Brooklyn Book Festival to Return in September With Over 150 Authors

Authors taking part include Elif Batuman, Angeline Boulley, Joyce Carol Oates, Paisley Currah, Hernan Diaz, David Duchovny, Jennifer Egan, and more.

By: Jul. 29, 2022
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Brooklyn Book Festival to Return in September With Over 150 Authors

The Brooklyn Book Festival, New York City's largest free literary festival, will return in 2022 with a strong roster of authors in stirring discussions of contemporary works, and their intricate examination and vivid reflection of our moment. From September 25-October 3, the extensive, inclusive nine-day festival invites readers to hear from some of today's most acclaimed authors and be introduced to emerging voices whose words are propelling literature forward. Paralleling its borough's irreducible nature as both a network of intersecting local communities and as a global hub and destination, the Festival offers events throughout Brooklyn as well as a full Virtual Festival Day (September 25), continuing to expand its reach to readers anywhere in the world.

In a festive virtual event yesterday evening, Brooklyn Book Festival announced Esmeralda Santiago as the recipient of this year's Best of Brooklyn "BoBi" Award, and revealed the artl for the 2022 Festival poster, designed by celebrated graphic novelist Johnnie Christmas. Authors Tiphanie Yanique, Ryan La Sala and Ada Calhoun, and Wo Chan, among others, announced the expansive list of writers participating in this year's centerpiece event, Festival Day and Literary Marketplace (Sunday, October 2) as well as its Virtual Day; and the authors engaging audiences of children and families for Children's Day (Saturday, October 1). See below for details. The Festival announced an initial selection of authors for Bookend Events, taking place in all five boroughs of the city; the full list of Bookend Authors and events and cultural partner programming will be announced at a later date, alongside full Festival Day, Virtual Festival Day, and Children's Day schedules.

Further growing the Festival's reach, accessibility, and ability to foster connection through literature, this year the Festival is excited to team with Bloomberg Philanthropies to become the first ever festival of its kind on the Bloomberg Connects App, the free mobile app that offers users tools to plan visits to cultural spaces, and access collections from botanical gardens, performance venues, libraries, sculpture parks, world-class museums, and now, literary festivals.

Brooklyn Book Festival Co-Producer Carolyn Greer said, "The Festival is a literary feast with an exceptional and robust menu that offers sustenance and treats for everyone from everywhere. With the Main Day and Children's Day proudly presented in Downtown Brooklyn and including citywide Bookend events and a Virtual Day, the literary smorgasburg-New York CIty's biggest literary event-celebrates the city's global cultures."

Brooklyn Book Festival Co-Producer Liz Koch said, "Brooklyn Book Festival events are structured around and nurture conversation. The result of bringing numerous viewpoints into talks that can be so surprising, so enlightening, but so informal, is the feeling of sitting down at a dinner party where you want to hear what everyone has to say. Plus, the Festival's celebration of a local and international literary spirit creates a large table for discussion."

BoBi Award

The Best of Brooklyn (BoBi) award, presented each year to an author from Brooklyn and whose work best exemplifies or speaks to the spirit of Brooklyn, this year is conferred to Esmeralda Santiago, the memoirist and fiction author whose work has documented life and identity between cultures in Puerto Rico and Brooklyn, and whose "beautiful prose, both heartbreaking and more vital than ever (The New York Times). The BoBi winner will be celebrated in a special program on the Main Festival Day with Jacqueline Woodson (herself the 2016 BoBi honoree). Other past Bobi winners have included Toi Derricotte (2021), Lynn Nottage (2020), Mo Willems (2019), N.K. Jemisin (2018), Colson Whitehead (2017), and Jonathan Lethem (2015), and others.

Esmeralda Santiago said, "Brooklyn has long held the dreams of generations. My own ambitions grew in its hard streets, fueled by the miles of books in its public libraries. To return to Brooklyn is to find myself as a girl and young woman searching for a future in these United States. Hunched over a book borrowed from the library, I sought clues for how to be here without losing myself in a new culture and foreign tongue. Books helped me to navigate those challenges. Brooklyn's long history inspiring writers gave me the confidence to persevere."

