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Top-Selling Authors Lead Book Festival Lineup

The Wisconsin Book Festival released its 2018 festival weekend lineup at a Schedule Launch Party for sponsors, members and other supporters on August 21. The four-day festival will take place October 11–14 in and around Madison Public Library’s Central Library. This year’s lineup includes:

  • New York Times #1 best-selling author James Patterson, for Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment
  • Celebrated novelist Rebecca Makkai, for The Great Believers
  • Award-winning science writer David Quammen, for The Tangled Tree
  • Madison’s own Chloe Benjamin, for The Immortalists
  • Internationally recognized biographer Kate Moore, for Radium Girls
  • Beloved children’s author Megan McDonald, for Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party
  • Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing 2016–17 Fiction Fellow Jamel Brinkley, for A Lucky Man
  • Political reporter Dan Kaufman, for The Fall of Wisconsin
  • Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, for Tommy: My Journey of a Lifetime
  • Cultural commentator Rebecca Traister, for Good and Mad
  • African-American Studies Professor Carol Anderson, for One Person, No Vote
  • Journalist and food writer Mark Kurlansky, for Milk!

The festival will feature more than 60 events over four days, with opportunities to meet authors, discover new books or favorite writers, and get books signed.

In addition to the festival each fall, there are author events throughout the year. Upcoming events before and after the festival include:

  • Nura Maznavi for Love, InshAllah (September 21)
  • Meg Medina for Collected Works of Meg Medina (September 24)
  • Tommy Orange for There, There (September 26)
  • Caroline Fraser for Prairie Fires (September 27)
  • Leif Enger for Virgil Wander (October 16)
  • Jabari Asim for We Can’t Breathe (October 26)
  • Margaret George for The Splendor Before the Dark (November 5)
  • Susan Orlean for The Library Book, Cheryl Rosen Weston
  • Memorial Lecture (November 12)
  • Jan Brett for The Snowy Nap (December 1)
  • Eve Ewing for Ghosts in the Schoolyard (December 6)

The Wisconsin Book Festival is hosted by Madison Public Library in partnership with Madison Public Library Foundation. Festival sponsors make this event possible through their private support. They include: Signature Sponsor Marvin J. Levy; Festival Sponsors American Girl’s Fund for Children, The Bass Family, Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries and UW-Madison Memorial Library, Nimick Forbesway Foundation, Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation, and Wisconsin Humanities Council; Contributing Sponsors Capitol Lakes, Tana Elias & Andrew Clarkowski, Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co., Madison Gas & Electric Foundation, Nancy Pandhi & Alex Young, Stafford Rosenbaum, University Research Park, and Cheryl Rosen Weston; and Event Supporter Alliant Energy Foundation. In-kind donations from Park Hotel and Media Partners Isthmus and Wisconsin Public Radio also provide festival support.

View the full author lineup on the festival website.


No. 1 best-selling author James Patterson

Novelist Rebecca Makkai

Judy Moody children's book series creator Megan McDonald

Kate Moore

Political writer Dan Kaufman

Carol Anderson

Wisconsin's own Chloe Benjamin

Mark Kurlansky, author of Salt

David Quammen, author of "A Tangled Tree"

Library Website