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Library of Congress National Book Festival Announces Full Author Lineup

Release Date: 09 Jun 2023
National Book Festival

Library of Congress National Book Festival Announces Full Author Lineup
Elliot Page, Douglas Brinkley, Amor Towles, Mary Louise Kelly, R.J. Palacio, George Saunders, Joy Harjo, David Grann, Elizabeth Acevedo, Jesmyn Ward, and Meg Medina Among Featured Authors

The 2023 Library of Congress National Book Festival returns to the Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Aug. 12. The festival’s theme, “Everyone Has a Story,” celebrates 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.

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 conversation with the authors of “White Bird” 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 Saturday, Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. 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.

Visit to learn more about attending the festival. A comprehensive schedule will be announced in the coming weeks on the Library’s Bookmarked blog. Subscribe to the blog for updates on festival plans and more. The National Book Festival celebrates creators and invites the public to be curious about the Library and its collections in their own creative or scholarly pursuits.

Full Lineup of Featured Authors by Genre


Elizabeth Acevedo discusses her new novel, “Family Lore,” a story that explores multigenerational experiences, reckoning with death and living authentically.

Animals Talk to Me: Narrators From the Wild Henry Hoke and Shelby Van Pelt explore how animals and humans learn from one another in their new novels “Open Throat” (Hoke) and “Remarkably Bright Creatures” (Van Pelt).

Alone With a Secret: Novels That Provoke and Reveal Victor LaValle’s historical fiction “Lone Women” and Kevin Wilson’s “Now Is Not the Time to Panic” feature protagonists made lonely with the weight of their secrets.

The Family You Need, the Family You Create: Literary Fiction Esmeralda Santiago and Luis Alberto Urrea discuss how we create our own families with their novels “Las Madres” (Santiago) and “Good Night, Irene” (Urrea).

George Saunders shares his latest collection of stories in “Liberation Day.”

Amor Towles shares his novel “The Lincoln Highway,” a story about a fateful journey fleeing home.

Why Fiction Matters Jesmyn Ward, former Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction winner and author of the National Book Award-winning “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” explores why fiction matters.

Genre Fiction

Backroads and Buried Bodies: Southern Noir – Known for his Southern noir crime fiction, S.A. Cosby shares his latest novel “All the Sinners Bleed.”

Hauntings Aren’t Just for Houses: Horror Fiction Tananarive Due, award-winning writer of Black horror and Afrofuturism, explores her new collection “The Wishing Pool and Other Stories” with Grady Hendrix, whose original take on humor and horror is alive in “How to Sell a Haunted House.”

AI: They Just Want to Be Our Friends – Known for fantasy stories with LGBTQ+ representation, TJ Klune discusses his latest novel “In the Lives of Puppets,” which tells the story of a family of robots and their human son.

My Gig at the Godzilla Preserve – The Hugo Award-winning science fiction writer John Scalzi discusses “The Kaiju Preservation Society,” set in a New York City beset by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fiction and Nonfiction

Body Count: Talking About Crime in Our Age of ReckoningRebecca Makkai, award-winning author of “The Great Believers,” returns with “I Have Some Questions for You” in conversation with crime journalist Sarah Weinman, author of “Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning.” Makkai and Weinman discuss the intersection of race and true crime media – and society’s fascination with unsolved cases.

Biography, History and Memoir

History Is Heating Up: Environmental Awakening vs. Climate Change Denial  Douglas Brinkley discusses the history of climate change and his new work “Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and the Great Environmental Awakening,” with David Lipsky, author of “The Parrot and the Igloo: Climate and the Science of Denial.”

Capital Secrets: J. Edgar Hoover’s Shadowy Reign Beverly Gage discusses the nuances of Hoover’s life in “G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century” alongside James Kirchick, author of “Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington.”

David Grann discusses “The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder.”

John Hendrickson explores society’s view of disability in “Life on Delay: Making Peace With a Stutter.”

Records of Survival: Escaping Genocide and Human TraffickingTahir Hamut Izgil and Saket Soni discuss their experiences with human trafficking and genocide in “Waiting to Be Arrested at Night: A Uyghur Poet’s Memoir of China’s Genocide” (Izgil) and “The Great Escape: A True Story of Forced Labor and Immigrant Dreams in America” (Soni).

My Life, Considered – NPR journalist Mary Louise Kelly explores the story of her life and career in “It. Goes. So. Fast.: The Year of No Do-Overs.”

Accidental Spies: The Scientist and the SocialiteJohn Lisle, author of the new work “The Dirty Tricks Department: Stanley Lovell, the OSS and the Masterminds of World War II Secret Warfare” discusses spy craft with Janet Wallach, author of “Flirting with Danger: The Mysterious Life of Marguerite Harrison, Socialite Spy.”

Actor Elliot Page discusses his new memoir “Pageboy.”

Yards Between Us: Sports and American Culture R.K. Russell explores the intersection of American culture and sports in “The Yards Between Us: A Memoir of Life, Love and Football.”


Behind the Scenes with Black Writers Jericho Brown, Camille T. Dungy and Tiphanie Yanique share their craft in “How We Do It: Black Writers on Craft, Practice and Skill.”

Matthew Desmond discusses his latest work “Poverty, by America.”

