2011 Brooklyn Book Festival
The sixth annual Brooklyn Book Festival will take place today (September 18, 2011) at Borough Hall Plaza, Borough Hall Courtroom, St. Francis Auditorium and The Brooklyn Historical Society. This free event includes readings, discussions, and panels with such literary, comedic and musical luminaries as: Selina Alko, Sean Qualls, Jonathan Safran Foer, Sam Lipsyte, Wallace Shawn, David Rakoff, Kurt Andersen, J. Hoberman, Alina Simone, Larry McMurtry, Terry McMillan, Jennifer Egan, Eoin Colfer, John Sayles, Joyce Carol Oates, Craig Thompson, Walter Mosley, Adrian Tomine, Amitav Ghosh, Jean Valentine, Jules Feiffer, Tom Perrotta, Rachel Hawkins, Sam McBratney, Jacqueline Woodson, Jhumpa Lahiri, Mo Willems and Pete Hamill just to name a few. Check out the massive free schedule of events after the jump.
2011 Brooklyn Book Festival Events:
BOROUGH HALL COURTROOM (209 Joralemon Street)
10:00 A.M. The Center for Fiction Presents: The Family Undone. Roxana Robinson (Cost), Stefan Merrill Block (The Storm at the Door), Dawn Raffel (Further Adventures in the Restless Universe), and Nami Mun (Miles from Nowhere) read brief selections from their work and discuss family life gone awry in their fiction. Moderated by Noreen Tomassi, The Center for Fiction.
11:00 A.M. Mary Karr and Nelson George in Conversation. Mary Karr (Lit: A Memoir) and Nelson George (The Plot Against Hip Hop) discuss their most recent books, along with the role that music plays in their creative process. Conversation moderated by Tim McLoughlin (Brooklyn Noir).
12:00 P.M. Extreme Weather, Scarce Resources and Climate Change. The
new era of climate war is upon us. Extreme weather brought on by global
warming is unleashing cascades of unrest and violence across the globe,
from Africa to Asia to the Americas. Authors Christian Parenti (Tropic of Chaos), Mark Hertsgaard (Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth) and Anna Lappé (Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It) report from the front lines of this gathering social and environmental catastrophe. Moderated by Betsy Reed.
1:00 P.M. Apocalypse Now, and Then What? Sure you survived an earthquake and hurricane in the same week, but what about the apocalypse? Writers Tananarive Due (My Soul to Take), Patrick Somerville (The Universe in Miniature in Miniature), and Colson Whitehead (Zone One) look at iterations of the end of the world as we know it and what that means for their characters. Moderated by Paul Morris, Bomb Magazine.
2:00 P.M. Drawn from History. Novelists Esmeralda Santiago (Conquistadora), John Sayles (A Moment in the Sun), Terese Svoboda (Bohemian Girl) discuss the challenges of creating characters and stories born out of historical events. Moderated by Marlon James (The Book of Night Women).
3:00 P.M. Recharging through Spirituality. Senator Joesph Lieberman and Reverend A.R. Bernard talk about the benefits of choosing to live a spiritual life guided by one’s commitments to their religion. Moderated by Rabbi Joseph Potasnik.
4:00 P.M. Truth Versus Memory. How trustworthy is memory? Does the brain protect the heart from traumatic events? Writers Myla Goldberg (The False Friend), Téa Obreht (The Tiger’s Wife), and Randall Robinson (Makeda) read from works that explore the intersection of reality and memory. Q&A will follow. Moderated by Stephanie Opitz.
5:00 P.M. The Center for Fiction Presents: Criminal Intent.
Bestseller lists in America are dominated by crime fiction these days.
What’s the attraction to murder and mayhem? And what separates great
mystery writing from the merely good? Hear Lawrence Block (A Drop of the Hard Stuff), Susan Isaacs (As Husbands Go), Persia Walker (Black Orchid Blues), and Peter Blauner (Slipping into Darkness) on these topics and more. Moderated by Jonathan Santlofer (Anatomy of Fear).
BOROUGH HALL COMMUNITY ROOM (209 Joralemon Street)
10:00 A.M. Granta Presents Conflict, Trauma and Writing: How we Tell Stories After a Crisis.
The attacks on September 11, 2001 brought up many questions about
writing and representation. Ten years later, the question is still being
asked. Madison Smartt Bell (The Color of Night), Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, and Amy Waldman (The Submission) explore how 9/11 continues to echo in fiction, and how one tells a story following crisis, trauma and conflict. Moderated by Patrick Ryan, Granta.
11:00 A.M. The New India. Three
writers read and discuss the rich complexities, intriguing
contradictions, and challenges facing the Indian subcontinent in the
21st Century as tradition clashes with rapid modernization against the
backdrop of an ever-globalizing world. Featuring Bharati Mukherjee (Miss New India), Amitava Kumar (A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb) and Siddhartha Deb (The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India). Moderated by Jonah Straus, Straus Literary.
