Booklovers have been crowding around various locations in Brooklyn throughout this week to celebrate the largest free literary festival in New York City: the Brooklyn Book Festival. While the main event is not until Sept. 20, there have been a number of Bookend events that have brought a multidimensional perspective to literature through parties, movie screenings and book premieres.
The Bushwick Book Club hosted a night of music and books. A night filled with original songs written by members of the club, the tunes were all inspired by this month’s book choice: “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” From sensational ballads to entertaining upbeat melodies, each individual brought their own interpretation of the thematic elements in the novel.
While Brooklyn may not have an Eiffel Tower or an Arc de Triomphe to offer, it is still home to some of the greatest authors of Paris-themed novels. During the Bookend event “Trés Brooklyn” three authors — Angie Niles, Julie Orringer and Courtney Maum — read stories of love, adventure, heartbreak and discovery all set in Paris, France. Artwork on the walls, themed food and drinks, and a candlelit room created a perfect atmosphere for a Parisian literature celebration.
The festival centers not only around already well-known writers, but also celebrates aspiring authors. At one event, “Pitch-a-Palooza,” 20 wishful authors came to the Brooklyn Public Library to pitch their novels in hope of getting published. Nervous yet thrilled, each candidate got up to the microphone and presented everything from memoirs about overcoming hardship; children’s books about acceptance of individual differences; and fictional tales centered around friendship.
As the Brooklyn Book Festival continues its festivities until its conclusion on Sunday, and will include literary stars such as Jonathan Lethem, Edwidge Danticat and David Levithan. Discussions on Sept. 20 will include a variety of book topics including social change, justice and personal narratives.
The week-long celebration has been defined by not only the collaboration of both established and emerging authors working to push the realm of literature but also the overwhelming community support standing right behind them.
Email Brooke Jensen at [email protected].