ABFFE to Mix the Serious and the Sublime at BookExpo America

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The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) will have something to appeal to both the serious and the fun-loving sides of the booksellers who visit New York City in May for BookExpo America. On Friday, May 3, Barbara Kingsolver will participate in an ABFFE panel on the impact of the September 11 terrorist attacks on civil liberties. And on Saturday night, the Rock Bottom Remainders will rock Greenwich Village in a Book Industry Foundation concert to benefit ABFFE and the Association of American Publishers' Get Caught Reading campaign.

Kingsolver, Hentoff to Weigh State of Civil Liberties in Wake of 9/11

Barbara Kingsolver

As a result of the terrorist attacks, freedom of speech is under greater pressure today than at any time in recent memory. Newspaper editors have been fired for expressing criticism of the Bush administration. College and university officials have condemned -- and in some cases disciplined -- professors for saying American foreign policy contributed to the growth of terrorism. Meanwhile, the federal government dramatically expanded its power when Congress approved the USA Patriot Act, giving the FBI widened authority to demand business records, including those of bookstores.

Kingsolver, the journalist Nat Hentoff, and others will assess the state of free speech in the United States eight months after 9/11. "911: Civil Liberties in a Time of Crisis" will be held Friday, May 3, at 11:00 a.m. in Room 1E12 of the Javits Center. It is co-sponsored by ABFFE, the Association of American Publishers, and the Freedom to Read Foundation.

Rock Bottom Remainders to Rock Greenwich Village

The Rock Bottom Remainders

Following last year's sold-out benefit starring Wynton Marsalis, the Book Industry Foundation will host the return of the book industry's favorite band, the Rock Bottom Remainders, whose stars include Mitch Albom, Dave Barry, Roy Blount Jr., Kathi Goldmark, Greg Iles, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, James McBride, Ridley Pearson, Amy Tan, and Scott Turow. Standing-room-only crowds danced to the music of the Remainders at the American Booksellers Association conventions in Los Angeles, Miami, and Anaheim in the '90s.

This year, the Remainders will rock historic Webster Hall (125 East 11th Street) in Greenwich Village. Built in 1886, Webster Hall was the scene of the famous costumed balls that raised money for progressive causes advocated by Emma Goldman, Marcel Duchamp, and Margaret Sanger. Eugene O'Neill described it as "the jewel of the village." Tickets are $25 per person; $45 for two; $100 for five. Individual tickets can be ordered using the BEA registration form. Multiple tickets may be ordered through the ABFFE Store, www.abffe.com. For further information, contact Tim Eubanks at (212) 587-4025 or [email protected].