Brooklyn Book Festival

Make sense of more than 70 programs with our guide to the five most anticipated events.

With more than 70 free programs packed into a single day, the Brooklyn Book Festival is large, multifaceted and—as far as local bibliophiles are concerned—the hippest fair of the fall. We rounded up five of our most anticipated events.

"Defining the Moment: USA 2011: Where Are We?"
Wallace Shawn, Deborah Eisenberg and Fran Lebowitz—three writers known for helping readers contextualize the world around them—contemplate the state of our union. Using the public's collective anxiety as a reference point, the trio will discuss how that feeling of apprehension is shaping the country.

"Fact, Memory and the Evolution of a Story"
A novelist, an essayist and a cartoonist (Sigrid Nunez, David Rakoffand Adrian Tomine, respectively) explain the genesis of their recent autobiographical works.

"Politically Incorrect Parenting"
Adam Mansbach, author of Go the Fuck to Sleep, will join Ta-Nehisi Coates (The Beautiful Struggle) and Alice Bradley (Let's Panic About Babies!) to discuss urban child-rearing. Maybe you tortured your parents as a kid, maybe you're the one who's miserable now—either way, you'll appreciate the hilarious perspectives here.

"Funny Ha-Ha: Comedy in Comics"
The Beat editor Heidi MacDonald moderates a conversation with four graphic artists: Michael Kupperman (Mark Twain's Autobiography: 1910--2010), Keith Knight (The Knight Life: "Chivalry Ain't Dead"), Jennifer Hayden (Underwire) and Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant). The illustrators will offer insight into how they connect images to text in order to create their signature strips and books.

"Poet Laureates Past and Present"
Since long before Jay-Z authored his anthem to our concrete jungle, talented bards have been appointed to compose verses in praise of their local environs. Hear from a master (former U.S. poet laureate Mark Strand) and a promising up-and-comer (New York youth poet laureate Justin Long-Moton), plus other talented contemporaries.

Brooklyn Borough Hall and Plaza. Sept 18. Times vary; visit Free.

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