Family Entertainment to be Featured at Festival of Books
LOS ANGELES, April 14, 2000 - The fifth annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books promises a variety of entertainment suitable for every member of the family - whether it's Shakespearean drama and Thai cooking demonstrations or children's storytelling and special appearances by children's characters Barney, Spot and Thomas the Tank Engine.

The annual festival is free to the public and will be held from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, on the UCLA campus. On-campus parking is available for $5.

The Festival of Books - one of the nation's premier public literary festivals - was created in 1996 by The Times to promote literacy, celebrate the written word, and bring together those who create books with the people who love to read them. It is sponsored by Barnes & Noble and Target, and presented in association with UCLA.

Detailed speaker and activity information will be provided in the official Festival of Books event program, which will be published in the April 16 edition of The Times, and on the festival's Web site,

In addition to more than 85 author panel sessions, this year's Festival of Books features six stages showcasing author readings, children's storytelling and cartoon characters, cooking demonstrations, and music, drama and dance performances.

Barnes & Noble Stage (author discussions)

Saturday - Sherman Alexie, "The Toughest Indian in the World;" Chang rae-Lee, "A Gesture Life;" Michael Palin, "Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure;" Cybill Shepherd, "Cybill Disobedience;" and Maria Escandon, "Las Mamis: Favorite Latino Authors Remember Their Mothers."

Sunday - Ha Jin, "Waiting;" Nicholas Sparks, "A Walk to Remember;" Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, "Sister of My Heart;" Julia Cameron, "The Right to Write;" Francine Prose, "Blue Angel;" and Mark Danielewski, "House of Leaves."

Cooking Stage (demonstrations) Saturday - Bob Blumer, "Off the Eaten Path: Inspired Recipes for Adventurous Cooks;" Colman Andrews, "Saveur Cooks Authentic American;" Clifford Wright, "A Mediterranean Feast;" Hans Rockenwagner, "Rockenwagner;" and Dennis Overstreet, "Overstreet's New Wine Guide: Celebrating the New Wave in Winemaking."

Sunday - Susanna Foo, "Chinese Cuisine: The Fabulous Flavors & Innovative Recipes of North America's Finest Chinese Cook;" Tommy Tang, "Modern Thai Cuisine;" and Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken, known as Too Hot Tamales.

ETC. Stage (variety)

Saturday - Native American music and dance by noted Native American performer Arley Washington; performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream by "Bard in the Yard," the Long Beach Shakespeare Company; and music by Marmalade Skies, whose recordings have been featured on the hit television series, "Felicity."

Readings by Olympic athlete A.D. Emerson, "Olympians Against the Wind: The Black American Female Difference," and Bil Wright, "Sunday You Learn to Box," and an expressive writing workshop conducted by Rose Offner, author of "Journal of the Soul for Teens."

Sunday - "Pokeman and Beyond," a session on current trends in Japanese and other animation, and "Freedom to Write in the Classroom," a panel discussion with students, teachers and educators presented by PEN Center USA West. Readings by Yolanda Nava, "It's All in the Frijoles: 100 Famous Latinos Share Real-Life Stories, Time-Tested Dichos, Favorite Folktales and Inspiring Words of Wisdom," and John Corcoran, author of "The Teacher Who Couldn't Read."

Reading by 9 Storytelling Stage

Saturday - Readings by actor/author Dom DeLuise, Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, NBC weather anchor Christopher Nance, Barbara Saltzman ("The Jester Has Lost His Jingle") and recent Caldecott Medal winner Simms Taback, author of "Joseph had a Little Overcoat."

Storytelling theater will include "De Colores" by renowned bilingual author, singer and songwriter Jose-Luis Orozco; "Flights of Fantasy," multicultural storytelling for the entire family; and "Tell Me a Story," an interactive reading program conducted by AmeriCorps, the country's volunteer domestic Peace Corps.

Sunday - Readings by actress Marilu Henner, author of "I Refuse to Raise a Brat: Straightforward Advice on Parenting in an Age of Overindulgence," and Todd Parr, "Zoo Do's and Don'ts." Renowned storyteller Jim Weiss and the Children's Museum's Readers Theater Project will bring children's stories to life.

Target Stage (children/family)

Saturday - Guest appearances by popular children's television characters Barney and Bear from the popular Disney Channel children's series, Bear in the Big Blue House. Literary discussions by Debbie Allen, "Brothers of the Knight," and David Kirk, "Little Miss Spider." Tournament of Roses parade float designer Raul Rodriguez will read from his book, "Millennium Mischief."

Sunday - Barney and Bear will return and will be joined by Thomas the Tank Engine.

On both days, the stage will be emceed and feature performances by the cast of the hit musical comedy, "Forever Plaid."

Poetry Stage (readings)

Saturday - Pulitzer Prize-winner C.K. Williams, "Repair: Poems;" Los Angeles Times Book Prize nominee Sonya Sones, "Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy;" Rosanna Warren, "Satura;" Tom Sleigh, "The Dreamhouse;" and Edward Hirsch, "How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry."

Sunday - Sandra Cisneros, "Days and Nights of Love and War;" John Ashbery, "Girls on the Run;" Eloise Klein Healy, "Artemis in Echo Park;" John Hollander, "The Poetry of Everyday Life;" Amy Uyematsu, "Night of Fire, Night of Rain;" Carol Muske-Dukes, "An Octave Above Thunder;" Christopher Buckley, "Fall from Grace;" Stephanie Brown, "Allegory of the Supermarket;" James Ragan, "The Hunger Wall;" Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, "Sister of My Heart;" and Gary Young, "The Geography of Home: California's: Poetry of Place."

Also participating in the festival will be more than 250 exhibitors, including specialty booksellers from throughout Southern California and major book publishers.

Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

The festival will also feature the 20th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prize awards ceremony, which will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at UCLA's Royce Hall. The event will be emceed by A. Scott Berg, author of "Lindbergh," and a Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner.

Tickets to the event are $10 per person for the ceremony only and $50 per person for both the ceremony and a post-event reception. Tickets may be purchased through the UCLA Box Office at 310/825-2101 or Ticketmaster at 213/365-3500.

The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, established in 1980, recognize outstanding literary achievements in eight categories: biography, current interest, history, poetry, science and technology, fiction, first fiction, and young adult fiction. Each prize includes a $1,000 cash award.