12:00 P.M. Water, Water Everywhere: A source of sustenance, a way to travel or a force a force of isolation and destruction. Michael Crummey (Galore), Gillian Royes (The Goat Woman of Largo Bay) and Martha Southgate (The Taste of Salt)
read and discuss their novels where water plays a major part in the
setting and also contributes to the failures and successes of the
characters. Moderated by Kevin Holohan.
1:00 P.M. Walker in the City. Nigerian author Teju Cole (Open City) British writer Geoff Nicholson (The Lost Art of Walking) and Argentine Sergio Chejfec (My Two Worlds)
read from their books and discuss the distance characters
cover—geographic and metaphysical—as they walk through and around
cities. Moderated by Edmund White.
2:00 P.M. Words and Music—Singer/songwriter Alina Simone (You Must Go and Win), Irish poet and novelist Julian Gough (Jude in London), Israeli poet Shimon Adaf, and poet Kevin Young read, perform and discuss the intersection and divergence of music, poetry and prose. Moderated by David Kaufman (Telling Stories: Philip Guston’s Later Works). Supported by Imagine Ireland, an initiative of Culture Ireland.
3:00 P.M. Remembering Sergei Dovlatov. The literary legacy of Sergei Dovlatov is celebrated by writer Anya Ulinich, literary critic and art historian Solomon Volkov, poet Eugene Ostashevsky and Antonina Bouis, Dovlatov’s English translator. Moderated by Alla Makeeva-Roylance, Brooklyn Public Library.
4:00 P.M. Place and Displacement. Victoria Brown (Minding Ben), Michael Thomas (Man Gone Down) and David McGimpsey (Li’l Bastard) read from their work about the how expectations of place and geography affect dreams and hope. Followed by Q & A. Introduced by Philip Leventhal, Columbia University Press.
5:00 P.M. Writing War.
From Vietnam to Israel and Ethiopia, the legacies of war exert a
powerful grip on the minds of writers. Bear witness in readings and
conversation with Juris Jurjevics (Red Flags), Ron Leshem, whose Beaufort won Israel’s top literary and Maaza Mengiste, author of the debut novel Beneath the Lion’s Gaze. Readings followed by Q & A. Introduced by Theodore Hamm, The Brooklyn Rail. Moderated by Joel Whitney, Guernica Magazine. Special thanks to the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in NY.
MAIN STAGE (Borough Hall Plaza)
10:00 A.M. Poets Laureates Past and Present. Tina Chang (Brooklyn Poet Laureate), Justin Long-Moton (New York Youth Poet Laureate), Mark Strand (US Poet Laureate 1990-1991) and Jean Valentine (New York State Poet Laureate) read from their work. Introduced by Alice Quinn of the Poetry Society of America.
11:00 A.M. 9/11 AT TEN.
Ten years later, after the killing of Osama bin Laden and the
continuation of many Bush-era national security polices by the Obama
Administration, leading writers and thinkers Jeremy Scahill (Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army) and Alia Malek (A Country Called Amreeka: US History Retold Through Arab American Lives) engage in a conversation moderated by Laura Flanders about what has changed in the US since September 11, 2001.
12:00 P.M. Page from the American Songbook. The Tokens return to Brooklyn for a 50th anniversary sing-a-long of The Lion Sleeps Tonight.
1:00 P.M. Art in the Mix: Inspiration, Reception and How Art Makes Meaning. This panel explores the relationship between creative inspiration and art’s eventual life in the world. Kurt Andersen (Reset, Heyday), Kenneth Goldsmith (Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in a Digital Age) and the artist Simon Dinnerstein whose painting “The Fulbright Triptych” inspired the recent collection of critical essays The Suspension of Time. Moderated by Julie Burstein (Spark: How Creativity Works).
2:00 P.M. Visions of Environmental Change. Photographer/author Yann Arthus-Bertrand (Earth from Above, Of Forests and Men, New York from the Air) and Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, (Rhythm Science, Sound Unbound, Book of Ice) discuss the perils of the rapidly changing environment and how, through sights and sounds, the earth’s urgent need for smarter and more sustainable solutions is expressed. Moderated by Lex Heslin, Beautiful Earth Group. Introduced by Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO,
Brooklyn Public Library.
3:00 P.M. The Urban Underbelly. Urban
intensity pervades these suspenseful tales of murder, race and identity
where danger lurks from in the heat of Nairobi to the Fulton Fish
Market and Striver’s Row in New York. Pete Hamill (Tabloid City), Mukoma Wa Ngugi (Nairobi Heat) and Persia Walker (Black Orchid Blues). Readings followed by Q & A.
4:00 P.M. Obama and the Popular Imagination. Jodi Kantor (author of the forthcoming The Obamas), Touré (Who’s
Afraid of Post-Blackness?) and author/activist Marc Lamont Hill look at the meaning and symbolism of Obama’s
presidency for various constituencies, and how the President and his
family participate in and are represented in pop culture and the culture
at large. Moderated by Politico’s Ben Smith.
5:00 P.M. Only the Dead. Readings of Brooklyn’s revered authors are performed by actors from Troupe.
