Brooklyn Book Festival author recommendations

Some of 2011's notable participating authors choose their most anticipated events.

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With more than 220 authors appearing in 100 completely free readings, panels and high-concept events over the course of a full day, the Brooklyn Book Festival (location varies; see brooklynbookfestival.org for details) has too much for even a casual book lover to take in. To make narrowing down your choices a bit easier, we've asked participating authors what they're making time for Sunday 18.

  • Photograph: Open Road Media

    Adam Mansbach

    Adam Mansbach, author of hit parody Go the Fuck to Sleep

    Participating in: "Politically Incorrect Parenting" with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Alice Bradley (St. Francis Screening Room, 2pm).
    Recommending: Russell Banks and Colin Channer in conversation (St. Francis Auditorium, 11am).
    "Russell Banks's novels about Americans adrift in Jamaica are essential reading---wonderfully nuanced interrogations of race and history. Listening to Banks talk to Colin Channer, wordsmith par excellence and founder of the island's Calabash Literary Festival, is sure to be a highlight."

  • Photograph: Pieter M. van Hattem

    Amy Waldman, author of post-9/11 title The Submission

    Participating in: Granta presents "Conflict, Trauma and Writing: How We Tell Stories After a Crisis" (Borough Hall Community Room, 10am)
    Recommending: "The Sweep of History, the Cycle of Novels" (St. Francis Auditorium, 1pm)
    "Amitav Ghosh speaks with the same intelligence and eloquence he writes with, and the pairing [with Nuruddin Farah] intrigues me. Their material is ostensibly so different, but their epic ambitions similar: They're trying to give history literary form."

  • Photograph: Teju Cole

    Teju Cole

    Teju Cole, writer of ambulatory novel
    Open City

    Participating in: "Walker in the City" with Geoff Nicholson and Sergio Chejfec (Borough Hall Community Room, 1pm).
    Recommending: "The New India" (Borough Hall Community Room, 11am)
    "Amitava Kumar and Siddhartha Deb are two of my favorite writers. From both of them I've learned a lot about reportage and also about new possibilities for fiction, and it will be a treat to see them in discussion."

  • Photograph: Tom Callan

    3/27/11. Poet laureate Tina Chang on Fifth Ave in Brooklyn

    Tina Chang, Brooklyn poet laureate

    Participating in: "Poet Laureates Past and Present" with Justin Long-Moton, Mark Strand and Jean Valentine (Mainstage, 10am)
    Recommending: "Politics and Poetry" (Brooklyn Historical Society Main Hall, 2pm)
    "I am, of course, invigorated by the poetry programming. Thomas Sayers Ellis is always exciting to watch, and with Nick Flynn, Timothy Donnelly and Evie Shockley beside him, it's guaranteed to be a spirited conversation."

  • Amitav Ghosh

    Amitav Ghosh, novelist of the forthcoming River of Smoke

    Participating in: "The Sweep of History, the Cycle of Novels"
    Recommending: Brooklyn Book Festival honors Jhumpa Lahiri
    "It's such an embarrassment of riches this year that it's hard to pick. But I'd like to see Jhumpa Lahiri receive this year's festival award---Jhumpa is a neighbor and a friend, but I'd also like to hear her talk about her work."

  • Tour

    Tour, fiction writer and journalist behind Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?

    Participating in: "Obama and the Popular Imagination" with Marc Lamont Hill
    Recommending: Mary Karr and Nelson George (Borough Hall Courtroom, 11am)
    "They're brilliant people who are exciting in person and have a great rapport. The two of them together will be mind-opening and fun."

  • Siddhartha Deb

    Siddhartha Deb, author of new nonfiction title The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India

    Participating in: "The New India"
    Recommending: "Crashing Genres" (St. Francis Screening Room, noon)
    "I'm particularly interested in asking Kelly Link a hard question or two about the intersection between zombies and parking lots, but I also hope to come away with useful knowledge about the apocalypse and the singularity."

Photograph: Open Road Media

Adam Mansbach

Adam Mansbach, author of hit parody Go the Fuck to Sleep

Participating in: "Politically Incorrect Parenting" with Ta-Nehisi Coates and Alice Bradley (St. Francis Screening Room, 2pm).
Recommending: Russell Banks and Colin Channer in conversation (St. Francis Auditorium, 11am).
"Russell Banks's novels about Americans adrift in Jamaica are essential reading---wonderfully nuanced interrogations of race and history. Listening to Banks talk to Colin Channer, wordsmith par excellence and founder of the island's Calabash Literary Festival, is sure to be a highlight."

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