Bay Area Book Festival

Saturday, June 4 and Sunday, June 5

Pegasus Books will participate in this indoor/outdoor FREE festival, in and around the Downtown Berkeley Arts District. 

Visit our booth on Literary Lane, and all three of our stores (including our Downtown Berkeley location - just blocks away from the festival!)

We will also be selling books at the sessions listed below!

Spain in Our Hearts: Adam Hochschild on the Spanish Civil War
Sat 6/4 | 11:45 - 1:00 | Brower Goldman | Signing Area #2 (Allston)
From the acclaimed, best-selling author Adam Hochschild comes a sweeping history of the Spanish Civil War, told through a dozen characters, including Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell. It is a tale of idealism, heartbreaking suffering, and a noble cause that failed. Hochschild will share some of the book's stories, describe how and why he wrote such a character-driven narrative, and offer a visual presentation.

Jonathan Lethem & Dana Spiotta: A Conversation
Sat 6/4 | 1:30 - 2:45 | BCC | Signing Area #3 (Milvia at Center)
What's real? What's faux? How can you tell? And what makes it art? Two acclaimed novelists talk about Hollywood, Brooklyn, fame, and failure. Punk rock, sci-fi. Ma Bell and phone sex. Authenticity and faking it. Montage, collage, jump cuts, blog posts, texting, sampling, and other ways in which fiction writers envision and encrypt the world we live in.

Uncharted: Lance Knobel, Kara Platons, Abby Smith Ramsey
Sat 6/4 | 3:15 - 4:30 | BCC | Signing Area #3 (Milvia at Center)
Join Lance Knobel, co-founder of Berkeleyside, for a taste of Uncharted: Berkeley's Festival of Ideas, which takes place each October. We follow the format of this exciting festival by presenting two creative thinkers on stage: Kara Platoni, author of "We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception, One Sense at a Time," and Abby Smith Rumsey, author of "When We Are No More: How Digital Memory Is Shaping Our Future."

Love...and Loss: Julia Buxbaum, Lauren Miracle, Alyson Noel, Nicola Yoon
Sat 6/4 | 5:00 - 6:15 | Marsh Theater | Signing Area #2 (Allston)
The sweetest honey is loathsome in its own deliciousness, and in the taste destroys the appetite. Therefore, love moderately," says Friar Lawrence to Romeo. True? Listen to four young adult authors talk about the trials and tribulations of teen romance in their books.

The Art of Language: David Peterson & Nick Farmer in Conversation
Sun 6/5 | 11:45 - 1:00 |PFA Theater | Signing Area #5 (Center St)
Who says linguistics isn't fun? Ever heard of "conlang"? Join this insiders' tour through the construction of invented languages. David Peterson created languages for the HBO series "Game of Thrones" and the Syfy series "Defiance." Nick Farmer created the Belter conlang for Syfy’s "The Expanse." This conversation may leave you, well, awestruck.

Disruptors: Aya De Leon, Chinaka Hodge, Julia Serano, Rebecca Solnit
Sun 6/5 | 5:00 - 6:15 | Brower Goldman | Signing Area #2 (Allston)
In business, disruption speaks to radical change. Similarly, literary disruptors are those writers whose words and ideas spark radical reactions and create game-changing conversations. In this panel, four change-makers come together in conversation about why and how they disrupt, exploring why this orientation to writing effects tangible change.


About the Festival:

Mark your calendars for Saturday and Sunday, June 4-5. The indoor/outdoor festival will fill a ten-block radius of downtown Berkeley. We’ll present over 300 leading authors across a great variety of genres, forms and topics in more than 100 keynotes, interviews and panels. This premium literary experience is entirely free.

Who’s coming? We’re in the middle of confirming the slate of speakers, but here is a taste of the range of writers who will appear:

  • Sherman Alexie (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, and now a new picture book, Thunder Boy, Jr.);
  • U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (celebrating the release of her brand new memoir, The Art of Tough: Inside the Battle for America's Soul 
  • Robert Hass (Pulitzer Prize winner, National Book Award winner, and former U.S. Poet Laureate);
  • Adam Johnson (Pulitzer Prize winner for The Orphan Master’s Son and recent National Book Award winner for the story collection Fortune Smiles);
  • Megan McDonald (popular Stink series for middle-graders);
  • David Peterson (The Art of Language Invention: From Horse-Lords to Dark Elves, the Words Behind World-Building, and creator of the language for the HBO series "Game of Thrones");
  • Steve Silberman (Neurotribes).

Downtown streets will be closed to traffic, and you can enjoy browsing among 200 literary exhibitors, including pop-up stores from the Bay Area’s legendary independent bookstores. Bring the kids to a Children’s Area in the park with a stage, games, kid-friendly exhibitors, and (why not) a magic forest of giant inflatable trees.

What’s more, you can get free books. Lacuna, the public art installation and outdoor library, is returning! It will offer 50,000 books to the public. Another 15,000 free books just for kids and teens will be distributed in the Children’s Area.

See more information on the festival at

Event date: 
Saturday, June 4, 2016 - 10:00am to Sunday, June 5, 2016 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Downtown Berkeley Arts District
Berkeley, CA 94704
Event Category: