Author and illustrator Sergio Ruzzier reads to children at the...

Author and illustrator Sergio Ruzzier reads to children at the 2010 Brooklyn Book Festival. This year's event will bring more than 200 authors to Downtown Brooklyn on Sept. 18, 2011. Credit: Kathryn Kirk

Besides being the hippest place on the planet (according to those who live there, anyway), Brooklyn boasts enough writers per square block to -- well, to constitute a formidable lineup of native talent for the sixth annual Brooklyn Book Festival, which offers some 100 events scattered across multiple sites downtown from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Among the stars are Brooklyn-resident Pulitzer Prize-winners Jennifer Egan and Jhumpa Lahiri, as well as out-of-towners Russell Banks, Mary Karr, Terry McMillan, Joyce Carol Oates, Tom Perrotta, John Sayles and many more. Check out the complete listings at; all events are free but some require tickets, distributed one hour in advance at festival booths on Borough Hall Plaza. There's something for every taste, including a raft of kid-friendly attractions.

We've chosen five highlights. 

1. 9/11 Lit

WHAT Ten years after the Sept. 11 attacks, Madison Smartt Bell ("The Color of Night"), Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer ("Perfecting"), and Amy Waldman ("The Submission") explore how 9/11 continues to echo in fiction, and how we tell stories after a crisis.

WHEN | WHERE 10 a.m.; Borough Hall Community Room, 209 Joralemon St.

2. Climate change

WHAT First an earthquake, then a hurricane: rattled New Yorkers can find out what Mother Nature might have in store for us next from authors Christian Parenti ("Tropic of Chaos"), Mark Hertsgaard ("Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth") and Anna Lappé ("Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It").

WHEN | WHERE Noon; Borough Hall Courtroom, 209 Joralemon St. (tickets required)

3. Children's classic

WHAT Author Norton Juster and artist Jules Feiffer chat with publishing historian Leonard Marcus about how their classic children's story "The Phantom Tollbooth" was born a half-century ago in Brooklyn Heights.

WHEN | WHERE Noon; St. Francis Auditorium, 180 Remsen St. (tickets required)

4. Gumshoes

WHAT Private eyes are as popular as ever, but they don't look like Humphrey Bogart anymore. Eoin Colfer (moving on from his bestselling Artemis Fowl young adult series) and Walter Mosley (moving on from his bestselling Easy Rawlins detective series) discuss the 21st century spin they put on this classic genre with their PIs Daniel McEvoy ("Plugged," Colfer) and Leonid McGill ("When the Thrill Is Gone," Mosley).

WHEN | WHERE 3 p.m.; St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church, 157 Montague St.

5. Larry McMurtry

WHAT Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist McMurtry and screenwriter / producer Diana Ossana, who won Academy Awards for their "Brokeback Mountain" screenplay, share insights into writing, moviemaking and more. Tickets required.

WHEN | WHERE 4 p.m.; St. Francis Auditorium, 180 Remsen St.

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