May 24, 2011 (REVISED July 7, 2011) McCullough, Morrison, Mukherjee, Egan, Banks, Eggers, McMillan, Keillor, Chua Headline 2011 National Book Festival

Event Expands to Two Days on National Mall, Sept. 24-25

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer, (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Jennifer Gavin (202) 707-1940

World-renowned authors David McCullough, Russell Banks, Dave Eggers, Terry McMillan, Pulitzer Prize-winners Siddhartha Mukherjee and Jennifer Egan, Garrison Keillor, Amy Chua and Nobel- and Pulitzer Prize-winner Toni Morrison will be among more than 80 writers speaking at the 11th annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, on Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011, between 9th and 14th streets on the National Mall. The event, free and open to the public, will run from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine.

Other authors slated to appear at the festival include Edmund Morris, Louis Bayard, Isabel Wilkerson, pianist Leon Fleisher, former Poet Laureate Rita Dove, Hoda Kotb of the “Today” show, Gregory Maguire, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Katherine Paterson, television newsman Jim Lehrer, actress/children’s book author Julianne Moore and Esmeralda Santiago.

The 2011 National Book Festival will feature authors, poets and illustrators in several pavilions, including two new genre pavilions: Cutting Edge and Graphic Novels. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite authors, get books signed, have photos taken with PBS storybook characters and participate in a variety of activities. Some 150,000 book fans attended the 10th-anniversary festival in 2010.

Celebrating the joys of reading aloud will be the theme of this 11th National Book Festival. Details will come soon to the website at The website offers a variety of features, and new material will be added to the website as authors continue to join this year’s lineup.

“We are delighted to expand this joyful event that celebrates the love of books and reading,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “More is more – more authors, more convenience in moving about the grounds and more emphasis on bringing a whole new generation of readers to the world through reading aloud.”

Toni Morrison, who has won both the Nobel Prize for her body of work and the Pulitzer Prize for her novel “Beloved,” most recently has published “A Mercy” (Vintage). She is the Robert F. Goheen Professor in the Humanities Emeritus at Princeton University.

David McCullough, dubbed the “citizen chronicler” for his meticulously researched and beautifully written history books, has won two Pulitzer prizes for his works “Truman” and “John Adams,” as well as the National Book Award for “The Path Between the Seas” and “Mornings on Horseback.” His latest book, “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris” (Simon & Schuster) explores the travels of Americans of genius between 1830 and 1900.

Russell Banks, the author of more than a dozen works of fiction, most recently has published “The Lost Memory of Skin” (Ecco). His novel “The Darling” is to become a major motion picture directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Cate Blanchett.

Dave Eggers, whose latest book is “Zeitoun” (Random House), tells of the journey of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian-American owner of a painting and contracting firm in New Orleans who traveled the city in a second-hand canoe following Hurricane Katrina, rescuing neighbors, caring for abandoned pets and distributing fresh water.

Terry McMillan’s latest book is “Getting to Happy” (Viking), the sequel to “Waiting to Exhale,” a hit novel that was made into a movie.

Siddhartha Mukherjee, a cancer physician and researcher, was just awarded the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction for his book “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” (Scribner). He tells the story of this dreaded disease, from its origins to the global battle to cure, control and conquer it.

Jennifer Egan won this year’s Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “A Visit From the Goon Squad,” a collection of linked stories in which she explores, through her characters, the passage of time and its effect on their lives.

Garrison Keillor is the creator of the fictional and beloved town of Lake Wobegon, from which sprang a national radio program, “A Prairie Home Companion,” and a series of books. Keillor also hosts a daily radio show, “The Writer’s Almanac,” and supports the cause of poetry, most recently through his latest book “Good Poems, American Places” (Viking).

Amy Chua created a sensation with her book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” (Penguin). In it she describes the strict, traditional child-rearing she chose for her two daughters, who were not allowed to watch television, play computer games, or bring home a report card with any grade lower than “A,” among other restrictions. A law professor at Yale, Chua also has authored two other best-selling books including “World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethic Hatred and Global Instability” and “Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance – and Why They Fall.”

Other authors and illustrators slated to participate in the National Book Festival include Joel Achenbach, Sherman Alexie, Mary Brigid Barrett, Steve Berry, Harry Bliss, Calef Brown, Cassandra Clare, Susan Cooper, Michael Cunningham, Tomi dePaola, Sarah Dessen, Joshua Foer, Eric Foner, Jack Gantos, Margaret George, Adam Goodheart, Mary Gordon, Jessica Harris, Joe Hayes, Terrance Hayes, Maya Jasanoff, William Joyce, Marc Kaufman, Yusef Komunyakaa, Gordon Korman, Uma Krishnaswami, Sam McBratney, Patricia McKissack, John Bemelmans Marciano, Candice Millard, Kristie Miller, Shelia P. Moses, Sylvia Nasar, Kadir Nelson, Sara Paretsky, Linda Pastan, Carla L. Peterson, Allen Say, Gary Schmidt, Elizabeth Hun Schmidt, Brian Selznick, Neal Stephenson, James Swanson, Sarah Vowell, Douglas Waller, Chris Van Dusen, Rita Williams-Garcia and Jonathan Yardley.

Internationally known artist Jon J. Muth, who has illustrated several children’s and fantasy books including “Zen Shorts,” “Zen Ties” and his most recent book, “Zen Ghosts,” has created the 2011 National Book Festival poster and will speak at the National Book Festival.

Representatives from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories will celebrate their unique literary offerings in the Pavilion of the States. The popular Let’s Read America Pavilion will offer reading activities that are fun for the whole family. The Library of Congress Pavilion will showcase the cultural treasures to be found in the Library’s vast online collections and offer information about popular Library programs. The Library’s “Gateway to Knowledge” truck-based traveling exhibition will return to the National Book Festival after a year of visiting scores of small towns.

The 2011 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of National Book Festival Board Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein; Distinguished Corporate Benefactor Target; Charter Sponsors The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patrons AT&T, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The James Madison Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS; Contributors Barnes & Noble, Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive, Penguin Group (USA), and Scholastic Inc.; and—in the Friends category--the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction; The Hay-Adams and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV and The Junior League of Washington.

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 can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at


PR 11-108
ISSN 0731-3527