News | August 2, 2023

Library of Congress National Book Festival Announces Author Lineup

Library of Congress

The 2023 Library of Congress National Book Festival returns to the Washington Convention Center on August 12, taking as its theme 'Everyone Has a Story' to celebrate the storyteller in us all. 

Attendees will hear conversations that reflect their lived experiences and stories, with presentations for every type of reader. Memoirs will be featured on several stages, including actor Elliot Page’s Pageboy and R.K. Russell’s The Yards Between Us: A Memoir of Life, Love and Football. NPR journalist Mary Louise Kelly tells the story of her life and career in her new book. Uyghur poet Tahir Hamut Izgil discusses his homeland and the persecution of Muslim minorities in western China.

The festival will also feature a performance of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby by the literary nonprofit Literature to Life, a performance-based literacy program that presents professionally stage adaptations of American literary classics. 

Douglas Brinkley and David Lipsky will discuss the history of climate change. Matthew Desmond will discuss his latest work Poverty, by America. John Lisle and Janet Wallach will discuss their books on the history of spies and American spy craft. 

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and poet Camille T. Dungy discuss how contemporary poets and poems connect us to the natural world in Harjo's Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light: 50 Poems for 50 Years and Dungy’s nonfiction work Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden. George Saunders discusses his latest collection of stories in Liberation Day.

Explore the role of food in your family’s story with Cheuk Kwan, author of Have You Eaten Yet: Stories from Chinese Restaurants Around the World, and Anya von Bremzen, author of National Dish: Around the World in Search of Food, History and the Meaning of Home. TJ Klune returns with another fantasy adventure, In the Lives of Puppets, a tale of artificial intelligence robots and their human son.

True crime junkies will explore the role of race in true crime media during a conversation featuring award-winning author Rebecca Makkai, who will share her latest novel I Have Some Questions for You, and crime journalist Sarah Weinman, author of Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning.

Young adult readers will enjoy a sneak peek of the upcoming film adaptation of White Bird alongside a discussion with the authors R.J. Palacio and Erica S. Perl. Educator Chasten Buttigieg will share his memoir, I Have Something to Tell You – For Young Adults. National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina shares the graphic novel adaptation of Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass with the novel’s illustrator Mel Valentine Vargas.

The National Book Festival will take place on August 12 from 9am to 8pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The festival is free and open to everyone, and ticketing is not required.

Interested attendees not able to join the festival in person can tune into sessions throughout the day. Events on several of the stages will be livestreamed on Videos of all presentations will be made available on demand in the weeks after the festival.