Legendary journalist and author Gay Talese will headline the 2016 Power of Narrative Conference on April 1-3 at Boston University, conference organizers announced today.
The gathering of narrative storytellers, with more than 500 attendees expected from around the world, will be among the most ambitious Power of Narrative events since the annual conference was founded nearly two decades ago.
"We're delighted to welcome Gay Talese back to the College of Communication's Power of Narrative Conference and to honor him for his unmatched contributions to this craft," said Tom Fiedler, dean of the BU College of Communication. "No journalist more ably demonstrates the 'Power of Narrative' in telling true stories, and none shares more generously the techniques that will enable others to succeed. It's our great fortune to honor Gay as the 2016 Thomas R. Schoenenberger Visiting Writer."
In addition to Talese, among the more than 40 confirmed speakers are acclaimed authors Mary Roach, Hampton Sides, Sam Freedman and Meera Subramanian, and award-winning Boston Globe editor Brian McGrory. The Globe has come aboard as conference's "Presenting Sponsor," and will host a cocktail party for all attendees.
"The Moth" is bringing its unique brand of audio storytelling to the Friday night kickoff, and The New York Times is sending journalists Fernanda Santos, Sarah Maslin Nir and Ben Solomon, among others.
Keynote and breakout sessions will range across all platforms of narrative, in keeping with the conference's pledge to keep nonfiction storytellers "savvy, skilled and solvent in journalism's wired era." Registration for the conference opened Dec. 1, and discounted early bird registration runs through Jan. 22. Special rates are also available for college and graduate students and Boston University alumni.
Talese is a bestselling author who has written 11 books. He was a tenacious reporter for the New York Times from 1956 to 1965, and since then he has written for the Times, Esquire, The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, and other national publications.
His groundbreaking article "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" was named the "best story Esquire ever published." He was one of the first journalists to apply fiction techniques to journalism, and was credited by Tom Wolfe with the creation of the innovative form of nonfiction writing called "The New Journalism."
His most recent book, A Writer's Life, was published by Knopf in 2006 and reissued in trade paperback by The Random House Publishing Group in July 2007. A collection of his sportswriting, The Silent Season of a Hero, was published by Walker & Company in September 2010.