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How Can We Write When Everything’s Wrong? Opening Night Celebration with Ben Fountain, Madeline Miller, and Dave Cullen

June 14, 2019 by Mary Bergman
Nantucket Book Festival Opening Night by Ishmael Beah 2

Maybe you’re like me: you look at the news and skim the headlines, an ever-increasing sense of dread washes over you. I look, I read, I click away. This ritual has become as predictable as the tides.

And yet I keep reading. We keep reading. We owe it to ourselves to be as informed as possible, to read the deep dives and in-depth reporting. We read histories and wonder how we could ever let this happen again. We read science fiction and wonder what’s going to happen next. We read poetry, to try to learn to see the beauty that still exists in the world.

This year’s Nantucket Book Festival opening night celebration is titled How Can We Write When Everything’s Wrong? In times like this, what else can we do but pick up our pens and books?

This Friday, June 14th at 7:00 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, authors Ben Fountain, Madeline Miller, and Dave Cullen will share their motivation for writing in tumultuous times. Writing on different topics, in different genres, these writers are three of the most powerful voices of our festival, and we hope you will come out to hear them.

Ben Fountain’s latest book, Beautiful Country Burn Again, is a collection of essays on the 2016 US election. The New York Times called it “a tour through our current existential crisis,” a book that will “pull readers out of their shortsighted social media stupor to consider the state of social and economic justice in America.”

Madeline Miller re-examines myths and classic literature in her novel Circe. She gives voice to a powerful witch who has been voiceless for thousands of years. Drawing on the dozen or so lines of Homer’s epic poems, Miller discovers Circe’s world, and her underlying humanity. Miller makes ancient stories new again, exposing a new generation to these timeless tales.

Dave Cullen’s Parkland chronicles the birth of a movement, how the teenagers of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School refused to be silenced in the wake of another school shooting. Cullen, a journalist who has spent years covering shootings, chronicles the political awakening of a generation who declared Never Again.

At the Nantucket Book Foundation, we believe words can change the world. Opening night also honors the work of the island’s youth who show great promise as writers, and will highlight the Young Writer Award, a perennial cornerstone of the festival. We hope you will join us for what is sure to be an unforgettable evening.

Nantucket Book Festival Opening Night Celebration

Friday, June 14th, 2019 | 7:00-8:00 PM

How Can We Write When Everything’s Wrong?

Featuring Ben Fountain, Madeline Miller, and Dave Cullen

11 Orange Street, Unitarian Universalist Meeting House