Alta Journal Wraps Los Angeles Book Festival with Celebration of Literary Community

Alta and the California Book Club returned to the L.A. Times Festival of Books with appearances by Andrew Sean Greer, Rachel Howzell Hall, Naomi Hirahara, and more.

los angeles times festival of books 2023

Alta Journal enjoyed a sunny weekend at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on April 22–23, spending an invigorating two days meeting new members, hosting book signings, connecting with our contributors and members, and celebrating the release of Issue 23: Epic Tales of Survival.

On Saturday morning, Rachel Howzell Hall—author of the short story “Breakdown in the Right Lane,” in the latest issue of Alta—kicked off a packed weekend of book signings at the Alta booth. Three California Book Club authors headed to the booth back-to-back after Hall: historian Natalia Molina, novelist and essayist Rachel Kushner, and Pulitzer Prize winner Andrew Sean Greer. Following them was celebrated novelist and Pulitzer winner Jane Smiley (who will also join us virtually this Wednesday on Alta Live). On Sunday, noir novelist Naomi Hirahara signed her books, followed by Chokepoint Capitalism coauthor Cory Doctorow. CBC author Steph Cha and special guest Tod Goldberg stopped by to sign their crime novels in the afternoon, and Charles Finch and Matthew Zapruder closed out the weekend at the Alta booth, signing their nonfiction books released in the past few years. We were fortunate to partner with Vroman’s Books in Pasadena to sell our California Book Club selections as well as books by featured Alta contributors, including Hall’s We Lie Here and Greer’s Less Is Lost.

Other highlights of the festival weekend included hosting an interactive scavenger hunt throughout the festival grounds, featuring literary and bookstore partners PEN America, Stranger’s Guide, Heyday Books, Octavia’s Bookshelf, Skylight Books, and Tía Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore. We also debuted our new California Book Club hats and our guide to Alta’s favorite bookstores of California and the West, both of which were gifted to new members (and can be purchased in Alta’s online store). And to celebrate the weekend, Alta gave away a California Book Club swag bag of merch and other gifts to one lucky festival attendee.

If you missed us last weekend, don’t worry: Alta will be at the Bay Area Book Festival on Sunday, May 7, offering memberships, selling single issues, hosting a giveaway, and meeting members and contributors at the outdoor fair. Plus, you can catch editorial director Blaise Zerega at the panel “Historical Fiction: The American West” on Saturday, May 6, with Rina Ayuyang, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, and Jane Smiley. Can’t make the BABF? No problem. We’ll also be celebrating Issue 23 with a free party at Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 30, at 7 p.m. Pacific time.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth at the L.A. Times Festival of Books. We’re looking forward to seeing more of you soon—online, in person, and in the pages of Alta.•

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Books