July 7, 2009 John Grisham, John Irving, Jodi Picoult, Judy Blume Among Authors at 2009 National Book Festival

Ninth Annual Event to be Sept. 26 on the National Mall

Press Contact: Jennifer Gavin (202) 707-1940
Public Contact: Roberta Stevens (202) 707-1550
Contact: An online pressroom is available at www.loc.gov/pressroom | See the National Book Festival website at www.loc.gov/bookfest

Bestselling authors David Baldacci, John Grisham, John Irving, Julia Alvarez, Judy Blume, Ken Burns, Gwen Ifill and Jodi Picoult—as well as celebrity chef Paula Deen—will be among scores of authors and illustrators presenting at the 2009 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress. Now in its ninth year, this popular event celebrating the joys of reading and lifelong literacy will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009,on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 7th and 14th Streets from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (rain or shine). The event, for which the Honorary Chairs are President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, is free and open to the public. More than 120,000 people attended the festival last year.

“This promises to be one of our most exciting author lineups ever,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “This year’s National Book Festival truly offers something for everyone, with books by popular and award-winning authors in many genres and for all age groups.”

The 2009 National Book Festival also will incorporate several new social-networking features, including Twitter (@ librarycongress ), to more actively engage festival-goers and help them receive the latest festival news, schedules and other information.

The poster for the National Book Festival has been illustrated by noted author/artist Charles Santore of Philadelphia. Santore has written and illustrated “The Silk Princess,” “The Three Hungry Pigs” and “The Wolf Who Came to Dinner,” and has illustrated “The Wizard of Oz” and “Aesop’s Fables.” His “William the Curious” won a Storytelling World honor in 1999 from Storytelling magazine, and he was awarded a gold medal from the Original Art Show in 2000 for his book “A Stowaway on Noah’s Ark.” Santore’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Brandywine Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

Authors slated to make presentations at the 2009 National Book Festival include:

  • Children’s authors Holly Black and Tony DiTerlizzi, Kate DiCamillo, Shannon Hale, Craig Hatkoff, Lois Lowry, Megan McDonald, Sharon Robinson and Kadir Nelson, Charles Santore, Jon Scieszka and David Shannon, and Mo Willems;
  • Teens & Children authors Judy Blume, Pat Carman, Paula Deen, Carmen Agra Deedy, Liz Kessler, Jeff Kinney, Rick Riordan, James L. Swanson and Jacqueline Woodson;
  • History & Biography authors Douglas Brinkley and David A. Taylor, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan, Kirstin Downey, Haynes Johnson and Dan Balz, Gwen Ifill, Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor, Mark Kurlansky, Jon Meacham, Rickey Minor, Asar Nafisi, Annette Gordon-Reed, Simon Schama and Patricia Sullivan;
  • Fiction & Fantasy authors Sabiha Al Khemir, Julia Alvarez, Junot Diaz, John Grisham, John Irving, Katherine Neville, Jodi Picoult, Nicholas Sparks, Jeannette Walls, Colson Whitehead and David Wroblewski;
  • Mysteries & Thrillers authors David Baldacci, Lee Child, Mary Jane Clark, Michael Connelly, Craig Johnson and Walter Mosley;
  • Poetry & Prose authors Edward Hirsch, Jane Hirshfield, student winners in the Poetry Out Loud competition and Kay Ryan, Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress.

Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite authors, purchase books by festival authors, get books signed by authors, have photos taken with PBS storybook characters and participate in a variety of fun learning activities.

C-SPAN plans to broadcast live, over television and radio, from the National Book Festival site on the National Mall, and the C-SPAN Civics Bus will be onsite.

Borders will be the official bookseller of the National Book Festival.

The Pavilion of the States will represent reading- and literacy-promotion programs and literary events in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. trusts and territories. The popular Let’s Read America pavilions will offer reading activities that are fun for the whole family.

The 2009 National Book Festival is made possible through the support of Target, the Distinguished Benefactor; Charter Sponsor The Washington Post; Patrons AT&T, Institute of Museum and Library Services, The James Madison Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts; Contributors Borders, the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union, PBS, Penguin Group (USA), ReadAloud.org, and Scholastic Inc.; and Friends the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV for providing onsite coverage of the festival and to the Junior League of Washington for providing 400 volunteers for the event.

An online pressroom is available at www.loc.gov/pressroom

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library’s website, www.loc.gov, and via interactive exhibitions on myLOC.gov.


PR 09-134
ISSN 0731-3527