Master of the Legal Thriller: A Conversation with Scott Turow

Panelist: Scott Turow in conversation with T.J. Stiles

The Bay Area Book Festival is delighted to present this capstone session featuring Scott Turow, interviewed by two-time Pulitzer Prize winning historian T.J. Stiles. The author of “Presumed Innocent” and ten other widely praised works, Turow has sold more than 30 million copies of his books worldwide. He will discuss his new novel, “Testimony,” set at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and his long career as a prosecutor and advocate. That includes working on behalf of authors themselves. He will describe his many years as president of the Authors Guild, the nation’s oldest and largest professional organization for writers, which advocates on issues of copyright, contracts, free speech and more.


Roxane Gay Takes the Stage

Panelist: Roxane Gay in conversation with Rafia Zakaria

What makes a person “difficult”? Fiction writer, essayist, and activist Roxane Gay has been called “the brilliant girl-next-door: your best friend and your sharpest critic” by People magazine. She has authored the stunning novel “An Untamed State,” the powerhouse essay collection ‘”Bad Feminist,” and now a new collection of stories, “Difficult Women,” where she casts her incisive gaze at issues of race, class and gender. Famed for both fearlessness and vulnerability on the page, she tackles issues that lie at the heart of body, identity, relationship and society. In conversation with Rafia Zakaria of The New Republic.


Truth, Lies and Totalitarianism in Russia and the U.S.

Panelist: Masha Gessen in conversation with Orville Schell

The relationship between Russia and the West is, shall we say, complicated. Are we headed toward a new Cold War? Join Russian-American and celebrated journalist Masha Gessen (”The Future Is History: How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia”) and Orville Schell (former professor and Dean at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and author of “Wealth and Power”) for insight into the state of protest, free speech, and human rights from powers that now pose the greatest challenges to the liberal democracies of the world.


Kingdom of Olives and Ash

Panelist: Michael Chabon, Fida Jiryis, Rachel Kushner, Yehuda Shaul and Ayelet Waldman; Moderator: Daniel Sokatch

With the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank upon us, award-winning authors Ayelet Waldman and Michael Chabon invited an international roster of top-shelf writers to visit the Israeli-occupied territories on individual journeys of their own design. What followed were moving, heartbreaking, and infuriating stories from the people on the ground in the contested territories, stories that unearth the human cost of the conflict. Hear some of those writers in person. The book is a benefit for Breaking the Silence, an organization made of former Israeli soldiers.


Activism at a Crossroads

Panelist: Micah White and Becky Bond; Moderator: Monika Bauerlein

Activism is undergoing a re-evaluation. Is protest still effective? What can work today? Micah White (co-creator of Occupy Wall Street and author of “The End of Protest: A New Playbook for Revolution”), named by Esquire as one of the most influential young thinkers alive today, and Becky Bond (former senior advisor to Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and co-author of “Rules for Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything”) will offer guidance and action for a new era of social change and activism. If you’ve ever thought of joining a march or demonstration, White and Bond will make you smarter about it. Mother Jones’ Monika Bauerlein moderates.


Radical Hope: Staying Sane, Awake, Engaged in Dangerous Times

Panelist: Jeff Chang, Aya de Leon, Parnaz Foroutan, Karen Joy Fowler, Katie Kitamura, Cherrie Moraga, Achy Obejas, Meredith Russo and Kate Schatz; Moderator: Carolina De Robertis

This special Saturday night event brings together ten acclaimed authors to explore the concept of “radical hope,” a guiding principle of the Bay Area Book Festival this year and the title of a new anthology conceived by Oakland writer Carolina de Robertis shortly after the latest Presidential election. She asked award-winning novelists, poets, political thinkers, and activists to create letters—love letters—in response to our times and in the tradition of James Baldwin’s famous missive to his nephew published in “The Fire Next Time.” They are written to ancestors, to children five generations from now, to strangers in grocery lines, to any and all who feel weary and discouraged. Provocative and inspiring, “Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times” will help you find courage, love, and hope, regardless of your political persuasion, in this time of uncertainty, fear, and polarization.


Reveal Live: Reporting, Writing and Being Between the Lines

Panelist: Vanessa Hua, Krys Lee and Guadalupe Nettel; Moderator: Al Letson 

Borders have become central to today’s political and cultural landscape. In this special edition of Reveal Live, host Al Letson will take the audience through a journey that crosses many borders—physical and figurative, national and cultural, fictive and factual. Joining us are three writers: Krys Lee from Korea, Guadalupe Nettel from Mexico, and Vanessa Hua from the Chinese immigrant community in San Francisco. Where nationalism and nativism takes root, how can writers and journalists help people find common ground? How do they immerse audiences in perspectives that can change the status quo?


Paul Hawken’s ‘Drawdown’: Real Solutions for Climate Change

Panelist: Paul Hawken in conversation with Mark Hertsgaard

“Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming” shows a realistic path forward that can roll back global warming within thirty years. Activist and renowned entrepreneur Paul Hawken gathered researchers from around the world to identify, investigate, and model the 100 most substantive existing solutions to climate change. Come learn how humanity has the means at hand to address this potentially devastating threat to our civilization.


Tor Books presents Science Fiction and the Resistance!

Panelist: Cory Doctorow, John Scalzi, Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders

Join Charlie Jane Anders, Cory Doctorow, Annalee Newitz and John Scalzi as they kick ass, take names and decide who goes down first, and hardest, in an epic discussion about new directions in science fiction and fantasy.


Witness and Testimony: The Past and Present of Native America

Panelist: William Bauer, Layli Long Soldier, T.J. Stiles, and Louis WarrenModerator: Greg Sarris

Turtle Island’s First People, and its First Nations, have inspired writers, journalists, artists, musicians, and workers—Native American, Anglo, and other—in years past and today, up to and beyond Standing Rock activism. What stories and lessons from Native American history illuminate the present day for Native Americans, and why? Our panelists include a Native poet writing about voicelessness, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, an award-winning novelist and Native leader who discovered his roots as an adult, and a historian specialized in Native American studies. They discuss legacies, truths, and the potential future of our country’s First People’s place, stories, and movements.