Almost 100 of the nation’s best writers, poets and illustrators have already committed to appear at the 2015 Library of Congress National Book Festival, which will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Sept. 5, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
More information is available on the National Book Festival website. Additional authors will be announced in the coming weeks.
The festival will mark its 15th anniversary since its establishment in 2001 and will also honor the Library’s spiritual founder, Thomas Jefferson, whose personal library covering all subjects guides the universal collecting policies of today’s Library of Congress. Jefferson sold his books to the Library of Congress in 1815, after a fire destroyed the original Library collections during the War of 1812. The theme of this year’s festival is "I cannot live without books," a famous statement by Jefferson.
Among the luminaries participating this year will be historians Walter Isaacson, David McCullough and Rick Atkinson; New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof; Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan; journalist Tom Brokaw; novelists Louise Erdrich, Jane Smiley and Ha Jin; graphic novelist Stephan Pastis; NPR’s Cokie Roberts; local restaurateur Nora Pouillon; mystery writers David Baldacci and Lisa Scottoline; poets Naomi Shihab Nye and Marilyn Chin; young people’s writers Kwame Alexander, Jon Scieszka and Sonia Manzano; and two major voices on global environment issues Jeffrey D. Sachs and E.O. Wilson. Also on the schedule will be special presentations honoring America’s veterans, world religions and Thomas Jefferson’s library, which is still on view in the Library building named after him on Capitol Hill.
"In 2015, the Library will welcome back many authors who have been with us over the past 15 years, as well as many first-timers," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "The diversity of authors and the subjects they write about are what make the National Book Festival an event for everyone. No matter your interest, there are sure to be authors you will want to see and hear."
Following are the pavilions for this year’s festival and the authors scheduled to appear:
- Children: Mac Barnett, Cece Bell, Jenny Han, William Joyce, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Naomi Shihab Nye, Gary Paulsen, Lynn Rae Perkins, Trevor Pryce, Jon Scieszka
- Teens: Kwame Alexander, Libba Bray, Michael Buckley, Phillip Hoose, Cynthia Levinson, Sonia Manzano, Shelia P. Moses, Rachel Renee Russell, Laura Amy Schlitz, Sabaa Tahir, Meg Wolitzer, and winners of the reading and writing contests A Book That Shaped Me and Letters About Literature
- Picture Books: Tom Angleberger, Anna Dewdney, Elise Parsley, Stephen Savage, Peter Sis, Audrey Wood and Don Wood
- Biography & Memoir: Walter Isaacson, David McCullough, Nora Pouillon, Evan Thomas, Amy Wilentz and Richard Zoglin
- Contemporary Life: Yochi Dreazen, Sheryl Wu Dunn, Robin Givhan, Tom Gjelten, Nicholas Kristof, Erika Lee, Francesca Scottoline, Lisa Scottoline, Ray Suarez, Barry Svrluga and Hector Tobar
- Culinary Arts: Najmieh Batmanglij
- Fiction: Stephen L. Carter, Louise Erdrich (2015 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction winner), Ha Jin, Ward Just, Phil Klay, Dinaw Mengestu, Marilynne Robinson, Jane Smiley and Lalita Tademy
- Graphic Novels: Lalo Alcaraz, Keith Knight and Stephan Pastis
- History: Danielle Allen, Joseph Ellis, Evan Osnos, Cokie Roberts, Jeanne Theoharis, Jay Winik and Lawrence Wright
- Mysteries & Science Fiction: David Baldacci, Jeffery Deaver, David Ignatius, Marlon James and Lisa Scottoline
- Poetry & Prose: Daniel Alarcón, Jeffrey Brown, Jerome Charyn, Marilyn Chin, Gail Godwin, Azar Nafisi, Ishmael Reed and Kevin Young
- Science: Judy Foreman, Terrence Holt, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Caleb Scharf, E.O. Wilson and Andrea Wulf
- Special Programs: Elliot Ackerman, Christian G. Appy, Rick Atkinson, Tom Brokaw, Rajiv Chandrasekeran, Peter De Sève, Wendy Doniger, Joseph Ellis, Annette Gordon-Reed, Phil Klay, Jane McAuliffe, Jon Meacham, Jack Miles, Roxana Robinson, and Henry Wiencek.
The National Book Festival is funded by private donors and corporate sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy. Since 2010, National Book Festival Board Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein has been the festival’s lead benefactor and has pledged funding for the festival for five more years. Charter Sponsors include the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron sponsor, the National Endowment for the Arts; and other sponsors will continue their support in 2015. The Junior League of Washington will also return as the Library’s primary partner for volunteer support, a role the organization has played since 2003. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions.