Bay Area Book Festival 2017

June 3, 2017 11:00 AM -
June 4, 2017 9:00 PM
Over the weekend of June 3rd and 4th, 2017, the third annual Bay Area Book Festival will fill downtown Berkeley with a literary extravaganza that offers pleasure to anyone who has ever loved a book.


Saturday, June 3

10:00 am PDT Witness and Testimony: The Past and Present of Native America     Watch On-Demand
Turtle Island's First People, and its First Nations, have inspired writers, journalists, artists, musicians, and workers-Native American, Anglo, and other-in years past and today, up to and beyond Standing Rock activism. What stories and lessons from Native American history illuminate the present day for Native Americans, and why? Our panelists include a Native poet writing about voicelessness, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, an award-winning novelist and Native leader who discovered his roots as an adult, and a historian specialized in Native American studies. They discuss legacies, truths, and the potential future of our country's First People's place, stories, and movements.
10:00 am PDT Writing from Africa     Watch On-Demand
Where is Africa in world literature? After centuries of being confined to a cramped corner of the literary world-to being described by explorers, tourists, journalists, and activists-African writers discuss what it means to tell their own stories, in their own words and languages, and the journey their work takes to arrive in print, at home and abroad. Lesley Nneka Arimah's 'What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky' is "completely captivating...whether you're in Nigeria or Chicago" (Ebony); Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi's 'Kintu' has been called "a masterpiece of cultural memory" (Publishers Weekly), and Sarah Ladipo Manyika's 'Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun' is one of the "brilliant books that you really need to read" (Buzzfeed).
11:15 am PDT The Legacy of Juan Rulfo: A Celebration     Watch On-Demand
Gabriel Garcia Marquez compared him to Sophocles in terms of influence. Susan Sontag wrote that Juan Rulfo's single novel, 'Pedro Páramo,' is "one of the masterpieces of twentieth-century world literature." Jorge Luis Borges called the novel a work of genuis. And yet Juan Rulfo, mantled as the father of magic realism, is much less well known than the many writers who have looked to him for inspiration. What made Rulfo so extraordinary, and how has his influence reverberated throughout world literature? On the 100th anniversary of Rulfo's birth in Jalisco, Mexico, this international panel of writers and artists, moderated by Jane Ciabattari, board member of the National Book Critics Circle, introduces Rulfo to new readers and celebrates his legacy.
11:45 am PDT Activism at a Crossroads     Watch On-Demand
Activism is undergoing a re-evaluation. Is protest still effective? What can work today? Micah White (co-creator of Occupy Wall Street and author of 'The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution'), named by Esquire as one of the most influential young thinkers alive today, and Becky Bond (former senior advisor to Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign and co-author of 'Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything') will offer guidance and action for a new era of social change and activism. If you've ever thought of joining a march or demonstration, White and Bond will make you smarter about it. Mother Jones' Monika Bauerlein moderates.
11:45 am PDT Understanding the Other: How Emotion Shapes Politics and Can Heal our Divides     Watch On-Demand
UC Berkeley sociologist Arlie Hochschilld's recent 'Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right,' a National Book Award finalist, was one of the six books recommended by the New York Times to help understand Trump's win. It quickly sold out nationwide and has gone into multiple printings. As with Hochschild's many previous books, her work highlights the role of emotion, in this case in shaping politics. Her research method is empathy. Here she describes "the deep story" she discovered among Louisiana supporters of the Tea Party and shares suggestions on addressing the current political, social, and (always) emotional situations in which we find ourselves.
1:45 pm PDT Cooking Like Samin: The Art of Salt, Fat, Acid, and Heat     Watch On-Demand
Called "America's next great cooking teacher" by Alice Waters, Samin Nosrat has taught everyone how to cook-professional chefs, children, and even Michael Pollan. Now it's your turn to learn the hows and whys of what good cooking can be. Nosrat and illustrator Wendy MacNaughton will share the four elements of delicious meals: salt, fat, acid, and heat, in this conversation with Davia Nelson, of NPR's Kitchen Sisters.
1:30 pm PDT Paul Hawken's Drawdown: Real Solutions for Climate Change     Watch On-Demand
'Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming' shows a realistic path forward that can roll back global warming within thirty years. Activist and renowned entrepreneur Paul Hawken gathered researchers from around the world to identify, investigate, and model the 100 most substantive existing solutions to climate change. Come learn how humanity has the means at hand to address this potentially devastating threat to our civilization.
