“Food is new in every era, in every culture, because we redefine it constantly.”—Daniel Stone, author of The Food Explorer: The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats, at the “Food: The New Culture” panel

“Next time you go to a fancy restaurant, look above you. You will find overhead track lighting. Never existed before. Because you have to do that now, so when you Instagram the food, it looks pretty. Makes the food look great, but, you know what? It makes you look horrible.”—Edward Lee, author of Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine, on the Instagramification of fine dining, at the “Food: The New Culture” panel

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“[Government] cannot imprison the imagination.”—Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, author of Wrestling with the Devil: A Prison Memoir, talks with Laila Lalami about the realization that his mind could escape the confines of the prison where he was sent in 1977

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“The Constitution isn’t endangered but I worry about it….We have never had a president who knew less about the Constitution.”—Erwin Chemerinsky, author of We the People: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century, at the “Our Endangered Constitution” panel

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“More corpses to come, everyone!”—Caitlin Doughty, author of From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death, welcomes a full house for the “To Die For: Scientific & Cultural Responses to Death” panel

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“In network television history, women were considered a ‘niche’—50 percent of the population, just a niche.”—Joy Press, author of Stealing the Show: How Women Are Revolutionizing Television, at the “Badass Women Changing Culture” panel

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“For me, the most rewarding part [of writing The Astonishing Color of After] was that it allowed me to connect with my family about depression in a [direct]way, where we had always talked around. My family’s excitement for this book has made them more willing to open up about mental illness in our family, and that has, in turn, helped me find my way toward destigmatizing it even more.”—debut novelist Emily X.R. Pan, at the “YA Fiction: Nothing Left to Lose” panel

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“It’s very frustrating advocating for this book because Michelle was a journalist…but I’m a clown!”—Patton Oswalt, comedian, writer, and widower of I’llPatton Oswalt Photo Be Gone in the Dark author Michelle McNamara, in conversation with Los Angeles Times book editor Carolyn Kellogg. On Tuesday, Apr. 24, two days after this event, Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested and identified as the Golden State Killer.

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“I feel so bad for people who write for grown-ups.”—Laurie Halse Anderson, on America’s close-knit, supportive, fun, and cool YA community (they actually all hang out together), in conversation with Emily Carroll, who recently illustrated Anderson’s 1999 National Book Award finalist Speak

Photo at top is of writer and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos in conversation at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books with David Kipen. The photo above right is of Patton Oswalt in conversation with Los Angeles Times book editor Carolyn Kellogg. Photos courtesy Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.