Press Release

Brooklyn Public Library Announces 2018 Spring Season

Brooklyn, New York

Highlights include:

  • Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards kicks off her nationwide book tour for her powerful new memoir Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead in conversation with New York Magazine journalist and All the Single Ladies author Rebecca Traister  
  • Chelsea Clinton presenting her new, illustrated children’s book, She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History designed to inspire kids to speak out, be assertive, and achieve their goals  
  • Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz kicking off his national book tour in BPL’s Central Branch with a live reading of his first children’s book, Islandborn, a celebration of creativity, diversity, and the power of imagination
  • Man Booker Prize-winning author Arundhati Roy reading from her latest novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, a rich, complex love story that takes place across the Indian subcontinent, immersing the reader in years of religious, political, and cultural evolution.

Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), one of the largest libraries in the country, today unveiled its 2018 spring season, furthering its mission to bring the world’s most illustrious writers, critics, and artists together with the Brooklyn and the greater New York communities to discover new perspectives, draw creative inspiration, and participate in conversations about today’s most urgent and pressing issues. Brooklyn Public Library events are free and open to the public.

“Brooklyn is a locus for so many writers and thinkers, and we want everyone in our borough to have access to the literature, art, and activism created in our midst,” said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of Brooklyn Public Library. “We hope the Library’s packed spring season of readings, lectures, performances, film screenings, and more will spark important conversations within our community, and inspire the next generation.”

“This spring, we are showcasing myriad literary and artistic programs that are both cutting-edge and comfortable to appeal to families, children, and individuals from across the borough and throughout the city who turn to BPL for cultural enrichment and intellectual engagement,” said László Jakab Orsós, Vice President of Arts and Culture of Brooklyn Public Library.

Brooklyn Public Library’s spring season will include the launch of new works by award-winning authors and public figures and the introduction of a new literary film series with talks by directors Rebecca Miller and Griffin Dunne

Additional events include Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet discussing Chicago: A Novel, his first novel in more than two decades; New York Times columnist David Brooks in conversation with James and Deborah Fallows about their new book Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America; and author-illustrator Maira Kalman presenting her classic story Max Makes A Million and a new book titled Cake with food writer Barbara Scott-Goodman.

This spring, BPL is also celebrating the 10th anniversary of its Classical Interludes series, providing free access to professional-caliber chamber music in partnership with prominent New York organizations. 

The full spring season program follows below. For more information on events and ticketing, please visit: 


LitFilm: NYC’s First International Literary Film Festival

Tuesday, February 20 through Sunday, February 25

Event times vary, see site for details: 

The inaugural six-day festival celebrates films from around the world that focus their lenses on the great playwrights, poets, writers, and literary characters from the late-19th century through the present day. Kicking off on Tuesday, February 20 with a keynote address by Rebecca Miller, Arthur Miller’s daughter and director of the documentary Arthur Miller: Writer, the festival will continue with 17 diverse events, culminating on Sunday, February 25 with a discussion of Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold, led by Didion’s nephew, the actor and director Griffin Dunne.     

David Mamet Presents Chicago: A Novel

Wednesday, February 28, 7:30 pm 

Oscar-nominated screenwriter of The Untouchables and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet joins journalist Sarah Weinman to present his latest work, Chicago: A Novel, the renowned playwright’s first novel in more than two decades. Books will be available for purchase at the event by Greenlight Books.

Chelsea Clinton presents She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History

Sunday, March 11 at 6:00 pm

Brooklyn Public Library, in collaboration with Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab, presents an evening for Brooklyn families to celebrate the publication of Chelsea Clinton’s new picture book, She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History. Clinton will read from the book and participate in a conversation with illustrator Alexandra Boiger, along with their editor, Jill Santopolo. This is an all-ages event, and both Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger will be available to sign their books. 

Junot Díaz Presents Islandborn

Tuesday, March 13 at 6:00 pm

Brooklyn Public Library partners with Greenlight Bookstore for an all-ages event to launch the debut picture book from New York Times bestseller and Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz. Islandborn is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and our imagination's boundless ability to connect us—to our families, to our past, and to ourselves. Junot Díaz will read the book, which is available in English and Spanish, to kids and families, followed by a book signing.

Classical Interludes: Friction Quartet 

Sunday, March 25 at 4:00 pm

As part of BPL’s Classical Interludes chamber music series 10th anniversary program, and in collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s Neighborhood Concert Series, the Friction Quartet presents an experience outside the traditional string-quartet model, performing arrangements of pop music that make use of digital sound processing, and combine music with other media. 

Celebrating Clarice Lispector’s The Chandelier

Tuesday, March 27 at 7:00 pm

Clarice Lispector’s second novel, which made her a Brazilian legend, is now translated, for the first time, into English. While it is the story of a woman’s life, The Chandelier’s drama lies in Lispector’s attempt “to find the nucleus made of a single instant... the tenuous triumph and the defeat, perhaps nothing more than breathing.” The Chandelier pushes Lispector’s lifelong quest for that nucleus into deeper territories than any of her other works. Co-presented with New Directions.

Cecile Richards Presents Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead

Tuesday, April 3 at 7:30 pm

From Cecile Richards—president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund for more than a decade, daughter of the late Governor Ann Richards, and a featured speaker at the Women’s March on Washington—comes a story about learning to lead and make change, based on a lifetime of fighting for women’s rights and social justice. Richards will read from her new memoir Make Trouble and will be joined for discussion by Rebecca Traister, author of All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation.

Jasper Johns: Unveiling a Life’s Work  

Thursday April 26, 7:30 pm

BPL is celebrating the publication of a five-volume catalogue raisonné of Jasper Johns, preeminent American painter, with an evening of lively discussion with scholars and contemporary artists. After an introduction to catalogue and discussion of his work, invited panelists will discuss how the story of art is written, raising questions on living legacy, the archive, and preservation.

Arundhati Roy Presents The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Wednesday, May 2 at 7:30 pm

Internationally celebrated author of The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy presents The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, a dazzling new novel that takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent—from the cramped neighborhoods of Old Delhi and the roads of the new city, to the mountains and valleys of Kashmir and beyond, where war is peace and peace is war.

Maira Kalman Presents Max Makes a Million and Cake with Chef Barbara Scott-Goodman

May 5 at 2:00 pm

Renowned illustrator, author, and designer Maira Kalman presents two books: one new, and one beloved by legions of children and their parents. Kalman and co-author Barbara Scott-Goodman will present Cake, a new, beautifully illustrated book dedicated to their mutual love of cakes; and celebrate Max Makes a Million, Kalman’s classic children’s book capturing youth and pluck in New York City.  

Molly Crabapple Presents Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War

May 15 at 7:30 pm

Illustrator Molly Crabapple and journalist Marwan Hisham created a bracingly immediate memoir of the Syrian war from its inception to the present. Hisham writes about coming of age and finding his voice as a journalist while his country is at war; Crabapple illustrates the work with more than 80 heartrending ink drawings, many of which will be displayed in the Grand Lobby at Central Library.

Crabapple will discuss the drawings, her work with Hisham, and reflect on the Syrian revolution.

James and Deborah Fallows Present Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America with David Brooks

Tuesday, May 8 at 7:30 pm

In their new book, James and Deborah Fallows present a revelatory portrait of the civic and economic renewal already taking place across America, town by town and generally out of view of the national media. New York Times columnist David Brooks joins the Fallowses at BPL to discuss their travels across the country, during which they gained an optimistic and hopeful view of the country between its coasts.

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