” In this session, Garcia will talk candidly about inspiration, crossing genres, and writing for a variety of YA audiences, in conversation with popular booktuber Samantha Lane, host of YouTube channel “Thoughts on Tomes.” Sponsored by the Boston Teen Author Festival.

avatar for Samantha Lane

Samantha Lane

A Midwestern girl currently living on the East Coast, Samantha Lane has been uploading bookish videos on her channel, Thoughts on Tomes, three times a week since 2014.  She is currently the moderator for Top 5 Wednesday. When not discussing fictional characters online, Samantha can... Read More →

avatar for Kami Garcia

Kami Garcia

Young Adult Keynote
Kami Garcia is an author of novels and short stories for young adults. A teacher for seventeen years, she debuted as a writer in 2009 with the #1 New York Times-bestselling novel Beautiful Creatures, originally written on a dare from her students with her best friend and co-author... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 11:00am - 12:00pm
Church of the Covenant 67 Newbury Street, Boston, MA


Architecture Keynote: Frank Gehry Talks with Paul Goldberger
Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain was declared “the greatest building of our time” by none other than Philip Johnson. Gehry’s work has been described by another great architect, Renzo Piano, as being “like an explosion. It’s about energy; it’s about joy. It’s frozen movement.” Gehry will be joined by Pulitzer Prize winner and leading architecture critic Paul Goldberger, author of the critical biography Building Art: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry. We are privileged to have the opportunity to hear this great architect and artist and his biographer speak about his life, his work, and his legacy. Hosted by Nicholas Negroponte, cofounder of the MIT Media Lab. Sponsored by Ann and Graham Gund.

avatar for Nicholas Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte

Nicholas Negroponte is the co-founder (with Jerome B. Wiesner) of the MIT Media Lab, which he directed for its first twenty years. A graduate of MIT, Negroponte was a pioneer in the field of computer-aided design and has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1966. He gave the first... Read More →

avatar for Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry

Architecture Keynote
Frank Gehry is an award-winning architect and designer whose sculptural designs often subvert traditional expectations of building material and architectural form. Gehry, who was born in Canada, immigrated to the United States in 1947 and studied architecture at the University of... Read More →
avatar for Paul Goldberger

Paul Goldberger

Paul Goldberger is a Pulitzer Prize–winning architecture critic who is currently a Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair. He was the architecture critic for the New Yorker from 1997 to 2011 and, before that, the architecture critic for the New York Times, and he holds the Joseph Urban... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 11:00am - 12:15pm
Trinity Sanctuary Copley Square, Boston, MA


Fiction Keynote: Colson Whitehead Talks with Saeed Jones

Colson Whitehead’s latest work of fiction, The Underground Railroad, imagines the metaphorical underground railroad as a real railroad shuttling slaves to freedom. With this imaginative leap into fantasy, Whitehead also lays bare the cruel reality of slavery. Praise for this highly original novel has been universal, with Kirkus Reviews declaring that Whitehead executes his “inquiry into race mythology and history with rousing audacity and razor-sharp ingenuity; he is now assuredly a writer of the first rank” and Publishers Weekly calling it “literature at its finest and history at its most barbaric.” Join Fiction Keynote and Oprah pick Colson Whitehead as he talks with poet and executive editor for culture at BuzzFeed, Saeed Jones.

avatar for Saeed Jones

Saeed Jones

Saeed Jones’s debut poetry collection Prelude to Bruise was the winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award and a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award. The book was also a finalist... Read More →

avatar for Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead

Fiction Keynote
Colson Whitehead is a novelist, essayist, and critic whose work has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Magazine, Harper’s, and Granta. He is the author of seven novels, most notably The Intuitionist, which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award; John Henry... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 12:45pm - 1:45pm
Emmanuel Sanctuary 15 Newbury Street, Boston, MA


