How to watch this week’s Festival of Books events with Kurt Andersen, Emily Bernard and Frank Wilderson

People browse books for sale during the 2018 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Welcome to the third week of the 25th Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Stories and Ideas!

This week’s lineup includes conversations with bestselling author and public radio host Kurt Andersen, Emmy-winning journalist Jean Guerrero, author Emily Bernard and more.

All events are free. Due to the pandemic, this year’s celebration of the written word is virtual. For 25 days, writers, poets, artists, storytellers and bookstore exhibitors are featured in 25 panels and readings — all viewable from the comfort of your home.


Here’s what’s happening this week and how to tune in:

The 25th Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Stories & Ideas kicks off this weekend. Due to the pandemic, this year’s series of free events will be virtual. Here’s everything you need to know about how to tune in.

The lineup

Monday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m.: Three insightful chroniclers of the state of the American political scene will discuss economics, nationalism, racism, the two-party system, where America is now and where it is going on the eve of a presidential election. Kurt Andersen, bestselling author and award-winning public radio host; Jean Guerrero, Emmy-winning KPBS investigative border reporter and New York Times contributor; and Stuart Stevens, GOP strategist and Lincoln Project senior advisor, talk to Times Editorial Page editor Sewell Chan.

Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m.: L.A. Times-Christopher Isherwood Prize winner Emily Bernard, acclaimed cultural critic Morgan Jerkins and 2020 National Book Award longlist finalist Frank Wilderson join Times columnist Sandy Banks for a conversation about the Black experience, tackling race, family and society and shining a light on our broken world.

Thursday, Nov. 5 at 6 p.m.: Novelist Elissa Sussman corrals authors Jasmine Guillory, Casey McQuiston and Rebekah Weatherspoon for a discussion of their modern romance novels. Filled with witty heroines and heroes, their warmhearted stories wield a feminist edge.

Friday, Nov. 6 at 5 p.m.: BFA students from the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance will perform debut pieces as well as masterworks by world-renowned choreographers. Prior to the performance, USC Kaufman faculty members will discuss the historical context of the featured dance styles and the urgency of teaching, learning and performing them today.

In advance of a panel, “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Sex and Vanity” author Kevin Kwan on the wonders of living in Los Angeles and the pandemic’s creative toll.

How to watch

Register ahead of time for each event at You’ll receive an email reminder 48 hours in advance with a link to watch the event.

For more details and information, go to Follow the festival on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Questions can be submitted during registration.


In case you missed last week’s events, festival book talks are available for viewing on YouTube. National Book Award finalist Marlon James joined UCLA Afrofuturism professor Tananarive Due to discuss James’ latest science-fiction novel “Black Leopard, Red Wolf.” Writer Jade Chang moderated a panel with Kevin Kwan, “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Sex and Vanity” author, and “The Royal We” coauthors Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan. Maria Hinojosa, Emmy Award-winning journalist, NPR’s “Latino USA” anchor and author of “Once I Was You,” chatted with acclaimed novelist Laila Lalami and Times Column One editor Steve Padilla. Other guests included Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen and actress Natalie Portman.

Check out our 2020 holiday book gift guide for the best non-fiction and fiction picks for literary enthusiasts on your list.