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New Yorker Festival 2008: A First Glimpse at the Lineup

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Martin Schneider writes:

Finally, The New Yorker has gratified our curiosity by divulging details about the upcoming New Yorker Festival in October. There are a lot of terrific people listed here; our cup runneth over!

In its entirety, here is the press release:

The 2008 New Yorker Festival
New York, August 21, 2008 - During the weekend of October 3rd-5th, The New Yorker will present its ninth annual Festival, a three-day series of events that brings together an eclectic array of writers, artists, actors, directors, musicians and politicians at venues throughout the city. This year's Festival takes place one month before the Presidential election, and there will be a special emphasis on politics in the Festival's programming, as well as a weekend-long voter-registration drive. In past years, Festival events have sold out quickly, drawing more than seventeen thousand people from around the world. The full program guide of fifty events will be included in the September 15, 2008, issue of the magazine, on newsstands September 8th, and will be available at http://festival.newyorker.com. This year's highlights include:

Right to Vote--The New Yorker Festival will partner with the New York City Board of Elections for a weekend-long voter-registration effort at all Festival venues and at Festival HQ, where special guests will be registering voters.

The annual New Yorker Town Hall Meeting will address the topic of race and class in America. David Remnick will moderate a discussion among the journalists Barbara Ehrenreich and Thomas Frank, the linguist John McWhorter, the political market-research expert Leslie Sanchez, and the scholar Cornel West.

A panel on political humor will feature "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" correspondents Samantha Bee and John Oliver; the "Saturday Night Live" writer James Downey; the humor writer Andy Borowitz; and Allison Silverman, the executive producer of "The Colbert Report."

Democratic strategists Donna Brazile and Joe Trippi and Republican strategists Alex Castellanos and Edward J. Rollins will discuss what they would do if they were running the Presidential campaigns, in a conversation moderated by Jeffrey Toobin.

In "Covering the Candidates," The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates, the New York Times's Bill Keller, the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan, and Slate's Jack Shafer will discuss what the press did right--or wrong--in covering the Presidential race, in a conversation moderated by Ken Auletta.

Featured interviews include the TV personality Stephen Colbert; Republican Senator Chuck Hagel; the attorney and health-care advocate Elizabeth Edwards; the actor and director Clint Eastwood; the actor Paul Rudd; the actress Mary-Louise Parker; the guitarist Tom Morello (of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave); the soprano Dawn Upshaw; the actor Tommy Lee Jones; the dancer and choreographer Alexei Ratmansky; the fiction writer Alice Munro; the Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney; and the novelist Haruki Murakami.

Film events will include Oliver Stone discussing his work with David Denby and showing clips from his upcoming film, "W," based on the life of George W. Bush.

The "Young Shakespeareans" panel will feature the actors Lauren Ambrose, Ethan Hawke, Kristen Johnston, Martha Plimpton, and Liev Schreiber, who will discuss performing in Shakespeare's plays.

The magicians Matthew Holtzclaw, Charles Reynolds, Jamy Ian Swiss, and Johnny Thompson will join Adam Gopnik for a morning of illusions and conversation.

About Town excursions and events throughout the city will include: a bike tour of Governors Island, led by Paul Goldberger, with a discussion about the island's future with the architects Adriaan Geuze and Ricardo Scofidio and Leslie Koch, the president of the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation; a tour of the Frick Collection, conducted by Peter Schjeldahl, before public hours begin; Calvin Trillin's eighth gastronomic walking tour of Chinatown and Little Italy, with stops at some of his favorite eateries; a tour of John Currin's studio, followed by brunch and conversation with Calvin Tomkins; and a conversation between Claudia Roden and Jane Kramer about Roden's latest culinary discoveries, while tastings of her dishes and wine pairings are served.

The cartoonists Matt Groening and Lynda Barry will discuss their careers in cartooning, and Robert Mankoff, the magazine's cartoon editor, will host a live version of the Cartoon Caption Contest.

Friday Night Fiction events will feature writers discussing the themes in their work: T. Coraghessen Boyle, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Jhumpa Lahiri will address the ever elusive American Dream; Roddy Doyle, Anne Enright, and Tobias Wolff will uncover family secrets; Sherman Alexie, Shalom Auslander, and Junot Díaz will talk about home, whether a place or a state of mind; Peter Carey, Hari Kunzru, and Gary Shteyngart will discuss writing about outlaws; Sana Krasilov, Yiyun Li, and Manil Suri will discuss writing about their homelands; and Matthew Klam, Elmore Leonard, and Joyce Carol Oates will talk about the devils that lurk within.

A duet of "Worst Nightmares" panels will explore the dark side of film. Part 1 features scary-movie directors Wes Craven and Hideo Nataka. Part 2 will include a screening of the new animated film "Fear(s) of the Dark" and a conversation with two of its directors, Charles Burns and Lorenzo Mattotti.

Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie, Art Spiegelman, and Paul Theroux will explore topics as diverse as comics and railways in a series of New Yorker Talks.

A series of master classes will feature Steve Brodner and Barry Blitt on political illustration, Ian Frazier and Mark Singer on humor writing, and James Wood on literary criticism.

Sasha Frere-Jones will host the annual New Yorker Dance Party, with special guest d.j. Ghislain Poirier.

The presenting sponsors of the New Yorker Festival are Acura and Citi. The event is co-sponsored by the Alliance for Climate Protection, Banana Republic, BlackBerry, and Westin(R) Hotels and Resorts. Don Julio, SOYJOY, and Stella Artois are supporting sponsors.

Tickets go on sale Friday, September 12, 2008, at noon E.T., at festival.newyorker.com or by calling 800-440-6974. Tickets will also be sold during Festival weekend at Festival HQ, at Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, and at event doors. Updated Festival information will be available online at festival.newyorker.com.


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