Keynote | An Evening with Colm Toíbín

Woodstock Bookfest presents a world premiere, featuring Irish writer Colm Toíbín, reading the words of author John Hersey.

Lost Dreams is an unpublished short story by the late John Hersey, author of Hiroshima and dozens of other books. Lost Dreams was his part of a collaborative performance piece combining spoken word and music.

His partner on the project was his musician son, Upstate NY resident Baird Hersey.

More about John’s legacy as a writer, and his son Baird, from the New Yorker.

Now more than twenty-five years later, the music is finished and the piece is ready to be performed, for the first time, in a synergy of creativity at the Woodstock Bookfest.

The short story will be read by writer Colm Toibin, with Baird’s musical accompaniment performed by violinists Katherine Hannauer and Laura Hackstein.

Colm Tóibín is the author of seven novels, including The Master, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Brooklyn, winner of the Costa Book Award; The Testament of Mary, and Nora Webster, as well as two story collections. Three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Tóibín lives in Dublin and New York.

house-of-names-colm-toibin-woodstock-bookfestToibin’s latest novel, House of Names, (Scribner, paperback, 2018) is a “written with the ‘knowledge that the time of the gods has passed,’ and his take on the classic myth of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra in House of Names evokes a husband’s vanity and a wife’s rage, casting the fragility of our closest bonds in fresh light.” (Vogue)

The performance piece will be followed with Colm regaling the crowd with stories and anecdotes, Q&A, and book signing.


Get a Full Festival pass and you’ll get to take in the Story Slam on Thursday night. Then sail into the weekend: attending all the wonderful panels, breakfast, both Little Bites and Big Libations Cocktail Parties, and both evening events. And share the bounty from our always-stuffed goody bag.

Or treat yourself to The Whole Shebang for $450. Here’s what you’ll get:

All of the above PLUS the One Day Intensive of your choice.

Colm Tóibín by Phoebe Ling-Woodstock-Bookfest-2018

Colm Tóibín by Phoebe Ling

Bearsville Theater
291 Tinker Street
Saturday March 24, 2018