Ninth Annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books Serves up Literary Smorgasbord April 24-25 at UCLA

24th Annual Los Angeles Times Book Prize Awards Ceremony to Highlight Festival

LOS ANGELES, April 14, 2004 – Tens of thousands of book lovers of all ages will find a smorgasbord of appealing choices when they gather for the ninth annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25, on the UCLA campus.

Some of the nearly 400 authors who will participate in this year’s Festival are Mitch Albom, Julie Andrews, Clive Barker, Michael Benson, T. C. Boyle, Ray Bradbury, Susie Bright, Stephen J. Cannell, Iris Chang, Sandra Cisneros, Mary Higgins Clark, Carol Higgins Clark, Susie Coelho, Rocco DiSpirito, Carol Muske-Dukes, James Ellroy, Carrie Fisher, Dana Gioia, Arianna Huffington, Chalmers Johnson, Larry King, Dean Koontz, Elmore Leonard, Anchee Min, Nuala O’Faolain, Anna Quindlen, Laura Schlessinger, David Shannon, Jane Smiley, Tavis Smiley, Kevin Starr, Anthony Swofford, Nicholas von Hoffman and Alice Walker. In addition, “Tonight Show” host and best-selling author Jay Leno will make his Festival of Books debut on the Target Stage.

Festival hours are 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is free to the public. However, tickets will be required to attend indoor author panel discussions and lectures. Beginning April 18 at 12 noon, tickets will be available free of charge at all participating Southern California Ticketmaster locations. A limited number of tickets also will be available on-site. On-campus parking is $7.

General event information is available online at or by calling 1-800-LA TIMES ext. 7BOOK. Detailed information on all festival activities will be published in the April 18 edition of the Los Angeles Times.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books – one of the nation’s premier public literary festivals and the largest of its kind on the West Coast – was created in 1996 by The Times to promote literacy, celebrate the written word, and bring together those who create books with the people who love to read them. It is presented in association with UCLA.

Festival Highlights

  • More than 400 authors participating in 95 panels, readings and book signings
  • Seven stages showcasing book and poetry readings, cooking demonstrations, children’s storytelling and cartoon characters, and music, drama and dance performances
  • 24th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prize awards ceremony
  • More than 280 exhibitors including specialty booksellers and major book publishers
  • The “World’s Largest Crossword Puzzle” on a 35’ x 50’ vinyl mat in UCLA’s North Athletic Field. Teams of children will use large red foam letters to complete the puzzle, and each participant will receive a prize following completion of the puzzle.

A complete list of panels with their date, time and location is available online at the Festival of books Web site and will be published in the special Festival of Books section in the Sunday, April 18th edition of the Los Angeles Times.

Author Sessions

Authors featured in solo sessions include Mitch Albom, A. Scott Berg, T.C. Boyle, Sandra Cisneros, Arianna Huffington, Karen Hughes, Chang-rae Lee, Larry King, Dean Koontz, George Pelecanos, R.L. Stine, John Rechy, Alice Walker and Timothy Zahn.

Among the authors who will be featured in “In Conversation with …” sessions are Clive Barker, Ray Bradbury and Ray Harryhausen, Susie Bright, Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark, Carrie Fisher, Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, Anna Quindlen, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, Jane Smiley and Gay Talese.

