BERKELEY, Calif., May 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/-- The Bay Area Book Festival returns to downtown Berkeley, Calif. over the weekend of June 3 and 4 with a focus on "literary activism." The two-day, indoor/outdoor Festival will welcome 200 local, national, and international authors and speakers in 100 literary sessions (panels, interviews, keynotes, performances) in auditoriums throughout downtown. Organizers expect 50,000 attendees.
Berkeley has become a national flash point around alt-right protests and the city's legacy with the Free Speech Movement. The Bay Area Book Festival is confronting social issues — through a literary lens.
Among acclaimed speakers are New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay, interviewed by Rafia Zakaria (sponsored by The New Republic); Steve Phillips, Walter Mosley, Mark Hertsgaard, and Joan Walsh on "race and resistance" presented by The Nation; Micah White, co-creator of Occupy Wall Street, and former Bernie Sanders advisor Becky Bond in conversation with Mother Jones' CEO Monika Bauerlein; National Book Award finalist Arlie Hochschild; celebrated activist Cleve Jones, profiled in the TV mini-series "When We Rise"; and commentator Masha Gessen on Russia, truth, and lies.
Native American poet Layli Long Soldier appears with Pulitzer Prize winner T.J. Stiles and others; environmentalist Paul Hawken speaks on Drawdown, about to hit #9 on the NY Times bestseller list; and Pulitzer winner Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman, and Rachel Kushner launch a new anthology of writers on the Israeli-occupied territories. A special event features ten contributors to another new anthology, Radical Hope, including Jeff Chang, Katie Kitamura, and the book's editor Carolina De Robertis.
Other prominent speakers include legal thriller writer Scott Turow; feminist and humorist Lindy West; spiritual teacher Jack Kornfield; Maker Faire founder Dale Dougherty; National Book Critics Circle Award winner Geoff Dyer; and KQED Forum host Michael Krasny.
The science fiction list includes superstars Cory Doctorow, John Scalzi, Nisi Shawl, and Annalee Newitz. Mystery writers include Walter Mosley with Laurie King, bestselling Dane Jussi Adler-Olsen with Cara Black and Sweden's Erik Axl Sund.
As in past years, the Festival presents the most robust list of international writers of any literary festival west of New York. This year, 24 writers come from 12 countries outside the U.S., including Uganda's Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Korea's Krys Lee, Ireland's Colin Barrett, and Iceland's Oddny Eir. A session on Juan Rulfo, father of magic realism, on the 100th year of his birth includes Guadalupe Nettel, Mauro Javier Cardenas, and Cristina Rivera Garza.
The festival also features "Auteur, Author," a collaboration with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) screening 10 films relating to literature. Presenters include filmmaker Phil Kaufman and actor Claude Jarman.
A large outdoor fair features 200 literary exhibitors, top children's authors, kids' activities, a carnival, and food trucks.
Media sponsors include the San Francisco Chronicle, KQED, Berkeleyside Uncharted, KALW, the City of Berkeley, Visit Berkeley, Chronicle Books, Zoetic Press, The New Republic, The Economist, Mother Jones, The Nation, North Berkeley Investment Partners, and the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco and State of Jalisco. Key philanthropic supporters are Margaret and Will Hearst, the Stephen M. Silberstein Foundation, Anne Germanacos, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, and the Stocker Foundation.
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SOURCE Bay Area Book Festival