LitFest 2021 Goes Virtual

LitFest 2021 Header

We hope you’ll join us for the sixth annual LitFest, hosted in conjunction with Amherst College. This year’s festival features 2020 National Book Award for Fiction winner Charles Yu and finalist Megha Majumdar, National Book Award for Poetry finalists Natalie Diaz and Tommye Blount, and Pulitzer Prize winner Anne Applebaum, among others. 

This year, to celebrate Amherst College’s Bicentennial, we’ll have a very special set of readings by The Common‘s very own Literary Publishing Interns at 4:30 pm on Saturday. Join us for this packed weekend!

All events require registration; register at this link by choosing the events you’d like to attend! 

   

A Conversation with 2020 National Book Award Winner Charles Yu and Nominee Megha Majumdar with a Welcome from President Biddy Martin
Host: Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint
7– 8:00 p.m., Friday, February 26
Hosted in partnership with the National Book Foundation

    

A Conversation with 2020 National Book Award for Poetry Finalists Tommye Blount and Natalie Diaz
Host: John Hennessy, poetry editor of The Common
11– 12:00 p.m., Saturday, February 27
Hosted in partnership with the National Book Foundation

 

Alumni Authors Cocktail Hour Reading 
Host: Jennifer Acker
5 – 6:00 p.m., Saturday, January 27
Featuring Calvin Baker, Chris Bohjalian, Dan Chiasson, Edward A. Farmer, Michael Gorra, Kirun Kapur, Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne and Ismée Williams.

A Conversation with Pulitzer Prize Winner Anne Applebaum
Host: Cullen Murphy
1– 2:00 p.m., Sunday, February 28

LitFest 2021 Goes Virtual

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LitFest video start screen

Readings from Amherst College LitFest 2021

This year's LitFest was held virtually, with authors, poets, and literature lovers joining from all around the world. Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker hosted two readings at LitFest: one with The Common's student interns, and one with Amherst College alumni authors. Both events were recorded and can be watched below.

Image of Charles Yu's book, Interior Chinatown.

LitFest 2021 Excerpt: Interior Chinatown

CHARLES YU
Ever since you were a boy, you’ve dreamt of being Kung Fu Guy. You are not Kung Fu Guy. You are currently Background Oriental Male, but you’ve been practicing. Maybe tomorrow will be the day. Ever since you were a boy, you’ve dreamt of being Kung Fu Guy.

Cover of A Burning

LitFest 2021 Excerpt: A Burning

MEGHA MAJUMDAR
I had been at the station, no more than a fifteen minute walk from my house. I ought to have seen the men who ran up to the open windows and threw flaming torches into the halted train. But all I saw was carriages, burning, their doors locked from the outside and dangerously hot.