2012 Brooklyn Book Festival This Weekend

2012 Brooklyn Book Festival (09/23/12)
Brooklyn Book Festival

The seventh annual Brooklyn Book Festival will take place on Sunday, September 23, 2012 at Borough Hall Plaza, Borough Hall Courtroom, St. Francis Auditorium, St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, The Brooklyn Historical Society, and the Brooklyn Heights Library. This free event includes readings, discussions, and panels with such literary, comedic and musical luminaries as: Paul Auster, Carol Higgins Clark, Tony Danza, Jimmie Walker, Edwidge Danticat, Pete Hamill, Joyce Carol Oates, Colson Whitehead, Dennis Lehane, Esmeralda Santiago, Terry McMillan, Sapphire, Billy Collins, Earl Lovelace, Christopher Hayes, Dan Savage, Isabel Wilkerson, Pankaj Mishra, Karl Ove Knausgård, Gilbert & Jaime Hernandez, Adrian Tomine, Gordon Korman, R.J. Palacio, Judith Viorst, Nile Rodgers and Baratunde Thurston, just to name a few.

View the full 2012 Brooklyn Book Festival Schedule after the jump.


Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza
209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn NY 11201

September 23 Program Schedule (subject to change):


Brooklyn Borough Hall Courtroom (209 Joralemon Street)

10:00 A.M. All in the Family.

Three authors put their own spin on modern marriage, parenting and childhood with protagonists who range from an Irish mother to a born-again Orthodox Jew. Anakana Schofield (Malarkey), Joshua Henkin (The World without You) and Amy Sohn (Motherland) read and discuss the conundrums, secrets and humor of family life. Moderated by Steph Opitz.

11:00 A.M. Ice or Salt:  The Personal in Fiction.

W.B. Yeats wrote, “All that is personal soon rots; it must be packed in ice or salt.” Authors Siri Hustvedt (Living, Thinking, Looking), Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgård (My Struggle) and Sheila Heti (How Should a Person Be?) will consider how writing technique-“ice or salt”-transforms the personal into art that connects to a broad audience. Moderated by Phillip Lopate.

12:00 P.M. Characters on Characters.

Best-selling literary lions Walter Mosley, Edwidge Danticat and Dennis Lehane discuss their unforgettable characters and the darkness that often enshrouds them. The program will also feature short readings. Moderated by Harold Augenbraum of the National Book Foundation.

1:00 P.M. The Other Coast: Stories from L.A.

Emma Straub (Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures) Seth Greenland (The Angry Buddhist) and Karolina Waclawiak (How to Get Into the Twin Palms) read and discuss their books that bring to life the golden-age of Hollywood stars, politicking in the California desert and hidden life in the private clubs of L.A.  Moderated by David Ulin (The Lost Art of Reading).

2:00 P.M. Poets Laureate Past and Present.

Tina Chang (Brooklyn Poet Laureate), Billy Collins (US Poet Laureate 2001-2003), Ishmael Islam (NYC Youth Poet Laureate) and  Philip Levine (former US Poet Laureate 2011-2012) read from and perform their work.  Introduced by Alice Quinn, Poetry Society of America.

3:00 P.M. Gone But Not Forgotten.

Francine Prose (My New American Life), Patrick Somerville (This Bright River) and Thad Ziolkowski (Wichita) explore when their characters reunite with family members, for better or worse, and how the past shapes us or compels us to reinvent ourselves.  Short readings and discussion. Moderated by Felicia Pride.

4:00 P.M. On Truth (and Lies) in Conversation.

Co-Presented by BAM and the Onassis Cultural Center NY. What is the truth? Simon Critchley, one of today’s leading contemporary philosophers turns the tables on Paul Holdengräber, the director/founder of LIVE from the NYPL, to examine the art of conversation, digression, and sustained dialogue. Holdengräber-an expert in what he calls “cognitive theater” and a seasoned interviewer of major cultural and political figures, from Jay-Z to Zadie Smith and Patti Smith to Slavoj Zizek-joins Critchley to discuss how truth emerges from conversation.

5:00 P.M. The Fragility of Electability: Campaigns, Character and Messing with Texas.

A conversation with Gail Collins (As Texas Goes…How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda), Jodi Kantor (The Obamas) and John MacArthur (The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America, or, Why A Progressive Presidency Is Impossible).  Moderated by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Brooklyn Borough Hall Community Room (209 Joralemon Street)

10:00 A.M. The London Review of Books presents The Novel and the City.

A conversation about literature and the urban imagination with Mexican novelist Alvaro Enrigue and cultural writer Christine Smallwood Moderated by Adam Shatz, London Review of Books.

11:00 A.M. Granta Presents: Sometimes the Best Medicine is a Story Itself.