1:30 pm PDT Walter Mosley - Walking the Wild Side     Watch On-Demand
Twenty-five years ago, Walter Mosley introduced us to Easy Rawlins, an Army vet turned private eye, to tell the story of black postwar Los Angeles. Today, with 55 critically acclaimed books, Mosley is one of America's best-known and most beloved living writers. (Former president Bill Clinton named Mosley one of his favorite authors.) His writing is both prolific and spans many genres, from young adult to science fiction to politics. How does he do it? Learn how Mosley crafts his trademark accessibility, along his penchant for creating narratives that both entertain and instruct.
3:15 pm PDT Showdown: Trump vs. the Deep State     Watch On-Demand
Some of the deepest thinkers about power in the U.S. engage in a provocative discussion about one of the greatest showdowns in recent history: President Trump vs. his vast national security complex. Who will win? Should progressives actually be rooting for secret government? Will democracy be the loser, no matter who triumphs in this mighty power struggle? Peter Dale Scott is the godfather of scholarly research into the dark, labyrinthine workings of American power, most recently author of 'The American Deep State: Wall Street, Big Oil, and the Attack on U.S. Democracy.' Robert Scheer is one of our country's leading progressive journalists and the author of numerous books, recently 'They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.' David Talbot, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, is the founder of Salon and author many books, most recently 'The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America's Secret Government.'
3:15 pm PDT Roxane Gay Takes the Stage     Watch On-Demand
What makes a person "difficult"? Fiction writer, essayist, and activist Roxane Gay has been called "the brilliant girl-next-door: your best friend and your sharpest critic" by People magazine. She has authored the stunning novel 'An Untamed State,' the powerhouse essay collection 'Bad Feminist,' and now a new collection of stories, 'Difficult Women,' where she casts her incisive gaze at issues of race, class and gender. Famed for both fearlessness and vulnerability on the page, she tackles issues that lie at the heart of body, identity, relationship and society. In conversation with Rafia Zakaria of The New Republic.
3:30 pm PDT Nordic Noir: The World's Best Thrillers?     Watch On-Demand
Perhaps it's those long, harsh winters or the literary tradition of violent sagas. Whatever the reason, Northern Europe has become a hot bed for bone-chilling thrillers. How do they do it? Does their own writing give them nightmares? Come hear Nordic masters Thomas Rydahl (Denmark), Hans Olav Lahlum (Norway), Vidar Sundstol (Norway) and Erik Axl Sund (a pseudonym for two writers from Sweden, both of whom join us today) as they illuminate what makes a thriller thrilling, and how these writers survive the experience.
4:45 pm PDT Lindy West Takes the Stage     Watch On-Demand
It's not a pretty place, the Internet. Especially for an outspoken woman. Two years ago, Lindy West's confrontation with a nasty troll showed the world how to fight back via technology. With her debut memoir, 'Shrill,' Lindy tells that tale and more, sharing her truths about #ShoutYourAbortion!, being a large woman, being loud, being a feminist, and being funny. This event is for anyone interested in having their own opinions in the digital age.
5:00 pm PDT Masha Gessen on Truth, Lies and Totalitarianism in Russia and the U.S.     Watch On-Demand
The relationship between Russia and the West is, shall we say, complicated. Are we headed toward a new Cold War? Join Russian-American and celebrated journalist Masha Gessen ('The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia') and Orville Schell (former professor and Dean at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and author of 'Wealth and Power') for insight into the state of protest, free speech, and human rights from powers that now pose the greatest challenges to the liberal democracies of the world.
7:00 pm PDT Radical Hope: Staying Sane, Awake, and Engaged in Dangerous Times     Watch On-Demand
This special Saturday night event brings together ten acclaimed authors to explore the concept of "radical hope," a guiding principle of the Bay Area Book Festival this year and the title of a new anthology conceived by Oakland writer Carolina de Robertis shortly after the latest Presidential election. She asked award-winning novelists, poets, political thinkers, and activists to create letters-love letters-in response to our times and in the tradition of James Baldwin's famous missive to his nephew published in 'The Fire Next Time.' They are written to ancestors, to children five generations from now, to strangers in grocery lines, to any and all who feel weary and discouraged. Provocative and inspiring, 'Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times' will help you find courage, love, and hope, regardless of your political persuasion, in this time of uncertainty, fear, and polarization. Don't miss this festival highlight! (Note, Priority Admission tickets are priced at $10. Though holders of General Admission Wristbands can access the event if seats are available at show time, we expect this event to sell out. So get your tickets now!)

