More than a dozen Asian-American novelists, actors and celebrities are among the panelists expected to attend this weekend’s second-annualBookCon at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, an event where participants discuss books they've written along with related issues in popular culture today.
Spread out over two days - May 30 and May 31 - BookCon provides fans access to question-and-answer forums, autograph sessions with authors and celebrities, storytelling podcasts and literary quiz shows, among other activities. BookCon is organized by ReedPOP, the group that has run the New York Comic Con since 2006.
Last year’s BookCon, which was only one day, attracted 10,000 fans and 250 guests, organizers said. Guests for this year’s event will include at least 13 Asian Americans. A quick look at who will be at BookCon, why they're there, and what they're talking about.
Known for his work in NBC’s Emmy-nominated “Parks and Recreation,” the comedian and actor continued to build his fan base with films like “This Is the End,” “Funny People” and “30 Minutes or Less.” His book “Modern Romance,” which explores love in the modern age, is expected to be published on June 16. Ansari will speak about humor and modern romance.
Soman Chainani is a writer and film director whose New York Times bestselling children’s fantasy novel “The School for Good and Evil” will soon be turned into a motion picture by Universal Studios. Chainani will discuss diversity in children’s literature.
Author and illustrator Ruth Chan’s picture book “Where’s the Party?” is expected to be published in 2016. She will participate in a panel that features a drawing contest between illustrators Mike Curato and Nick Bruel.
Melissa de la Cruz
New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz will discuss her latest young adult book “The Isle of the Lost,” which is the prequel to the “Descendants,” a live-action comedy film to be aired on the Disney Channel this summer.
A surgeon and young adult writer, I.W. Gregorio helped found We Need Diverse Books, an organization that calls for changes in the publishing industry to promote literature that reflects the experiences of all young adults. She is the author of “None of the Above,” which tells the story of a teenager girl who learns she was born intersex. Gregorio will speak about diversity in children’s literature.
Jenny Han writes children and teen novels and published her first book “Shug” in 2006, when she was still in college. Her latest novel, “P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2),” hit bookstores on May 26. She will discuss female friendship, power and the ties that bind.
Known for her work on NBC’s Emmy Award winning comedy “The Office,” actor, writer, producer and director Mindy Kaling created and starred in “The Mindy Project” and her latest book “Why Not Me?” goes on sale September 29. She is also the author of the New York Times bestselling book “Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me?” published in 2011. Kaling’s panel will include a conversation with B.J. Novak, who co-starred with her in “The Office.”
Jenny Lee is a writer and producer of “Ground Floor,” a sitcom on TBS. She has also authored four humor essay books for adults and is also a producer and writer for the ABC Family sitcom “Young & Hungry.” She will take part in an interactive competition with other authors.
Author and translator of speculative fiction, Ken Liu published his first novel “The Grace of Kings” on April 7. A collection of his short stories is also expected to publish later this year. Liu will speak about diversity and minority representation in science fiction and fantasy literature.
Marie Lu is the author of a number of New York Times bestselling novels, including “Legend,” “Prodigy,” “Champion” and “The Young Elites.” Lu will discuss love, loyalty, freedom and friendship across various cultures and kingdoms.
Aisha Saeed is a young adult author whose debut novel “Written in the Stars” was published earlier this year. She is also one of the founding members of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. She will speak about diversity in children’s literature, as well as love, loyalty, freedom and friendship across various cultures and kingdoms.
Sabaa Tahir is the author of “An Ember in the Ashes,” which she began writing while working as a newspaper editor. It published on April 28. She will discuss love, loyalty, freedom and friendship across various cultures and kingdoms.
Author and illustrator of several acclaimed children’s books, Hyewon Yum recently illustrated “The Fun Book of Scary Stuff,” which is scheduled for release on August 11. Author Emily Jenkins and Yum will read from their new book “The Fun Book of Scary Stuff.”