print page

Brooklyn Book Festival

Date: Sunday - September 21, 2014
Time: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Location: Brooklyn Borough Hall & St. Francis College

The 9th annual Brooklyn Book Festival, slated for September 21, 2014 at the Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza, will feature more than 100 U.S. and international writers who will participate in the annual free literary festival.

Among the authors attending are Paul Auster, Colson Whitehead, Jonathan Lethem, Siri Hustvedt, Terry McMillan, Jules Feiffer, Paul Pope, Gabrielle Bell, and R. L. Stine. All will participate in a slate of panels, book receptions and other events held at Borough Hall and nearby venues, with many hosted at St. Francis College.

Here is the schedule of authors appearing at St. Francis College

Events in Founders Hall

I Am What I Am What I Am
10:00am
Add to Calendar

Discussing what it means to express and identify in a way that one chooses, Phil Klay (Redeployment), Jess Row (Your Face in Mine) and Kathleen Winter (The Freedom in American Songs) explore alternative life choices, gender identity, and falling in and out of line. Join these authors as they discuss writing about characters who face, avoid, or ignore the prescribed idea of normalcy. Moderated by Halimah Marcus.


The Hilarity of Death and Deadlines
11:00am
Add to Calendar

New Yorker luminaries Roz Chast, whose widely-praised, heart-wrenching memoir Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant? has garnered critical success, talks with Robert Mankoff (How About Never?) who shares his life as an editor and artist. How do comics take on taboo subjects to leave you laughing and crying (often at the same time)? Moderated by Hillary Chute (Out of the Box: Interviews with Contemporary Cartoonists). Featuring screen projection.


So, Can You Judge a Book By Its Cover?
12:00pm
Add to Calendar

Graphic designers and book cover design icons Chip Kidd (GO! A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design, Book One: Work) and Peter Mendelsund (Cover, What We See When We Read) are joined by Riverhead Press art director Helen Yentus for a spirited conversation about design and especially book cover designs. Featuring screen projection. Moderated by Brian Tate.


Creativity and Chaos: Artistic High-Wire Acts
1:00pm
Add to Calendar

How do artists tap into their most creative selves, and learn to balance the impulses—whether it’s for performance and visual art, literature, or computer programming—to make something new? A conversation with Philippe Petit (Creativity: The Perfect Crime), Haitian author and painter Frankétienne (Ready to Burst), and Vikram Chandra (Geek Sublime: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty). Moderated by Elissa Schappell.


This Woman’s Work
2:00pm
Add to Calendar

Critic and essayist Roxane Gay (Bad Feminist), Kiese Laymon, who has critiqued the failure to include Black girls in Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, and Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams) discuss the contradictory ways in which girls and women are perceived today, how feminism is a divided community, and how to provide a more inclusive and tolerant way forward. Moderated by Jennifer Baumgardner, Feminist Press.


Virtuosos: Comics Creators that Defy Classification
3:00pm
Add to Calendar

Award-winning artists Charles Burns (Sugar Skull), Eleanor Davis (How to be Happy) and Paul Pope (Battling Boy) are some of the most exciting creators on the scene today, helping to define indie, literary comics while also defying genre classification. Join them as they talk about how they orchestrate their art. Moderated by Lisa Lucas, Guernica Magazine. Featuring screen projection.


Jonathan Lethem and Jules Feiffer in Conversation
4:00pm
Add to Calendar

Jules Feiffer (Kill My Mother), one of the most influential editorial cartoonists of our time, and novelist and essayist Jonathan Lethem (Dissident Gardens) discuss the power of satire, dissent in their work, and the influence of cultural and political collisions. Moderated by Ken Chen, Asian American Writers Workshop.


Something to Hide presented by the PEN American Center
5:00pm
Add to Calendar

Does your browsing history inhibit what you search and where? Are you afraid to send emails of a sensitive nature or in support of a cause you believe in? In 2013, PEN polled its members concerning internet surveillance and learned that 1 in 6 writers have self-censored, choosing to not write on topics that might subject them to scrutiny by the government. Readings followed by Q & A featuring Alena Graedon, Xiaolu Guo, Robie Harris, Vanessa Manko, Rakesh Satyal, Justin Taylor, Lynne Tillman, Adelle Waldman, and others. Highlighting how surveillance programs threaten artistic and intellectual freedom.

Events in McArdle Cafeteria

War is Over, War is Coming
11:00am
Add to Calendar

Politics, war, love and streetlife defined life in New York City in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. In When the World Was Young, Elizabeth Gaffney’s strong young heroine faces life and tragedy during wartime; and Rashidah Ismaili (Autobiography of the Lower East Side) chronicles the vibrancy and social challenges of the 1950s Lower East Side on the eve of the Vietnam War. The authors discuss these worlds, so close together yet so far apart. Short readings and discussion. Moderated by John Williams.


