"I cannot live without books," Thomas Jefferson famously wrote.
Luckily for area bibliophiles, April 9 could supply them with several years' worth — autographed, as well.
The fifth annual Literary Orange festival at the UC Irvine Student Center will give up to 500 well-read participants a glimpse into the lives of some of their favorite local and famous authors.
"We are thrilled with the caliber and depth of this year's lineup of authors, starting with our fabulous keynote speakers," Assistant County Librarian Paula Bruce said.
This year's keynote speakers will be author and professor Ron Hansen, whose "Atticus" was a finalist for the National Book Award, and T. Jefferson Parker, who launched a successful career as a fiction author while working as a reporter at the Daily Pilot.
Hansen's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was made into a film starring Brad Pitt.
Parker, a UCI alumnus, won the Edgar Award twice for "Silent Joe" and "California Girl." His latest bestseller, "Iron River," has been nominated for the Hammett Prize. In his latest book, "The Border Lords," he takes on the war on drugs from the perspective of an undercover agent who goes rogue.
Literary Orange is open to the public, although many UCI students are expected to attend.
"This is a fantastic event for the campus and community to come together and enjoy," UCI Libraries Interim Director of Development Julie Sully said.
Founded as a joint venture in 2007 between the county's public libraries and UCI's libraries, the event is intended to enhance an appreciation of reading, literature and libraries, organizers said, through first-person experiences like discussions, book signings and keynote addresses.
Attendees also will be given the opportunity to ask questions and learn about the writing process in a far-reaching set of panel discussions that include genres like journalism, science fiction and children's books. New panels this year include fantasy, war literature, travel, Latino fiction and the world of the literary agent.
UC Riverside writing professor Andrew Winer will speak in a panel on novel writing at the event; the UCI master's of fine arts alumnus is the best-selling author of books like "The Color Midnight Made" and "The Marriage Artist."
Young adult author Jessica Brody's "The Karma Club" tells the story of three high school seniors who use karma to get revenge on the boys who broke their hearts; the upcoming "My Life Undecided" is about a 15-year-old who asks the online world to vote on her life decisions, both big and small.
The day begins with a breakfast and welcoming statements, followed by Hansen in the day's first keynote speech and book signing. A set of panel discussions for different literary genres follows, with themes like "Mystery Suspense: Adrenaline Rush" and "Poetry: A Visual Language," before lunch and the second and third sets of breakout panel discussions, like "Young Adult: Teen Beat" and "War: Remembrance and Loss." Parker will give second and final keynote speech before the day's last book signing.
The 2010 Literary Orange event is dedicated to the memory of Stephen J. Cannell, a tireless library advocate and author who spoke at the event in 2008 and 2009.
If You Go
What: Literary Orange
When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 9
Where: UC Irvine Student Center, A311 Student Center, Irvine, CA 92697-2050
Cost: $60 general admission or $25 for students and active duty military personnel with valid ID when bought online before April 5; onsite registration $70 or $35 depending on availability