The Bay Area Book Festival returns to downtown Berkeley this weekend, June 3 and 4, with a focus on “literary activism.” The two-day Festival will welcome 200 local, national, and international authors and speakers in 100 literary sessions (panels, interviews, keynotes and performances) in auditoriums and theaters throughout downtown, and will emphasize writers and books that promote social justice, sanctuary, inclusion, freedom of expression, and environmental sustainability. This year’s festival features a range of Berkeley faculty and alumni, including Arlie Hochschild, Dacher Keltner, Orville Schell, Deirdre English, Enrique Chagoya, Jeff Chang, and many more.
In a statement on the Festival’s website announcing the direction of the 2017 event, founder and executive director Cherilyn Parsons notes, “There is no better place than Berkeley, renowned for its intellectual activism, for an event that highlights literature as a vehicle for social change. ... Great literature is not didactic, but it is inherently activist. ... Whether non-fiction, fiction, or poetry, literature allows remarkable access into the subtle lived experience and perspectives of other people and cultures.”