20th Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books to Bring 150,000 Southern Californians Together in Conversation


The Times to Debut New Ideas Exchange April 19 with Kenneth Turan and Special Guest Malcolm Gladwell

The Los Angeles Times today announced the lineup for the 20th annual Festival of Books, its signature civic event and the largest literary and cultural festival in America, to be held at the University of Southern California April 18-19. Over two decades, The Times has grown the Festival into an unparalleled celebration of ideas, creativity and the written word. Now a centerpiece of L.A.’s vibrant and diverse intellectual landscape, the Festival will convene over 500 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs with more than 150,000 attendees and lead conversations on subjects ranging from the new California noir to digital privacy rights to the evolving American identity in the 21st century.

Among the luminaries expected to appear are Maria Bello, Candice Bergen, T.C. Boyle, LeVar Burton, Roy Choi, Sarah Dessen, Brian Grazer, Tony Hale, Billy Idol, Jeff Kinney, Jon Klassen, Katie Lee, Dennis Lehane, Jonathan Lethem, Zoe Nathan, Joyce Carol Oates, Patton Oswalt, Pauley Perrette, Dav Pilkey, Claudia Rankine, Richard Riordan, Dan Santat, Jason Segel, Aarti Sequeira, John Scalzi, Tavis Smiley, Andrew Smith, Gary Snyder, Charles Spencer, Octavia Spencer and Jacqueline Woodson, with more to be announced.

An added element for this year’s festival is the inaugural Los Angeles Times Ideas Exchange which will take place at Bovard Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, April 19. Renowned author and New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell will take part in a lively one-on-one with The Times’ film critic Kenneth Turan to discuss the themes explored in his latest bestseller David and Goliath and how the body of Mr. Gladwell’s work has sparked conversations about who we are as individuals and as a society. The Ideas Exchange is designed to put insightful minds together in inspiring conversation and will continue as a series of special ticketed lectures throughout the year.

Notable Festival highlights include:

  • 9 outdoor stages including the new Travel Smart Stage, LA Times Stage, USC Stage, Reading by 9 Children’s Stage, Cooking Stage, Hoy Stage, YA Stage and Poetry Stage
    • LA Sound Stage featuring bands curated by The Times’ music writers and Spaceland Presents, as well as an emerging local group selected through our “Inspire Us” contest
  • Over 100 Conversations on topics ranging from race and social justice to the environment, from privacy and media to how books make the leap from page to screen
  • Hand-selected local artists, including one discovered through “Inspire Us,” creating installations live on site

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC and major sponsor the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Centrally located in the Downtown Arts and Education Corridor adjacent to Exposition Park, the Festival is free and open to the public. Beginning today Los Angeles Times subscribers will receive one week of early access to purchase Festival Passes (which provide reservations for up to eight Conversations) and the new Super Pass (which includes valet parking, merchandise and access to a private rest area), as well as tickets to the Ideas Exchange with Malcolm Gladwell and the Book Prizes ceremony. Sales will open to the general public on March 25 at 10 a.m. PDT. Schedule, location, ticket and transportation information can be found on the Festival website, Facebook page and Twitter feed (#bookfest).



Visit latimes.com/festivalofbooks and refer to the Contacts tab for relevant press releases and the media accreditation application.

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