As an English major at a predominantly non-English major school, I am constantly asked by others about my future aspirations in life. Do I want to be a teacher? A writer? A starving artist on the corner of Santa Monica living in a ragged (but poetically inspiring) box?

My answer to that is usually a provocative, unabashed, “I don’t know.”

Because I really don’t. Life is too short to have all the answers, even when it comes to your livelihood (or, according to some people, lack thereof). Maybe someday in the future I will regret not taking my dad’s suggestion that I give up the books and become a pharmacist instead. But at the moment I can’t picture myself doing anything else, and one thing I do know is that there will never come a day when literature won’t be a part of my life.

Which is why it pleases me to announce that the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (insert about ten billion exclamation marks here) is happening this weekend (April 25 – April 26) at UCLA!

latimesbookfestivalThis upcoming Saturday and Sunday the bulk of Los Angeles (all the cool people anyway) will be flocking to the UCLA campus for two whole days of celebrating their love for the written word. Also…

Asian-American Authors to appear at book festival

I’ve taken the liberty to preview the schedules in advance and to my delight found the names of some prominent Asian-American authors who will be appearing for the panels:

Melissa de la Cruz (the Au Pair series)

Hari Kunzru (The Impressionist)

Carolyn See (Mothers, Daughters)

Lisa See (Shanghai Girls, On Gold Mountain, Peony in Love)

Sarah Shun-lien Bynum (Madeleine is Sleeping)

Sandra Tsing Loh (Mother on Fire)

Lisa Yee (Girl Genius)

When one thinks of Asian-American literature today, big names such as Amy Tan, Chang-Rae Lee, and Jhumpa Lahiri are usually the first ones that come to mind. They’re all wonderful writers, I’m sure, but they’re not the only ones out there, as evident by the names above.

Last year Maxine Hong Kingston (Woman Warrior) gave a wonderfully inspirational speech about using writing as a means of enacting social and historical change. It’s refreshing to see Asian-Americans not only finding their foothold in media and entertainment, but breaking their way into the literary scene as well.

(Maybe there’s hope for us English majors after all.)

So do yourself a big favor and come check out the festival this weekend! It will be awesome, I guarantee it. Nothing beats a warm day in the company of fellow bookworms and free merchandise (if not free then massively on sale).

I for one not only plan to check out a couple of the panels above but am thoroughly excited to hear Ray Bradbury make the exact same speech for the third year in a row (and see him get a standing ovation for the third time as well). T.C. Boyle and Laurie Halse Anderson are also scheduled to make appearances.

So bring your SO or mother or brother or best friend (but most importantly, bring yourself) and come celebrate!

More information can be found at: http://www.latimes.com/extras/festivalofbooks/program_panels.html.

You can get tickets for the panels online (for .75 a piece) and a limited amount will be distributed at the festival on the day of. The tickets will be distributed at the on-site location near the Poetry Stage up to 30 minutes before sessions. Don’t worry about not getting tickets in time though. Last year I didn’t have any and I still managed to attend every panel I wanted to.

-posted by Shirley Mak, in fits of uncontained excitement.


Comments are closed.