From the hot toddy that was Grandmother’s remedy for bruised knees, broken hearts and everything to the pills of pharmaceutical conglomerates, there is fodder for authors in the topic of medicine. Authors Gish Jen (The Third Dumpster), James Lasdun (Blueberries) and Dr. Terrence Holt (In the Valley of the Kings) read and converse about the idea of medicine and literature. Moderated by Patrick Ryan (Granta).

12:00 P.M. Through the Eyes of a Child.

Join Somali-English author Nadifa Mohamed (Black Mamba Boy), Maaza Mengiste (Beneath the Lion’s Gaze) and Congo’s Emmanuel Dongala (Johnny Mad Dog and Little Boys Come from the Stars) for a conversation on contemporary African novels which explore themes of identity, memory and violence through child narrators. Moderated by Bhakti Shringarpure, Warscapes.

1:00 P.M. From the Ruins of Empire.

Leading Indian writers Pankaj Mishra (From the Ruins of Empire: the Intellectuals Who Remade Asia) and Siddhartha Deb (The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India) read from their books and discuss the modern world and the East, and the movements and personalities that helped shape both.  Moderated by Parul Sehgal, The New York Times Book Review.

2:00 P.M. Calabash Presents.

Jamaica’s legendary Calabash International Literary Festival celebrates 50 years of Jamaican independence with readings by premier Jamaican-born novelists and poets Chris John Farley (Kingston Noir), Jacqueline Bishop (Snapshots from Istanbul), and Ishion Hutchinson (Far District). Moderated by Calabash co-founder Kwame Dawes.

3:00 P.M. BOCAS Presents.

Trinidad’s groundbreaking annual NGC Bocas Literary Festival comes to Brooklyn to celebrate 50 years of Trinidad & Tobago independence with readings by Earl Lovelace (Is Just a Movie), Victoria Brown (Minding Ben) and Anton Nimblett (Sections of an Orange). Moderated by Nicholas Laughlin, BOCAS organizer and editor of the Caribbean Review of Books.

4:00 P.M. Words of Conflict.

Tyler Boudreau (Packing Inferno: The Unmaking of a Marine), foreign correspondent Anna Badkhen (Peace Meals and Waiting for the Taliban), Brian Castner (The Long Walk) and Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya (The Watch) read from their work and discuss the impact of America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on contemporary fiction and non-fiction.


5:00 P.M. The PEN Translation Committee Presents North African Writing in the Wake of the Arab Spring.

Noted translators, editors and poets Pierre Joris (Exile Is My Trade: a Habib Tengour Reader), Deborah Kapchan (Gender on the Market: Moroccan Women and the Revoicing of Tradition) and Peter Thompson (A Passenger from the West by Nabile Farès) explore the effects of the Arab uprisings in North Africa on poetry and narratives and discuss their recent works in translation. Moderated by Nathalie Handal (Language of a New Century: Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond).

Main Stage (Borough Hall Plaza)

10:00 A.M. Brooklyn Choices Lit Match.

Come hear the finalists of the Brooklyn Choices Lit Match borough-wide writing contest-some of the most talented students writing in the borough read from their work. Emceed by Jill Santopolo, author of The Niña, The Pinta and the Vanishing Treasure.

11:00 A.M. Artisanal Everything.

David Rees (How to Sharpen Pencils), the world’s only artisanal pencil sharpener, in conversation with Sam Anderson, critic at large for the New York Times Magazine. They discuss the artisanal culture of the Hudson Valley, Rees’ pencil business (he hand-sharpens pencils for mail order customers), and the artisanalization of everything in Brooklyn, from mayonnaise to soda.

12:00 P.M. Only the Dead Know Brooklyn.

Literary history comes alive on stage with readings by Troupe of works by revered authors who are no longer with us. .

1:00 P.M. I’d Like To Apologize To Every Teacher I Ever Had. Tony Danza in Conversation with Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.

As an actor, Danza conquered nearly every entertainment realm-TV, the movies, even Broadway-and he wanted to give something back. Inspired by a documentary made by Teach for America, he decided to take time out to teach!  Markowitz converses with Brooklyn born Danza about his career and his book about teaching high school.

2:00 P.M. Let’s Talk About Sex: Grappling with Gender in the 21st Century.

Is biology destiny? What does it mean today to be a man, a woman, or to feel somewhere in between? Naomi Wolf (Vagina: A New Biography), Carlos Andres Gomez (Man Up: Cracking the Code of Modern Manhood) and Kate Bornstein (A Queer and Pleasant Danger) consider the role of sex and gender in culture today, how it makes us, and how we react to the trappings of gender put upon us by society at large. Moderated by Hanna Rosin (The End of Men).

