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Los Angeles Times Presents Star-Studded Lineup for 29th Festival of Books This Weekend

Over 550 Writers and Celebrities to Grace USC Campus for Weekend Extravaganza

The Los Angeles Times has a stellar lineup for the 29th annual Festival of Books, set to take place April 20-21 at the University of Southern California. Over the weekend, the festival will convene more than 550 writers, experts, and storytellers, alongside hundreds of exhibitors, on the sprawling 226-acre campus.

Among the luminaries slated to appear are Nancy Silverton, QCP, Tiffani Thiessen, Jose Andres, Lance Bass, Ed Begley Jr., Sophia Bush, Jon Favreau, Max Greenfield, Tiffany Haddish, Tamron Hall, Mark Harmon, RuPaul, Nancy Silverton, Kerry Washington, Henry Winkler, and much more. 

The festival promises a plethora of engaging activities and events, including:

  • Two exclusive sessions of the Ideas Exchange speaker series, featuring RuPaul discussing his eagerly awaited memoir “The House of Hidden Meanings” on Saturday, April 20, and José Andrés unveiling his new cookbook “Zaytinya” on Sunday, April 21.
  • A special L.A. Times Book Club gathering spotlighting Abraham Verghese, author of “The Covenant of Water.”
  • A screening of “Turtles All the Way Down,” a film adaptation of the eponymous novel, is set to premiere on Max this spring. Following the screening, author and executive producer John Green, director Hannah Marks, and actors Isabela Merced, Cree, and Felix Mallard will engage in a discussion.
  • This is a conversation with “Pod Save America” hosts Jon Favreau and Tommy Vietor, delving into the 2024 campaign and their book Democracy or Else: How to Save America in 10 Easy Steps.

The festival will feature seven outdoor stages and activity areas, including the L.A. Times Main Stage, Latinidad Stage, Children’s Stage, Poetry Stage, USC Stage, YA Stage, and the much-anticipated return of the Cooking Stage, which will showcase celebrity chefs Nancy Silverton, QCP, and Tiffani Thiessen, among others.

Santa Monica poet Helene Cardona will read from her new book The Abduction, which is her translation of Franco-Syrian poet Maram Al-Masri, winner of an Albertine and FACE Foundation Prize from Villa Albertine and the 2024 Independent Press Award in Poetry, on April 21 from 3:20-3:40 pm on the Poetry Stage. You can get tickets here

Attendees can also anticipate celebrity authors, family-friendly entertainment, Spanish-language programming, interactive games, expert panels covering a myriad of topics, and more than 300 exhibitors offering book signings, merchandise, activities, and giveaways.

To inaugurate the literary extravaganza, on the evening of Friday, April 19, The Times will host the 44th annual Book Prizes at USC’s Bovard Auditorium. The event will honor Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley with the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement, as well as recognize outstanding literary accomplishments in 13 categories, including a new prize for achievement in audiobook production.
For a complete list of finalists and further details, including ticket packages, visit latimes.com/BookPrizes.

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