Brooklyn Book Festival: 5 must-sees at the 7th annual event
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The Brooklyn Book Festival celebrates its seventh year by adding a week of wraparound "Bookend Events." Nearly two dozen occur this weekend, including a flash-fiction competition, an open reading of "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" (while riding the ferry) and a concert at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The Brooklyn Book Festival proper takes place Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in and around Brooklyn Borough Hall Plaza. Pete Hamill will receive the Festival's BoBi (Best of Brooklyn, Inc.) Award, bestowed each year on an author "whose body of work exemplifies or speaks to the spirit of Brooklyn."
Among the other authors featured are past and present Brooklynites Kurt Andersen, Philip Levine, and Colson Whitehead, plus visitors Terry McMillan, Joyce Carol Oates and Dennis Lehane. Complete listings are online at brooklynbookfestival.org.
Here are highlights from the festival, all on Sunday and all free.
"ALL IN THE FAMILY" Anakana Schofield ("Malarkey"), Joshua Henkin ("The World Without You") and Amy Sohn ("Motherland"), whose protagonists range from an Irish mother to a born-again Orthodox Jew, discuss the complexities of modern marriage, parenting and childhood as they play out in contemporary fiction.
WHEN | WHERE Sunday at 10 a.m.; Borough Hall Courtroom, 209 Joralemon St.
"SOMETIMES THE BEST MEDICINE IS A STORY ITSELF" Since health care is such a hot topic, a discussion about medicine in literature seems timely. Authors Gish Jen ("The Third Dumpster"), James Lasdun ("Blueberries") and Dr. Terrence Holt ("In the Valley of the Kings") converse on medical topics as fodder for fiction.
WHEN | WHERE Sunday at 11 a.m.; Borough Hall Community Room, 209 Joralemon St.
"LITERARY LIONS" Award-winning authors Pete Hamill ("Tabloid City"), Edwidge Danticat ("Create Dangerously") and Paul Auster ("Winter Journal") read from their works to illustrate how living in Brooklyn has shaped them. Followed by a Q&A.
WHEN | WHERE Sunday at 2 p.m.; Saint Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague St.
ISABEL WILKERSON IN CONVERSATION WITH AMY GOODMAN Pulitzer Prize-winner Isabel Wilkerson, author of "The Warmth of Other Suns," a bestselling account of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the Jim Crow South to the industrial North, discusses the epic tales of immigrants journeying to unfamiliar lands with Amy Goodman, host of the public radio and TV program "Democracy Now!" and author of "The Silenced Majority."
WHEN | WHERE Sunday at 4 p.m.; Saint Francis College Auditorium, 180 Remsen St.
"THE FRAGILITY OF ELECTABILITY: CAMPAIGNS, CHARACTER AND MESSING WITH TEXAS" Maybe political writers can make sense of the election-year madness. A conversation with Gail Collins ("As Texas Goes..."), Jodi Kantor ("The Obamas") and John MacArthur ("The Outrageous Barriers to Democracy in America").
WHEN | WHERE Sunday at 5 p.m.; Brooklyn Borough Hall Courtroom, 209 Joralemon St.