The Festival returns after suspension last year in the wake of 9/11:
In 2000, The New Yorker Festival was inaugurated to mark the magazine’s seventy-fifth anniversary. It was such a success that we decided to make it an annual event. Now, two years and thirty thousand visitors later, the Festival returns, from September 27th through September 29th, for a weekend of readings, discussions, interviews, and outings with some of the most talented, thoughtful, and provocative writers, artists, scholars, journalists, filmmakers, and actors working today. FICTION NIGHT returns on Friday with paired readings throughout the city. In addition to writers who will rejoin us to read current work, this year’s program features new participants, among them Haruki Murakami, Ian Frazier, E. L. Doctorow, Amy Tan, Sam Shepard, and David Foster Wallace.
On Saturday, the historian Bernard Lewis will talk about Islam and the West; Anthony Lane will offer his thoughts on sex and violence in the movies; the Reverend Al Sharpton will field questions from Elizabeth Kolbert; and the Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney will be interviewed.
In ABOUT TOWN, a new program of excursions on Sunday, you can board a ferry and, in a trip around the island, view the extraordinary skyline of Manhattan Unfurled through the eyes of Paul Goldberger and Matteo Pericoli; you can Come Hungry and accompany Calvin Trillin on an eating tour of downtown, with a final stop in Chinatown for dim sum; you can beat the crowds to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a pre-breakfast Private Viewing of three art works chosen by Simon Schama, who will discuss what they reveal about power, patronage, and painting.
For Festival night owls, another of this year’s new programs, LATE SHIFT, on Friday and Saturday evenings, will showcase some of the coolest talent at some of Manhattan’s hottest night spots: the actor and comedian Eddie Izzard at the Bowery Ballroom; the music producer T Bone Burnett with Joel and Ethan Coen at the Directors Guild Theatre; the director Kevin Smith at the Tribeca Film Center.
A cadre of The New Yorker’s cartoonists will happily amuse you, provided you rise early enough on Sunday morning for a free CARTOON LAUGH-IN. And AN AFTERNOON WITH ELIZABETH BISHOP will bring some of America’s leading poets and commentators -the former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, Jorie Graham, and James Fenton are just a few- to the Town Hall to celebrate her work and wide-ranging influence.