Magazine article World Literature Today

The Brooklyn Book Festival

Magazine article World Literature Today

The Brooklyn Book Festival

Article excerpt

Celebrating its eleventh year, the Brooklyn Book Festival hosts writers from around the world and highlights the literary landscape in a two-day book extravaganza. The festival not only includes scores of booths from book publishers and authors but features distinguished panels and workshops ranging from politics to science fiction to children's storytelling and everything in between. An estimated forty thousand people were expected to attend the 2016 festival, and organizers recently added Saturday as Children's Day, along with the normal Sunday lineup. It's the largest free literary event in New York City.

The international feel of the festival mirrors the diversity of Brooklyn. With three hundred authors coming in from twenty different countries, the event has something for every type of reader. There are bookend events, which take place in coffee shops, libraries, and bookstores the week leading up to and after the festival. Each year the festival honors an individual who embodies the spirit of Brooklyn with her or his writing, and Jacqueline Woodson was the recipient of this year's Best of Brooklyn Award.

I attended one of the bookend events hosted by members of the PEN America Translation Committee highlighting censorship and translation. Entitled "Banned but Translated," it featured translators Alex Zucker, Allison Markin Powell, Chip Rossetti, Daniella Gitlin, and Jenny Wang Medina, who read sections of works from Nawal El Saadawi (Egypt), Orhan Pamuk (Turkey), Yan Lianke (China), Magdy El Shafee (Egypt), and Anna Politkovskaya (Russia). …

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