2011 Brooklyn Book Festival Kicks Off Today

2011 Brooklyn Book Festival Kicks Off Today

Beginning today, Thursday, September 15, 2011, four days of nearly 30 expanded "Bookend" literary-themed events will take place in venues from clubs to bookstores and theaters to libraries across the borough, kicking off the sixth annual Brooklyn Book Festival (complete list of Bookend events below). On Sunday, September 18, from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m., a record 260+ top national and international authors will join literary organizations, booksellers and bibliophiles for the main festival at Brooklyn Borough Hall (209 Joralemon Street), Columbus Park, St. Francis College, St. Ann's Church and the Brooklyn Historical Society.

Headlining the Festival will be Larry McMurtry, Terry McMillan, Eoin Colfer, John Sayles, Joyce Carol Oates, Craig Thompson, Walter Mosley, Adrian Tomine, Amitav Ghosh, Senator Joseph Lieberman, Jean Valentine, Jules Feiffer, Rachel Hawkins, Jon Scieszka and Jacqueline Woodson, among others. 2011 Brooklyn-based Pulitzer Prize recipients Jennifer Egan, Jesse Eisinger, Clifford Levy and Jake Bernstein are also scheduled to attend and a panel will discuss Brooklyn's prominence in Pulitzer competition.

The Brooklyn Book Festival is an initiative of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz presented by Brooklyn Tourism and the Brooklyn Literary Council. It presents an array of literary stars and emerging authors representing the exciting world of literature today. One of America's premier book festivals, this hip, smart, diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages.

The Brooklyn Book Festival "Best of Brooklyn" or BoBi Award for outstanding contributions to literature will be presented this year to Pulitzer Prize recipient Jhumpa Lahiri. She also holds the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, a PEN/Hemingway Award, an O. Henry Prize, and the Addison Metcalf Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (among others). In 2010 Lahiri was appointed as a member of President Barack Obama's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Lahiri will be in conversation with book critic Liesl Schillinger at 2:00 p.m. at St. Ann's Church on Sunday, September 18.

The Brooklyn Book Festival and AT&T announced that the first ever "AT&T Fan Fave Contest" will take place from September 15-18, to run simultaneously to the 2011 Brooklyn Book Festival and Bookend Events. Fans of each of the 260+ Book Festival authors can vote for their favorite author at www.brooklynbookfestival.org/bbf/attfanfave. The three authors with the most votes will receive cash prizes to be donated to the literary or literacy charities of their choosing. The first place author will receive $3,500; second place, $2,500; third place, $1,500. Fans may vote for any of the 260 authors participating in the Brooklyn Book Festival. The author with the most fan votes will be announced during the week after the completion of the Festival.

"Whether you're a voracious reader or someone who just likes to pick up the occasional ‘good read,' make sure you ‘book it' for our Brooklyn Book Festival this fall," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "As the ‘Creative Capital of New York City,' Brooklyn is the perfect host for one of the world's most prestigious free literary festivals, and that's why I officially re-name our borough ‘Book-lyn' not just for the Festival on September 18, but for the four days of incredible Bookend events this year-from BAM and the Brooklyn Public Library to Brooklyn Bowl and the Bushwick Book Club-all celebrating the character and characters of our diverse literary community."

"Now in its sixth amazing year, the Brooklyn Book Festival is, without question, one of the premier literary destinations in the world," said Johnny Temple, chair of the Brooklyn Literary Council. "From our award-winning authors to our publishers big and small, from musicians and comedians to humorists and graphic novelists, the Brooklyn Book Festival represents our growing literary universe-and this year's expanded four days of events will be our biggest and best celebration yet."

Major partners include St. Francis College and NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. Major sponsors include AT&T and Target, with additional support from Astoria Federal Savings, Boarshead Brand, Brooklyn Community Foundation, Citi, Con Edison, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, NYC & Company Foundation, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and New York State Council on the Arts. The New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge is the official hotel. Media partners include ABC, The New York Times and Time Out New York/Time Out New York Kids.

Cultural and programming partners are BAM, Brooklyn Historical Society, Brooklyn Public Library, Cave Canem, The Center for Fiction, Housing Works Bookstore Café, The Nation, the National Book Foundation, The New York Review of Books, PEN American Center, Poetry Society of America and St. Francis College.