Panel Sessions

  • Biography and History — “What’s That Sound? The Sixties Revisited,” “The Wanderers,” “Epic Lives,” “Behind the Mask,” “Stalin: Anatomy of a Tyrant,” “The Discoverers,” “Does History Have a Moral?”
  • Children and Families — “Children’s Authors: Creating Tales for Kids,” “Picture This! Illustrating Children’s Books,” “Getting Real: Readers on the Verge”
  • Current interest — “The U.S. and Iraq One Year Later: Right to Get In? Wrong to Get Out?,” “Can America Pursue a Moral Foreign Policy?,” “Beyond Barbie: American Women Today,” “Queer Street: Is There a Gay Sensibility?,” “Law and Disorder: Gangs, the LAPD and the Pursuit of Justice,” “The Seduction of War,” “Manufacturing Fear: American Culture Today,” “The Golden Door: Mexico Now, California Tomorrow,” “High Noon: Can America Go it Alone?”
  • Ethnic interest — “Latino Writing: Then & Now ,” “From Negro to African American: Is There a Limit to Identity Politics?”
  • Fiction — “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Searching for Stories,” “Fiction and the Taboo of Race,” “Love in All the Wrong Places,” “Raising the Dead: Writing Historical Fiction,” “Finding Truth in Fiction,” “Fiction and the News From Elsewhere,” “The Necessity of Fiction,” “The Heart of the Matter,” “Life Among the Ruins,” “Searching for Love”
  • Hollywood and Entertainment — “Moving Pictures and the Birth of Modernism,” “Fiction: Writing Hollywood,” “The Higher Gossip and the Culture of Celebrity,” “William Gibson and Bruce Wagner: A Conversation about 21st Century Hollywood and Beyond”
  • International — “China in the American Imagination,” “Going Global: America’s Manifest Destiny?,” “From Afghanistan to Israel and Iran: Women in the Middle “
  • Journalism and publishing — “Can Independent Publishing Survive?,” “From Granta to McSweeney’s: Can Independent Magazines Survive?,” “Reporting L.A. ,” “Finding Writers, Publishing Well”
  • Los Angeles and California — “The Illusive City: Looking for L.A.,” “California’s Invisible History,” “Writing L.A.”
  • Memoir — “Against Forgetting,” “American Lives”
  • Mystery/Thriller/Crime –“Not Your Usual Suspects,” “Less than Heavenly: Mysteries and Thrillers in the City of Angels,” “Mayhem, Mystery and Murder,” “Classic Crime,” “Behind the Yellow Tape,” “Hardboiled Loners”
  • Nonfiction — “Down and Dirty: Breaking the Bad News,” “Creative Nonfiction I: How I Got the Story,” “Creative Nonfiction II: How I Got the Story,” “Commerce and Aesthetics in the Making of America’s Culture”
  • Poetry — “The Magic of Words,” “Why Write Poetry?”
  • Politics — “Voices of Exile: Courage to Write,” “Critics and Crusaders: The Future of Dissent,” “From Watergate to 9/11 & Beyond,” “Separate but Equal: Fifty Years After Brown v. Board of Education,” “How Did Liberalism Become a Dirty Word?”
  • Science — “Writing Science,” “The Wonder of the Cosmos” Other panels include: “The Art of the Short Story,” “Outdoor: The Call of the Wild,” “Working Out and Writing it Up,” “Fables and Fantasies From Beyond,” “Whom Does God Belong to?,” “Music: Hearing it on Paper,” “Writing Home: Better Living Through Better Design,” “Going Places: At Home in the World.”

Seven Stages: Discussions, Readings, Family Entertainment

The Barnes & Noble Stage will feature Mitch Albom, Eric Jerome Dickey, William Gibson, Arianna Huffington, Karen Hughes, Dean Koontz, Chang-rae Lee, Brett Lott, George Pelecanos, Nicholas Sparks & Micah Sparks, Neal Stephenson, Alice Walker and Tobias Wolff.

The Cooking Stage will dish up a varied selection that includes Katherine Alford, Leslie Brenner, Rocco DiSpirito, Suzanne Dunaway, Gale Gand, Tanya Holland, Jacqui Malouf, David Rosengarten, Juliette Rossant, Joachim Splichal and Carla Williams.

The ETC. Stage will feature a variety of speakers and performers including Susie Coelho, Kitty Felde, Andy Griffiths, Rayma Harishankar, R.L. Stine, Timothy Zahn, The Chameleons, Japanese Music and Dance with Kishin Daiko, the Korean Classical Music and Dance Company, Write Girl and Will and Company, who will perform “Robin Hood.”

Among the authors gracing the Poetry Stage will be Sandra Cisneros, Henri Cole, Dana Gioia, Anthony Hecht, Tung-Hui Hu, Barbara Hurd, Susan McCabe, Harryette Mullen, Carol Muske-Dukes, David St. John and Mark Turpin.

