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USC hosts 23rd annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend

With 500 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs and more than 150,000 attendees, it’s the largest literary and cultural festival in the nation

L.A. Times Festival of Books
Book lovers check out a display during the 2016 Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC. (USC Photo/Gus Ruelas)

The 23nd annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the largest literary and cultural festival in the nation, returns to the USC University Park Campus on April 21-22.

A centerpiece of L.A.’s vibrant and diverse intellectual landscape, the free weekend of activities will include more than 500 authors, celebrities, musicians, artists and chefs with more than 150,000 attendees, and conversations on subjects ranging from the untold history of Los Angeles to the evolution of our food to how communities can help solve global problems. Other features include musical performances and food trucks.

USC, in its eighth year of hosting the festival, is planning a number of activities that draw from its strengths in academics, literature, performing arts, health and civic engagement.

USC events

USC panels in Wallis Annenberg Hall include “Welcoming Aging: New Possibilities for Living Long and Living Well,” “The California Exception: Shaping America’s Future or a Distant Outlier?,” “Resilience and Survival in the Face of Disaster,” “From the Women’s March to #MeToo: Gender and Activism in the U.S. Today,” “How We Die: Approaches to Mourning, Burial and Death,” “The Power of Comics: From Page to Screen,” “The Evolution of Mexican Food in Los Angeles,” “Examining Race and Gender in Education and Tech” and “The Politics of L.A. Spaces: From Architectural Icons to Homelessness and Gentrification.”

Highlights from the USC Communities Tent include a comedy show, mariachis and readings by Chief John Thomas of the USC Department of Public Safety, KNBC-TV news personality Alysha Del Valle and actress Blanca Soto of Coco.

Highlights from the Keck Medicine of USC Health Pavilion include free health screenings for blood pressure, glucose, vision and more; interactive health activities by the USC Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy; vision screenings by the USC Roski Eye Institute; health screenings by the USC School of Pharmacy; and dental screenings by the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC.

Stellar lineup

Personalities and experts scheduled to appear include Ed Asner, Whitney Cummings, Vivica A. Fox, Juan Felipe Herrera, Tayari Jones, David Lauter, Moby, Natalie Morales, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Joyce Carol Oates, Leslie Odom Jr., Jorge Ramos, Maria Shriver, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and former USC and UCLA football stars. A full schedule is online.

Admission to the festival is free, though some conversation panels require a ticket that can be obtained online; a limited number of tickets will be available at the festival.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is presented in association with USC and Pacific Sales.

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USC hosts 23rd annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books this weekend

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