Monday, September 15, 2008

2008 Brooklyn Book Festival -- This Is Turning Into an Amazing Event

The Brooklyn Book Festival was even bigger this year than last (we were going to say even more fabulous but last year was pretty fabulous, too). There were literary happenings at booths, at five outdoor stages around Brooklyn Borough Hall, and in meeting rooms inside Borough Hall, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and St. Francis College.

In spite of the sticky weather, the crowds were loving it. Even during the hottest part of the day large numbers of people sat on steps in the sun to hear their favorite authors speak. (They packed the indoor locations as well.)

The number of authors reading from their works, signing autographs and talking literature was impressive. Here's a partial list taken from the Book Festival website:

Joan Didion, Richard Price, Jonathan Lethem, Dorothy Allison, Russell Banks, A.M. Homes, George Pelecanos, Terry McMillan, Jonathan Franzen, Susan Choi, Esmeralda Santiago, Thurston Moore, Paul Beatty, Jacqueline Woodson, Chuck Klosterman, Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill, Nikki Turner, Elizabeth Nunez, Ed Park, Pico Iyer, Gail Carson Levine, Cecily von Ziegesar, Chris Myers, Jane O’Connor, Jon Scieszka, Mo Willems

We caught the "Iconic Conversation" with columnist and author Jimmy Breslin (pictured left) and journalist and author Pete Hamill. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz introduced them and kept up an amusing banner with Hamill ("journalists have increased the cynisism of the public") till Breslin arrived a bit late. Breslin said that Tina Fey's performance as Sara Palin on Saturday Night Live "Didn't let me down: 'I can see Russia from my house.'"

Poet D. Nurkse:
“Where is Policastro the locksmith now?...
“Half-blind, he wore two pairs of glasses / held together by duct tape ..."
From Lament for the Makers of Brooklyn

Moderator Laura Arnold, HarperCollins, with fantasy writers Gail Carson Levine (Ever, Ella Enchanted), Holly Black (The Good Neighbors, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Ironside), and Daniel Kirk (Elf Realm).

(Below) Novelist Colin Channer interviews WNYC host Leonard Lopate and critic and book commentator Alan Cheuse.

Seems like this festival is going to have to expand into more real estate next year.

UPDATE: Lots more photos at Brooklyn Eagle and Flickr.

- Brooklyn Book Festival Starts at 10 a.m. Sunday
- Brooklyn Book Festival Smashing Success, Again (2007)
- Brooklyn Book Festival Kicks Off With 'Smoke'

Photos copyright MK Metz

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