Memoir Keynote: Susan Faludi Talks with Christopher Lydon
Susan Faludi had been, for twenty-five years, out of touch with her photographer father, a Hungarian Jew who had returned to Hungary, when she received a message from him notifying her of his sex reassignment surgery. The news set in motion both a reconciliation and an investigation. Faludi set out to understand her complicated father, whose gender identity issues were matched by his ambivalence about his identity as a Jew and his baffling identification with the very same Hungarians who had wanted him dead. Faludi’s masterful memoir, In the Darkroom, is a riveting examination not only of her father, but also of the wider cultural, historical, and identity issues at play in the formation of his character. The always inquiring Christopher Lydon, host of WBUR’s Open Source, will moderate the session. Sponsored by WBUR.

avatar for Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon

Christopher Lydon is an author and media personality, best known as the original host of WBUR’s The Connection and creator and host of Open Source.Links: Open Source website... Read More →

avatar for Susan Faludi

Susan Faludi

Memoir Keynote
Susan Faludi is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the author of several books, including Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man and Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Faludi's work has appeared... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 2:15pm - 3:15pm
Church of the Covenant 67 Newbury Street, Boston, MA


Nonfiction Keynote: James Gleick Talks with Tom Ashbrook
The notion of time has fascinated scientists, philosophers, novelists and poets for, well, for a long time, if not forever. The acclaimed and influential science writer James Gleick’s new book, Time Travel: A History, is an engaging cultural, literary, and scientific exploration of time travel that seamlessly weaves discussions of the works of, among others, H. G. Wells, Ursula Le Guin, Vladimir Nabokov, Daphne du Maurier, William Gibson, and Woody Allen with the theories of Newton, Einstein, Gödel, Hawking, and Schrödinger. Come hear James Gleick discuss the history and, perhaps, the future of time travel with the timeless Tom Ashbrook, host of On Point on WBUR. Sponsored by the James M. and Cathleen D. Stone Foundation/Plymouth Rock Foundation.

avatar for Tom Ashbrook

Tom Ashbrook

Tom Ashbrook has been the host of WBUR’s On Point since 2001. Prior to radio work, Ashbrook spent ten years in Asia, starting his journalistic career at the South China Morning Post and later becoming the foreign editor for the Boston Globe. He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University... Read More →

avatar for James Gleick

James Gleick

Nonfiction Keynote
James Gleick is a bestselling science writer who served for ten years as a reporter and editor for the New York Times. His first book, Chaos, was a National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist and inspired Nature’s Chaos, a collaboration with photographer Eliot Porter... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


Art History Keynote: Sebastian Smee Talks with Sarah Lewis
When Boston Globe art critic Sebastian Smee was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2011, the Pulitzer committee cited him for “his vivid and exuberant writing about art.” Join Smee in an enthusiastic presentation of The Art of Rivalry: Four Friendships, Betrayals, and Breakthroughs in Modern Art. Learn about the friendly and sometimes fraught relationships between Picasso and Matisse, Manet and Degas, Bacon and Freud, and Pollock and de Kooning in a revelatory talk with illustrative slides. In its starred review, Publishers Weekly notes: “This ambitious and impressive work is an utterly absorbing read about four important relationships in modern art.” Moderated by Sarah Lewis, assistant professor of art and architecture and African and African American studies at Harvard. Sponsored by Cynthia and John Reed.

avatar for Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis

Sarah Lewis is a curator, teacher, critic, art historian, and author of The Rise, a celebration of creativity and success through failure. She has held curatorial positions at Tate Modern and the Museum of Modern Art New York, served as a curatorial advisor for Brooklyn’s Barclays... Read More →

avatar for Sebastian Smee

Sebastian Smee

Art History Keynote
Sebastian Smee is an art critic for the Boston Globe whose work earned him a 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism. Working as an art writer and critic based in London, Smee developed a close friendship with the artist Lucian Freud and went on to write essays accompanying four books of... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 3:15pm - 4:15pm
BPL Rabb Hall 700 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