ST. FRANCIS AUDITORIUM (180 Remsen Street)
10:00 A.M. At the End of the Story. Acclaimed novelists A.M. Homes (The Mistress’s Daughter), Nicole Krauss, (Great House) and Randall Robinson (Makeda) read from their books, followed by a discussion. Moderated by Greg Cowles, New York Times.
11:00 A.M. Russell Banks and Colin Channer in Conversation. Russell Banks (Lost Memory of Skin) discusses his newest book examining the indistinct boundaries between intention and action with Colin Channer (The Girl With the Golden Shoes). ). Introduced by Johnny Temple, Akashic Books.
12:00 P.M. The Phantom Tollbooth at 50. From the fantastic imagination of Norton Juster and the unforgettable sketch of Jules Feiffer, the classic children’s story The Phantom Tollbooth was created 50 years ago in Brooklyn Heights. Join the famed author/ illustrator pair in a conversation with Leonard Marcus (Golden Legacy: How Golden Books Won Children’s Hearts, Changed Publishing Forever, and Became an American Icon Along the Way).
1:00 P.M. The Sweep of History, the Cycle of Novels: Join us for a rare and intimate conversation between two masters of world literature: Amitav Ghosh, whose new work, River of Smoke, continues the Opium War–era saga of Sea of Poppies; and Nuruddin Farah, whose latest novel, Crossbones, completes the trilogy of modern Somalia begun with Links and Knots. Moderated by Andy Tepper.
2:00 P.M. Worlds of Personal. Three significant and compelling authors-narrators of the human experience-Jonathan Safran Foer (Eating Animals, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) Joyce Carol Oates (A Widow’s Story, Sourland) and Nina Revoyr (Wingshooter), read from their latest books followed by Q&A. Moderated by Brigid Hughes.
3:00 P.M. Comics Writ Large and Small.
Three of the most exciting artists working in the comics medium
today—who work on canvases both epic and poetic—will discuss their craft
and the artistry of long and short form graphic stories. Harvey,
Ignatz, and Eisner-award winner Craig Thompson’s much-anticipated Habibi is a 672-page quest of spiritualism and love. Ignatz winner Anders Nilsen’s 658-page Big Questions weaves together surreal tales the artist released as shorter works over many years, and Harvey award-winner Adrian Tomine’s Optic Nerve series,
with #12 newly released, typifies the concision of his
storytelling—also loved by many in New Yorker covers and strips that
offer a thousand words in a few quiet frames. Moderated by Meg Lemke.
4:00 P.M. Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana in Conversation. A conversation between Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Larry McMurtry and screenwriter and producer, Diana Ossana.
McMurtry and Ossana won Academy Awards for their screenplay of
“Brokeback Mountain” and are contributors to The New York Review of
Books. They will discuss writing, movie-making and more! Michael Shae, The New York Review of Books, will introduce.
5:00 P.M. Unholy Paths to Redemption: Pulitzer Prize
winning author Jennifer Egan (A Visit from the Goon Squad), James
Hannaham (God Says No) and John Burnham Schwartz (Northwest
Corner) look at the alternative routes their characters take
to lose themselves—jeopardizing work, family, and love—to find themselves
again. Moderated by Timothy Houlihan, St. Francis College.
ST. FRANCIS MCARDLE HALL (180 Remsen Street)
10:00 A.M. In and Out of Time: Talking about Time Travel. Writers Diana Gabaldon (An Echo in the Bone), Samantha Hunt (The Invention of Everything Else) and Seth Fried (The Great Frustration)
read from their work and discuss what happens when you go beyond a
non-linear narrative and remove the boundaries of space and time from a
novel. Moderated by Andrea Montejo, Indent Agency.
11:00 A.M. The Good, the Bad, and the Family. Families, you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them. Writers Sergio Troncoso (From this Wicked Patch of Dust) Tom Perrotta (The Leftovers), and Elizabeth Nunez (Boundaries)
read from their work and, while looking at how abuse, death, divorce,
nationality, and religion can impact a person, these three authors
examine what constitutes as home and what makes a family. Introduced by Rob Spillman, Tin House.
12:00 P.M. Epic Confusion. Readings from Nadia Kalman (The Cosmopolitans), Chuck Klosterman (The Visible Man), and Sam Lipsyte (The Ask), followed by a discussion of confusion, the difficulties of communicating with others and the obstacles that create this confusion. Moderated by Tiphanie Yanique (How to Escape from a Leper Colony).
1:00 P.M. The Writer as Illusionist.
What are the tricks of technique and perspective that can push fiction
ever deeper into the realm of fantasy? Acclaimed authors Steven Millhauser (We Others: New and Selected Stories), Steve Stern (The Frozen Rabbi), and Emma Straub (Other People We Married) consider the mysteries of the page. Moderated by Harold Augenbraum, National Book Foundation.
