September 30, 2004 Update: 2004 National Book Festival on the National Mall on Oct. 9

Eleven Pavilions and 75 Authors and Illustrators; Enhanced Media Accessibility

Press Contact: Bibi Martí, (202) 707-1639; Danny Maiello, (202) 828-8899

The fourth annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by first lady Laura Bush, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 9, on the National Mall between 7th and 14th streets N.W. (rain or shine) in Washington, D.C. The festival is free and open to the public.


Children's authors such as 2004 Newbery Medal winner Kate DiCamillo and Sonia Manzano, of "Sesame Street" fame, will talk about their books.

Code breaking meets New York Times best seller in the hugely popular fiction book "The Rule of Four." Authors Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason will be on hand to discuss the intricate details of co-writing this tale based on a real-life Renaissance text.

Anna Quindlen will talk about her latest book, "Imagined London," a memoir in which a fictitious London is brought to life.

Patrick O'Connell, world-famous chef and co-owner of the renowned Inn at Little Washington, will talk about his recent book, "Refined American Cuisine".

Popular novelists Joyce Carol Oates, author of the new hit novel "The Falls," and Barbara Taylor Bradford, author of "Emma's Secret," a continuation of her Emma Harte family saga, will discuss their past best sellers and current works.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, six-time National Basketball Association Most Valuable Player, will discuss his recent book "Brothers in Arms" a recounting of the 761st battalion's courageous duty during World War II.

Special-interest authors include Arthur Frommer, founder of the travel series that bears his name; Leigh and Leslie Keno, antiques experts, and hosts of the PBS television show "Find!"; Tom Silva, expert home renovator and 18-year member of the television show "This Old House" home improvement team.

Newly appointed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry Ted Kooser will be at the Poetry Pavilion to read from his work and discuss his love of poetry.

Local Authors

This year's festival brings together an eclectic group of local area authors, including:

  • Science fiction and fantasy writer Catharine Asaro
  • Novelist and reviewer Louis Bayard
  • Poet Dana Gioia
  • Civil rights organizer and writer Dorothy Height
  • Pulitzer prize and MacArthur award winner Edward Jones
  • Journalist and author Jim Lehrer and his wife, Kate, novelist
  • Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) author of "Walking With the Wind"
  • Ronald Mesnier, former White House head pastry chef
  • Azar Nafisi, author of "Reading Lolita in Tehran"
  • Poet Linda Pastan
  • Cokie Roberts, political analyst and author of "Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation"
  • Former journalist Daniel Silva, author of the novel "Death in Vienna"
  • Author and journalist Juan Williams

Visit the National Book Festival Web site, for a complete list of authors and their presentation and book-signing schedules.

The NBA, WNBA and "Read to achieve"

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and members of the WNBA will be present to support the NBA and WBNA "Read to Achieve" program, which promotes the value of reading and online literacy and encourages adults to read regularly with young children. The event will take place in the Children's Pavilion, where the basketball stars will read a story to the audience.

Enhanced Media Options

This year's Media Pavilion will include enhanced accessibility for members of the press with telephone interview options for radio and television or print journalists who cannot attend the event. Three telephone lines will be located in the pavilion:

one analog (land) line: (202) 289-1985;
two voice-over IP (VOIP) lines: (202) 465-4700, (202) 465-4701.

Members of the press are requested to check-in in person at the Media Pavilion to collect press packets and the latest information about author availability or to request an interview with a particular author at the Festival.

Heloise, author of the "Hints for Heloise" column, will broadcast live nationwide on Liberty Broadcasting from the Media Pavilion from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET.

Same-Day Webcasts

For the first time, the Library will begin same-day Webcasts of selected authors' presentations from the Mysteries & Thrillers, Home & Family and Children's pavilions, available from the Library's Web site at

The Library and C-SPAN2

The Library has cooperated with C-SPAN2 to televise the National Book Festival History & Biography Pavilion events live. Book TV on C-SPAN2 covers the world of nonfiction books -- from works that have had an impact on history or politics to biographies and in-depth author interviews - every weekend across the country from Saturday at 8 a.m. ET, to Monday, 8 a.m. ET. Information about Book TV and C-SPAN listings and can be found online at

Collecting Oral Histories

The Veterans History Project and Voices of Civil Rights, two of the most popular oral history programs in the country, will be collecting stories at the festival. Veterans and civilians who supported them at home and those who wish to share their civil rights stories can speak with a volunteer, who will enter their oral accounts directly into computer terminals.

Created by the U.S. Congress, the Veterans History Project, part of the Library's American Folklife Center, is a growing collection of oral histories, memoirs, letters and photographs of personal accounts of war experiences submitted by veterans and civilian supporters.

Voices of Civil Rights is an oral history project presented by AARP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) and the Library of Congress. Over the next year, project personnel and volunteers will travel throughout the United States to collect and preserve thousands of personal stories, oral histories and personal artifacts of the Civil Rights Movement. The collection will form the world's largest archives of personal accounts of civil rights in America. It will be permanently housed at the Library of Congress.


PR 04-154
ISSN 0731-3527