Sunday, June 4

10:00 am PDT When Reality Meets Science Fiction     Watch On-Demand
Large-scale, far-in-the-future stories tend to get most the glory in the sci-fi canon. But what happens when reality already feels like science fiction? Like George Orwell's '1984,' near-future narratives exploit current technology, politics, and fears to explore what life could be like in 10 years, one year, or even a hour. Our panelists consider how to predict the tantalizing possibility of what might be.
11:00 am PDT GIANTS! Chris Haft talks with John Shea about Stories from the San Francisco Giants Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box     Watch On-Demand
Hear two of baseball's most seasoned writers on the Bay Area's beloved Giants! The San Francisco Giants are one of baseball's most storied franchises, including World Series wins in 2010, 2012, and 2014. Chris Haft is the S.F. Giants beat reporter for and joins us to recount stories from more than 25 years reporting on Major League baseball and especially from his new book, 'If These Walls Could Talk: Stories from the San Francisco Giants Dugout, Locker Room, and Press Box.' Haft is interviewed by John Shea, the San Francisco Chronicle's national baseball writer and columnist, and author of three baseball books, including Rickey Henderson's biography ('Confessions of a Thief') and 'Magic by the Bay.'
11:45 am PDT Reveal Live: Reporting, Writing and Being Between the Lines     Watch On-Demand
Borders have become central to today's political and cultural landscape. In this special edition of Reveal Live, host Al Letson will take the audience through a journey that crosses many borders-physical and figurative, national and cultural, fictive and factual. Joining us are three writers: Krys Lee from Korea, Guadalupe Nettel from Mexico, and Vanessa Hua from the Chinese immigrant community in San Francisco. Where nationalism and nativism takes root, how can writers and journalists help people find common ground? How do they immerse audiences in perspectives that can change the status quo?
12:00 pm PDT Jussi Adler-Olsen: Denmark's #1 Crime Writer     Watch On-Demand
What does it take to be a bestselling crime writer? With more than 15 million copies of his books sold worldwide, Danish writer Jussi Adler-Olsen (creator of the Department Q novels, the latest of which is 'The Hanging Girl') will share insights on his career and the process of crafting international sensations. He'll be in conversation with New York Times bestselling San Francisco detective novelist Cara Black, author of the Aimée Leduc series, including the forthcoming 'Murder in Saint-Germain.'
12:15 pm PDT On Power     Watch On-Demand
Power: We all want it, but how do we get it? Many have assumed that acquiring power involves force and manipulation. But psychologist Dacher Keltner turns those notions on their heads in 'The Power Paradox,' arguing that empathy and humility are far more influential. Power is not something we create; it is something we earn. Keltner will lay out how to gain and retain power, when we may abuse it, and what the consequences are of letting those around us languish in powerlessness.
1:15 pm PDT The Art of Investigation: Journalists Meet Crime Writers     Watch On-Demand
There is a curious connection between crime novels and investigative reporting. Both are called "stories" by their practitioners. Both present victims and an evildoer, whether that be a person or a system, and both work with suspicion, suspense, and a constant assessment of the reliability of sources of information. Michael Montgomery is a journalist who has reported on some of the most heinous real-life mysteries around the world. Erik Axl Sund is the pseudonym of two Swedish writers whose blockbuster 'The Crow Girl' is "a jolting examination of a cycle of abuse and revenge" that "builds a powerful indictment of society's willingness to turn a blind eye toward powerful, privileged abusers preying on the weak" (Booklist, starred review).
1:30 pm PDT Kingdom of Olives and Ash     Watch On-Demand
With the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank upon us, award-winning authors Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon invited an international roster of top-shelf writers to visit the Israeli-occupied territories on individual journeys of their own design. What followed were moving, heartbreaking, and infuriating stories from the people on the ground in the contested territories, stories that unearth the human cost of the conflict. Hear some of those writers in person. The book is a benefit for Breaking the Silence, an organization made of former Israeli soldiers.
