What to Watch at the Brooklyn Book Festival
Featuring Colson Whitehead, Brit Bennett, Sigrid Nunez, and More
The Brooklyn Book Festival, launched in 2006, is New York City’s largest free festival that connects readers with local, national, and international writers over the course of a grand literary week. This year, due to COVID-19, the book festival is being held virtually. In addition to hosting a Children’s Day and YA Out Loud, the Brooklyn Book Festival has organized a Virtual Festival Day. Below, you’ll find ten sample events, some moderated by our very own staff; the rest can be found here.
Trouble the Water
Fiction, 10am EDT
Award-winning novelist Kelli Jo Ford(Crooked Hallelujah), 5 Under 35 honoree Tracy O’Neill (Quotients), and New York Times best-selling debut author Kiley Reid (Such a Fun Age) will discuss such issues as racism, classism, and surveillance and the obstacles of forging meaningful relationships in our present age. The panel will be moderated by Meakin Armstrong, senior fiction editor at Guernica.
Under the Skin: Traces of History
Nonfiction, 11am EDT
Argentine writer Andrés Neuman (Fracture), Jamaican writer Curdella Forbes (A Tall History of Sugar), and Mozambican author Mia Couto (The Sword and the Spear) join to discuss memory and the legacies of violence. Rivka Galchen will moderate this conversation.
Transcending Grief: Live Webinar
Fiction/Non-fiction, 12pm EDT
Join debut novelist Ilana Masad (All My Mother’s Lovers), National Book Award–winning novelist Sigrid Nunez (What Are You Going Through), and National Humanities Medal recipient Joyce Carol Oates (Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars) as they discuss life after devastation. Moderated by MJ Franklin, editor at the New York Times Book Review.
Love in a Time of Ruins
Fiction, 1pm EDT
Award-winning author Rochelle Alers (The Seaside Café), USA Today best-selling author Beverly Jenkins (Bring on the Blessings), and Wayne Jordan (Promise Me a Dream) reveal the secrets of what keeps them going during these uncertain times and why their novels of love, redemption, and hope are more important to us now more than ever before. This conversation will be moderated by Donna Hill, author of The Other Sister.
Tayari Jones and Brit Bennett in Conversation
Fiction, 2pm EDT
Brit Bennett, author of the acclaimed The Vanishing Half, and Tayari Jones, author of An American Marriage, join in conversation about their timely works of fiction, which offer nuanced insights about race, family, and love in America. This conversation will be moderated by David Ulin.
Care and Crisis through Theatre, presented with the Whiting Foundation
Theatre, 3pm EDT
Will Arbery (Heroes of the Fourth Turning), Amy Herzog (4000 Miles), Lynn Nottage (Ruined, Sweat), and Michael R. Jackson (A Strange Loop) will discuss the ways we take care of each other and ourselves during crisis, how theater can model or create those spaces for care, and the potential for care for one community to carry with it a blindness towards other communities. Soraya Nadia McDonald, award-winning cultural critic for The Undefeated, will serve as the moderator for this panel.
Preparing for the Presidential Election
Non-fiction 4pm EDT
Historian Carol Anderson (One Person, No Vote), alongside former political consultant and Lincoln Project co-founder Rick Wilson (Running Against the Devil) and New York Times editorial board member Jesse Wegman (Let the People Pick the President), will discuss the upcoming presidential election. Moderated by Errin Haines, editor at large and Founding Mother at The 19th.
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Fiction, 5pm EDT
Best-selling author Lee Child (The Nicotine Chronicles, editor), award-winning novelist Michael Connelly (Fair Warning), and Edgar Award–winning author Attica Locke (Heaven, My Home) meet to discuss mysteries, crime fiction, and the space between guilt and innocence. Senior Editor of CrimeReads Molly Odintz will moderate this conversation.
Colson Whitehead and Arundhati Roy: A Reading
Fiction/Non-fiction/International, 6pm EDT
Colson Whitehead (The Nickel Boys) and Arundhati Roy (Azadi), two writers whose work has become powerfully embedded in our imagination over the past few decades, read from their recent work, followed by Q & A. They will be introduced by Anderson Tepper.
Women on the Verge
Fiction, 10pm EDT
Join critically acclaimed novelist Lauren Francis-Sharma (Book of the Little Axe), debut novelist Emily Temple (The Lightness), and award-winning short story writer Laura van den Berg (I Hold a Wolf by the Ears) for a conversation about violence, economics, and colonialism, framed through the persistent shadow of misogyny. This conversation will be moderated by Emily Firetog, deputy editor of Literary Hub.
For more events, go to the Brooklyn Book Festival’s events page.