The Brooklyn Book Festival is taking place this Sunday, the 14th, in Brooklyn Heights. Here’s the website: http://www.brooklynbookfestival.org. There are excellent readings, panel discussions and a maze of vendors from small presses to magazines to literary associations. There are also chances to run into not only Brooklyn’s, but some of the world’s best writers, as well as everyone with whom you’ve ever had an English class or an awkward date.
Unfortunately, I have preexisting brunch plans that I can’t change, so I will be showing up a little late. Hopefully, I will still be able to get tickets (which based on my experience last year, are free, but need to be picked up that day for the bigger events) to this event:
4:00 p.m. Titans Talk. Fiction readings by trailblazers Jonathan Lethem (You Don’t Love Me Yet), George Pelecanos (The Turnaround), and Dorothy Allison (Bastard Out of Carolina). Followed by Q&A. At St. Francis Auditorium (180 Remsen St.)
This very blog is named after a quote of hers. Her novel, Bastard Out of Carolina (photos are of my embroidered version), her short stories and her essays are not only brilliant and engaging on the story and sentence levels, but opened my eyes to a certain “white-trash feminism” that I hadn’t known anything about before. She’s a brave, talented, trail-blazing woman and everyone should go see her speak!
So I just missed getting tickets to this, which was slightly devastating, but Lindsay and I prevailed and had a nice time anyway. I saw plenty of people I’ve had English classes with, but thankfully no one I went on an awkward date with. I mustered the courage to introduce myself to Hannah Tinti (One Story), whose new novel The Good Thief is on my to-read list (she was super sweet and gracious; we talked about Moby).
The one reading we caught was a trio of first-time novelists: Chuck Klosterman (surprisingly funny), Charles Bock (surprisingly angry at Chuck Klosterman), and Ed Park (lovely! can’t wait to get his book–he was really endearing). It was a strange dynamic–Mr. Bock’s reading was good–I’ve been curious about his novel ever since I studied all the reviews it got for a book review unit in a class, but he was putting strange energy out. At one point, he gave Mr. Klosterman a double-middle finger sort of gesture and then put on dark sunglasses. Weirdly, that only made me want to read his book more.