I write this from my grandfather's zinc-top kitchen table, where I have done so much of my work these last few months. My world, and I imagine yours, too, has simultaneously collapsed in on itself and grown larger since March. The physical space we occupy is limited, but I feel so acutely the interconnected world in which we live.

The world is changing. We have a chance to see our world change for the better. I have read about moments like this before, but the experience of living through it is almost indescribable.

When we decided to ask authors "What Gives You Hope?" I wondered what the answer would be. I felt so hopeless in March and April. Hopelessness is a somewhat easy place to be. It takes more courage to look at this world and be hopeful. To find those highly polished stones of hope, and to carry them in your pocket with you.

I wish that we were gathered in the UU Church tonight, to kick off the 9th annual Nantucket Book Festival. The festival would have stradeled the solstice, the longest days of the year. And what is more hopeful than light?

I hope you will watch the short video with NBF authors "What Gives You Hope?" sometime today and think about the question yourself. I shed a few tears watching this video, I am not ashamed to tell you, in part because I was so moved by the answers, but also because of all the work that has gone into this festival, year after year.

What gives me hope? I am the kind of person who needs something to look forward to. So I have already started to look forward to June 2021, when we will be together again, celebrating the power of books.

With immense gratitude,

Mary Bergman

Chair, Nantucket Book Festival Committee

This first installment of What Gives You Hope features, in order of appearance, Azar Nafisi, Nathaniel Philbrick, Sarah Broom, Diane Rehm, Skip Finley, David Rohde, Samantha Power, William Cohan, Mitchell Jackson.

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