2:00 P.M. Dangerous Laughter. Karen Russell (Swamplandia), Elissa Schappell (Blueprints for Building Better Girls), and Jim Shepard (You Think That’s Bad) push writing into dark and darkly funny places in their award-winning fiction. Reading and Q&A introduced by Rob Spillman, editor at Tin House.
3:00 P.M. Unreliable Subjects: We
are familiar with the concept of the unreliable narrator in fiction,
but what happens when a nonfiction author focuses on a person or persons
of questionable authority? Amitava Kumar (A Foreigner Carries in the Crook of his Arm a Tiny Bomb) focuses on wannabe terrorists whom the FBI and CIA nonetheless exploit; Jonathan Weiner (Long For This World) focuses on a possibly demented British scientist who thinks we all could live to be 1000, or possibly never die; and Carmela Ciuraru (Nom de Plume: A [Secret] History of Pseudonyms). Moderated by Robert Boynton.
4:00 P.M. Sins and Indiscretions. Sorcery,
drugs, violence and failed marriages pervade the lives of characters
who look to the past and future to make sense of human failings and to
perhaps find redemption. Sheri Holman (Witches on the Road Tonight), Terry McMillan (Getting Happy, the sequel to Waiting to Exhale) and Nina Revoyr (Wingshooters). Moderated by Bernice L. McFadden.
5:00 P.M. The Sacred and the Profane: A Modern Pilgrim’s Progress. Darcey Steinke (Easter Everywhere), Michael Muhammad Knight (The Taqwacores), and Peter Bebergal (Too Much to Dream) explore unorthodox approaches to faith—how we find it, how we lose it, and how we redefine it for ourselves. Moderated by Meera Subramanian, editor of Killing the Buddha.
ST. FRANCIS SCREENING ROOM (180 Remsen Street)
10:00 A.M. Kids on the Skids. Kevin Holohan (The Brother’s Lot), Tayari Jones (Silver Sparrow) and Justin Torres (We the Animals).
Using child protagonists as a lens for a larger cultural narrative,
these three novelists explore the dynamics of family and community and
the isolation that can come from maturation at any age. Short readings
and discussion moderated by Richard Locke (Critical Children).
11:00 A.M. Subverting Normality. Arthur Phillips (The Tragedy of Arthur), Jessica Hagedorn (Toxicology), and Kevin Wilson (The Family Fang) present their novels’ eccentric protagonists – sometimes tragic, often playful, and always far from normal. Readings followed by Q & A. Moderated by Meredith Walters, Brooklyn Public Library.
12:00 P.M. Genres Crashers. Join authors whose work defies classification: crashing the genre borders of science fiction/ fantasy and the supernatural. Cory Doctorow (For The Win, Little Brother), Kelly Link, author of cult favorite stories in Pretty Monsters and Magic for Beginners, and best-selling author Jewell Parker Rhodes, winner of the American Book Award, uses magical realism to examine race and memory in her New Orleans vampire trilogy Seasons, Moon, and Hurricane. Moderated by Stephanie Anderson, WORD
1:00 P.M. Funny Ha-Ha: Comedy in Comics. Join and laugh with four artists of comics that are surreal, political, and hilarious: Eisner-nominated and cult-favorite Michael Kupperman (Mark Twain’s Autobiography: 1910-2010); Harvey, Glyph, and Inkpot Award-winning Keith Knight (The Knight Life: Chivalry Ain’t Dead); web-comics phenomenon Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant); and newcomer Jennifer Hayden (Underwire). Moderated by Heidi MacDonald of The Beat and Publishers Weekly Comics World.
2:00 P.M. Politically Incorrect Parenting. What
constitutes acceptable parenting when you just want the kids to go the
*bleep* to sleep is a daily concern for the urban mom and dad. Adam Mansbach (Go the F**k to Sleep), Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Beautiful Struggle and contributor to Rad Dad) and Alice Bradley (Let’s Panic About Babies) confront the subject with startling honesty and good humor in search of healthy childrearing. Moderated by Jennifer Senior -NY Mag cover story “All Joy No Fun: Why Parents Hate Parenting,” which is the foundation for her forthcoming book.
3:00 P.M. Starring: the City. Looking
at Atlanta, Manhattan, and Baltimore, three authors explore how urban
landscapes not only shape their inhabitants but how a city functions as a
character itself reflecting the complex emotions of isolation and
identity of its residents. Tayari Jones (Silver Sparrow), Lynne Tillman (Someday This Will Be Funny) and Edmund White (City Boy). Moderated by Felicia Pride (Patterson Heights).
4:00 P.M. Drawing a Life. How do you draw someone else’s memories? Eisner-nominated Dean Haspiel (Cuba: My Revolution) illustrated the memoir of revolutionary turned refugee Inverna Lockpez. Pulitzer nominee Lauren Redniss (Radioactive: A Tale of Love and Fallout) blends research and imagination in a haunting portrait of Marie Curie and rising star artist GB Tran (Vietnamerica: A Family’s Journey) turns to his own family’s history to portray a war-torn, transnational generation. Moderated by Hillary Chute, author of Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics.
