Succeed2gether’s Montclair Literary Festival launched its fourth festival on Wednesday January 22 2020, with a talk by iconic, best-selling author Isabel Allende. Her visit was part of a US tour for her new book A Long Petal of the Sea/Largo pétalo de mar

Just under 400 people attended the lively talk, which was much more than a book discussion. A Long Petal of the Sea, which is being touted as “one of the strongest and most affecting works of her career”, follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home. 

Isabel chatted animatedly with her interviewer, Robyn Moreno, a Mexican-born storyteller and Emmy-nominated TV host, about how Isabel loves romance and her novels always have a love story; getting married for the third time in Fall 2019; living life to the fullest; using the past to forge your future; and how she established her Foundation to empower and protect women and children after a woman tried to give her a newborn baby girl in India, where, she was told, ‘no one wants girls’.

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The festival’s next event is on February 6, when Malcolm Gladwell will be in conversation about his latest book Talking with Strangers. Tickets for this event are available An Evening with Colum McCann will follow on March 12 (tickets, before the festival itself begins on Wednesday March 25. Headline authors include Erik Larson, Madeline Miller, Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn, Mo Rocca, Paul Krugman, and Susan Rice. More details of the festival can be found at

The festival is a fundraiser for Montclair-based non-profit Succeed2gether (, which offers after-school one-on-one tutoring and enrichment classes with the aim of closing the education opportunity gap in Essex County. In keeping with the ethos of its parent company, the majority of festival events are free to all.

The festival wishes to thank event partners Succeed2gether staff, Montclair Public Library, First Congregational Church, and Watchung Booksellers, and festival sponsors Rao's Homemade, Montclair State University, Ameriprise Financial, West of Hudson Realty Group, and community members.

In March 2019 more than 3000 people attended Succeed2gether’s third Montclair Literary Festival to hear from over 130 authors in 63 events, including Joyce Carol Oates, Sigrid Nunez, Nathan Englander, Wayétu Moore, Fiona Davis, Laurie Lico Albanese, David Ebershoff, Jonathan Santlofer, and Sam Lipsyte.