Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Your Summer Reading List: Brooklyn Book Festival Authors

Here's the idea: Get ahold of at least one book from as many of the authors featured at next September's Brooklyn Book festival as you can and read them this summer.

Then you'll be truly ready for this literary nirvana, which takes place Sunday, September 13, 2009, at Borough Hall, St. Francis College and the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Some of the participating authors: Dorothy Allison (Bastard out of Carolina); Jonathan Ames (The Alcoholic); Paul Auster (Man in the Dark; Travels in the Scriptorium); Russell Banks (Dreaming Up America; The Reserve); poet Staceyann Chin; Edwidge Danticat (Brother, I’m Dying, winner of the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award); Nelson George (City Kid: A Writer’s Memoir of Ghetto Life and Post-Soul Success); A.M. Homes (The Mistress’s Daughter); George Lewis; musician Thurston Moore; Jonathan Lethem (Chronic City, You Don’t Love Me Yet); Achy Obejas (Ruins), winner of the Pulitzer Prize for journalism; Melvin Van Peebles, actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, composer; Francine Prose (Blue Angel, A Changed Man); Sonia Sanchez, poet, playwright; Esmeralda Santiago (When I was Puerto Rican); and Colson Whitehead (Sag Harbor; Apex Hides the Hurt).

Kids can play this game, too.

Youth and children’s writers include Judi Barrett (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs); Kate DiCamillo (The Tale of Despereaux; Because of Wynn Dixie); Mo Willems (Elephant and Piggie early readers); Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, winner of the National Book Award for young people’s literature); Maureen Sullivan and Alison Josephs (Ankle Soup; Custard and Mustard); M.T. Anderson (The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing; Traitor to the Nation); and cartoonist Tom Tomorrow (The Very Silly Mayor).

This year, St. Francis College has created a $50,000 literary prize for an author’s fourth book of fiction. The winning author will be revealed on September 12 at the Brooklyn Book Festival Gala Mingle.

Visit brooklynbookfestival.org for the entire list (not yet available).

Top photo: Jimmy Breslin '08, by MK Metz; Bottom photo: Book Festival '08 crowd, by MK Metz

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