Festival of Books begins today at USC

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The two-day, 24th annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books will begin today at USC with more than 500 writers, musicians, artists and chefs leading conversations and giving live performances and demonstrations.

More than 150,000 people are expected to attend what is billed by organizers as the nation’s largest literary festival.

There will be nine outdoor stages and activity areas featuring celebrity authors, family-friendly entertainment, cooking demonstrations, Spanish-language programming, live music and poetry readings.

The festival also includes dozens of expert panels on a variety of subjects, including politics and pop culture; more than 200 exhibitors with books and merchandise for sale; an “Artisanal LA” area with local vendors selling sustainable and homemade goods; and an independent author pavilion with a variety of independent writers and titles.

Authors appearing Saturday include Erica Jong (10 a.m.); the Rev. Gregory Boyle (10:30 a.m.); Susan Orlean (10:30 a.m.); Valerie Jarrett (12:30 p.m.); Sean Hayes (2 p.m.); Lawrence O’Donnell (3:30 p.m.);  and Dave Barry (4:30 p.m.)

Saturday’s programming also includes a conversation involving Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong and executive editor Norman Pearlstine from 11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Authors appearing Sunday include Marcellus Wiley (10:30 a.m.); Danica McKellar (11 a.m.); Chelsea Clinton (12:30 p.m.); Amber Tamblyn (12:30 p.m.); Cathy Guisewite (1 p.m.); Lori Gottlieb (1 p.m.); Janet Napolitano (1:30 p.m.); Justine Bateman (2:30 p.m.); and Marion Ross (3:30 p.m.).

The festival will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Some events require a ticket, which carries a service charge, while additional special presentations may require a paid ticket.

Parking is $12.

More information on the festival is available at latimes.com/festivalofbooks.

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