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Local News / Entertainment

Monday, 13 April, 2015 0:13 AM

20th Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books to Bring 150,000 Southern Californians Together in Conversation

The Times to Debut New Ideas Exchange April 19 with Kenneth Turan and Special Guest Malcolm Gladwell

Photo courtesy of The Los Angeles Times

Crowds at the entrance of the 2014 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books



LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Times today announced the lineup for the 20th annual Festival of Books, its signature civic event and the largest literary and cultural festival in America, to be held at the University of Southern California April 18-19. Over two decades, The Times has grown the Festival into an unparalleled celebration of ideas, creativity and the written word. Now a centerpiece of L.A.’s vibrant and diverse intellectual landscape, the Festival will convene over 500 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs with more than 150,000 attendees and lead conversations on subjects ranging from the new California noir to digital privacy rights to the evolving American identity in the 21st century.

Among the luminaries expected to appear are Maria Bello, Candice Bergen, T.C. Boyle, LeVar Burton, Roy Choi, Sarah Dessen, Brian Grazer, Tony Hale, Billy Idol, Jeff Kinney, Jon Klassen, Katie Lee, Dennis Lehane, Jonathan Lethem, Zoe Nathan, Joyce Carol Oates, Patton Oswalt, Pauley Perrette, Dav Pilkey, Claudia Rankine, Richard Riordan, Dan Santat, Jason Segel, Aarti Sequeira, John Scalzi, Tavis Smiley, Andrew Smith, Gary Snyder, Charles Spencer, Octavia Spencer and Jacqueline Woodson, with more to be announced.

An added element for this year’s festival is the inaugural Los Angeles Times Ideas Exchange which will take place at Bovard Auditorium on Sunday afternoon, April 19. Renowned author and New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell will take part in a lively one-on-one with The Times’ film critic Kenneth Turan to discuss the themes explored in his latest bestseller David and Goliath and how the body of Mr. Gladwell’s work has sparked conversations about who we are as individuals and as a society. The Ideas Exchange is designed to put insightful minds together in inspiring conversation and will continue as a series of special ticketed lectures throughout the year.

Notable Festival highlights include:

  • 9 outdoor stages including the new Travel Smart Stage, LA Times Stage, USC Stage, Reading by 9 Children’s Stage, Cooking Stage, Hoy Stage, YA Stage and Poetry Stage LA Sound Stage featuring bands curated by The Times’ music writers and Spaceland Presents, as well as an emerging local group selected through our “Inspire Us” contest Over 100 Conversations on topics ranging from race and social justice to the environment, from privacy and media to how books make the leap from page to screen Hand-selected local artists, including one discovered through “Inspire Us,” creating installations live on site

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC and major sponsor the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. Centrally located in the Downtown Arts and Education Corridor adjacent to Exposition Park, the Festival is free and open to the public. Beginning today Los Angeles Times subscribers will receive one week of early access to purchase Festival Passes (which provide reservations for up to eight Conversations) and the new Super Pass (which includes valet parking, merchandise and access to a private rest area), as well as tickets to the Ideas Exchange with Malcolm Gladwell and the Book Prizes ceremony. Sales will open to the general public on March 25 at 10 a.m. PDT. Schedule, location, ticket and transportation information can be found on the Festival website, Facebook page and Twitter feed (#bookfest).

T. Coraghessan Boyle, LeVar Burton to Be Honored at 35th Annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes

Today the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes announced that T. Coraghessan Boyle will receive the 2014 Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, LeVar Burton will be honored with the Innovator’s Award, and the finalists in 10 categories that will be presented April 18th at the University of Southern California’s Bovard Auditorium. The event will take place during the 20th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the nation’s largest public literary festival, to be held on USC’s campus April 18th and 19th.

“T.C. Boyle has had a long-standing presence as both a writer and a teacher in the Southern California literary world,” said Times book critic David L. Ulin. “His stature within our community is unique, from the breadth of his novels and stories to his engagement with his students and role as a mentor.”
Santa Barbara-based Boyle has published 14 novels and more than 100 short stories and is a Distinguished Professor of English at USC. His work has been translated into more than two dozen languages and his stories have appeared in a broad range of magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Atlantic Monthly, Playboy, The Paris Review, GQ, Antaeus, Granta and McSweeney's. He has been the recipient of a number of literary awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction (World's End, 1988); the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction (1999); and the Prix Médicis Étranger for best foreign novel in France (The Tortilla Curtain, 1997).

The recipient of the 2014 Innovator’s Award, which spotlights cutting-edge business models, technology or applications of narrative art, is LeVar Burton.

“As someone who has influenced young people through the Reading Rainbow television show and continued advocacy of children’s literature over more than 25 years, LeVar Burton embodies the very spirit of the Innovator’s Award,” said Ulin. “His phenomenally successful Kickstarter campaign to re-launch Reading Rainbow in app and web-based forms exemplifies forward thinking and illustrates the way a time-tested and beloved brand can reach a whole new generation using modern technology.”

The Book Prizes recognize 50 remarkable works in 10 different categories: biography, current interest, fiction, first fiction (the Art Seidenbaum Award), graphic novel/comics, history, mystery/thriller, poetry, science and technology, and young adult literature. Finalists and winners are selected by judging panels composed of writers who specialize in each genre. The complete list of this year’s finalists and further information, including past winners, is available at Tickets for the ceremony will be made available for purchase later this month.

For more information about the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, visit

Source: Los Angeles Times



Photo courtesy of The Los Angeles Times

Cooking demonstration at the 2014 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books


Photo courtesy of The Los Angeles Times

Kids activities at the 2014 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books






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