The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The festival was an immediate success and has become the largest and most prestigious book festival in the country, attracting more than 130,000 book lovers each year.Donna Rifkind is a book critic whose work has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times and other publications. She currently reviews for the Washington Post. Rifkind was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Balakian Award.Giocanda Belli's poetry and fiction have been published all over the world. Her works include the best seller The Inhabited Woman. Her latest novel is Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand: A Novel of Adam and Eve.Aimee Bender is the author of three books: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt, An Invisible Sign of My Own, which was a 2000 Los Angeles Times pick of the year, and Willful Creatures. Bender currently lives in L.A. and teaches creative writing at USC.Mary Gaitskill is the best-selling writer of the novel Veronica and most recently, the story collection Don't Cry. She has written three award-winning story collections, including Because They Wanted To and Bad Behavior. Dylan Landis is the author of Normal People Don't Live Like This, a novel-in-stories forthcoming in September. Her fiction has appeared in Do Me: Tales of Sex and Love from Tin House and Best American Nonrequired Reading.
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