Sunday, May 6, 2007
LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA
Last weekend, April 27-28, the much anticipated Los Angeles Times Festival of Books was held at the spacious North campus of UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles). I have been going to this event the past 6 or 7 years. This book festival is free for everybody and it is the biggest of its kind in America as it boasts of having over 130,000 visitors, and 400 authors every year. And every year is a little bit different from previous years by the authors who are invited to join forums and book signings. Invited authors are usually those with a newly published book. In years past we've seen the likes of Pulitzer Prize winners such as E. Annie Proulx, the late David Halberstam, Alice Walker, or popular authors such as Michael Crichton, Tony Hillerman, Mary Higgins Clark,
etc. Among the guest authors this year were Gore Vidal, S.E. Hinton, Joseph Wambaugh, James Ellroy, Pulitzer prize winner Jane Smiley, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and many others. Movie actors Bruce Dern, Julie Andrews, Mariel Hemingway and Academy Award winner for best actress, Ellen Burstyn were also there to sign their books.
Philippine Expressions Bookshop also has a booth here every year. This bookshop sells only Filipino books, and it is probably the premiere purveyor and disseminator of Philippine culture - through the wonderful books they sell. The owner Linda Nietes and I go back a long way, to the Taza de Oro days where she used to sell art books to the artists.
One of the great attractions at UCLA is the 50-acre sculpture garden located just North of where the Book Festival was held. In fact you can't miss it, as you have to walk through the garden--if you parked in the North parking lot--to go to the Book Festival venue. Some of the greatest sculptors in the world is represented here, Joan Miro, Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, Jacques Lipchitz, Matisse, Barbara Hepworth, etc. Here are some pictures of the sculpture garden.