Friday-Sunday: Baltimore Book Festival

Sept. 22-24

This year's Book Festival got off to a rocky start, to put it mildly, long before the programming was finalized with the announcement that Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who for years claimed she was black, would be a featured author. The Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts rescinded Dolezal's invitation in May after significant backlash from all over the place. Now, we can all attend the festival without breathing in the stench of bad self-tanner and enjoy an actually useful and engaging exchange of ideas (though the schedule is still not without controversy—there's "Americanah" author and Hopkins alum Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who became a household name by way of Beyonce's 'Flawless' and more recently has come under fire for her troubling views on transgender women). Among this year's highlights: "Cheslea Girls" author and poet Eileen Myles on her new dog memoir; CP's 2016 Best Fiction Book winner Susan Muaddi Darraj; Rabia Chaudry on her bestseller about the push for justice for Adnan Syed (of "Serial" fame); feminist art activist Donna Kaz on her book "UN/MASKED, Memoirs of a Guerrilla Girl On Tour"; comedian and actor Demetri Martin (also performing stand-up at the Hippodrome this week) on his book "If It's Not Funny It's Art"; and National Book Award-winner Alice McDermott on her latest novel, "The Ninth Hour"; and a number of activism- and racial-justice-minded authors, poets, and panels (featured among them D. Watkins, Devin Allen, and Kondwani Fidel [pictured]) at Red Emma's Radical Bookfair Pavilion all weekend long.11 a.m.-7 p.m., Inner Harbor, Light and Pratt streets, (410) 752-8632, baltimorebookfestival.org, free. (Maura Callahan)

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