AphroChic: Celebrating the Black Family Home Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason share their inspiring and revealing new book.

Dig In: What Food Says About Us – Explore the meaning of food 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.”

Siddhartha Mukherjee discusses “The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human.”

Poetry and Nonfiction

The World Offers Itself to Your Imagination: Nature Poetry – Former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, author of “Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light: 50 Poems for 50 Years,” and Camille T. Dungy, writer of “Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden,” discuss how contemporary poets and poems connect us to the natural world in vital ways. 

Redacting and Retelling: New Ways of Confronting Systemic Racism Shane McCrae discusses “Pulling the Chariot of the Sun: A Memoir of a Kidnapping,” with Nicole Sealey, author of the work of poetry “The Ferguson Report: An Erasure.”

Myths and Promises: Decoding “Latino” in America José Olivarez and Héctor Tobar explore their heritage in “Promises of Gold” (Olivarez) and “Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of ‘Latino’” (Tobar).

For Teens and Adults

Chasten Buttigieg Has Something to Tell You (Hint: It’s About Finding Yourself) –The teacher and advocate discusses his memoir “I Have Something to Tell You – For Young Adults.”

I’m Already Stressed About Homework, You Need Me to Solve a Mystery Too?
Dive into new murder mysteries with Nick Brooks’ “Promise Boys” and Karen M. McManus’ “One of Us Is Back.”

Ruta Sepetys discusses “You: The Story: A Writer’s Guide to Craft Through Memory.”

Young Adults

Lie, Fight, Gatekeep: Girls vs. the Power Angeline Boulley and Amélie Wen Zhao explore the strength and resolve of teenagers in their books “Warrior Girl Unearthed” (Boulley) and “Song of Silver, Flame Like Night” (Zhao).

How Can We Deal with the World’s Injustices? Ask a Teen!Lesa Cline-Ransome and Jennifer De Leon present teens reckoning with injustices in “For Lamb” (Cline-Ransome) and “Borderless” (De Leon).

Will and Jane 2.0: Classics Updated Sayantani DasGupta and Brittany N. Williams share the importance of diversity in fairy tales and classics in “Rosewood: A Midsummer Meet Cute” (DasGupta) and “That Self-Same Metal” (Williams).

“Take a Trip,” They Said. “You’ll Have a Great Time!” They Said. Teens experience terror at vacation destinations in Trang Thanh Tran’s “She Is a Haunting.”

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.

When Lies and Secrets Come Into the Light Mark Oshiro shares his new work “Into the Light” and Linda Kao shares "A Crooked Mark."

Graphic Novels

Alan Gratz shares his latest work “Captain America: The Ghost Army.”

Me, My Story, My PicturesJarrett J. Krosoczka and Pedro Martín explore the experiences of multigenerational road trips and youthful summer memories in “Sunshine” (Krosoczka) and “Mexikid” (Martín).

Middle Grade

Adults Are the Worst, Especially on the Ancient Silk RoadDaniel Nayeri tells a tale of an unexpected journey on the Silk Road in “The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams.”

What If? Time Travel, Supervillains and Other Everyday Things Jamar Nicholas and Nisi Shawl share their imaginative works of fiction “Leon the Extraordinary” (Nicholas) and “Speculation” (Shawl).

Witchlings Go On a New Adventure Claribel A. Ortega navigates magic and friendships in the second Witchlings book, “The Golden Frog Games.”

White Bird: Deep in the Wonder Universe with R.J. Palacio and Erica S. Perl  R.J. Palacio and Erica S. Perl discuss their new novel adaptation of “White Bird.” Set within the Wonder universe, this story reflects the power of kindness. Due to a change in the release date of the “White Bird” movie, we regret we’re no longer able to screen clips. Moderated by National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina.

Gary D. Schmidt shares "The Labors of Hercules Beal."

Sara Shepard presents her book “Penny Draws a Best Friend.”

Picture Books

A Poem Is a Pocket That Can Hold Your Dreams – Former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and Michaela Goade share “Remember,” a picture book adaptation of the work of poetry that invites young readers to reflect on the world around them.

Read a Book and Try On Your Dreams! Grace Lin shares a nod to “Alice in Wonderland” in her new book “Once Upon a Book.”

The World Is a Big Place for Little Creatures Doug Salati and Lane Smith share their picture books “Hot Dog” (Salati) and “Stickler Loves the World” (Smith).

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.

Most authors will participate in book signings following their events. Festivalgoers will be able to purchase books by the featured authors from Politics and Prose, the official bookseller of the 2023 National Book Festival, in advance at and onsite at the Festival.

C-SPAN’s Book TV will return to the National Book Festival to livestream select sessions and interview featured authors.

The Library’s National Book Festival was co-founded in 2001 by first lady Laura Bush.

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. Sponsors include: Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), General Motors, James Madison Council, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the John W. Kluge Center; additional support provided by the CoStar Group, For The People Fund, with seed funding provided by the Ford Foundation, Sharjah Book Authority, Friends of the Library of Congress (FLOC), Library of Congress Federal Credit Union and The Hay-Adams.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at


Media Contacts: Leah Knobel, | Brett Zongker, 

PR 23-049
ISSN 0731-3527

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