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.
Louisa Ermelino is the author of three novels: Joey Dee Gets Wise, The Black Madonna, and The Sisters Mallone. She is the reviews director of Publishers Weekly.
Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum's first novel, Madeleine Is Sleeping, was a finalist for the National Book Award; her second book, Hempel Chronicles, was published last year. She was the recipient of the Whiting Writer's Award in 2005.
Laila Lalami, who now lives in Los Angeles, was born and raised in Morocco. A Fulbright recipient, her memoir Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits was short-listed for the 2006 Caine Prize for African Writing. Secret Son is her first novel.
Julia Leigh, an Australian writer, has been praised for her titles Disquiet and The Hunter. She was included in the London Observer's list of 21 writers for the 21st century. Leigh splits her time between Australia and New York, where she teaches creative writing at Barnard College.