3:00 P.M. The Dark Side.

When a character has a dark side or a painful history, how does an author write about it? Authors Amelia Gray (Threats), Dennis Lehane (Moonlight Mile) and Sapphire (The Kid) deal with violence in their work and discuss how they handle it. Moderated by Greg Cowles, New York Times Book Review.

4:00 P.M. Good Times – Different Times.

Jimmie Walker (Dyn-O-Mite: A Memoir) and Bern Nadette Stanis (Situations 101: Relationships, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly) from the landmark TV sitcom, Good Times, in conversation. Moderated by Carolyn Greer, Brooklyn Book Festival.


5:00 Here in New York.

Cecily von Ziegesar (Gossip Girl) chronicles the lives of the Upper East Side’s elite; Charles Rice-Gonzalez (Chulito) tells the coming-of-age story of a group of South Bronx teenagers discovering their sexual orientation, and Nathan Larson (The Dewey Decimal System) deals with the collapse of Wall Street and its effect on a dirty lawyer. One city, many lives. Moderated by Philip Leventhal.

Saint Francis Auditorium (180 Remsen Street)

10:00 A.M. Resilience.

Scholar of religions Reza Aslan (No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam) and futurist Andrew Zolli (Resilience: How Things Bounce Back) look at how people, societies, and systems maintain their core purpose and integrity and thrive in complex and changing times. Moderated by Leora Tanenbaum (Taking Back God).

11:00 A.M. Another Fine Mess You’ve Gotten Me Into. 

Marie-Helene Bertino (Safe as Houses), Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles) and Earl Lovelace (Is Just a Movie) plop their characters into almost unbelievable, surreal situations. Join us as they discuss the inspiration behind these settings. Moderated by Anderson Tepper, Vanity Fair.

12:00 P.M. Brooklyn Book Festival presents Pete Hamill.  

Pete Hamill, 2012 BoBi Honoree and author of the best selling A Drinking Life, and novels Snow in August, Tabloid City and Forever, in conversation with Bill Goldstein of WNBC-TV’s Bill’s Books.

1:00 P.M. Mystery Writers of America’s New York Chapter presents The Royalty of Suspense.

International bestselling suspense writers Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark in a program that is sure to leave you on the edge of your seats. Moderated by Rosemary Harris (Pushing up Daisies).

2:00 P.M. Worlds Built over Time.

This all-star panel brings together the narrative geniuses of Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Carla Speed McNeil (Finder), Adrian Tomine (New York Stories) and Gabrielle Bell (The Voyeurs) to discuss how they’ve developed characters, stories, and imagined worlds over serial publications. Moderated by Bill Kartalopoulos, co-organizer, Brooklyn Comics and Graphics Festival. Featuring screen projection.

3:00 P.M. The Sex Panel: Taboo in Pictures.

Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets), Leela Corman (Unterzakhn), Molly Crabapple (Devil in the Details) and Bob Fingerman (From the Ashes) talk about sex and taboo in comics. What inspires and informs their work and drives their characters (and readers)? From obscenity to art, and the delicious in-between. Featuring screen projection, with viewer discretion advised! Moderated by Heidi MacDonald.

4:00 P.M. Isabel Wilkerson in Conversation with Amy Goodman.

Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson discusses themes from her bestselling National Book Critics Circle Award-winning The Warmth of Other Suns, which views the Great Migration of the 20th Century as an epic tale of immigrants journeying to new and unfamiliar lands.  In Conversation with Amy Goodman (The Silenced Majority Stories of Uprisings, Occupations, Resistance, and Hope), host and executive producer of “Democracy Now!” public radio and TV news program.

5:00 P.M. Nothing Ever Breaks But the Heart.

Novels that span generations and continents to remind us to tread lightly when following the heart. Stewart O’Nan (The Odds), Gail Tsukiyama (A Hundred Flowers) and Terry McMillan (Getting to Happy) read and discuss their work. Moderated by Jeffrey Lependorf, CLMP. 

Saint Francis Screening Room (180 Remsen Street)

10:00 A.M. Home Is Not A Place.

Four authors read and discuss their books whose protagonists are challenged to create and negotiate their identity in a new homeland–a journey fraught with confusion, rebellion and uncertain outcomes. Graphic novelist Leela Corman (Unterzakhn), and authors Patricia Engel (Vida), Luis Alberto Urrea (Into the Beautiful North) and Jose Manuel Prieto (Nocturnal Butterflies of the Russian Empire). Moderated by Tiphanie Yanique (How to Escape from a Leper Colony).

11:00 A.M. Comics by the People: Crowd-funding, Kickstarter, and the Future of Fan-supported Art. 

