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Many Book Country fest events canceled

Happenings skedded at museums, libraries, schools still on

Many of this year’s New York Is Book Country festival events, skedded to begin today, have been canceled in the wake of last week’s terrorist attacks.

A literary tea and a mystery brunch that had been skedded at the Waldorf Astoria on Sunday have been postponed. Tea participants were to include Julie Andrews and Caroline Kennedy, while the mystery brunch included Walter Mosley and Mary Higgins Clark. Both events were sold out and have been pushed to next spring.

The annual festival’s street fair down Fifth Avenue from 48th to 57th streets has been canceled at the request of the New York Police Department.

Events skedded at museums, libraries and the outreach programs at schools in all five of the boroughs will still take place. Some 70 local authors are expected to participate. Additionally, the pilot “reading bee” program, which will feature students reading in front of judges, is still on, although the Sunday awards ceremony has been postponed.

Fest was launched in 1979 to celebrate books and reading throughout the city. Non-profit org benefits the Children’s Services Division of the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Public Library and the Queens Borough Public Library. Next year’s New York Is Book Country has been scheduled for Sept. 25-29, 2002.

Fest’s longtime supporter, The New York Times, also finds itself needing to resked last week’s “Critic’s Choice” events, planned in honor of the paper’s 150th anniversary. Moderated discussions with industryites including David Chase on “The Sopranos,” Steven Soderbergh on “Traffic” and Joan Chen on Asian cinema were among the postponed events. New dates have yet to be announced.

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