Category Archives: Books

‘Around Harvard Square’ and the Harvard Lampoon

Sketch by Susan Arena.
Sketch by Susan Arena.

I just watched a “60 Minutes” segment about the Harvard Lampoon. Part of the segment dealt with the fact that women and people of color haven’t been very well represented in the ranks of Harvard Lampoon staffers and on the roster of comedy TV shows. That’s one of the themes of my upcoming novel, “Around Harvard Square,” about a Jamaican-American freshman competing to get on the staff of a certain Ivy League humor magazine. Erich Segal called my book “the funniest book about Harvard since ‘Love Story,’ or at least he might have said that if “Love Story” were a comedy and if Segal hadn’t died in 2010. I also think John Updike and George Plimpton would have totally agreed with Segal about my book if not for that same they died years ago problem.  Anyhoo, you can read the book next year and judge for yourself. Comedy is never having to say you’re sorry.

‘Around Harvard Square’ by C.J. Farley Coming on Akashic Books in 2019

EmmaLampoonMy new novel “Around Harvard Square” is set to be published by Akashic Books in 2019!

Here’s how it was described on GoodReads and Publishers Lunch: “a satirical novel about a Jamaican-American freshman and his misfit international friends who compete against ridiculous odds to join the staff of Harvard University’s legendary humor magazine, in a story exploring race and class, sex and philosophy, collegiate pranks and Ivy League secrets.”

Back in the day, I was an editor at the Harvard Lampoon. I’m not saying it’s about the Harvard Lampoon, but I’m not not saying it’s about the Harvard Lampoon.

More to come!

‘Forged in Crisis’ Author Nancy Koehn Dines with the Wall Street Journal

I had a great interview last week with Harvard Business School professor Nancy Koehn, author of “Forged in Crisis,” as part of the Wall Street Journal’s C-Suite Book Club series. “Forged” is a really fascinating book about how various leaders, from Frederick Douglass to Rachel Carson, coped with turbulent times and what we can learn from them.

Here I am with author Nancy Koehn at New York's Bouley Botanical, the restaurant that hosed my C-Suite Book Club event.
Here I am with author Nancy Koehn at New York’s Bouley Botanical, the restaurant that hosted my C-Suite Book Club event.

My Interview with Nobel Prize Winner Kazuo Ishiguro

Novelist Kazuo Ishiguro just won the Nobel Prize for Literature and back in 2015 he stopped by the Wall Street Journal to talk to me for a video interview. Our discussion was a wide-ranging one, covering his new fantasy-influenced book “The Buried Giant” as well as his classic novel “The Remains of the Day.” You can watch clips from the interview below.
Ishiguro on his storytelling influences:

Ishiguro on “The Remains of the Day”:

Ishiguro in conversation at the WSJ Cafe in London:

Ishiguro reads from his work:

Andrew McAfee on the Future of Artificial Intelligence

McAfee1 I had an on-stage discussion for The Wall Street Journal with author and MIT research scientist Andrew McAfee about artificial intelligence, the future of work, and his new book “Machine Platform Crowd” at Daniel restaurant in New York City. The talk took place on September 28, and the audience featured C-Suite executives who seemed particularly interested in how AI might affect the quality and quantity of jobs available to their workers in the future.


Happy Christopher John Farley Day! (Please Buy ‘Game World’!)

The mayor of New Rochelle declared by proclamation, that today, Nov. 9, 2015, is officially Christopher John Farley Day! I hope people mark the day by buying my kids fantasy novel “Game World” in bulk! I also thought I’d post some of my favorite “day” videos to celebrate (The Ice Cube video is NSFW, but the groove is good). Are there any great ones I left out?

Bonus Track:

I Play the ‘Game of Thrones’ with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

The fifth season of “Game of Thrones” has arrived, and I recently had a chat with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who co-stars as Jaime Lannister on the HBO fantasy series. I shot a video of the conversation for the WSJ Cafe, an arts and culture conversation series that I host, and I wrote a short blog post about it. Here’s the full interview below. For more go to and follow me on Twitter @cjfarley. Did I mention I have a fantasy book for kids called “Game World“?

What Can I Learn From Hilary Mantel?

Hilary Mantel‘s book “Wolf Hall” is about Henry VIII’s brilliant chief minister Thomas Cromwell, but the author is every bit as smart as her subject. Mantel has leveraged writing a literary work of historical fiction into a TV miniseries on PBS and a new Broadway show. As an author–my book “Kingston by Starlight” is a work of historical fiction– I had to find out how she did it. So I sat down with her at the WSJ Cafe, the Wall Street Journal’s video interview series, to get her take on “Wolf Hall”–the book, the TV show and the stage production. I wrote a brief about Mantel for; here’s the video.

Check out my book “Game World” and follow me on Twitter @cjfarley.

Author Sharon Dennis Wyeth, book maven Vanesse Lloyd-Sgambati, councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, and C.J. Farley in the Philadelphia City Council chambers.

Cheesesteaks and the 23rd Annual African-American Children’s Book Fair

I’ve eaten two cheesesteaks since arriving in Philadelphia this week and I have no plans on stopping. In between sandwiches, my writing was honored yesterday by the Philadelphia City Council! A proclamation was read, and I delivered some brief remarks, while tactfully steering clear of mentioning the dismal records of the Knicks and 76ers. Instead I mostly talked about the fact that fewer than three percent of children’s books feature African American heroes  and that my fantasy book “Game World” is trying to help kids to dream in color.

I’m in Philadelphia because I’ll be reading from “Game World” at the 23rd Annual African-American Children’s Book Fair, on Saturday, Feb. 7, between 1pm-3pm at the Community College of Philadelphia (Gymnasium), 17th & Spring Garden Streets, Philadelphia, PA. In you’re in the City of Brotherly Love, please stop by!  And if they really need the help, I’m available to suit up for the 76ers–though these days, it’s harder for me to dunk without a running start.