Patti Smith, Dave Eggers byline 2011 LA Times Festival of Books


Rocker Patti Smith and hipster Dave Eggers are scheduled to appear together – for the first time – at the upcoming Los Angeles Times Festival of Books which after 15 years at UCLA, moves to USC April 30-May 1.

Smith, whose “Just Kids” recently won the National Book Award for nonfiction, and literary hipster Eggers (whose book “Zeitoun” won last year’s Los Angeles Times Book Prize for current interest ) join more than 400 authors participating in upward of 100 readings, panel discussions and, for a few — such as comedian Patton Oswalt (“Zombie Spaceship Wasteland”) — solo stage appearances.

Many of the panels will be held in buildings along Trousdale Parkway, which runs through the center of campus. “I think this move to SC is going to expand the demographic of who comes to the festival,” said journalist Karen Grigsby Bates, who is scheduled to moderate two panels. “You’re going to get people who looked at UCLA as too far west, and you can get there on public transportation.”

Of course, some people are sticking to the traditional format, including magician Ricky Jay, whose book “Celebrations of Curious Characters” will be published next month and who will appear at the festival on April 30. “I have a recording of a magician from the ’20s, but it is difficult to get the wax cylinder phonograph to play it. My books dating to the 16th century, however, are still readable in their original form using my original equipment.”

When authors tour to promote their books, they generally go solo. Festivals like this one — major ones take place in Miami, Brooklyn and Texas, but the L.A. Times’ is the largest — provide an opportunity for them to sometimes reach readers serendipitously.

Admission to the festival is free, but tickets are required for discussions and lectures. They will be available, for a $1 service fee, beginning April 24 at

Hat tip to the LA Times article.