God I love the Brooklyn BookFest. Last year’s inclement weather was no match for the intellectual powerhouses assembled. One of the 2008 highlights – and, truly, one of the most engaging discussions I’ve witnessed in New York – featured Joan Didion, Mark Danner, and others from the New York Review of Books on the Presidential Election. It was like sneaking into a graduate school seminar, or gorging on brain food.
This year’s schedule looks to be even better. Below are the events I’ve earmarked. If you see me wandering around, come say ‘ello! I’ll be wearing a purple tie because …well, no reason at all, actually.
- 10AM: The Legacies of John Updike and David Foster Wallace (Borough Hall Courtroom) – Lev Grossman, David Lipsky, and Laura Miller. Moderated by David Ulin.
- 12PM: Real Surreal (St. Francis College Reading Room) – Tao Lin, Yona Zeldis McDonough, Nicholson Baker, and Ben Marcus.
- 1PM: Literature in a Digital Age (Borough Hall Community Room) – John Freeman, Dwight Garner, and Sarah Schmelling. Moderated by Maud Newton. (Also at 1pm, check out Out of Step to catch a great novelist and public reader, Colson Whitehead.)
- 2PM: Satire and Comic Relief in 2009 (Borough Hall Courtroom) – Jeffrey Rotter, Gary Shteyngart, and Sloane Crosley. Moderated by Ben Greenman.
- 4PM: Sound Unbound: DJ Spooky and Touré (North Stage)
- 5pm: Happy Ending Reading Series (Main Stage) – Jonathan Ames, David Cross, Rakesh Satyal. Hosted by Amanda Stern, music by Jonathan Coulton. (Also check out this recent NYMag article on Ames, one of NYC’s best literary personalities.)
Also check out New York Magazine‘s favorites here.