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Bibliophiles can have a field day at UC Irvine's literary festival. Authors, including a former Daily Pilot staffer, will be on hand.

March 24, 2011|By Candice Baker
  • Former Daily Pilot reporter T. Jefferson Parker is one of the keynote speakers at this year's Literary Orange festival at UC Irvine.
Former Daily Pilot reporter T. Jefferson Parker is one… (Courtesy Literary…)

"I cannot live without books," Thomas Jefferson famously wrote.

Luckily for area bibliophiles, April 9 could supply them with several years' worth — autographed, as well.

The fifth annual Literary Orange festival at the UC Irvine Student Center will give up to 500 well-read participants a glimpse into the lives of some of their favorite local and famous authors.

"We are thrilled with the caliber and depth of this year's lineup of authors, starting with our fabulous keynote speakers," Assistant County Librarian Paula Bruce said.

This year's keynote speakers will be author and professor Ron Hansen, whose "Atticus" was a finalist for the National Book Award, and T. Jefferson Parker, who launched a successful career as a fiction author while working as a reporter at the Daily Pilot.

Hansen's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was made into a film starring Brad Pitt.

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Parker, a UCI alumnus, won the Edgar Award twice for "Silent Joe" and "California Girl." His latest bestseller, "Iron River," has been nominated for the Hammett Prize. In his latest book, "The Border Lords," he takes on the war on drugs from the perspective of an undercover agent who goes rogue.

Literary Orange is open to the public, although many UCI students are expected to attend.

"This is a fantastic event for the campus and community to come together and enjoy," UCI Libraries Interim Director of Development Julie Sully said.

Founded as a joint venture in 2007 between the county's public libraries and UCI's libraries, the event is intended to enhance an appreciation of reading, literature and libraries, organizers said, through first-person experiences like discussions, book signings and keynote addresses.

Attendees also will be given the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the writing process in a far-reaching set of panel discussions that include genres like journalism, science fiction and children's books. New panels this year include fantasy, war literature, travel, Latino fiction and the world of the literary agent.

UC Riverside writing professor Andrew Winer will speak in a panel on novel writing at the event; the UCI master's of fine arts alumnus is the best-selling author of books like "The Color Midnight Made" and "The Marriage Artist."

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