BANGOR, Maine — Award-winning Maine novelist Cathie Pelletier will be the keynote speaker for the seventh annual Bangor Book Festival to be held Oct. 4-5, in downtown Bangor. The festival also will have its first youth keynote speaker, Newbery Award-winner Clare Vanderpool.
Pelletier and Vanderpool will be joined by 25 Maine-based and Maine-connected writers, essayists and illustrators who will participate in panels, readings and signings at Bangor Public Library and other downtown venues.
Authors and writers at the 2013 event include Michael Alpert, Ben Bishop, Ellen Booraem, Janet Chapman, Jan DeLima, Terry Farish, Donn Fendler, Brenda Gilchrist, Mark Kelley, Al Lamanda, Pauleena MacDougall, Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto, Jane McCloskey, Joan McCracken, Bryce Moore, Maria Padian, Marisue and John W. Pickering, Lynn Plourde, Katie Quirk, Wayne E. Reilly, Mark Scott Ricketts, David Rosenfelt and Sarah Smiley.
“There’s always at least one surprise at the Bangor Book Festival,” Bangor Public Library Director Barbara McDade said in a recent press release. “A new author I hadn’t known about, a book that is a gem but hasn’t gotten big press, a new field I hadn’t explored. I find out about them by hearing an author speak at the festival. The Bangor Book Festival also gives me the opportunity to hear the authors whose work has already grabbed my attention and reminded me why I fell in love with literature in the first place.”
Pelletier was born and raised on the banks of the St. John River, at the end of the road in Northern Maine. She is the author of 10 novels, including “The Funeral Makers”, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book; “The Weight of Winter,” winner of the New England Book Award; and “Running the Bulls,” winner of the Paterson Prize for Fiction. As K. C. McKinnon, she has written two novels, both of which became television films. After years of living in Nashville, where she became a songwriter, Toronto, and Quebec, she has returned to the family homestead where she was born. Her newest title is “The One-Way Bridge.”
New York Times best-seller “Navigating Early” by Vanderpool is an odyssey-like adventure of two boys’ incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail, where they deal with pirates, buried secrets and extraordinary encounters. Vanderpool’s debut novel, “Moon Over Manifest,” won the 2011 Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature.
Pelletier will present the Bud Knickerbocker Keynote Address at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Bangor Opera House, following a presentation of the first Maine Readers’ Choice Award. The Youth Keynote featuring Vanderpool is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, in the Bangor Public Library Lecture Hall. All programs at this year’s Bangor Book Festival are free and open to the public. For information and full schedule, visit BangorBookFest.org.