Brooklyn Book Festival returns, with in-person and virtual events

Fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels and kids’ Lit

July 29, 2022 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The Brooklyn Book Festival, New York City’s largest free literary festival, is returning from Sept. 25 to Oct. 3 with a combination of in-person and virtual events.

The extensive, inclusive nine-day festival includes both some of today’s most acclaimed authors and emerging voices whose words are propelling literature forward. It offers events throughout Brooklyn as well as a full Virtual Festival Day (Sept. 25), continuing to expand its reach to readers anywhere in the world.

Memoirist-novelist Esmeralda Santiago has been chosen as the recipient of this year’s Best of Brooklyn “BoBi” Award. She 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. Santiago also wrote the illustrated children’s book A Doll for Navidades.

Memorist-novelist Esmeralda Santiago has been chosen as the recipient of this year’s Best of Brooklyn “BoBi” Award. Wikimedia photo by Larry D. Moore

“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,” she said. “To return to Brooklyn is to find myself as a girl and young woman searching for a future in these United States.”

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The poster for this year’s version of the festival has been designed by award-winning graphic novelist Johnnie Christmas. Christmas, the author of Swim Team, Tataurus, Crema and Firebug, 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.”

The highlights of this year’s festival are Festival Day and Literary Marketplace, on Sunday, Oct. 2, as well as Virtual Festival Day on Sept. 5.

Festival Day will take place “live” at various venues throughout Downtown Brooklyn, including Borough Hall Plaza. Hundreds of authors from a wide variety of genres, from fiction to poetry to graphic novels to non-fiction, will come together to converse, read and sign books. Festival Day also includes a Literary marketplace, with hundreds of authors, publishers and literary organizations setting up tents around Borough Hall.

Among the many authors taking part in either Virtual Festival Day, Festival Day or both are David Duchovny, Jennifer Egan, Jeremy Holt, Margo Jefferson, Meaghan O’Rourke, Salman Rushdie, Joyce Carol Oates, the aforementioned Esmeralda Santiago, Emma Straub, James Spooner, Vladimir Sorokin, Ryann Stevenson, Nicole Taylor and Jacqueline Woodson.

The Brooklyn Book Festival’s 2022 poster design by graphic novelist Johnnie Christmas. Courtesy of Brooklyn Book Festival

A separate Children’s Day will take place on Oct. 1 at Brooklyn Commons in MetroTech, where families will enjoy a full day of readings, workshops, performances, book signings and art projects.

From Sept. 25 to Oct. 3, the Brooklyn Book Festival has also scheduled a number of “Bookend” events throughout the borough, which will be announced at a later date.

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 smorgasbord—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.”

This young girl doesn’t seem frightened by the monster at Children’s Day at a recent Brooklyn Book Festival. Eagle file photo by Mary Frost

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