May 17, 2012 (REVISED September 12, 2012) Vargas Llosa, Boyle, Brooks, Cornwell, Eugenides, Finney To Speak at 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival

Author Discusses How Participants Worked to Change the Nation

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
Contact: Jennifer Gavin (202) 707-1940

Renowned authors Mario Vargas Llosa, T.C. Boyle, Geraldine Brooks, Patricia Cornwell, Jeffrey Eugenides, and poet Nikky Finney will be among more than 100 writers speaking at the 12th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival, on Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, 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 noon to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, rain or shine.

Other authors and poets slated to appear at the festival include Natalie Babbitt, Bob Balaban, Robert Caro, Stephen L. Carter, Sandra Cisneros, Michael Connelly, Junot Diaz, Thomas Friedman, Joy Harjo, Steve Inskeep, Walter Isaacson, Jewel, Poet Laureate Philip Levine, Mike Lupica, Lois Lowry, David Maraniss, Walter Dean Myers, Mary Pope Osborne, Chris Raschka, Marilynne Robinson, Lisa Scottoline, R.L. Stine, Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, Craig Thompson, Colson Whitehead and Daniel Yergin.

The 2012 National Book Festival will feature authors, poets and illustrators in several pavilions, including two Sunday-only pavilions: Graphic Novels/Science Fiction and Special Presentations. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite poets and authors, get books signed, have photos taken with PBS storybook characters and participate in a variety of activities. An estimated 200,000 people attended in 2011.

Details about the Library of Congress National Book Festival will be found on its website at The website will soon offer a variety of features, and new material will be added to the website as authors continue to join this year’s lineup.

The 12th Library of Congress National Book Festival is part of a larger Library of Congress “Celebration of the Book” in 2012 and 2013. The celebration will encompass several events and an exhibition, opening late in June in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, featuring “Books That Shaped America.”

“The book’s role in passing knowledge from person to person, from generation to generation, is unique and irreplaceable,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

  • Peruvian Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Literature, has used his writing to oppose authoritarianism and to condemn societies that fetter personal freedom. His works include “The Time of the Hero” (1963), “The Green House” (1966), “Conversation in the Cathedral” (1969), “The War of the End of the World” (1987), “The Storyteller” (1987) and “The Dream of the Celt” (2010). In the early 1970s Vargas Llosa began to advocate democracy and the free market. In the late 1980s he ran unsuccessfully for the presidency of Peru, recorded in his memoir “A Fish in the Water” (1993).
  • T. C. Boyle is the author of 22 books, including, most recently, “When the Killing's Done” (2011). His awards include the PEN/Faulkner Prize for best novel of the year (“World's End,” 1988) and the PEN/Malamud Prize in the short story (“T.C. Boyle Stories,” 1999).
  • Author Geraldine Brooks, a native of Australia, worked as a reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald and in 1982 won a scholarship to the journalism master’s program at Columbia University in New York City. Later she worked for The Wall Street Journal, where she covered crises in the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans. Brooks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in fiction in 2006 for her novel “March.” Her first novel, “Year of Wonders,” was an international bestseller, and “People of the Book” became a New York Times bestseller.
  • Jeffrey Eugenides, a native of Detroit, published his first novel, “The Virgin Suicides,” to acclaim in 1993. His novel “Middlesex” won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, Best American Short Stories, The Gettysburg Review and Granta's "Best of Young American Novelists."
  • Patricia Cornwell is an award-winning and best-selling writer of forensic mysteries that focus on medical autopsies and investigations. Her novels are prized for their authenticity and revealing glimpses into the psychology of professionals at work. Cornwell has expanded the role of the female detective in the mystery genre; her early journalistic work, in which she witnessed autopsies, contributes detail to her writing.
  • Poet Nikky Finney came of age during the civil rights and Black Arts Movements. At Talladega College, nurtured by Hale Woodruff's Amistad murals, Finney began to understand the powerful synergy between art and history. She has authored four books of poetry: “Head Off & Split” (2011) which won the 2011 National Book Award for poetry; “The World Is Round” (2003); “Rice” (1995); and ”On Wings Made of Gauze” (1985). A professor of English and creative writing at the University of Kentucky, Finney also authored “Heartwood” (1997) edited “The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South” (2007), and co-founded the Affrilachian Poets.

Other poets, authors or illustrators slated to participate in the Library of Congress National Book Festival include Katherine Applegate, Avi, Fergus Bordewich, Natalie Pope Boyce, Christopher Bram, Giannina Braschi, Peter Brown, Douglas Brinkley, Bryan Collier, James Dashner, Anna Dewdney, Michael Dirda, Maria Dueñas, Stephen Dunn, John A. Farrell, Sharon Flake, John Gaddis, Michael Grant, Linda Greenhouse, Jenny Hahn, Charlaine Harris, Paul Hendrickson, Ellen Hopkins, Nalo Hopkinson, Tony Horwitz, Eloise James, Tayari Jones, Laura Kasischke, Charles Kupchan, Hope Larson, David Levithan, Margot Livesey, Thomas Mallon, Leonard Marcus, Sonia Manzano, Steven Millhauser, Corey Olsen, Patricia Polacco, Laura Amy Schlitz, Francesca Serritella, Susan Richards Shreve, Anita Silvey, Sally Bedell Smith, Jerry Spinelli, Philip C. and Erin E. Stead, Margie Stiefvater, David Ezra Stein, David O. Stewart, Raina Telgemeier, Jeffrey Toobin, Justin Torres, Vernor Vinge, Siobhan Vivian, Eric Weiner and Jacqueline Woodson.

Internationally known artist Rafael López, who has illustrated several books including “The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred” by Samantha R. Vamos, “My Name is Celia, Me Llamo Celia” by Monica Brown, “Our California” by Pam Muñoz Ryan and “Book Fiesta!” and “Yum! MmMm! Que Rico!” by Pat Mora, designed the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival poster and will speak at the festival.

Representatives from across the United States and its territories will celebrate their unique literary offerings in the Pavilion of the States. The Let’s Read America Pavilion will offer reading activities that are fun for the whole family. The Library of Congress Pavilion will showcase treasures in the Library’s vast online collections and offer information about Library programs. Sponsor Target will reprise its “Family Storytelling Stage” featuring authors and musical acts popular with young children.

The 2012 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of National Book Festival Board Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein; Charter Sponsors Target, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patrons the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS; Contributors Barnes & Noble; Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive 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, The Junior League of Washington and The Links.

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,


PR 12-103
ISSN 0731-3527