Living Well in Litchfield County, Connecticut

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Haystack Book Festival

Haystack Book Festival in Norfolk brings together writers and thinkers who have something to talk about. Past and upcoming talks are as various as Rose Alcala and MacArthur Award winner John Keene discussing the relation between their creative writing and their work as translators; Martha Saxton and poet and biographer Judith Thurman on the challenges and possibilities of writing women’s lives; and New York Times Cooking writers Melissa Clark and Sam Sifton on the fate of salt. 

Another key event at the festival is the Brendan Gill Lecture honoring longtime Norfolk resident and staff critic at The New Yorker. This year’s lecturer is Susanna Moore, whose most recent novel is The Lost Wife. 

The fall program has writers such as Ada Calhoun and Priscilla Gilman on the writing lives of their fathers. George Packer and Elizabeth Becker will converse about journalists covering conflict, and Robert Schneider and Samuel Moyn on political ideas and emotions. Elizabeth Bucar and Bob Smietana will discuss the use and abuse of religion. The festival will close Sunday afternoon with Carl Safina in a lively conversation on owls—what they know and what humans believe.

Haystack Book Festival in Norfolk at the Norfolk Library from Friday, September 29, through Sunday, October 1. Free and open to the public. Registration is required at

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