The Reading by 9 Storytelling Stage activities will include performances by the Parachute Express, Jay Jay the Jet Plane, Beethoven’s Wig, the Children’s Museum of Los Angeles, Adventures in Poetry and Jim Gamble’s Puppetry, as well as readings and storytelling by KTLA’s Michaela Pereira, Leila Feinstein, Sam Rubin and Eric Spillman; Margaret Chodos-Irvine & Betsy Rosenthal, Lois Ehlert, Betsy Lewin, J.P. Nightingale, Jose Luis Orozco, Marilyn Singer, Jim Weiss and Jane West.

Featured on the Starbucks Stage will be performances by Ben Arthur, Josh Kelley, Jennifer Marks, Abalaye African Dance Ensemble, Danza Azteca Xochipilli, the Melvin Eddy Blues Band, the Susie Hansen’s Latin Band, Barney Saltzberg, and the Zydeco Party Band.

The Target Stage, designed for the entire family, will feature Julie Andrews, Angelina Ballerina, Barney, Mike Berenstain, Georgia Byng, Dean Koontz, Jay Leno, Glenn Murray, Laura Numeroff, Todd Parr, Seussentennial, R. L. Stine, Rosemary Wells, and Schoolhouse Rock.

Los Angeles Times Book Prize Awards Ceremony

Michael York, author and internationally renowned star of stage, screen and television, will emcee the 24th annual Los Angeles Times Book Prize awards ceremony, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at UCLA’s Royce Hall. York is a past participant in the Festival of Books and is the author of “Dispatches from Armageddon: Making the Movie Megiddo: a Devilish Diary” and his 1991 autobiography “Accidentally on Purpose,” and co-author with actor/director Adrian Brine of “A Shakespearean Actor Prepares.”

The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, established in 1980, recognize outstanding literary achievements in biography, current interest, history, poetry, science and technology, fiction, first fiction, mystery/thriller, and young adult fiction.

In addition, the Robert Kirsch Award annually recognizes the body of work of an author who resides in and/or whose work focuses on the Western United States. It is named after Robert Kirsch, who served as The Times’ book critic for more than 25 years prior to his death in 1980.

Presenting the nine category awards will be Dean Baquet, K.C. Cole, Dana Gioia, Vivian Gornick, Carolyn See, April Smith, Kevin Starr, R.L. Stine and Bruce Wagner. The Kirsch award will be presented by author Jonathan Kirsch, son of the late book critic.

Tickets are $14 per person for a reserved seat. In addition, there will be a first-ever “Interlude Dinner” at 5:30 p.m. in UCLA’s Faculty Center for people who want to attend both the Festival and the Book Prizes event. The cost of the Interlude Dinner, including a prime reserved seat at the Book Prizes awards ceremony, is $48, and for $65, guests get premium all-day parking at Royce Hall as well.

Tickets may be purchased through the UCLA Central Ticket Office at 310-825-2101 or online at Additional charges apply for online ticket orders.

Information about the Book Prize awards ceremony and awards program is available at or by calling 1-800-LA TIMES, ext. 72366.

Since 1980, the Book Prizes have honored numerous internationally distinguished literary figures including Ray Bradbury, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Allen Ginsberg, Christopher Isherwood, Milan Kundera, Ursula Le Guin, Frank McCourt, David McCullough, Larry McMurtry, Tillie Olsen, Carl Sagan and W.G. Sebald.

Festival of Books Sponsors

Presenting sponsors of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books are Barnes & Noble, Starbucks and Target. Major sponsors are Ticketmaster and Borders. Contributing sponsors are Los Angeles Opera and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Media sponsors are KTLA 5, ESPN Radio AM (710), KABC-AM (790), KCRW-FM (89.9), KFWB-AM (980), KIIS-FM (102.7), KKJZ-FM (88.1), KPCC-FM (89.3), Radio Disney AM (1110) and Distinction Magazine.

The Los Angeles Times, a Tribune Publishing company, is the largest metropolitan daily newspaper in the country and the winner of 35 Pulitzer Prizes. The Times publishes five daily regional editions covering the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Orange and Ventura counties, the San Fernando Valley, and an Inland Empire edition covering Riverside and San Bernardino counties, as well as a national edition. Additional information about The Times is available at