The Los Angeles Times today announced the lineup for the 22nd annual Festival of Books, the nation's largest literary festival, April 22-23 at the University of Southern California. The event will feature more than 500 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs. On Friday, April 21, the 37th annual Book Prizes will honor reading and educational activist Ruebén Martinez with the Innovator's Award, novelist Thomas McGuane with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, and 11 outstanding literary works published during the last year.
Authors and celebrities scheduled to appear at the festival include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Margaret Atwood, Andrew Aydin, T.C. Boyle, Michael Connelly, Bryan Cranston, Ayesha Curry, Roxane Gay, Dave Grohl, Virginia Grohl, Hannah Hart, Chris Hayes, Tippi Hedren, Marlon James, Clinton Kelly, Rep. John Lewis, Cheech Marin, Danica McKellar, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Joyce Carol Oates, Kelly Oxford, Chuck Palahniuk, Nate Powell, Mary Roach, Luis J. Rodríguez, George Saunders, John Scalzi, Scott Simon, Nancy Silverton, Angie Thomas, Stephen Tobolowsky and Ngugi Wa Thiong'o with more to be announced in the coming weeks.
Additional festival highlights:
- 10 outdoor stages: Acura Cooking Stage, Hoy Stage, L.A. Sound Stage, L.A. Times Central, L.A. Times Main Stage, Poetry Stage, Reading by 9 Children's Stage, Travel & Wellness Stage, USC Stage and YA Stage
- Street-art-style mural installations curated by Branded Arts; finished murals will be donated to the Dr. Maya Angelou Community High School
- Center Theatre Group performance of songs from the musical "Into the Woods"
- Hundreds of exhibitors with books and merchandise for sale, giveaways and activities
- Musical performances, food trucks and more
At the Book Prizes, the L.A. Times will present the Innovator's Award to Ruebén Martinez for his work that honors the contribution of Latino writers and expands the community of readers throughout Southern California.
"We are thrilled to recognize Ruebén Martinez with the 2016 Innovator's Award for his contribution to the literary life of Southern California," said Carolyn Kellogg, Times book editor. "By sharing books in his barbershop in Santa Ana he showed how books can be celebrated anywhere, and how essential they are to all our lives. Ruebén is a dedicated advocate for the love of literature wherever it might take hold."
Martinez's passion for reading inspired him to open a bookstore in his Santa Ana barbershop in the early 1990s. It quickly became a cornerstone of the community, evolved into a nationally renowned center of Chicano/Latino literature and art, and lives on today through the Centro Comunitario de Educación – Chapman University's learning center which houses Martinez's book collection. Currently a Presidential Fellow of Chapman University, Martinez acts as an ambassador to encourage Latinos to pursue higher education and lifelong learning.
The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC, and the Southern California Acura Dealers are the event's platinum sponsor. The festival is free, open to the public and centrally located in the Downtown Arts and Education Corridor adjacent to Exposition Park. Beginning at 10 a.m. today the public can purchase Festival Passes (which provide advance reservations for up to 20 conversations) as well as tickets to the Book Prizes. Schedule, location, ticket and transportation information can be found on the festival website, Facebook page and Twitter feed (#bookfest).