5:00 P.M. Moving Pictures. From
B Movies to the Art House, film is possibly the most powerful broadcast
medium of the past century—taking us on flights of fancy as often as it
brings us face-to-face with the more unpleasant nature of the
contemporary world. J. Hoberman (Army of Phantoms), Jason Zinoman (Shock Value), and Roberta Seret (World Affairs in Foreign Films) discuss the role of movies in understanding our world and ourselves. Moderated by film critic and Light Industry founder, Ed Halter.
ST. FRANCIS VOLPE LIBRARY (180 Remsen Street)
10:00 A.M. From Within. Throughout history scholars of religious history and writings have brought about new understandings and appreciation of their religion. Yitzhak Buxbaum (The Light and Fire of the Baal Shem Tov) and Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin (By Divine Design The Kabbalah of Large, Small and M_ssing Letters in the Parshah) in conversation.
11:00 A.M. Arab Spring and the Seasons Ahead. All
eyes are on the Middle East and the Arab World in the wake of demonstrations,
protests, and revolutions in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, and Syria that grabbed
the world’s attention earlier this year. Could they have been foreseen, and
will they last? And what role have writers played? Libyan novelist Hisham
Matar (Anatomy of a Disappearance), Egyptian writer Yasmine El
Rashidi (The Battle for Egypt), Egyptian-Jewish memoirist and Wall
Street Journal reporter Lucette Lagnado (The Arrogant Years), and
Iraqi-American writer Sinan Antoon (The Baghdad Blues). Moderated
by Adam Shatz, contributing editor at the London Review of Books, who
has reported widely from the Middle East.
12:00 P.M. The Heart of the Matter: Stories of Epic Love. Authors Alan Cheuse (Song of Slaves in the Desert), Julie Orringer (The Invisible Bridge), and Craig Thompson (Habibi)
discuss stories that span generations, characters who defy class, and
struggle between freedom and slavery, who face impossible odds, but are
ultimately motivated by the boundlessness of love. Moderated by Jeffrey Lependorf, Council of Literary Magazines and Presses.
1:00 P.M. From Wisconsin With Love. With
labor unrest experiencing a major resurgence today, it’s important to
understand the up and down struggle for workers’ rights over the past
several decades. Three historians—Clarence Taylor (Reds at the Blackboard: Communism, Civil Rights and the NYC Teachers Union), William Adler (The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times, and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon) and Brian Purnell (Black Power at Work: Community Control, Affirmative Action, and the Construction Industry) – look
at the American left and the role unions and workers’ movements have
played in forcing social change here and across the country. Moderated
by Steven Greenhouse of the New York Times (The Big Squeeze: Tough Times for the American Worker).
2:00 P.M. You Say You Want a Revolution? Music
is often the voice of a generation-a touchstone for issues both
personal and political, and a way for its fans to understand themselves.
Mark Yarm, (Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge), Marisa Meltzer (Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music) and Marcus Reeves (Somebody Scream: Rap Music’s Rise to Prominence in the Aftershock of Black Power) – look at the impact of punk, hip hop, riot grrrl, and more on the lives of its fans. Moderated by Will Hermes (Love Goes To Buildings On Fire).
3:00 P.M. Let’s Talk Politics. Former Congressman Major Owens (The Peacock Elite) in conversation with NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt about the Congressional Black Caucus and the continuing impact of caucus politics. Moderated by Carlo Scissura, Brooklyn Borough President’s Office.
4:00 P.M. Getting To It and Getting Through It. Short story writers, Alan Heathcock (Volt), James Mason (Positively No Dancing) and Toni Margarita Plummer (The Bolero of Andi Rowe) read from their works followed by Q&A. Moderated by Donna Hill.
5:00 P.M. Short and Sweet (and Sour). Short Story weavers Clark Blaise (The Meagre Tarmac), Seth Fried (The Great Frustration), Amelia Gray (AM/PM) read from their works followed by Q&A. Moderated by Stephanie Opitz.
ST. ANN AND THE HOLY TRINITY CHURCH (157 Montague Street)
2:00 P.M. Brooklyn Book Festival honors Jhumpa Lahiri. This year’s 2011 Brooklyn Book Festival BoBi Award winner and author of Unaccustomed Earth, Interpreter of Maladies (Pulitzer Prize 2000) and The Namesake, in conversation with book critic Liesl Schillinger. Introduced by Borough President Marty Markowitz.
3:00 P.M. Brooklyn Book Festival Presents: Gumshoes. Award winning authors Eoin Colfer (Plugged) and Walter Mosley (When the Thrill Is Gone). Moderated by David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times.
4:00 P.M. Presented by the National Book Foundation and BAM’s Eat, Drink and Be Literary-Defining the Moment: USA 2011: Where are We? Writers Deborah Eisenberg, Fran Lebowitz, and Wallace Shawn,
professional observers of the times we live in, discuss the
difficulties in figuring out what exactly this moment is, why people are
feeling enormous anxiety, and why that anxiety is poorly understood. Moderated by Harold Augenbraum, National Book Foundation.
BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY MAIN HALL (128 Pierrepont Street)
10:00 A.M. Notes From Underground. Susan Choi (A Person of Interest), Jonathan Dee (The Privileges) and Anders Nilsen (Big Question) read from their books and discuss themes of individual alienation and existential dilemmas. Moderated by Donald Breckenridge.
11:00 A.M. Presented by Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: Radical Fictions.
A family confronts the end of the Cold War in Washington, DC, 1979. A
group of drunk punks await their prophet as the millennium looms in
Gainesville, Florida, 1999. A beautiful eco-terrorist bombs an office
building in New York, New York, 2010. Jennifer Gilmore (Something Red), David Goodwillie (American Subversive), and Justin Taylor (Gospel of Anarchy)
read from their work and discuss the extremist ideologies and cultish
communities their characters find themselves entangled in. Moderated by Marcela Landres.
12:00 P.M. The Poetry of Loss. Poets Mary Jo Bang (The Bride of E, Elegy), Michael Dickman (Flies), Meghan O’Rourke (The Long Goodbye, Halflife), and Kevin Young (Dear Darkness, editor of The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing) will examine the ways poems help us cope with and understand losses in our lives. Moderated by Robert Casper of the Library of Congress.
1:00 P.M. Fact, Memory and the Evolution of a Story. Three NYC writers, David Rakoff (Half Empty), Sigrid Nunez (Sempre Susan) and Adrian Tomine (Scenes from and Impending Marriage) reflect on the context that inspires their work. Moderated by Michael Miller.
2:00 P.M. Politics and Poetry. Poets Timothy Donnelly (The Cloud Corporation), Nick Flynn (The Captain Asks for a Show of Hands), Thomas Sayers Ellis (Skin, Inc: Identity Repair Poems) and Evie Shockley (The New Black) explore poetry’s capacity for social change and the role of poetry in public life. Moderated by Camille Rankine of Cave Canem Foundation.
3:00 P.M. Changing Lenses. Poet Ben Lerner (Leaving the Atocha Station), editor of philosophy books Simon Van Booy (Everything Beautiful Began After), and blogger and political analyst Keli Goff (The GQ Candidate) change their focus to the novel. Readings and short discussion. Moderated by Marcela Landres.
4:00 P.M. Memories and Wayfinding. Binyavanga Wainaina (One Day I Will Write About This Place), Paula Fox (News From the World), Phillip Lopate (At the End of the Day)
read from their work and share their memories, experiences and thoughts
in memoirs, poetry and essays will read from their works. Q & A
follows. Moderated by Pat Mulcahy.
5:00 P.M. Media Representations and Reality. The
debate continues over whether the media reflects reality or has a hand
in shaping it. Like Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, the act of
presenting the news can very often alter it. No one knows this better
than Brooke Gladstone of “On the Media,” whose new book The Influencing Machine examines the role of the media in American society. Patrice Evans, (Negropedia), examines media representations of African-Americans, and Jennifer Pozner (Reality Bites Back) looks at the completely unreal world of reality television. Moderated by Juan Gonzalez (News for All the People).
BROOKLYN HISTORICAL SOCIETY LIBRARY (128 Pierrepont Street)
10:00 A.M. Librarian Reception.
The Brooklyn Book Festival invites librarians to a special morning
event hosted by the Brooklyn Historical Society. Special guest
appearance by Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth,
the classic tale of a bored boy whose life
transforms through the magic of words and ideas, and author Leonard Marcus (Golden Legacy). Greetings by Anthony Crowell, Brooklyn Public Library Board.
1:00 P.M. Editorial P.O.V. Top editors of leading magazine Thomas Matthews of Wine Spectator and Rosemary Ellis of Good Housekeeping discuss the nexus of literature, magazine writing and home and hearth. Moderated by Laura Sinagra.
2:00 P.M. Pulitzers Notwithstanding. Pulitzer Prize-winners from Brooklyn, Jake Bernstein and Jesse Eisinger from ProPublica, who won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their story on Wall Street bankers, and Clifford Levy from the New York Times who wrote on the justice system in Russia, in conversation. Moderated by Anthony Crowell, Brooklyn Public Library Board.
3:00 P.M. Lifestyles of the Rich and Richer.
We are living in an almost comic enactment of Marx’s predictions about
class and labor: the rich get richer, the poor are getting, well, you
know… Marx foresaw the decline of small business and the middle class at
the hands of unrestrained capitalism more than 100 years ago. With a
gimlet eye and wry outlook, Chris Lehmann (Rich People Things) and David Graeber (Debt: The First 5,000 Years…) discuss the current state of our economy and where we’re headed. Moderated by Stacey Vanek-Smith.
4:00 P.M. City Life. Eminent urbanists Marshall Berman (All That Is Solid Melts into Air), Sharon Zukin (Naked City), and Elijah Anderson (The Cosmopolitan Canopy) assess the contemporary urban experience. Greg Lindsay (Aerotropolis) previews our Blade Runner-esque future. Moderated by Theodore Hamm, The Brooklyn Rail.
