I'm Back! and I Am Thrilled to Invite Everyone in...

I'm back!

And I am thrilled to invite everyone in the Philadelphia area to attend the first annual Philadelphia Book Festival this weekend, rain or shine, on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, from 11 to 7 p.m..

The Free Library of Philadelphia has gathered an astonishing array of authors for the weekend.

You got your highbrow (Gary Shteyngart!) Your popular (Mary Higgins Clark!) Your locals (John Grogan! Mark Bowden! Karen Quinones Miller!) Your serious ladies of letters! (Francine Prose, who scares me!) Your groundbreaking African-American authors (Terry McMillan!) Your YA superstars! (Donna Jo Napoli, R.L. Stine!) Your hot young author everybody's talking about (Mohsin Hamid, who was in a creative writing class with me in college, although I'll bet he doesn't remember, and if he does, will probably totally deny it!)

You can find the entire lineup here, but trust me, there's something for everyone, including Curious George for the kids, at noon on Sunday.

I was lucky enough to be asked to moderate a panel on women and memoir featuring Elizabeth Gilbert (EAT, PRAY, LOVE), Darcy Steinke (EASTER EVERYWHERE) and Julie Powell (JULIE & JULIA: 365 DAYS, 524 RECIPES, 1 TINY APARTMENT KITCHEN). I've enjoyed all the books. They made me regretful, envious and hungry (sometimes, all three at once!), and it should be a great event. Check it out at 2 p.m. Sunday on the main stage.

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