Boston Book Festival Announces 2014 Keynote Speakers

The featured speakers will be Herbie Hancock, Susan Minot, Rick Riordan, Norman Foster, and Doris Kearns Goodwin.

The Boston Book Festival has announced the keynote speakers for the 2014 event. Herbie Hancock, Susan Minot, Rick Riordan, Norman Foster, and Doris Kearns Goodwin will be featured during this October’s festival, a three-day series of events dedicated to celebrating literature and the power of words.

Susan Minot is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Her latest is Thirty Girls, a novel inspired by the 1996 abduction of Ugandan schoolgirls by Joseph Kony’s Lords’ Resistance Army. Minot was born in Boston, and has also coauthored two screenplays.

New York Times bestselling author Rick Riordan is best known for his kids’ adventure series, including Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The final installment of his Heroes of Olympus series, The Blood of Olympus, will be released in October.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a journalist, political commentator, and historian. She’s well-known for her presidential biographies, such as No Ordinary Time, which won a Pulitzer Prize. Goodwin was also on Boston’s power list this year.

While Minot, Riordan, and Goodwin have direct literary ties, the selections of Hancock and Foster are less obvious, but still mighty impressive.

Though Grammy winner Herbie Hancock is best known for being a jazz musician and composer, he is more than qualified to speak about words and the creative process. As Harvard University’s 2014 Norton Professor of Poetry, he gave six lectures on topics such as “The Ethics of Jazz.” Hancock also recently finished his forthcoming memoir Herbie Hancock: Possibilities, also the title of a 2006 documentary about the jazz pioneer.

Norman Foster, an English architect, is actually “Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank.” The world-renowned architect has won the Pritzker Prize, the AIA Gold Medal, two Stirling Prizes, and more. Foster’s long list of design credits includes several libraries and the Hearst Tower in New York City, the world headquarters of Hearst Corporation and the offices of magazines including Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Marie Claire, and Harper’s Bazaar.


The Boston Book Festival will take place October 23-25 in Copley Square, Boston,