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25th Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Presents 25 Virtual Events

25th Festival of Books

Beginning Oct. 18, the four-week festival will feature Ayad Akhtar, Jerry Brown, Maria Hinojosa, Marlon James, Natalie Portman, Marilynne Robinson and more

The Los Angeles Times today announced the program schedule for the Festival of Books, Stories and Ideas. The annual literary event has been reimagined this year as a communitywide gathering online. Celebrating its 25th year, the virtual festival will include 25 individual events, beginning Sunday, Oct. 18 and continuing over the course of four weeks. Participants include a variety of writers, poets, artists and storytellers, plus many bookstore exhibitors. The festival will present a wide range of programming, including children’s story time, conversations on the Black experience, exchanges on romantic fiction, debates about the upcoming presidential election and a dance performance.

Festival highlights:

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson will discuss her latest novel, “Jack.”
  • Novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Ayad Akhtar, author of “Homeland Elegies,” in conversation with Reza Aslan.
  • Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman reads from her children’s book “Natalie Portman’s Fables,” a retelling of three classic tales.
  • A panel about memoirs of the Black experience with Emily Bernard, Morgan Jerkins and Frank B. Wilderson III moderated by Times Columnist Sandy Banks.
  • Authors Maria Hinojosa and Laila Lalami will discuss their family stories of immigration and life in America with Times Column One Editor Steve Padilla.
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen, illustrator Thi Bui and their kids, Ellison Nguyen and Hien Bui-Stafford, will read their children’s book, “Chicken of the Sea.”
  • Fiction panel with Kevin Kwan, Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan moderated by Jade Chang.
  • Former California Governor Jerry Brown and biographer Jim Newton, author of “Man of Tomorrow,” in conversation with Times Columnist Gustavo Arellano.
  • Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, authors of the “Alien Superstar” series, will lead a children’s story time reading of their new release, “Lights, Camera, Danger!” followed by a discussion with Times Reporter Michael Ordoña.
  • Inaugural winner of the Ray Bradbury Prize, Marlon James, author of “Black Leopard Red Wolf,” in conversation with Tananarive Due.
  • A discussion on presidential politics with Jean Guerrero, Kurt Andersen and Stuart Stevens.
  • A look at the coronavirus and pandemics with Nicholas Christakis, Debora MacKenzie and Sonia Shah, moderated by Times Health Care Reporter Soumya Karlamangla.
  • A panel about writing contemporary romance with Jasmine Guillory, Casey McQuiston, Rebekah Weatherspoon and moderator Elissa Sussman.
  • Performance by USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance BFA students.
  • Featured exhibitors with books and merchandise for sale

The 25th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC. Sessions are free to attend and require advanced registration. Books will be available for purchase through special sellers. The schedule can be found on the festival website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feed (#bookfest).


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