L.A. Lit Fest Recaps
The inimitable Tod Goldberg offers a write-up of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which took place last weekend. Here’s a snippet:
A popular misconception about Los Angeles is that it’s a town full of illiterate, fame-obsessed aspiring screenwriters whose most intense relationship with literature is Starbucks’ employee relations manual. Well, perhaps that’s not the most popular misconception — there’s the one about how pictures of your shaved genitalia appearing in US Magazine is actually a wise career move — but time and again Southern California is noted for being the Capitol of Vapid; a place where Norbit’s opening weekend is considered the high watermark of cultural talk. And while this may be true for the ten percenters who clog Wilshire Blvd. and the mail room denizens who spend their off hours speaking in Variety‘s Esperanto while in line at Baja Fresh, the hidden truth is that Los Angeles is a book town.
The empirical evidence is provided every April when the Los Angeles Times hosts their annual Festival of Books and Book Prizes ceremonies, a three-day celebration of the written word on the campus of UCLA. An average year features 150,000 readers, 500 authors, a hundred moderated panels, countless book signings, those weird people who believe Ayn Rand is a religious icon, those weird people who believe Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ caterwauling alien/human hybrid child is the messiah, my gut filled with churros and at least three of the following spectacles..