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Carrie Fisher, Dr. Ruth Headline 34th Annual St. Louis Jewish Book Festival

Fisher’s Nov. 4 keynote event kicks off an 11-day lineup of literary, media, business, sports and entertainment luminaries.

Princess Leia, Dr. Ruth and Michael Bolton have something in common. They're all coming to the Creve Coeur area for the 34th annual St. Louis Jewish Book Festival

Award-winning actress and best-selling author Carrie Fisher kicks off the proceedings with a keynote event at 7 p.m. Nov. 4, at the Jewish Community Center.

The 11-day festival continues through Nov. 15.

Thursday, the Festival announced Grammy-winning singer/songwriter Michael Bolton had to postpone his appearance, which will be rescheduled for some time in 2013.

The daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Fisher became a cultural icon portraying Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy. Her movie career also included roles in countless films such as: The Blues Brothers, Hannah and Her Sisters, and When Harry Met Sally

Fisher’s first book, Postcards from the Edge, leapt onto the New York Times’ bestseller list and was followed by four more bestsellers, including her latest, Shockaholic. Fisher turned Postcards into a screenplay for the hit film starring Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep, and is currently adapting another of her titles, The Best Awful, for Lifetime and Sony Television.

Her writing has appeared in Details, Harper’s Bazaar, the New York Times, Travel & Leisure, Vogue, and many other major publications. 

On television, Fisher’s acting credits range all the way from Laverne and Shirley to Sex and the City, with an Emmy nomination most recently for her appearance on the popular NBC comedy, 30 Rock

In 2009 and 2010, Fisher took Broadway by storm, receiving a number of awards and nominations for Wishful Drinking, her sold-out, one-woman show, which was made into an Emmy-nominated documentary by HBO following its closing in 2011.

The St. Louis Jewish Book Festival is the largest Jewish book festival in the country with speakers and presentations by national and international authors, entertainers, media moguls, business professionals, sports figures and historians.

In addition to the keynote event, highlights this year include:

  • Chef Giuliano Hazan
  • Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul & Mary
  • Author A.J. Jacobs 
  • Fashion aficionado Rachelle Bergstein
  • Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine
  • “The BIG Jewish Community Read” with Nathan Englander
  • Sportscaster Len Berman 
  • Dr. Ruth Westheimer

A complete rundown can be found on the Jewish Book Festival's website.

This year’s Festival runs Nov. 4 through 15, with a bonus dance event, featuring the Saint Louis Ballet, on Sunday, Nov. 18.

For more than three decades, the festival has remained an inclusive and special event where people of every race, religion and age gather to hear insightful speakers and entertainers share thoughts, life lessons and express opinions. Each author presentation is followed by an audience question-and-answer session. Books are available onsite at the festival bookstore, and the authors stay to meet fans and sign books.

Tickets may be purchased individually for each program or as a festival series package that permits access to all speakers. Organizers note that the cost of the complete series package is the best bargain. Tickets are available by phone at 314-442-3299 and online at www.brownpapertickets.com. Series Tickets and Series PLUS Tickets are on sale now.

Visit www.stljewishbookfestival.org for more information, ticket info and a complete schedule of authors appearing at the 2012 festival. For more updates, follow the Festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/saintlouisjewishbookfestival.

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