A few highlights from Saturday’s author talks at the Maine Festival of the Book:

AT 9:30 A.M., calligrapher and letter-cutter Douglas Coffin will give a talk, “How Our Alphabet Came to Be,” in which he will explore the history and development of our alphabet as we know it.

AT 11 A.M., there will be a panel discussion featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Tony Horwitz; Colin Woodward, journalist and author of “American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America”; and Michael Willrich, professor of history at Brandeis University and author of “Pox: An American History.” Steve Bromage, assistant director of the Maine Historical Society, will moderate the panel.

ALSO AT 11 A.M., E.B. White’s granddaughter, Martha White, will present favorite quotations, photos and home movies of E.B., author of “Charlotte’s Web.” Martha White is the editor of “In the Words of E.B. White” and the revised edition of “Letters of E.B. White.”

AT 1:30 P.M., Charles J. Shields and Chip Bishop will hold a talk, “The Quick and Dead: Writing About Someone You Knew or Admired.” The two biographers will discuss their respective works and the process of creating an objective biography, even if it is about someone you knew personally.

Shields is the author of “Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee,” a New York Times best-seller, and “And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, a Life.” Bishop is the great-grandnephew of the journalist in his book, “The Lion and the Journalist: The Unlikely Friendship of Theodore Roosevelt and Joseph Bucklin Bishop.”


AT 3 P.M., former Congressman Tom Allen and political scholar Linda Killian, a senior scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and author of “The Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of Independents,” will present “Politics Today: Swing and Independent Voters, Party Divides and Ideological Convictions,” in which they will address the rise of the independent voter and the competing world views that divide Americans.

ALSO AT 3 P.M., University of Maine art history professor Justin Wolff will discuss his new book, “Art and Experience: Thomas Hart Benton and the American Scene,” a biography of the celebrated 20th-century American artist. Benton was a controversial realist who counted among his students Jackson Pollock.

AT 5 P.M., Michael Maglaras will screen the independent film studio 217 Film’s new documentary, “O’ Brother Man: The Art and Life of Lynd Ward,” about the renowned American artist. The artist’s daughter, Robin Ward Savage, will attend.


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