THANK YOU for a wonderful spring season with
Christine Carter, Michael Gazzaniga,
David Axelrod and Robert Reich, Kazuo Ishiguro,
Barney Frank, Sam Keen,
and Elizabeth Alexander and Faith Adiele!
While Berkeley Arts & Letters takes its annual summer break,
may we suggest a special evening not to be missed? Why, yes, we're going to do that!
On Saturday, June 6, the Bay Area Book Festival presents the one and only JUDY BLUME, in an evening's discussion celebrating her new book, In the Unfortunate Event, and her life and work for intellectual freedom, the First Amendment, and young people's voices.
SATURDAY, JUNE 6
The Bay Area Book Festival presents AN EVENING WITH JUDY BLUME
in conversation with Walter Mayes
Judy Blume is one of America’s most beloved authors. Her twenty-eight titles include Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret; Forever; and Summer Sisters. It's a huge pleasure to welcome her to Berkeley, for a wide-ranging and spirited conversation, touching on her life, her books, her continuing championship of intellectual freedom for children and adults alike, and especially her brand-new book, In the Unlikely Event:
In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place—Nat King Cole singing “Unforgettable,” Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threat. And a young journalist who makes his name reporting tragedy.
Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.
In the Unlikely Event is vintage Judy Blume, with all the hallmarks of Judy Blume's unparalleled storytelling, and full of memorable characters who cope with loss, remember the good times, and finally, wonder at the joy that keeps them going.
Early reviewers have already weighed in: “Like many family stories, this one is not without its life changing secrets and surprises. There is no surprise that the book is smoothly written, and its story compelling. The setting—the early 1950s—is especially well realized through period references and incidents.” --Booklist (starred review) and “In Blume's latest adult novel....young and old alike must learn to come to terms with technological disaster and social change. Her novel is characteristically accessible, frequently charming, and always deeply human.” --Publishers Weekly
Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We're Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fudge. She has also written three novels for adults, Summer Sisters; Smart Women; and Wifey, all of them New York Times bestsellers. More than 80 million copies of her books have been sold, and her work has been translated into thirty-one languages. She receives thousands of letters a year from readers of all ages who share their feelings and concerns with her.
Judy received a B.S. in education from New York University in 1961, which named her a Distinguished Alumna in 1996, the same year the American Library Association honored her with the Margaret A. Edwards Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2004 she received the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
She is the founder and trustee of The Kids Fund, a charitable and educational foundation. She serves on the boards of the Author's Guild; the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators; the Key West Literary Seminar; and the National Coalition Against Censorship.
Judy is a longtime advocate of intellectual freedom. Finding herself at the center of an organized book banning campaign in the 1980s she began to reach out to other writers, as well as teachers and librarians, who were under fire. Since then, she has worked tirelessly with the National Coalition Against Censorship to protect the freedom to read. She is the editor of Places I Never Meant To Be, Original Stories by Censored Writers.
Judy's friend Walter Mayes, librarian at The Girls' Middle School, actor, and storyteller, interviews her this evening.
7:00 PM at the Berkeley Community Theater (1930 Allston Way, Berkeley, on the Berkeley High School campus)
Tickets (required) available exclusively online $12 - $45
Booksigning follows the program. You may have more than one copy of Judy's new book signed; as time permits, you may have one book brought from home signed as well.