Bookfest Returns to the Central West End and Brings your Favorite Authors to St. Louis

 In Culture, News

St. Louis may be the best city in America to be a writer and a reader—but don’t tell. Most of the time, St. Louis’ book-lovers get to enjoy being the written world’s best-kept secret. After all, what other region can say they’re home to one of the nation’s oldest and best independent bookstores (Left Bank Books—and there are loads of other great indies past the county line), six separate creative writing programs (and three MFAs), and author events almost every night of the week—all at a cost of living that evening that working artists can afford?

It’s tempting to keep it to yourself. But sometimes, you just have to shout it from the rooftops.

On Sept. 21, the Central West End will kick off Bookfest St. Louis, a two-day festival of all things literary on the streets of one of our city’s hottest neighborhoods. The jam-packed schedule will give you a chance to meet authors from across the genres and across the nation. Spend Friday evening with the festival headliner, Academy Award-winning actress-turned-memoirist Sally Field—yes, we’re talking about “Gidget” and “Steel Magnolias here—or plan a full Saturday of readings and signings with bestselling novelists like Gary Shteyngart and Rebecca Makkai, edgy essayists like Michelle Tea, powerhouse local poets like Jacqui Germain, Cheeraz Gorman and Paul Tran, family-friendly events for readers of all ages … well, let’s just say it’s way more than we can list here.

Even if you’re not the bookish type, the festival is shutting down the street outside Left Bank Books to bring you a full festival zone, complete with live music, booths from local artisans, and food from neighboring restaurants—basically, all the ingredients of a perfect fall afternoon. And best of all? Almost every event is totally free.

Check out the full schedule and start planning your Bookfest weekend now.

Top image courtesy of Florencia Viadana.

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