The Book Revue

At the Book Revue, authors strut their hour upon the stage. And they sing, and they show slides, and they play guitar, and they tell stories. Richard Russo, Ann Hood, Ben Mezrich and Faith Salie, joined by Berklee singer songwriter Jennah Bell, will entertain, challenge, and move you with a series of presentations inspired by their recent work. Ann Hood will talk about writing in the context of her latest novel, The Book That Matters Most. Ben Mezrich tells a compelling (and true!) tale about the hunt for UFO’s in his nonfiction The 37th Parallel: The Secret Truth Behind America’s UFO Highway. Richard Russo displays talents you didn’t know he had when he presents his latest, Everybody’s Fool. And Faith Salie tells a story from her memoir, Approval Junkie. Join us at this unconventional author event, part Moth, part TED, part cabaret and 100% bookish fun.Hosted by Henriette Lazaridis, founding editor of The Drum and author of The Clover House. Sponsored by the Boston Globe.

avatar for Henriette Lazaridis

Henriette Lazaridis

Henriette Lazaridis’s work has been published in the New England Review, the New York Times online, Elle, and elsewhere. Lazaridis is the founding editor of The Drum online literary magazine. Her debut novel, The Clover House, explores issues of exile, nostalgia, belonging, and... Read More →

avatar for Jennah Bell

Jennah Bell

Jennah Bell is an Oakland-grown singer/songwriter who pulls from a colorful palette of folk, soul, R&B, hip‐hop, and bluegrass. In 2005, while still in high school, Bell auditioned for a summer program hosted by the Grammy Foundation, where Jimmy Jam, Paul Williams, and David Foster... Read More →
avatar for Ann Hood

Ann Hood

Ann Hood is a bestselling author of nonfiction, novels, and short stories including The Knitting Circle, Comfort: A Journey Through Grief, The Red Thread, and An Italian Wife. She served as editor for the collection Knitting Yarns: Writers on Knitting, and her writing has appeared... Read More →
avatar for Ben Mezrich

Ben Mezrich

Ben Mezrich has authored seventeen books of fiction and nonfiction, with a combined printing of over four million copies, including the wildly successful Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, which spent sixty-three weeks on... Read More →
avatar for Richard Russo

Richard Russo

Richard Russo is a novelist, screenwriter, memoirist, and recipient of a 1990 Guggenheim fellowship for fiction. He is the author of seven novels and two collections of short stories, including Empire Falls, which earned the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and which he adapted into... Read More →
avatar for Faith Salie

Faith Salie

Faith Salie is an Emmy-winning television and radio host, comedian, journalist, actor, and Rhodes scholar. She is a regular contributor to CBS News Sunday Morning, a panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!, and host of PBS’s Science Goes to the Movies. A commentator on... Read More →


Saturday October 15, 2016 4:15pm - 5:30pm
Old South Sanctuary 645 Boylston Street, Boston, MA


Limited Capacity filling up
You need this ticket from Eventbrite to sign up:  LORE Special Event 10/15 6pm-7pm at Storyville

Lore is an award-winning, critically acclaimed podcast about true life scary stories. Each episode exposes the darker side of history, exploring the creatures, people, and places of our wildest nightmares.

Come join author Aaron Mahnke live and in-person as he presents three hand-picked stories guaranteed to entertain, educate, and thrill. Because sometimes the truth is more frightening than fiction.

Tickets are $20 and attendees must be 21+. Tickets guarantee admission to the venue, but not seating--some tickets are standing room only. Arrive early for the best seat selection! 

avatar for Aaron Mahnke

Aaron Mahnke

Aaron Mahnke is the writer, host, and producer of Lore, a critically acclaimed podcast about true scary stories from history that won the Best of iTunes award in 2015. The podcast is now in development for television with Propagate Content and Valhalla Entertainment, the producer... Read More →

Saturday October 15, 2016 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Storyville 90 Exeter Street, Boston, MA