Esmeralda Santiago is the author of three groundbreaking and critically acclaimed memoirs: When I Was Puerto Rican; Almost a Woman (adapted into a Peabody Award winning movie for PBS Masterpiece Theatre); and The Turkish Lover. Her fiction includes the novels América's Dream (also made into a movie), and the national best selling historical novel Conquistadora. Esmeralda wrote the illustrated children's book A Doll for Navidades. She's also the co-author (with Joie Davidow) of two treasured literary anthologies: Las Christmas and Las Mamis. Santiago's books have been translated into twelve languages.

Poster Design

At yesterday's event, Brooklyn Book Festival announced this year's poster designer-#1 New York Times best selling graphic novelist Johnnie Christmas, whose "powerful, knowledgeable, and pressing" (Bookist) work, Swim Team, was published to acclaim in May 2022-and shared Christmas' unique vision for the 2022 Festival.

Johnnie Christmas said, "My poster explores the idea that reading opens doors to greater knowledge, inspiration, and boundless imagination. It certainly has for me. The Brooklyn Book Festival makes that available to everyone, by bringing together the best stories, storytellers and story lovers. It's such an honor to be invited as an author to the festival this year and even more-so to be asked to make a poster that sums up my thoughts on what the festival represents."

Johnnie Christmas is the author of Swim Team. He's also penned the sci-fi series Tatarus, the haunted romance Crema, and the fantasy graphic novel Firebug. He's currently hard at work on two more new middle-grade graphic novels for the HarperAlley imprint of HarperCollins. He's also worked with celebrated writer Margaret Atwood on the series Angel Catbird and adapted William Gibson's lost screenplay for Alien 3 into a critically acclaimed graphic novel. A graduate of the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, Johnnie now makes Vancouver, BC his home.

Festival Day & Literary Marketplace, October 2; and Virtual Festival Day, September 25

In the parks and plazas surrounding Downtown Brooklyn's Borough Hall and other venues, the Festival Day's many stages overflow with scintillating conversation, as diverse authors of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, comics, graphic novels, and young adult literature come together to converse, read and sign books throughout the day. Hundreds of authors-from standout emerging voices to veterans whose bodies of works are literary movements unto themselves-convene for the thoughtfully abundant event (October 2). As Brooklyn Book Festival often pairs young and debut writers with legends, Festival Day becomes an opportunity for audiences to think through some of today's most urgent, thorny, and complex issues and also be uplifted and entertained with their favorite authors, and visionary new favorites. The Literary Marketplace, part of Festival Day, likewise offers bountiful potential for encounters with new work: with authors, publishers (many of them independent), and literary organizations setting up hundreds of tents around Borough Hall for attendees to visit and stroll through.

Originally out of necessity, during the first two pandemic years, Brooklyn Book Festival introduced virtual programming into its model: in 2020, moving entirely online, and in 2021 reemerging in person, with a Festival Day split between in-person and online programming. While no longer scrambling to respond to the early pandemic's ceaseless obstacles, Brooklyn Book Festival continues to embrace the potential and transformative impact of virtual programming: having engaged authors who might not otherwise have been able to travel for the event, and having experienced firsthand the power of audiences tuning into conversations from around the world, bridging distance and connecting through both the universals and specifics of literature. In 2022, Virtual Festival Day will take place on its own date, (Sunday, September 25) with dozens of national and international authors participating.

The full list of authors participating in Festival Day and/or Virtual Festival Day, announced during yesterday evening's virtual author reveal, includes:

Festival Day Authors:

