DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The Brooklyn Book Festival is the borough's literary high holy day, where devoted readers pack the auditoriums and churches of Downtown Brooklyn for eight hours of brainy conversations between poets, novelists and thinkers.
Author Jonathan Lethem, a son of Gowanus whose "Motherless Brooklyn" won the National Book Critics Circle Award, will be honored with the festival's yearly award Sept 20. Other famous writers giving talks include Salman Rushdie, Joyce Carol Oates, Edwige Danticat and the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz.
The day's events, which take place in and around Borough Hall and Cadman Plaza, are free and open to the public. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. A day earlier, there is also a Brooklyn Book Festival Children's Day lineup that takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
There are so many events included on the program, DNAinfo's Brooklyn reporters singled out a few of their favorite picks:
Greenlight Presents: Justice For All? 10 a.m., Borough Hall Courtroom at 209 Joralemon St.
Lawyer, author and MacArthur award winner Bryan Stevenson has been working on the issue of bias against the poor and people of color in the criminal justice system for years. He runs the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama and last year published a memoir, "Just Mercy."
Brooklyn Public Library presents Unequal Societies 3 p.m., Congregation Mt. Sinai at 250 Cadman Plaza West
Stiglitz discusses inequality in the United States now as well as expectations for the future with journalist Daljit Dhaliwal.
Best of Brooklyn 3:30 p.m., St. Ann & The Holy Trinity Church at 157 Montague St.
Lethem, Danticat and classic New York columnist Pete Hamill talk hometown inspiration.
Breaking the Silence: Hidden Stories, 4 p.m., Borough Hall Media Room at 209 Joralemon St.
Novelists from India, Indonesia, and Ghana discuss telling personal stories in relation to complicated political narratives.
Nikhita says: I started reading Aatish Taseer’s book “The Way Things Were” after seeing it in the festival program. I’m a bit of a history geek so it looked interesting.
Give Us the Ballot: The Fight for 2016, 12 p.m., Brooklyn Law School Moot Courtroom at 250 Joralemon St.
Journalist and author Ari Berman discusses his book on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the "turbulent forces it unleashed," along with Joy Reid ("Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide,") and 2014 NY Governor's race contender Zephyr Teachout ("Corruption In America.") George Zornick of The Nation will moderate.
Rachel says: I'm interested in hearing about the upcoming election from someone who went through one herself.