Self-publishing in indie comics has a strong tradition and now Kickstarter has been called the #2 comics publisher in the US. What is the future of comics publishing? What are the benefits and challenges of directly fan-funded models? Molly Crabapple (Week in Hell), Spike Trotman (Poorcraft) and Jamie Tanner (The Black Well) discuss what works, what hasn’t and what’s to come. Moderated by Meaghan O’Connell, Kickstarter. Featuring screen projection.

12:00 P.M. Rabble-Rousers: Activist Comics.

An unabashedly lefty panel of activist artists discuss the relevance and impact of political cartoons as we enter election season: Peter Kuper, editor and co-founder of World War III Illustrated (Diario de Oaxaca), Mr. Fish (Go Fish) and Fly (Peops). Moderated by Jonathan Gray. Featuring screen projection.

1:00 P.M. Make Believe: Genre Comics for the Next Generation.

Derek Kirk Kim (Tune: Vanishing Point), Becky Cloonan (Dracula) and Mark Siegel (Sailor Twain)-three very different and equally fabulous cartoonists-showcase their new work and talk about what makes genre comics so fun to write, draw, and read. Moderated by fantasy author Ellen Kushner. Featuring screen projection.

2:00 P.M. Poetic Visions.

Poets and artists Star Black (Velleity’s Shade), Rachel Eliza Griffiths (Mule & Pear) and Danny Simmons (Deep in your Best Reflection) discuss the relationship of poetry to the visual arts in their own work. Moderated by Bianca Stone.

3:00 P.M. NYC Inked.

Peter Kuper (Drawn to New York), shares a diary portrait of 34 years in NYC; James Romberger (Seven Miles a Second) captures the gritty beauty from the LES to uptown, adapting the late David Wojnarowicz haunting memoir; Colleen Doran (Gone to Amerikay) tells the Irish immigrant’s story across three centuries; and newcomer Ron Wimberly (Prince of Cats) rewrites Romeo & Juliet in a Blade-Runner-esque landscape. Moderated by Calvin Reid, Publishers Weekly Comics World. Featuring screen projection.


4:00 P.M. Reality Denied.

Science Fiction authors Carla Speed McNeil (Finder: Voice), Lev Grossman (The Magician King), Hillary Jordan (When She Woke) and Terry Bisson (Fire on the Mountain) read and discuss their books, which are part-medieval, part-magical, part-historical, part-apocalyptic and all reality bending! Moderated by literary agent Seth Fishman.

5:00 P.M. Enduring Unlikable Women

Elissa Schappell (Blue Print), Gilbert Hernandez (Love and Rockets) and Dana Spiotta (Stone Arabia) write difficult, complex female characters. Join these authors in a reading and discussion that looks at the bad boy and the unlikable woman in literature and how they are reviled or celebrated by their audience and creators. Moderated by Meredith Walters, Brooklyn Public Library.

St. Francis McArdle (180 Remsen Street)

10:00 A.M. The Geek Squad.

Three authors look at how the internet impacts their writing and infiltrates their subject matter. Join Joshua Cohen (Four New Messages), Andrew Blum (Tubes) and Jessica Grose (Sad Desk Salad) in a cross genre discussion about the tangible and intangible ways of the internet. Moderated by Paul Vidich. 

11:00 A.M. Ink and Pressure: The Delicate Art, History and Future of Publishing.  

Authors Victor Navasky (The Art of Making Magazines) and Sean Howe (Marvel Comics: The Untold Story) take a look at the nuts and bolts construction of a comic book empire and the intricacies of what it really takes to make magazines. Moderated by Melissa Maerz.

12:00 P.M.  The Politics of Identity-Do They Still Matter?

As America grows more diverse, “minorities” will soon be the majority and this shift in demographics affects our culture and the ways we think about it. Can-and should-we move beyond the idea of race in America? Baratunde Thurston (How to Be Black), Rebecca Walker (Black Cool) and Wesley Yang (author of the New York magazine “Paper Tigers” and a forthcoming book on Asians in America) will interrogate the stereotypes we still have of each other, both positive and negative, and examine the ways we run from and cling to various aspects of identity, race, and heritage. Moderated by Amitava Kumar.

1:00 P.M. The Nation Presents the Twilight of the Elites.

Over the past decade, Americans watched in bafflement and rage as one institution after another-from Wall Street to Congress, from the Catholic Church to Major League Baseball-imploded under the weight of corruption.  In the wake of the Fail Decade, Americans have historically low levels of trust in their institutions. How did we get here? With Twilight of the Elites, Christopher Hayes offers a radically novel answer. A conversation with MSNBC host Chris Hayes and author Michelle Goldberg, moderated by Richard Kim.

