Where else but The New Yorker Festival will you find Billy Joel, Toni Morrison, and Abbi Jacobson hanging out in the same place? The 16th annual New Yorker Festival kicks off October 2nd, featuring talks with some of today’s leading writers, comedians, and actors, plus film previews, live performances, a new tech conference, and field trips led by New Yorker staffers (Peter Schjeldahl will take you to the Whitney! Calvin Trillin will guide you on a magical food tour!). Tickets for the festival are currently on sale. So you don’t overdose on culture (the lineup includes more than 50 events from Friday through Sunday), here are our ten picks for what to check out this year.
For English nerds:
George Saunders in conversation with Jonathan Safran Foer: “Everything is Permitted” in this conversation between two of today’s most beloved fiction writers (Saturday, October 3, 1pm)
Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison in conversation with New Yorker theater critic Hilton Als (Friday, October 2nd, 7pm)
This is How You Lose Her author Junot Diaz talks to The Lazarus Project author Aleksander Hemon (Saturday, October 3rd, 10am)
For comedy nerds:
As part of Tech@Fest, beat-making comedian Reggie Watts talks/makes weird noises with New Yorker staffer Emma Allen. (Saturday, October 3rd, 10pm)
Standup comedian Jim Gaffigan talks to humor writer Andy Borowitz. (Friday, October 2nd, 7pm)
Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, the broads of Broad City, talk to The New Yorker‘s TV critic Emily Nussbaum (Friday, October 2, 10pm)
For hungry people:
Come Hungry: In his 14th annual Lower Manhattan food tour, writer and gourmand Calvin Trillin leads a hungry mob of festival-goers from Greenwich Village to Chinatown, stopping at his favorite eateries. (Sunday, October 4th, 11am)
Traveling Dinner Parties: Three themed, critic-curated boozy dinner parties at NYC restaurants Noodletown, Healthy-Ish, and French Twist (Saturday, October 3rd, 7pm)
Other good stuff:
The Fire This Time: Black in the U.S.A., a panel moderated by New Yorker staff writer Jelani Cobb, in which Ta-Nehisi Coates, actress Danai Gurira, poet and playwright Claudia Rankine, The Wire’s David Simon, and actor/activist Jesse Williams discuss the race war and black identity in America. (Sunday, October 4th, 12pm)
Godmother of punk Patti Smith talks with New Yorker editor David Remnick. (Saturday, October 3rd, 10pm)
Sold-out events will have a limited number of tickets available at the door one hour before showtime. See the full lineup here.