Events | July 27, 2020

Library of Congress National Book Festival Announces Full Author Lineup

Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The 2020 National Book Festival poster was designed by Rodrigo Corral Studio and Tyler Comrie with illustration and animation by Justin Metz.

Washington, D.C. -- The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival will connect with audiences across the country for an interactive, online celebration of "American Ingenuity" for the festival's 20th year, featuring new books by more than 120 of the nation's most-renowned writers, poets and artists. The festival will also showcase the many ways our national library embraces all subjects in its unparalleled collection.

During the weekend of Sept. 25-27, virtual stages at will offer on-demand videos, live author chats and discussions, options to personalize your own journey through the festival with particular themes, and book buying possibilities through the festival's official bookseller, Politics & Prose, with a limited number of commemorative book plates signed by authors. The Library is also in discussion with broadcast partners to ensure broad access to the festival. Subscribe to the festival blog for updates on plans for the festival.

New to this year's festival is an opportunity for festivalgoers to take a deeper dive into timely topics engaged by many books across the festival's stages. Attendees are invited to follow three newsworthy threads that weave through the festival and offer a more profound appreciation for the subjects. They are:

  • "Fearless Women" – books by and about strong women and resolute trailblazers.
  • "Hearing Black Voices" – books that showcase Black voices across all genres, affirming their contributions to American culture.
  • "Democracy" – books that assess the state of democratic principles here in America and around the globe.

Another new feature added to the 2020 festival is a new virtual stage called Family, Food & Field, which will include authors whose books cover such topics as food, home, sports, television and current issues, such as the Me Too movement.

More information on the authors whose books are part of these timely topic threads will be found on the festival website in the weeks before the event.

Highlights of the 20th National Book Festival: Celebrating American Ingenuity

  • Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead will receive the Library's Prize for American Fiction and discuss his lifelong career in writing.
  • Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on her memoir, "Hell and Other Destinations."
  • National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Jason Reynolds on his book "Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You," which he co-wrote with Ibram X. Kendi.
  • "Today" show co-host Jenna Bush Hager on "Everything Beautiful in Its Time," a collection of stories about her grandparents, Barbara and George H.W. Bush, and her book club "Read With Jenna."
  • Chelsea Clinton on her new book for young readers, "She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game."
  • John Grisham, master of the legal thriller, on his latest books, "Camino Winds" and "The Guardians."
  • Melinda Gates on her new book, "The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World."
  • Mo Willems, creator of "The Pigeon" books, "Because" and other bestsellers for children, on his work and creative process.
  • Parker Curry and her mother, Jessica Curry, on their book, "Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment," recounting a visit to the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery and viewing a portrait of first lady Michelle Obama.
  • Dan Brown, author of "The Da Vinci Code," makes his children's book debut with "Wild Symphony."
  • Ibram X. Kendi and Saeed Jones on ways to confront racism and bigotry, as described in Kendi's book "How to Be an Antiracist" and Jones' memoir, "How We Fight for Our Lives."
  • Rebecca Boggs Roberts and Lucinda Robb on their new book, "The Suffragist Playbook."
  • Veronica Chambers on her children's book "Finish the Fight!: The Brave, Unruly, and Radical Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote."
  • Thomas Frank and Christopher Caldwell on "The Road to Populism" and their related books.

Full Festival Lineup of Participants by Stage:

For Adults

History & Biography: Madeleine Albright, Peter Baker, Sarah Broom, Christopher Caldwell, Erica Armstrong Dunbar, Eric Foner, Thomas Frank, Susan Glasser, Jenna Bush Hager, Harold Holzer, Nicholas Lemann, Jon Meacham, George Packer, Rick Perlstein, Heather Cox Richardson, David Rubenstein, Ted Widmer, Gene Luen Yang

Understanding Our World: Jared Diamond, Peter Florence, Melinda Gates, Robert M. Gates, Barton Gellman, Haben Girma, Richard Haass, David Ignatius, Walter Isaacson, Saeed Jones, Mitch Kaplan, Ibram X. Kendi, Lois Kim, Cristina Fuentes La Roche, Daniel Markovits, Jason Reynolds, Thomas Rid, James A. Robinson

Fiction: Ishmael Beah, Sandra Cisneros, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Kate DiCamillo, John Grisham, Marlon James, James McBride, Mazaa Mengiste, Ann Patchett, Salman Rushdie, Emily St. John Mandel, Amy Tan, Téa Obreht, Jeff VanderMeer, Colson Whitehead

Genre Fiction: Tomi Adeyemi, Leigh Bardugo, N.K. Jemisin, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Mary Robinette Kowal, Walter Mosley

Poetry & Prose: Franny Choi, Mark Doty, Rita Dove, Joy Harjo, Juan Felipe Herrera, Carmen Maria Machado, Susan Minot, Robert Pinsky, Karen Russell, Jennifer Shapland, Danez Smith, Tracy K. Smith, Elizabeth Tallent

Family, Food & Field: Bill Buford, Gail Collins, Jesse Dougherty, Bruce Feiler, David Kamp, Roland Mesnier, Mark Ramsdell, Megan Twohey, Judith Warner, Esther Wojcicki

Science: Ann Druyan, Katherine Eban, Mario Livio, Edward Melillo, Leland Melvin, Sarah Scoles, Wendy Williams

For Young People

Children: Sophie Blackall, Dan Brown, Veronica Chambers, Chelsea Clinton, Jerry Craft, Jessica Curry, Parker Curry, Angela Dominguez, K.A. Holt, Deborah Hopkinson, Kwame Mbalia, Megan McDonald, Connie Schofield-Morrison, Frank Morrison Peter H. Reynolds, Barb Rosenstock, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Jon Scieszka, Nic Stone, Don Tate, Steven Weinberg, Mo Willems, Kelly Yang

Teens: Becky Albertalli, M.T. Anderson, Tonya Bolden, Mike Curato, Jo Rioux, Lucinda Robb, Rebecca Boggs Roberts, Aisha Saeed, Nic Stone, Sabaa Tahir

The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library's commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein. The Washington Post is a Charter sponsor; Patron sponsors are the Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Arts and the Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission; Friends include the American Psychological Association, Booklovers Circle Members, Buffy Cafritz, Capital Group, Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc., Joseph and Lynn Deutsch, Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction administered by The University of Alabama School of Law, the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, Library of Congress Federal Credit Union, George Washington's Mount Vernon, National Endowment for the Humanities, Timothy and Diane Naughton, Dwight D. Opperman Foundation, Rancho Mirage Writers Festival, Poetry Foundation, Skoll Foundation and Youth Speaks. C-SPAN2's Book TV, The New Republic and NPR are Media Partners.

Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at

Follow the festival on Twitter @librarycongress with hashtag #NatBookFest, and subscribe to the National Book Festival Blog at