The Brooklyn Book Festival, a free event which will take place on Sunday, September 12, 2010, looks like the mother of all book fairs.
Just skimming the long list of authors who will appear, I see these famous names jump out at me: John Ashbery, Paul Auster, Russell Banks, Roseanne Cash (she wrote a best-selling memoir), Mary Gaitskill, Amy Goodman, Pete Hamill, Naomi Klein, Paul Krugman, Katha Pollitt, Francine Prose, Salman Rushdie, Gary Shteyngart (I heard him read recently in Bryant Park, and he was hilarious), Sarah Silverman, Mona Simpson, Peter Straub, and Venus Williams (she wrote a best-selling book too).
And that’s just a small fraction of the 200 authors who will be there.
It’s going to be an embarrassment of riches. Since, by necessity, so many authors will be speaking at the same times, it’s going to be very difficult to choose which ones I most want to see.
Here’s a handful of highlights: Salman Rushdie talks to novelist, poet, and dancer Tishani Doshi at 4:00. Jabari Asim, Russell Banks, and Mona Simpson talk about the relationship between reality and imagination in their fiction — also at 4:00 (drat!). Pete Hamill and Esmeralda Santiago, at 5:00. Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, moderated by Jeff Madrick, talk about the economic crisis, and what to do about it, at 11:00 a.m. Joshua Cohen, Francine Prose, and Matthew Sharpe, moderated by Liesl Schillinger, talk about Kafka, also at 11:00. Paul Auster talks with poet John Ashbery, who is getting a special award from the Festival this year, at 1:00. Sarah Silverman talks with David Rakoff at 3:00, the same time that Monica Ferrell, Phillip Lopate, Katha Pollitt, and Maureen N. McLane, moderated by Meghan O’Rourke, talk about how poetry and prose “relate to and inform each other.”
The Brooklyn Book Festival is in its fifth year. In addition to the author discussions, there will also be 175 vendors — an interesting mix of independent bookstores, small presses, magazines, and organizations for writers. A special area for children has events going on all day, starting at 10:30. There will also be many special events on Friday and Saturday before the Festival, and on Sunday evening after the Festival is over. Some of these special events have an admission charge, but many are free. All the events at the Festival itself are free.
I love book fairs, and I’m really looking forward to this one. I just hope it’s not insanely crowded!
Information you will need if you go:
Brooklyn Book Festival
Sunday, September 12, 2010
10 am to 6 pm
Where: Various venues centered around Brooklyn Borough Hall
Subways that go there: 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, F, and R.
For more detailed transit info and for driving instructions: Book Festival directions
Important: You will need a ticket to get into programs held in the Brooklyn Borough Hall Courtroom and the St. Francis College Auditorium. Free tickets will be distributed one hour before the program starts at Brooklyn Book Festival Information Booths.
Official website: Brooklyn Book Festival