Welcome to the first week of the 25th Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Stories & Ideas!
Because of the ongoing pandemic, this year's free celebration of the written word is going virtual. For 25 days, writers, poets, artists, storytellers and bookstore exhibitors will be featured in 25 panels and readings — all viewable from the comfort of your home. Here's what's happening this week and how to tune in:
This week's lineup
Monday, Oct. 19, at 6 p.m.: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar will discuss his latest novel, “Homeland Elegies,” with acclaimed writer and religion scholar Reza Aslan. Akhtar’s deeply personal novel tells an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, at its heart this is the story of a father, a son and the country they call home.
Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 5:30 p.m.: Bob Shrum, former political strategist and director of the USC Center for the Political Future, will moderate a conversation on America’s political system and the role and representation of its citizens with panelists Paul Adler, Jane Junn and John Matsusaka.
Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 6 p.m.: Jerry Brown, the two-time former California governor, presidential candidate and mayor of Oakland, will join Jim Newton, a former Times editor-at-large and author of “Man of Tomorrow: The Relentless Life of Jerry Brown,” to discuss his storied life in politics. Times California columnist Gustavo Arellano will guide their conversation.
Thursday, Oct. 22, at 4:30 p.m.: In his memoir “Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas,” Roberto Lovato offers an urgent, no-holds-barred tale of intergenerational trauma and interconnected violence between the U.S. and El Salvador. He’ll discuss his life and work with Times staff writer Esmeralda Bermudez, who was born in El Salvador and raised in Los Angeles.
Friday, Oct. 23, at 6 p.m.: Crime-fiction writers Rachel Howzell Hall, Attica Locke and Ivy Pochoda discuss their latest releases and the real-world issues that drive them: social pressures, injustice, racial tension and female empowerment, all against the backdrop of riveting storytelling. James Queally, a Times crime and policing reporter and crime-fiction author himself, moderates their conversation.
How to watch
Register ahead of time for each event with your name and email address at latimes.com/festivalofbooks. You’ll be emailed a reminder 48 hours beforehand with a link to watch the event.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.