5:00 New Works: A Poetry Reading. Poets Albert Mobilio (Touch Wood), Aimee Nezhukumatathil (Lucky Fish), and Matthew Rohrer (Destroyer and Preserver) will read from their recently published volumes of poetry. Introduced by Joseph O. Legaspi of Kundiman.
NORTH STAGE (Borough Hall Plaza/Columbus Park)
10:00 A.M. Brooklyn ReACT Lit Match Awards. Come
hear the finalists of the Brooklyn ReACT borough-wide writing contest,
some of the most talented students writing in the borough, read from
their work. Author Courtney Sheinmel (All the Things You Are) will emcee.
11:00 A.M. Who? New! Brooklyn Book Festival presents debut novelist picks Peter Mountford (A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism), Barbara Browning (The Correspondence Artist), Haley Tanner (Vaclav & Lena) and Samuel Park (This Burns My Heart). Introduced by Téa Obreht.
12:00 P.M. Food From All Sides. Three panelists use the lens of food to write about family, poverty and home economics–Cathy Erway (The Art of Eating In) looks at home-cooking culture, looks at food and politics in the Middle East, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan (Tiger In the KitchenI) follows a Chinese-America woman back to Singapore in search of her family’s culinary history, and Tracie McMillan (forthcoming The American Way of Eating: Undercover on the Front Lines of Our Nation’s Meals) deals with poverty and food issues. Moderated by food writer Christy Harrison.
1:00 P.M. Literary Brooklyn. Join the fun as the Quotables quip Brooklyn quotes for you to identify- for prizes! Evan Hughes will join in with anecdotes from his book that celebrates Brooklyn’s literati.
2:00 P.M. Calling All Jeopardy! Fans. If you ever wondered if you could win on Jeopardy!, if you enjoy calling out the questions as the answers— meet Justin Bernbach (one of the top winners of the show), author and winner Arthur Phillips, and Stephen Baker, another big winner and author of Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything as they talk about playing and gamely take on the audience!
3:00 P.M. CATCH-22 at 50. Tracy Daugherty will read from Just One Catch, his book about Joseph Heller’s classic American novel. Bruce Jay Friedman (Lucky Bruce) speaks to his experience of the influence of the book. Troupe performs a scene from Catch-22.
4:00 P.M. Kickstarter Conversations: A Symposium on Creative Ideas. A panel of Kickstarter project creators including Ted Rall, Nelson George and Meaghan O’Connell discuss their endeavors with an emphasis on the experiences
of the authors, as well as what creating in public means for the writing
process, and how the emergence of new technology impacts publishing.
Moderated by Yancey Strickler, co-founder, Kickstarter.
5:00 P.M. Tatoo/Art. Word is that artist/author David Shrigley will be drawing some temp tattoos on audience members!
YOUTH STOOP (Borough Hall Plaza/Columbus Park)
10:00 A.M. Laugh your Head Off. Join former Children’s Literature Ambassador Jon Scieszka (Spaceheadz), Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray (Beauty Queens), Paul Acampora (Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face), and newcomer Tommy Greenwald (Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading)
as they lead the audience in a hilarious game of Mad Libs! about teen
beauty pageant contestants stuck on a deserted island, incorrigible
non-readers, girls who know how to pack a punch, and aliens who arrive
in Brooklyn in the guise of 5th grade class hamsters. Moderated by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, author of critically acclaimed Eight grade SuperZero.
11:00 A.M. Comics Quick-Draw!
Three comic artists face off in this fast-paced contest. Drawing
(literally!) from audience suggestions, NYT best-selling and ALA-notable
book author/illustrator Raina Telgemeier (Smile), best-selling author/illustrator Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), and rising star author/illustrator Laura Lee Gulledge (Page by Paige) will battle with pen and pad. And, everybody wins: finished art will be gifted to some of the lucky young people in attendance! Moderated by Calvin Reid, editor of Publishers Weekly Comics World.
12:00 P.M. Bring on the Drama. NYT bestselling authors Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall) and Kate Brian (Private Series) along with critically acclaimed newcomer Christopher Grant (Teenie) dish on hot crushes, shocking plot twists, demon-hunters and what happens when school gets in the way. Moderated by Karsten Knight, author of the exciting new novel, Wildfire.
1:00 P.M. Reimagining History. National Book Award winner and New York Times Bestselling author Judy Blundell (What I Saw and How I Lied, and Strings Attached), Coretta Scott King Award Winners, Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon (Zora and Me), and best-selling author Nick Bertozzi (Lewis and Clark
) discuss what it takes to tap into and re-imagine unforgettable
characters that bring us mystery and adventure wrapped in emotional and
timeless settings. Moderated by Zetta Elliott, author of the novel A Wish After Midnight.
2:00 P.M. Another World.