2:00 P.M. Secrets Secrets Are Some Fun.

How does a writer decide what to keep from the characters, narrator, or audience? Elizabeth Crane (We Only Know So Much), John Burnham Schwartz (Northwest Corner) and Kurt Andersen (True Believers) discuss how they tell secrets, but they won’t tell them all! Moderated by Ben Greenman (What He’s Poised to Do).

3:00 P.M.  Location, Location, Location.

Colin Channer (Kingston Noir), Mark Leyner (The Sugar Frosted Nutsack) and Jessica Hagedorn (Toxicology) discuss themes of violence, drug use and crime in the very different locations of Jamaica, Dubai and Manhattan’s West Village. It just goes to show that almost every place in the world is united by the dark and devious. Moderated by Brigid Hughes.

4:00 P.M. So, You Want to Publish a Book? 

It’s never been so easy to publish your own book. Many thousands of writers have done it and some successfully. But before you hit “upload,” come listen to four of the book industry’s top editors and publishers discuss the issues facing authors in 2012. Reagan Arthur (Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown), Pamela Dorman (Pamela Dorman Books/Penguin), and Sean McDonald (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) will discuss what goes into the making of a successful book. Moderated by Ann Rittenberg.

5:00 P.M. The Poet Novelist.

Poets and novelists Ben Lerner (Leaving the Atocha Station), Eileen Myles (Inferno: A Poet’s Novel) and Sapphire (The Kid) explore the boundaries, possibilities, divergences and intersections of poetry and prose. Moderated by Camille Rankine, Manhattanville College.

St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church (157 Montague Street)

2:00 P.M. Literary Lions.

Readings by award winning authors Pete Hamill (Tabloid City), Edwidge Danticat (Create Dangerously) and Paul Auster (Winter Journal). Whether their point of view is a palimpsest of Brooklyn fiction or set in other places, they have each lived in Brooklyn and been influenced by it. Followed by Q & A. Introduced by Johnny Temple, Publisher, Akashic Books and Chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council.

3:30 P.M. A Fiction Triumvirate: McFadden, Oates, Whitehead.

Three of America’s finest authors read from their work, followed by Q & A.  Bernice L. McFadden, Joyce Carol Oates and Colson Whitehead. Introduced by Rob Spillman, Tin House.

5:00 P.M. Marriage and Monogamy.

With marriage equality on everyone’s lips, it still seems valid to ask the question, “Why marriage?” and “Why monogamy?” Our authors weigh monogamy, marriage, its alternatives, and what it all means for how we live today. Syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage (The Commitment) has advocated “monogam-ish” relationships; anthropologist Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. (Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality), argues that monogamy isn’t inherent to humans; Kristin Davis (The Manhattan Madam’s Guide to Sex), aka “The Manhattan Madam,” will provide her insights into the tangled web of sex and commitment; and Eric Klinenberg (Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone) examine what these changing attitudes look like at a societal level. Moderated by Kate Bolick (upcoming Among the Suitors: Single Women I Have Loved).

Brooklyn Historical Society Library (128 Pierrepont Street)

10:00 A.M. The Nation Presents Election 2012.

The presidential election comes at a critical moment for the United States. Demands for US engagement abroad are substantial-particularly in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. At home, shortages of jobs and housing are creating domestic crises unseen in generations. What are the stakes in Election 2012? A conversation featuring Katrina vanden Heuvel (The Change I Believe In), Tom Frank (Pity the Billionaire) and Eric Alterman (The Cause: The Fight for American Liberalism from Franklin Roosevelt to Barack Obama). Moderated by Touré.

11:00 A.M. A Conversation about Conscience.

Why do some people make painful and challenging decisions of conscience-and why do so many others often choose not to? Fifty years after Hannah Arendt examined the dynamics of conformity in her seminal account of the Eichmann trial, this panel will explore the flipside of the banality of evil, mapping out what impels ordinary people to defy the sway of authority and convention. Featuring E.O. Wilson (The Social Conquest of Earth), Eyal Press (Beautiful Souls) and Louisa Thomas (Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family: A Test of Will and Faith in World War I).  Moderated by Ted Hamm.

12:00 P.M. An Education: Coming of Age in America Today.

How does higher education serve our democracy? With college tuitions at an all-time high, instruction migrating to online platforms, and the number of good jobs for those without college degrees declining, America is at a crossroads. Columbia professor Andrew Delbanco (College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be), Andrew Hacker (Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids, and What We Can Do About It), and Brooklyn College Dean Kimberley L. Phillips (War! What is it Good For? Black Freedom Struggles & the U.S. Military From World War II to Iraq), discuss the past, present and future of higher education as a path to adulthood in America. Moderated by Richard Greenwald.

