On Sunday, September 18, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, the Brooklyn Literary Council and Brooklyn Tourism hosted the sixth annual Brooklyn Book Festival. Each year, the Brooklyn Book Festival "BoBi" Award is given to an author whose body of work exemplifies or speaks to the spirit of Brooklyn and has had a broad impact on the field of literature. This year's recipient is Jhumpa Lahiri, who was celebrated at the Brooklyn Book Festival Gala Mingle on Saturday, September 17, at the Green Building in Carroll Gardens. Lahiri also participated in this year's Festival program, in a conversation with book critic Liesl Schillinger at St. Ann and the Holy Trinity Church in Brooklyn Heights.
"Reading matters in Brooklyn-and writers thrive," said Lahiri, who calls Brooklyn home. "The Brooklyn Book Festival embraces and celebrates this unique cultural energy."
Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London and raised in Rhode Island. Her debut collection of stories, Interpreter of Maladies, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award and The New Yorker Debut of the Year. Her novel The Namesake was a New York Times Notable Book, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and was selected as one of the best books of the year by USA Today and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications. Lahiri's most recent book of short stories, entitled Unaccustomed Earth, received the 2008 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award (the world's largest prize for a short story collection) and was a finalist for the Story Prize.
The BoBi Award was established in the Festival's second year, with previous recipients including John Ashbery (2010), Edwidge Danticat (2009), Walter Mosley (2008) and Paul Auster (2007).
The Brooklyn Book Festival is an initiative of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz presented by Brooklyn Tourism and the Brooklyn Literary Council. It presents an array of literary stars and emerging authors representing the exciting world of literature today. One of America's premier book festivals, this hip, smart, diverse gathering attracts thousands of book lovers of all ages.
Photo Credit Kathryn Kirk
In photo (left to right): Johnny Temple, chair, Brooklyn Literary Council; Jhumpa Lahiri; BP Markowitz