Charleston Literary Festival Announces First Group of 14 World-Class Authors From November Line-up of 35+ Events and Puts Limited Number of All-Session Access Passes on Sale

The star-studded first announcement features literary giants such as Colm Tóibín, Nikki Giovanni, Paul Murray, James Shapiro, Catherine Lacey, Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Claire Messud and more

(EZ Newswire)

CHARLESTON, SC -- Charleston Literary Festival is thrilled to announce today 14 of the 35+ acclaimed authors who will feature onstage at this year’s festival, set to take place from November 1st to November 10th at Dock Street Theatre in the heart of downtown Charleston. The Festival has also released a limited number of Early Bird All Session Access Passes for the 2024 Festival for sale on their website and

This preliminary announcement features just 14 of the authors who will appear at the Festival in November. The full list of 35+ writers and thinkers will be announced and all tickets will go on sale in the first week of September.

The first 14 authors that have been released as part of the line-up in November at Charleston Literary Festival include:

Nikki Giovanni: Renowned for her five-decade career as a poet and activist, Nikki Giovanni has captivated audiences with her conviction, humor, and devotion to telling her truth as a Black woman. This event is presented in partnership with the International African American Museum. 

Colm Tóibín: Laureate for Irish Fiction, with an international reputation for powerful emotional narratives, Colm Tóibín will discuss his latest novel, Long Island, a sequel to his award-winning book, Brooklyn, and Oprah Book Club Pick 2024. 

Jayne Anne Phillips: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2024 for her book Night Watch, Jayne Anne Phillips joins us to discuss her mother-daughter survival story set in West Virginia during the aftermath of the Civil War. 

Ilyon Woo: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2024 for Master, Slave, Husband, Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom, Ilyon Woo will dive into this extraordinary story as part of the third annual Charleston READS! program run in tandem with the Mayor’s Book Club and Oakwood University. 

Paul Murray: Nominated for the Booker Prize in 2023, Irish author Paul Murray will discuss his sweeping family tragicomedy The Bee Sting.

James Shapiro: One of the most important Shakespeare scholars in the United States, uncovers the hidden roots of today’s culture wars and offers vital insights into the transformative power of art in his history of the Federal Theatre Project, The Playbook: A Story of Theatre, Democracy, and the Making of a Culture War.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr.: New York Times bestselling author celebrated for his book Begin Again: James Baldwin's America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own returns to the Festival to discuss his latest book We Are The Leaders We Have Been Looking For.

Claire Messud: Best known for her acclaimed novel, The Emperor’s Children, Claire Messud will discuss This Strange Eventful History—an immersive, multigenerational story of a French-Algerian family, spanning from 1940 to 2010, a fictionalized story of her own family’s wanderings. 

Charan Ranganath: One of the world’s top memory researchers uncovers the hidden role that memory plays in our lives and gives us powerful tools to remember better in Why We Remember. 

Marie Arana: Inaugural Literary Director of the Library of Congress, discusses Latinoland—a sweeping yet personal overview of Latino identity drawn from hundreds of interviews and deep research, that emphasizes the diversity of America’s largest and fastest-growing minority by this National Book Award finalist.

Attica Locke: Acclaimed American author and screenwriter, known for gripping crime novels that explore themes of racial tension and justice in the American South, joins us to talk about her latest novel, Guide Me Home.

Lottie Hazell: Author of one of the most exciting debuts of the year, English writer Lottie Hazell joins us to talk about her sumptuous novel Piglet and how it deals with literary depictions of food and disordered eating.

Emmeline Clein: Cultural critic and author of the acclaimed, generation-defining Dead Weight: On Hunger, Harm and Disordered Eating, Emmeline Clein will be in conversation with Lottie Hazell.

Catherine Lacey: Acclaimed American novelist known for literary innovation, Biography of X, an instant classic, explores the enigmatic life of a celebrated artist, weaving a playful narrative that blurs the lines between reality and fiction.

“We are delighted to announce this first group of authors that will feature onstage at Dock Street Theatre at this year’s Charleston Literary Festival in November,” said Sarah Moriarty, Executive Director of Charleston Literary Festival. “They reflect the Festival’s commitment to diverse literary excellence and innovation.”

Charleston Literary Festival is celebrating its eighth year of providing a platform for people to come together to embrace the conversation and experience the transformative power of books and ideas. This mission is supported and propped up by strategic partnerships including College of Charleston who are coming onboard as the Festival’s official academic partner again this year.

Two 2024 Pulitzer Prize winners will be in attendance at the Festival in November. Jayne Anne Phillips will discuss her novel Night Watch, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2024 for fiction—a mother-daughter story set in a genteel asylum in West Virginia around the time of the Civil War. Ilyon Woo will discuss her 2024 Pulitzer Prize winning biography Master Slave Husband Wife: An Epic Journey from Slavery to Freedom on the Craft’s escape from slavery in Georgia to the free states of the North. Woo’s book will be at the centre of the third annual Charleston READS!, a city-wide read-together program launched in 2022, in collaboration with the Charleston Mayor’s Book Club, Charleston Literary Festival, and Oakwood University. The Charleston READS! event is free for the public—previous Charleston READS! authors include Imani Perry in 2022 and Elizabeth Dowling Taylor in 2023.

For the second year running, Charleston Literary Festival is partnering with the International African American Museum on programming. This year’s collaboration sees the Festival and IAAM welcoming literary and cultural icon, poet Nikki Giovanni. The collaboration between Charleston Literary Festival and IAAM shows great alignment between complementary missions illuminating untold stories of the African American experience. A marquee event featuring Nikki Giovanni, whose poetry became the voice of many African Americans in the 1960s and 1970s, is an important opportunity for audiences to share and embrace crucial conversations.

As book bans and the censoring of storytelling are on the rise in South Carolina, Charleston Literary Festival is committed to the free exchange of ideas and facilitating open conversations. This theme is front and centre in James Shapiro’s most recent work, The Playbook: A Story of Theatre, Democracy, and the Making of a Culture War, which tells the story of the emergence of a culture war in the 1930s surrounding the Federal Theatre Project and how it anticipates our current cultural climate.

For readers looking to build their summer reading lists, the Festival has announced two exciting debuts who will be in conversation: English writer, Lottie Hazell, will discuss her delicious novel Piglet with cultural critic, Emmeline Clein, author of the cultural phenomenon book of essays, Dead Weight. Attica Locke, renowned thriller writer, will feature with Guide Me Home—the third instalment in her Highway 59 series about a missing Black girl whose sorority insists is not missing at all.

Themes of identity, exile, and home are present through the work of Claire Messud’s new novel This Strange Eventful History, Marie Arana’s sweeping nonfiction account of the multiplicities of Latino identity drawn from personal stories, and Colm Tóibīn revisits the idea of the Irish/Italian-American immigrant identity and the ineluctable pull towards home in Long Island.

Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Distinguished University Professor of African American Studies at Princeton University, returns to Charleston Literary Festival to encourage people to refrain from outsourcing our responsibility for defending democracy. Drawing on the Du Bois Lectures and the rich intellectual and cultural heritage of thinkers like James Baldwin, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Ella Baker, Toni Morrison, and more, Professor Glaude encourages us to look inside ourselves to be the leaders that we need.

“At Charleston Literary Festival, above all, we’re storytellers—at the heart of what we do is a commitment to bringing people together through books and big ideas,” says Sarah Moriarty. “This year, we are leaning into fostering a deep sense of connection and joyful togetherness. Come to Charleston Literary Festival to find community and have an unforgettable time.”

Tickets and Information

About Charleston Literary Festival

Charleston Literary Festival is a boutique literary festival held in Charleston, South Carolina, every November with an emphasis on literary excellence and an international edge. Over ten days, world-renowned writers and readers come together to discuss and explore. By connecting readers and thinkers with a wide range of quality speakers, the Festival promotes the power of excellent writing, ideas, and champions the free exchange of ideas. 

An independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, now in its eighth year, previous attendees include Claire Keegan, Hernan Diaz, Patrick Radden Keefe, Deborah Lipstadt, Yaa Gyasi, George Saunders, Madeline Miller, Margo Jefferson, Imani Perry, Walter Isaacson, Eddie S Glaude, JR, Tiya Miles, Stephen Greenblatt, André Aciman, Colm Tóibín, Yiyun Li, Lisa Taddeo, Lauren Groff, Rebecca Makkai, Lorrie Moore, Jenny Offill, Jia Tolentino, Deborah Eisenberg, Joyce Carol Oates, Jeanette Winterson, Ben Okri, Louis Menand, David Blight, Adam Gopnik, A.O. Scott, and many more.

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Media Contact

Andrea Jasmin, Charleston Literary Festival


SOURCE: Charleston Literary Festival

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