Sunday, April 13, 2014

2014 LA Times Festival of Books

It's all about story.
Pamela Ribon, Lilibet Snellings, Anna David, and Annabelle Gurwitch with a fan

Your story, my story, our stories, and our participation in the Big Story.

Fiction, biography, history, memoir, even poetry--it's all story.

To the right are panelists at Conversation #2071 "Memoir: Live (and Laugh) through This."

Below is a link to 100+ photos I took while wanderig through this year's Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at the University of Southern California:

Authors I saw at the festival:

Susan Straight - She won the Robert Kirsch Award for her contribution to recording southern California life in her many novels.

Sandra Cisneros - Author of House on Mango Street and her new novel Have You Seen Marie?
The inimitable Patt Morrison

Veronica Roth - Author of the Divergent series now on screen.

Patt Morrison - Journalist and radio commentator.

Reyna Grande - Her memoir La Distancia Entre Nosotros (The Distance between Us) came out in 2012 in both Spanish and English.  Sandra Cisneros called it "the book I have been waiting decades for... Grande is the voice for millions of immigrants whose voices have been lost."

Gustavo Arellano - Funny and insightful writer about Mexicans and US Americans, their long history of conflict and influencing each other: Taco USA, Orange County, and Ask a Mexican!

T.C. Boyle - Read his story "The Love of My Life" for starters.

Lilibet, Paemla, Anna, and Annabelle (above photo) - Books about surviving love from the teen years through the fifties.

Veronica Roth - author of the Divergent series.

Mary Williams - Adopted daughter of Jane Fonda and now a writer professionally.

Eileen Cronin - Born without legs as a result of Thalidomide taken by her mother in the 1960s.

Elizabeth Scarboro - Her husband died of cystic fibrosis.
Eileen Cronin with a fan

Ron Suskind - He writes about the impact of his autistic son on his life and the lives of others in his family.

Samantha Dunn - Modernator of the panel "Memoir: The Trials of Life" with Williams, Cronin, Scarboro and Suskind.  I took several classes in writing memoir with her 10-15 years ago.

Robert Scheer - The founder of Truth Dig website and a family friend since 1986 when John was hired by his wife Narda, then editor of the Orange County edition of the LA Times.

Narda Zacchino - Founder of the LA Times Festival of Books (held for the 34th time this year) and once the highest ranked woman at the LA Times.  She co-wrote a book about the life and death of NFL star and Army Ranger Pat Tillman; she's now working on a book about California.

Bill Boyarsky - Former city editor of the LA Times and now columnist at LA Observed, as well as friend of John's.

Tom Zoellner - His newest book is about trains (for example, how they shaped LA's freeways); his previous book was on uranium.

Lisa See - Daughter of Carolyn See, both novelists in southern California.

Anchee Min - Author of six novels and two memoirs, including Red Azalea, about losing her best friend during the Cultural Revolution in China.
Ruth Ozeki

Krista Bremer - Author of My Accidental Jihad, which was chosen by Oprah Winfrey for her book club.

Ruth Ozeki - Author of A Tale for the Time Being, a novel about Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

A financial reckoning:

Day 1 (just an evening, really): No books bought at all--but nine copies of Susan Straight's novel Between Heaven and Here happened to be in my possession as I arrived home.  (If you'd like one, let me know.)

Day 2 - The Fall.  I spent $171 on books though my budget allows only $20 per month.

Day 3 - Don't ask.  I spent more than yesterday but don't regret it.  I will somehow pay off that credit card bill, and if I can't afford to eat anything but oatmeal when I'm 80 years old, I will still have these books.

Note: This happens every year.

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