Printers Row Lit Fest preview | Lit Feature | Chicago Reader

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Printers Row Lit Fest preview

In its 30th year, the weekend festival brings hundreds of authors and booksellers to the South Loop.


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To the neighborhood that was once the midwest's bookmaking and printing capital, this weekend's 30th Printers Row Lit Fest brings more than 200 authors, hundreds of booksellers, and more than 150,000 literature enthusiasts.

The fest kicks off with a panel featuring Chicago fiction writer Stuart Dybek (who will be given the Harold Washington Literary Award), fest founder Bette Cerf Hill, and Mary Davis Fournier of the American Library Association (6/7, 10 AM). Also Saturday morning, students from Dave Eggers's literary organization 826CHI read from their new book Even a Lion Can Get Lost in the Jungle (6/7, 10:30 AM). Though he's best known for adult thrillers like Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider, James Patterson has also published 19 YA novels; he'll be awarded the Chicago Tribune Young Adult Literary Award for his support of children's literacy efforts (6/7, 1 PM). Mark Bazer takes the Interview Show out of the Hideout to welcome Colson Whitehead, whose most recent book is The Noble Hustle (6/8, 2 PM).

On the live-lit front, Second City players celebrate the 30th anniversary of John Hughes's The Breakfast Club with an adapted reading (6/7, 11 AM). And 2nd Story collective members Bobby Biedrzycki, Sahar Mustafah, and Coya Paz deliver tales involving 1990s cultural touchstones (6/7, noon).

Other notable authors making appearances throughout the weekend include Chris Abani (The Secret History of Las Vegas), Jeffery Renard Allen (Song of the Shank), Bill Hillmann (The Old Neighborhood), Cristina Henriquez (The Book of Unknown Americans), Samantha Irby (Meaty), Legs McNeil (Dear Nobody), Sara Paretsky (Critical Mass), Peggy Shinner (You Feel So Mortal), and Megan Stielstra (Once I Was Cool). Authors are available for up to an hour after their events for book signings, so don't forget to bring a Sharpie!

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