Do you read to travel to fantastical new worlds? What truths do science
fiction and magical realism tell about our lives? Join authors whose
imagination reaches into new dimensions: Caragh O’Brien (Birthmarked), NYT best-selling Bill Willingham, winner of 14 Eisner awards (Down the Mysterly River) and Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner Jewell Parker Rhodes (Ninth Ward). Moderated by Susan Chang, Senior Editor at Tor Books.
2:00 P.M. Eoin Colfer, author of the international bestselling Artemis Fowl Series will do a special signing for his fans at the Youth Stoop signing area.
3:00 P.M. Making Difficult Choices. Bestselling and award-winning authors Cory Doctorow (NYT bestselling Little Brother and For the Win), Jacqueline Woodson (Newbery Honor-winning After Tupac and D Foster and Peace, Locomotion) and Gayle Forman (NYT bestselling If I Stay and Where She Went)
discuss characters put in extraordinary circumstances forced to make
difficult choices and why it’s important to read these stories.
Moderated by Caragh O’Brien, author of the popular Birthmarked Trilogy.
4:00 P.M. In Over Your Head. Bestselling and award-winning authors Rita Williams-Garcia (Newbery Honor-winning One Crazy Summer), Sharon Flake (Coretta Scott King-winning Who Am I Without Him? and You Don’t Even Know Me) and Meg Wolitzer (NYT bestselling author of The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman)
discuss what it feels like for a young person to be in over his head
and not always able to count on the adults in their lives or live up to
expectations. Moderated by Anjali Wason, high school educator and author of Body Talk.
5:00 P.M. Epic Adventures. Have you ever wanted to travel to the other side of the world to experience new places, really learn about other cultures, and maybe even find your true love in the process? Join graphic novelist Sarah Glidden (How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less) and author/illustrator team Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg (To Timbuktu: Nine Countries, Two People, One True Story) as they take you on two powerful journeys that really show what is like to be entirely somewhere else. Moderated by Gavin Grant, co-editor of Steampunk!: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories.
TARGET CHILDREN’S AREA (Joralemon and Adams Sts.)
10:00 A.M. Troupe performs classic children’s books
10:30 A.M. Dinosaur Draw-off with Roxie Munro, Bob Shea and Matthew Myers
11:00 A.M. Mo Willems, Elephant and Piggie
11:30 A.M. Yuyi Morales, Ladder to the Moon
12:00 P.M. Sam McBratney, Guess How Much I Love You?
12:30 P.M. Selina Alko, I’m Your Peanut Butter Big Brother
1:00 P.M. Sean Qualls, Giant Steps by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee
1:30 P.M. David Ezra Stein, Interrupting Chicken
2:00 P.M. Sophie Blackall, The Crows of Pearblossom; Eoin Colfer book signing
2:30 P.M. Peter Brown, You Will Be My Friend!
3:00 P.M. Bryan Collier, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave
3:30 P.M. Hyewon Yum, There Are No Scary Wolves
4:00 P.M. Ed Young, The House Baba Built: An Artist’s Childhood in China
4:30 P.M. Laura, Noah, Phil and Mitch Margo//The Tokens, The Very First Adventure of Fulton T. Firefly
Special Events and Workshops
20% off ALL BOOKS – all day. Author signings with two of our most popular authors:
1:00 P.M. – Sherri Eisenberg, Food Lovers’ Guide to Brooklyn
2:00 P.M. – G. Augustine Lynas and Peter Vadnai, The ABCs of Brooklyn
2:00 – 2:30 P.M. – Target Children’s Area. Eoin Colfer, international best selling author book signing.
Housing Works Book Collection!
Your books can help support the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. Bring your new and gently used books to the Housing Works booth (#64) and be part of helping to support their important work. Or buy a book to donate from one of the many great Brooklyn Book Festival vendors. For any large donation, please call 212-334-3324.
National Coalition Against Censorship
ALL DAY Drop by the National Coalition Against Censorship’s booth located near the Main Stage. Check out their banned book bookshelf and participate in their video project by reading a passage from one!
12:00 P.M. Group Sing-Along with the Tokens. Join the fun as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the song The Lion Sleeps Tonight with the legendary TOKENS! They will also make a guest appearance at Target Children’s Area at 4:30 pm to read their children’s book.
2:00 P.M. – Calling All Jeopardy! Fans – as good as it get unless you get on the TV show!
5:00 P.M. – Tattoo/Art. Word is that artist/author David Shrigley will be drawing some temp tattoos on audience members!
WORKSHOPS – Borough President’s Conference Room, 1st Floor (209 Joralemon Street)
3:00 P.M. Turn Your Life into a Comic. Raina Telgemeier, author of the graphic novel memoir Smile, shows how everyday moments of your life can be made into a comic strip! Kids will start by making a list of events that will be adapted into comic panels, and everyone will create a one-page comic to take home.
4:00 P.M. D.I.Y. with Purgatory Pie. Did you know you can sew a book? Stitch-a-Book demo and workshop—Esther K. Smith will show you some simple stab stitching—aka Japanese, Chinese and Dutch (!!) sewing–and you can make up your own variations.