David Aliaga, Gina Apostol, Jabari Asim, Colin Barrett, Tashie Bhuiyan, Angeline Boulley, Estelle-Sarah Bulle, Ada Calhoun, Jordan Castro, Wo Chan, Chen Chen, Jennifer Chowdhury, Chloé Cooper Jones, Paisley Currah, Sayantani DasGupta, Ruth Dickey, Jennifer Egan, Martín Espada, Laura Gao, Mateo García Elizondo, Keith Gessen, Hafizah Geter, Jessica Goodman, Georgi Gospodinov, Ayana Gray, Crystal Hana Kim, James Hannaham, Faleeha Hassan, Heather Havrilesky, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Jeremy Holt, Hua Hsu, Tiffany D. Jackson, Omotara James, Maureen Johnson, Mariame Kaba, John Keene, Kim Kelly, Katie Kitamura, Ryan La Sala, Ebony LaDelle, Sasha Laurens, Don Lee, Victoria Lee, E. Lockhart, Rachel Mannheimer, Bill McKibben, Adrian McKinty, Casey McQuiston, Joe Meno, Ernesto Mestre-Reed, Andy Mientus, Goldy Moldavsky, Yesenia Montilla, Alejandro Morellón, Scholastique Mukasonga, Leigh Newman, Elizabeth Nunez, Meghan O'Rourke, Joyce Carol Oates, Emily X.R. Pan, Titaua Peu, Derecka Purnell, Irene Reyes-Noguerol, Matt Rodbard, Danica Roem, Ingrid Rojas Contreras, Jess Ruliffson, Salman Rushdie, Hugh Ryan, Esmeralda Santiago, Eliot Schrefer, Claire Schwartz, Namwali Serpell, Nadia Shammas, Solmaz Sharif, Robyn Smith, Danyel Smith, Vladimir Sorokin, Ryann Stevenson, Bianca Stone, Emma Straub, Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò, Nicole Taylor, Dustin Thao, Ly Tran, Linda Villarosa, Jess Walter, Weike Wang, Sofia Warren, Ivy Noelle Weir, Natasha Wimmer, Jacqueline Woodson, Jeffrey Yang, Tiphanie Yanique

Virtual Festival Day Authors (September 25)

Andrea Abreu, Ella Baxter, Jessamine Chan, Hernan Diaz, David Duchovny, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Kate Gavino, Mohsin Hamid, Sheila Heti, Margo Jefferson, Marlon James, Mat Johnson, Mieko Kawakami, Yiyun Li, Sarah Manguso, Ottessa Moshfegh, Monique Roffey, Kamila Shamsie, Warsan Shire, James Spooner, Gengoroh Tagame, Alia Trabucco Zerán, Lidia Yuknavitch

Children's Day, October 1 - 10am - 4pm

Yesterday's author reveal event also featured the announcement of Children's Day (October 1).

At Children's Day, which takes place in Brooklyn Commons in MetroTech, families enjoy a full day of readings, workshops, performances, book signings, and art projects with favorite authors and illustrators. It's a playdate with authors as kids can get creative with their favorite authors at workshops and even get their books signed. Plus, the whole family can find new favorite books at the Children's Marketplace of Books.

Vera Ahiyya, Ethan Aldridge, Mac Barnett, Johnnie Christmas, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Julie C. Dao, C.G. Esperanza, Karina Nicole González, Shauna J. Grant, Charise Mericle Harper, Shawn Harris, Kyle Lukoff, Kayla Miller, Raakhee Mirchandani, George O'Connor, Claribel Ortega, Emma Otheguy, Krystal Quiles, Dan Santat, Andrea Tsurumi, Ibi Zoboi

Bookend Events

60+ Bookend Events organized by dozens of cultural partners will take place in venues in all five boroughs and online and will feature hundreds more authors, reading and performing together. Announced authors include:

Kate Beaton, Jamel Brinkley, Angie Cruz, Rivka Galchen, Ross Gay, Annabelle Gurwitch, Naomi Jackson, Michael Pedersen, Jive Poetic, Sarah Ruhl

(Stay tuned for the schedule and full line up!)

About the Brooklyn Book Festival

The Brooklyn Book Festival was launched in 2006 to address the need for a major literary event that embraced the diverse constituencies of New York City. The Festival's mission is to celebrate published literature and support the literary community through free and low cost programs that connect New York City readers with local, national, and international authors, publishers, and booksellers. To this end, the staff collaborates with the Brooklyn Book Festival Literary Council, co-chaired by Johnny Temple and Camille Rankine, which develops original programs that are hip, smart, diverse, inclusive, including Festival Day & Literary Marketplace, citywide Bookend events, Virtual Festival Day and the BKBF Children's Day.