1:00 P.M. Love, Life, and Imagination.

Join four writers who turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Featuring characters with questionable motives, in unusual places and circumstances, novelists Alan Cheuse (Song of Slaves in the Desert), Bradford Morrow (The Uninnocent), Donna Hill (If I Could) and Eliza Factor (The Mercury Fountain) discuss love (lost and gained), life (given and taken) and the imagination in the telling. Moderated by Marcela Landres

2:00 P.M. Writing the Unthinkable: Memoir and the Artist.

It is said that art imitates life-but, sometimes only an unwavering look at reality will do. Three celebrated artists-novelists Benjamin Anastas (Too Good to Be True), Reyna Grande (Across a Hundred Mountains) and guitarist Eric Erlandson of Hole (Letters to Kurt)-turned to memoir to truly confront and understand some of the most challenging moments in their lives. Moderated by GQ Senior Editor Logan Hill.

3:00 P.M. Power to the People: Grassroots Revolution in the Post-Hope Era. 

What’s the connection between social change and electoral politics? Does the hope we can truly believe in come from the ground up? And what can we learn from the peoples’ revolutions from around the globe? Tariq Ali (The Obama Syndrome), Todd Gitlin (Occupy Nation), and Marina Sitrin (Everyday Revolutions) will discuss the necessity and effectiveness of individual action in the political sphere. Moderated by Laura Flanders (The Nation).

5:00 P.M. The Center for Fiction Presents Beyond Earth.

From alternate histories to entire universes these writers create intricate worlds for their readers to explore. Naomi Novik (Temeraire series), N.K. Jemisin (the Inheritance trilogy), and Rick Bowes (From the Files of the Time Rangers) will read brief selections from their work and discuss the art of world-building in fantasy writing and beyond. Moderated by Noreen Tomassi (The Center for Fiction).

Brooklyn Law School Moot Courtroom (250 Joralemon Street)

1:00 P.M. Humanity in the Age of the Cyborg and Higgs Boson.

The ancient question “What is the Self?” gets a new twist with the rise of nanotechnology, biotechnology and “smart” robots that increasingly assume functions previously handled by human muscle and mind. How do we define consciousness and existence in the age of cyborg bodies and artificial intelligence? Siri Hustvedt (Living, Thinking, Looking), Jim Holt (Why Does the World Exist) and Andrew Blum (Tubes) discuss mutating selfhood and what still makes us human. Moderated by Greg Milner.

Brooklyn Law School Student Lounge (250 Joralemon Street)

2:00 P.M. Bookforum Presents Money in Fiction.

Gatsby’s millions; Darcy’s £1,000 a year: wealth was once a major concern of fiction. Given the stark contrasts of the 99 percent versus the 1 percent, how do novelists grapple with the topic of money in the 21st century? Christian Lorentzen, and Clancy Martin (How to Sell) discuss. Moderated by Michael  Miller, Bookforum.

3:00 P.M. Fright Write.

Instead of heart throb vampires and werewolves, J.R. Angelella (Zombie), Victor LaValle (The Devil in Silver), and Chase Novak (Breed) bring you heart pounding unconventional horror stories. Join us as the three discuss their thrilling new novels! Moderated by Sarah Weinman.

4:00 P.M. Creative Life in NYC – Art, Music and Creative Culture in the 70’s 80’s and Beyond.

James Wolcott (Lucking Out: My Life Getting Down and Semi-Dirty in Seventies New York), Nile Rodgers (Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco, and Destiny) and Cynthia Carr (Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz) discuss art, music, and creativity in NYC through the decades. Moderated by Will Hermes (Love Goes to Buildings on Fire: Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever).

5:00 P.M. Inventions of Adolescence

Novelists Kurt Andersen (True Believers), Danielle Evans (Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self) and Karen Thompson Walker (The Age of Miracles) read from their work and discuss the experiences of youth. Moderated by Kevin Holohan.   

Brooklyn Heights Library (280 Cadman Plaza West)

10:00 A.M. Brooklyn Book Festival reception for Librarians.

The Brooklyn Book Festival invites librarians to a special morning event hosted by the Brooklyn Public Library. Special guest appearances by Libba Bray , author of several young adult novels, including the New York Times bestseller Beauty Queens, the 2010 Printz Award-winning Going Bovine, and the acclaimed Gemma Doyle trilogy, consisting of A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing. Introduced by Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO, Brooklyn Public Library.

12:00 P.M. Rewriting History.

Jamie Manrique (Cervantes Street), Esmeralda Santiago (Conquistadora) and Ellis Avery (The Last Nude) read and discuss their historical novels, filled with vivid characters ranging from Avery’s Parisian lovers and Santiago’s nineteenth century love triangle to Manrique’s fictional account of the life of Miguel de Cervantes, author of the classic Don Quixote.  Moderated by Albert Mobilio.

