The Palm Beach Book Festival, in collaboration with FAU’s Schmidt College of Arts & Letters, has announced its 2021 lineup of best-selling authors. The event, slated for March 19-20, will be presented virtually, via live Zoom webinars, where attendees can submit questions for the authors.
The festival opens at 4 p.m. March 19 with “WWII & Heroines in the Shadows: Codes, Cunning and Covert Ops,” a panel discussion between Larry Loftis and Kristin Harmel. Loftis’ book, The Princess Spy, charts the thrilling life of Aline Griffith, a suburban New Yorker who became a spook for the CIA’s forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services, secretly uncovering Nazi tactics even after marrying into Spanish royalty. Harmel’s fact-based historical novel, The Book of Lost Names, follows the daring of another remarkable female patriot, who used her talent for forgery to save hundreds of children from the Nazi regime.
At 10 a.m. March 20, viewers can tune into the festival’s annual Oprah Book Club Panel, this year featuring the inimitable George Saunders. The frequent contributor to the New Yorker will discuss his latest work, A Swim in the Pond in the Rain, in which Saunders trains his acute and probing writer’s eye on 19th century Russian short stories by the likes of Tolstoy, Chekhov and Gogol, exploring not only the tales’ timeless themes but our mental role in the equation—how the gears in our minds whir while we’re imbibing the art. Leigh Haber, editor at O Magazine, will moderate the conversation.
The festival concludes at 4 p.m. March 20 with what is sure to be its most amusing program, “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish to Love This Panel!” Barry Sonnenfeld, the filmmaker behind “Get Shorty” and the “Men in Black” and “Addams Family” franchises, will speak on his memoir Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother, about the tribulations he endured as a child to become a household name in cinema. He’ll be joined by Patricia Marx, co-author, with her New Yorker colleague and illustrator Roz Chast, of You Can Only Yell At Me For One Thing at a Time: Rules For Couples.
Tickets cost just $25 for a package of all three Zoom panels, or individual event tickets run $10. Special ticket + book packages are available as well, and the first 50 books of each title purchased through FAU will be signed by the author. Click here for tickets and more.