Secrets of the Stacks

Did you know that New York City’s top cultural institutions house some of the rarest, most unique books, manuscripts, and printed materials found anywhere? Join Julie Golia, Associate Director of Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books and Charles J. Liebman Curator of Manuscripts at the New York Public Library, Jesse Erickson, the Morgan’s Astor Curator of […]

A Woman’s World

“Women are no longer willing to shut up,” the best-selling Japanese novelist Mieko Kawakami has said, and in her latest work, All The Lovers In The Night (translated by David Boyd), she continues to examine female agency in traditionally patriarchal societies, while Best of Friends, the latest novel from prize-winning Pakistani-British writer Kamila Shamsie, tracks […]

Who? New! International

Each season, BKBF presents several international debut authors whom we want to shine the light on for our audience. This year we present Irish author Conner Habib (Hawk Mountain), Jared Marcel Pollen (Venus&Document) from the Czech Republic, Tibetan author Tsering Yangzom Lama (We Measure the Earth With Our Bodies), and Okwiri Oduor (Things They Lost) […]

Mac Barnett & Shawn Harris

Based on their YouTube live cartoon series, Mac and Shawn created The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza, an epic graphic novel about the first cat in space, a battle against moon-eating rats, and a harrowing journey to eating some pizza. Join them for a dramatic reading, Q&A, and more!

Draw Me a Story

Come help acclaimed author, Emma Otheguy (Sofia Acosta Makes a Scene) dream up a story and watch, amazed, as Caldecott-winning illustrator Dan Santat (The Blur) and rising star cartoonist Shauna J. Grant (Mimi: Cutie Catastrophe) draw it on the spot! You decide what fates these characters will meet!

I Cannot Draw a Horse by Charise Mericle Harper

Who ever heard of a book that offers drawings as presents?! In the humorous I Cannot Draw a Horse, a generous-spirited book gives a cat drawings—a squirrel, beaver, and a bunny—but never the drawing she really wants. Will the cat ever receive a picture of a horse?

Anzu the Great Kaiju by Benson Shum

Anzu is different from the rest of his family. Instead of scaring people with his monstrous powers like the other great Kaiju, Anzu prefers to be kind and gentle. How can he make his parents proud while still staying true to himself?

Who Is An Outsider?

One way to define an outsider is by what they lack, but these characters are rooted in the extraordinary and unique qualities they possess. Outsiders also force us to question perspective—who is doing the defining in the first place? And if there are outsiders, there must be an outside. Whether looking through a dramatic lens […]

Sacred Memories

When reflecting upon the past, what exactly makes something “true”? Is there power in the act of actively remembering and honoring what one may long to forget? And to what extent are we willing to sacrifice privacy for human connection? These are just a few of the questions raised in Jennifer Egan’s The Candy House […]

Rethinking Work, Who Is “Essential,” and the Labor Movement

The COVID-19 pandemic shone a rare light on class in America, particularly the stresses and indignities faced by low-income “essential workers.” Meanwhile, millions voluntarily quit their jobs, spurred by a reconsideration of the role and meaning of work in our lives. Perhaps most unexpectedly, a new labor movement emerged, with workers organizing and achieving major […]

Laughter Amid the Ruins

The absurd vacuity of the internet. The hilarious mishaps of queer relationships. The ridiculous lives of New York’s rich and powerful. Humor thrives despite the odds in Xochitl Gonzalez’s NYT bestselling Olga Dies Dreaming, Jordan Castro’s debut The Novelist, and Lydia Conklin’s prize-winning collection Rainbow Rainbow. Join these authors in finding comedy amid tragedy. Moderated […]

Shattered Families

As Tolstoy wrote, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” But how do families break apart and splinter, and what remains for those who survive? In Titaua Peu’s Pina (translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman), outside forces bear down relentlessly on an already troubled Tahitian family, while in Namwali Serpell’s […]

Books…Tiktok…Booktok: What’s Up With #BookTok?

Authors E. Lockhart (Family of Liars), Ayana Gray (Beasts of Ruin), and Tashie Bhuiyan (A Show for Two) discuss the impact of the TikTok phenomenon, how readers are making books go viral, and how authors are tapping into the subculture and connecting with users on the platform. Moderated by NYT bestselling author Jessica Goodman (The […]