North Stage (Borough Hall Plaza/Columbus Park)

10:00 A.M. Bon Appetite.

Bob Spitz (Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child) celebrates the centennial of the beloved chef who changed the way America cooked in a conversation with Luke Barr, author of the forthcoming Provence, 1970: Julia Child, Simone Beck, James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Richard Olney, and the Reinvention of American Taste.

11:00 A.M. New Works:  Poetry Reading.

Poets Cathy Park Hong (Engine Empire), Stephen Motika (Western Practice), Kwame Dawes (Duppy Conqueror), Idra Novey (Exit, Civilian) and Patrick Rosal (Boneshepherds) will read from their recently published volumes of poetry. Introduced by Joseph O. Legaspi.

12:00 P.M. Who? New!

The Brooklyn Book Festival picks five of the year’s most impressive debut novelists: Ayad Akhtar (American Dervish), Kathleen Alcott (The Danger of Proximal Alphabets), Catherine Chung (Forgotten Country), Bill Peters (Maverick Jetpants in the City of Quality) and Laurie Weeks (Zipper Mouth).  Moderated by Anthony W. Crowell, board chair, Brooklyn Public Library.

1:00 P.M. 1st Over 40.

There’s obscene pressure on today’s writers to be the next hot young thing.  1st Over 40 celebrates the lives and accomplishments of three writers Carin Clevidence (The House on Salt Hay Road), Jacqueline Jones LaMon (Last Seen) and Julia Glass (The Widower’s Tale) who took a little bit longer to find their voice, putting them among a fraternity that includes Raymond Chandler, Daniel Defoe, Norman Rush, and Alice Munro. Moderated by Alexander Chee (Edinburgh).

2:00 P.M. There’s A Story in Every Borough.

Five authors read from their books and discuss their borough’s New York cred. From Suzanne Corso’s late 1970’s Bay Ridge in Brooklyn Story, to Julian Tepper’s Manhattan in Balls, to the Queens of Andrew Cotto’s The Domino Effect, and finally to the dark corners of S.J. Rozan’s Bronx in Ghost Hero, New York City’s boroughs are represented with the knowledge of a native and discussed for their inspiration. Moderated by Michael Penncavage (Staten Island Noir).

3:00 P.M. Altered States.

The presence of drugs pervades the books of these authors and the relationships within-father and son, man and band, and two brothers.  Short readings and discussion by Bronwen Hruska (Accelerated), Steven Wishnia (When the Drumming Stops) and Alex Shakar (Luminarium).  Moderated by Hirsh Sawhney.


4:00 P.M. Woody Guthrie-This Land is His Land.

This year marks the centennial of the birth of Woody Guthrie. Nora Guthrie (My Name Is New York: Ramblin’ Around Woody Guthrie’s Town) and Robert Santelli (This Land Is Your Land: Woody Guthrie and the Journey of an American Folk Song) in conversation about his life and influence. Moderated by Maureen Mahon, NYU.

5:00 P.M. Eats Empires.

Jamaican born Lowell Hawthorne (The Baker’s Son), father of the Golden Krust empire, and  food historian Robin Shulman (Eat the City) discuss the impact of food on economic development and urban revitalization. Moderated by Carlo Scissura, CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Target Children’s Area (Borough Hall Plaza/Columbus Park)

10:30 Judith Viorst (Lulu Walks the Dog)

11:00 Draw Off.  A fast-paced drawing competition by illustrators Dan Yaccarino, Frank Viva and Jerry Craft. Moderated by Selina Alko.

11:30 Stephen Savage (Little Tug)

12:00 Paul O. Zelinsky (Z is for Moose)

12:30 Selina Alko (B is for Brooklyn)

1:00 Edward Hemingway (Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship)

1:30 E.B. Lewis (Each Kindness)

2:00 Susanna Reich (Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat)

2:30 John Parra (Waiting for the Biblioburro)

3:00 Frank Viva (Along a Long Road) with support from the Consulate General of Canada

3:30 Melanie Maria Goodreaux (A Poem as Big as New York City)

4:00 Marc Brown (Ten Tiny Toes)

4:30 Shadra Strickland (White Water)

5:00 Francois Roca (Soar, Elinor)

5:30 Troupe reads children’s classics.

Youth Stoop (Borough Hall Plaza/Columbus Park)

10:00 A.M. Humor Me.

