More than 90 authors will participate in this year’s Montclair Literary Festival

montclair literary festival 2024

From left, Viet Thanh Nguyen, David Baldacci and Ruth Reichl will be among the authors at this year’s Montclair Literary Festival.

Viet Thanh Nguyen (whose latest book is last year’s “A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial”), David Baldacci, Frank Bruni, Ruth Reichl and Joyce Carol Oates will be among the 90-plus writers who will appear at Suceed2gether’s eighth annual Montclair Literary Festival, taking place from April 27 to May 4.

Nguyen, whose “The Sympathizer” won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, will be interviewed by Garth Risk Hallberg on April 30. This event is co-sponsored by AAPI Montclair. On April 27, Baldacci will talk about his latest book, “A Calamity of Souls,” which portrays a racially charged murder trial in a Virginia town in 1968. And on May 3, Bruni will discuss his upcoming “The Age of Grievance,” in which he explores how grievance defines current political dialogue.

The festival will include more than 40 book talks, panel discussions, and children’s events.


Additional authors featured on April 27 will include Anastasia Rubis, Christina Cooke, Annell López, Mariah Stovall, Carlos Lozada, Barbara McQuade, Richie Hofmann, Deborah Landau, Nicole Sealey and Heather Clark. (Rubis, a Montclair resident, was previously interviewed by about her book “Oriana: A Novel of Oriana Fallaci.”)

Ruth Reichl, whose “The Paris Novel” will be published on April 23, will appear on May 1 at The Glen Ridge Country Club, with The Glen Ridge Book Club co-sponsoring. And the dynamic Montclair Story Salon will host an event on May 2 featuring Montclair writers Benilde Little, Martin Golan and Laurie Albanese and musicians Scott E. Moore and Nicole Bozzuto.

On May 4, longtime festival participants Joyce Carol Oates and Jonathan Santlofer will appear, along with other notable authors including Caroline Leavitt, Lauren Grodstein, Amitava Kumar, Melissa Rivero, Gina Chung, Karen Valby and Jason Patterson.

The festival will host additional authors after the festival dates, including Harlan Coben, who will discuss his thriller “Think Twice” on its publication day of May 14 with Christina Baker Kline.

Other authors, and the books they will talk about, include Erik Larson (“The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War”), on June 11; Garth Risk Hallberg (“The Second Coming”), on Sept. 5; and Nicholas D. Kristof (“Chasing Hope: A Reporter’s Life”), on Sept. 25.

“Every year the Montclair Public Library contributes one or two special Open Book/Open Mind programs to the literary festival,” said Janet Torsney, director of the Montclair Public Library. “This year, we’re proud to present Princeton professor emerita-turned-professional artist Nell Irvin Painter in conversation with Ira Wagner, director of the Montclair Art Museum, about her new book of essays, ‘I Just Keep Talking,’ illustrated with her own artwork. The (May 4) discussion will include a PowerPoint presentation of Nell’s art.

The cover of “I Just Keep Talking: A Life in Essays,” by Nell Irvin Painter

“We’re also excited about contributing a (May 4) panel discussion between bestselling novelist and memoirist Leslie Jamison (‘Splinters: Another Kind of Love Story’) and New York Review of Books essayist Emily Raboteau (‘Lessons for Survival: Mothering Against “The Apocalypse” ‘) with book critic Kate Tuttle.”

The Montclair Public Library will also co-sponsor the Sept. 25 Kristof event.

The majority of events are free and will be held at various Montclair locations, including Montclair State University, The Montclair Public Library, The First Congregational Church and The Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

For information, visit

The festival raises funds and awareness for Succeed2gether, the Montclair-based nonprofit organization that addresses unequal access to educational resources by providing free enrichment and academic programs and a post-high-school pathway to children in need from Montclair and other Essex County towns.

Succeed2gether launched the festival — which celebrates reading, literature and Montclair’s vibrant and diverse literary scene — in 2017.

Last year’s festival featured Chita Rivera, Joyce Maynard, Kwame Alexander, Warren Zanes and others.


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