1:30 pm PDT Race and Resistance in the Trump Era: Fighting Words and Wisdom from The Nation and Black Lives Matter     Watch On-Demand
The Nation has been fighting for racial justice since abolitionists founded the magazine in 1865; its writers have included W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, Jr., James Baldwin, Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. Now join some of The Nation's finest current contributors for a fierce, free-ranging discussion of how to advance racial justice in today's America. Panelists include Rev. Dr. William Barber II, the founder of the "Moral Mondays" movement; Walter Mosley, the essayist and novelist; Joan Walsh, The Nation's national political correspondent; and moderator Mark Hertsgaard, author and investigative editor for The Nation.
3:15 pm PDT Tor Books presents Science Fiction and the Resistance!     Watch On-Demand
Join Charlie Jane Anders, Cory Doctorow, Annalee Newitz and John Scalzi as they kick ass, take names and decide who goes down first, and hardest, in an epic discussion about new directions in science fiction and fantasy.
3:15 pm PDT Putting Your Money Where Your Heart Is     Watch On-Demand
Most of us have some type of savings or retirement plan, but generally that's where our knowledge ends. We don't know how that money is invested, or whether it is helping or hindering big social and environmental problems such as income disparity, poor labor conditions, corruption, or climate change. How can we ensure that our hard-earned bucks are going toward causes we care about? How can we think through our relationship with money in terms of our values? Andrew Behar (head of the nonprofit As You Sow and author of 'The Shareholders Action Guide') and UC Berkeley professor and Buddhist Clair Brown ('Buddhist Economics') will shed light on these complex issues in a conversation moderated by socially responsible investment advisor Kate Campbell, North Berkeley Investment Partners.
3:15 pm PDT Beyond Travel Writing: Journey and Meaning     Watch On-Demand
Places are ideas as much as they are geographic realities. Places carry stories and significance beyond the physical, and that's often why we travel there. How are places marked by what happened there? What is the lure of the "elsewhere"? How is it all changed upon being discovered, photographed, written about? Finally: Was it really a bad trip if you live to tell a great tale? Join these three stellar travel writers, who have covered the world with pen and heel, on an intellectually rollicking journey navigated by San Francisco Chronicle weekday columnist Leah Garchik.
5:00 pm PDT Master of the Legal Thriller: A Conversation with Scott Turow     Watch On-Demand
Join bestselling author Scott Turow for a wide-ranging discussion of Turow's legal thrillers and his long career in the law. This will be Turow's only Bay Area appearance for his new book, 'Testimony.' The author of 'Presumed Innocent' and ten other widely praised novels, Turow has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. He was prominent in the Authors United protest by more than 1,000 authors against

About this conference

Over the weekend of June 3rd and 4th, 2017, the third annual Bay Area Book Festival will fill downtown Berkeley with a literary extravaganza that offers pleasure to anyone who has ever loved a book.

Whether you're a fan of science fiction or history, of fiction or memoir, of poetry or food writing, of children's literature or science, come experience one of the best book festivals on the planet!

About Bay Area Book Festival

The San Francisco Bay Area is a legendary literary mecca, the global capital of digital innovation, and a leader in social change. It's the perfect home for a world-class, free, international book festival celebrating the marvels of the written word. Taking place in downtown Berkeley, the two-day event burst onto the literary scene in June 2015 with a festival presenting 300 authors, streets filled with literary exhibitors, and a massive public art installation of a "library temple" made of 50,000 books for the public to take for free. The second event, held June 4-5, 2016, again featured 300 speakers from the Bay Area and around the world, Berkeley streets renamed "Literary Lane," "Radical Row," "Eco Alley" and filled with 230 exhibitors, a large Children's Area and stage, the return of the library-temple, and -- new for 2016 -- a mini film festival on cinema and literature created with the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The next festival is scheduled for June 3-4, 2017.

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