Franklin is a fourth grader with a big imagination and an alter ego named Frankie Pickle; fifth graders Lydia and Julie are best friends who observe “the popular girls” at their school to discover the code of popularity; and Robert is a normal fourth grader who gets into crazy situations! These hilarious characters spring from the  minds of authors Amy Ignatow (The Popularity Papers), Eric Wight (Frankie Pickle series) and Lisa Yee (Bobby the Brave [Sometimes]), all of whom have an uncanny knack for writing laugh-out-loud funny, illustrated chapter books that elementary school kids love. Moderated by Lisa Graff (Isla Neal/Mothership).

11:00 A.M. Comics Quick Draw!

Three cartoonists face off in this fast-paced contest.  Drawing (literally) from the audience suggestions, reader favorites Derek Kirk Kim, Mark Siegel and Charise Mericle Harper 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. A Blues for Middle School.

Middle School is no cake walk. There are heartaches, bad days, the quest to find the meaning of life, plus mystery and wonder. Join NYT bestselling authors Wendy Mass (Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life) and R.J. Palacios (Wonder), Adam Gidwitz (A Tale Dark and Grimm) and debut author Sheela Chari (Vanished) as they discuss how their funny, daring and courageous characters take on heartache, bad days, vanishing instruments and locked boxes to solve mysteries, discover the wonder, and even make a new friend or two. Moderated by Paul Acampora (Rachel Spinelli Punched Me in the Face).

1:00 P.M.  The Ball’s In Your Court.

Guys will want to get reading with humor author favorite Jon Scieszka (Spaceheadz, Stinky Cheese and others), Gordon Korman (39 Clues) and Joseph Bruchac (Wolf Mark) as they discuss the latest Guys Read Volume 3, which combines the great pleasures of sports and reading. Moderated by Lisa Yee (Bobby the Brave).

2:00 P.M. Jeopardy.

Join author favorites Libba Bray (The Diviners), Natalie Standiford (Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters) and Daniel Nayeri (Straw House, Wood House, Brick House, Blow) for a fast paced game of Jeopardy involving fun literary trivia about YA novels. Moderated by Zoraida Cordova (The Vicious Deep).

3:00 P.M. Love Will Keep Us Together.

Pride, time, and distance-so many things to keep young love at bay. Join NYT best-selling Simone Elkeles, author of Perfect Chemistry; Michael L. Printz honor winner Carolyn Mackler, co-author of The Future of Us; along with critically acclaimed Melissa Walker, author of Unbreak My Heart, as they prove that friendship, family, and the true meaning of connection can bring it all together. Moderated by Christopher Grant (Teenie).

4:00 P.M. It’s a Hard Knock Life.

Being a teen can be hard. Whether the issue is bullying, teen pregnancy or even a serial killer dad, this is a time in life that’s as thrilling as it is confusing, full of questions and decisions. Join popular authors Susane Colasanti (Keep Holding On) and Barry Lyga (I Hunt Killers) along with debut author Louise Rozett (Confessions of an Angry Girl) as they discuss tough choices and the teens who make them, and why the teenage years are such a writing inspiration. Moderated by Jennifer Castle (The Beginning of After).

5:00 P.M. Ghosts, Goddesses and Wolves.

A ghost becomes a goddess. A girl morphs into a wolf. Two friends awaken as something other. Science fiction and fantasy is filled with transformations. Meet the authors of enchanting novels in which teens go through life-changing experiences: critically-acclaimed Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares); New York Times best-selling Andrea Cremer (Nightshade series) and award-winning Malinda Lo (Ash and Adaptation). Moderated by Jessica Shirvington (Entice).

Borough Hall Conference Room (Workshops)

11:00 A.M. MEmoIrs: Writing In Real Time.

Rachel Eddey (Running of the Bride) reads from her book and shares her experience writing about life as you live it. Think reality TV meets memoir writing! Tips about how to publish a book with a cast of living characters.

12:00 P.M. Teachers & Writers Collaborative: A Poem as Big as New York City Workshop.

Poetry writing workshop inspired by the city. Ages 8 – 12.

1:00 P.M. Artist Books: 3-D collage: Esther K Smith (How to Make Books; Magic Books & Paper Toys).

Make a simplified tunnel book, a structure with roots in toy theaters and 15th century carnival novelties and theatrical stage sets. Bring your own photos, maps, collage materials, Ages 14 and up.

2:00 P.M. Creating Fantasy Fiction.

An intensive creative workshop for teenagers who want to write their own fantasy fiction led by Sarah Porter, author of a fantasy series for young adults, The Lost Voices Trilogy.  Ages 12 and up.

3:00 P.M. Creating Comics from Life.

A comics workshop led by Tracy White (How I Made it to Eighteen). Using a short writing exercise, teens will compose a four panel comic based on an incident from their past.  Ages 12 and up.

4:00 P.M. Small Demons.

Experience the new visual index for books, Small Demons!