About Africa
12:00pm
Add to Calendar

Susan Minot (Thirty Girls), Dinaw Mengestu (All Our Names), and Bridgett Davis (Into the Go-Slow) discuss love stories, growing up, and the search for meaningfulness across the continent of Africa. Whether writing about war-torn Uganda, the heat of Nigeria or an African transplant in the American Midwest, these masterful novelists transport you to vibrant settings on the other side of the world. Moderated by David L. Ulin.


Swimming Against the Mainstream
1:00pm
Add to Calendar

Women are told they can—and should—have it all: dream wedding, great career, a beautiful family. But what if that’s not exactly what you want? Or worse: what if it isn’t possible? Jen Kirkman (I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales From a Happy Life Without Kids), and Tanya Selvaratnam (The Big Lie: Motherhood, Feminism, and the Reality of the Biological Clock) discuss the expectations of our culture and whether you should or shouldn’t try to buck them, and what happens when you do. Moderated by Alexander Chee.


Eric Schlosser in Conversation
2:00pm
Add to Calendar

As an investigative journalist, Eric Schlosser has authored Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness among his many books. His most recent book, Command and Control, a finalist for the 2014 Pulitzer Prize, examines the efforts of the military, since the atomic era began during World War II, to prevent nuclear weapons from being stolen, sabotaged, or detonated by accident.


Where I'm Writing From: Hometown Fiction
3:00pm
Add to Calendar

Many authors follow the adage, “write what you know.” Barbara J. Taylor (Sing in the Morning, Cry at Night), Kseniya Melnik (Snow in May), and Rene Steinke (Friendswood) are playing by different rules: They write where they know—more specifically, about the diverse settings from which they originate, which span the core of America’s coal-mining industry, a remote port town in Russia’s Far East, and a small, tight-knit Texas community. Moderated by Jonathan Lee


Ties That Bind, or Tear Us Apart
4:00pm
Add to Calendar

Real families are complicated. Families in fiction are almost always more complicated. Kyle Minor (Praying Drunk) takes on new forms of the short story to showcase the portrait of a dysfunctional American family. Darcey Steinke (Sister Golden Hair) emphasizes the two kinds of families a person can have—the one they’re born into, and the one they create. Bich Minh Nguyen (Pioneer Girl) explores familial expectations in immigration, honor, and the history of an important, life-changing heirloom. Short readings and discussion. Moderated by Beth Bosworth, The Source of Life and Other Stories.


The Double Life
5:00pm
Add to Calendar

Join Chloe Krug Benjamin (Anatomy of Dreams), James Magnuson (Famous Writers I Have Known) and Amy Sohn (The Actress) for an engaging conversation about the different roles we all play in life and in fiction. The characters in these masterpiece novels take on the personas of others, shedding their own sense of self along the way. They will make you question how well any of us really know each other—or ourselves. Moderated by Tanya Batson-Savage, Blue Moon Publishing.

Events in Workshop Room 3213

 

The Search for the Discussible Book (workshop)
12:00pm
Add to Calendar

Reading Group Choices provides tips on how to start a reading group, maintain one and choose discussible books your group will love. Reading Group Choices 2015 authors engage in a few fun rounds of author-speed-dating! Attendees receive a free copy of RGC 2015, and are entered to win prizes. 


Making Flag Books (workshop)
1:00pm
Add to Calendar

Making flag books are easy to make and have a wonderful pop-up-like action when they open. Versatile for photo albums and artist books, this form was invented by book-conservator Hedi Kyle. Ages 10 and up are welcome.


Draw Your Own Cartoons! (workshop)
2:00pm
Add to Calendar

Award-winning syndicated cartoonist and illustrator of The Zero Degree Zombie Zone, Jerry Craft shares his experiences as a cartoonist and illustrator. Craft will give you instructions on how to use simple shapes to create your own cool comic book characters.


The History Of New York In 101 Objects (workshop)
3:00pm
Add to Calendar

NYT urban affairs correspondent Sam Roberts talks about the curation process for his new book. Whether one is keeping or discarding selfies, making decisions about adding or subtracting from a private collection or curating a family archive - there are choices to be made! Join him as he speaks about choices that define creating collections and sharing memories and objects.


Timeline to Success (workshop)
4:00pm
Add to Calendar

Whether traditionally published or self-published, most successful launches begin while the author is writing the book, NOT three months before pub date. Publicist Michelle Blankenship joins Your Expert Nation marketing experts, Bridget Marmion and Rich Kelley for a fast-paced workshop on what successful authors do—and when.

The Brooklyn Book Festival is the largest free literary event in the city. More than 40,000 visitors and media from around the world converged at the festival last September. The single-day event is held at Borough Hall but panels and presentations are also slated for nearby facilities such as the Brooklyn Historical Society and St. Francis College The show will feature international slate of authors (from Australia, Brazil, France, and Israel among other countries) in addition to novelists, comics artists, children’s book authors, poets and New York City publishing figures. The festival also includes a literary marketplace at the Borough Hall Plaza with exhibiting independent presses and literary organizations from around the country, in addition to independent bookstores. The festival also features a week-long series of events, among them book receptions, readings and children’s events slated to be held the week prior and hosted at Brooklyn bookstores, theaters, clubs and parks.