August 22, 2012 (REVISED September 12, 2012) Rep. John Lewis, Jeff Kinney, Mario Vargas Llosa, Patricia Cornwell To Speak at 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival

Event to Take Place on National Mall Sept. 22 and 23

Press Contact: Jennifer Gavin (202) 707-1940

Renowned authors U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, David and Julie Nixon Eisenhower, Jeff Kinney, Gail Tsukiyama, Susan Hertog, Lien-Hang Nguyen and Christopher Paolini will join a speakers’ lineup of more than 100 authors, including Mario Vargas Llosa, T.C. Boyle, Geraldine Brooks, Patricia Cornwell, Jeffrey Eugenides and poet Nikky Finney 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 Bob Balaban, Donna Britt, Lois McMaster Bujold, Robert Caro, Stephen L. Carter, Sandra Cisneros, Michael Connelly, Junot Diaz, Thomas Friedman, John Green, Joy Harjo, Steve Inskeep, Walter Isaacson, Jewel, Philip Levine, Mike Lupica, Lois Lowry, David Maraniss, Melissa Marr, Walter Dean Myers, Mary Pope Osborne, Chris Raschka, Marilynne Robinson, Lisa Scottoline, Jean Edward Smith, R.L. Stine, Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, Susan Tejada, Craig Thompson, Colson Whitehead and Daniel Yergin.

The 2012 National Book Festival will feature authors, poets and illustrators in several pavilions, including two on Sunday only: Sci Fi/Fantasy/Graphic Novels and Special Presentations. Festival-goers can attend talks by their favorite poets and authors, purchase books and get books signed, have photos taken with characters from children’s television shows and participate in a variety of activities. An estimated 200,000 people attended the festival in 2011.

Details about the Library of Congress National Book Festival can be found on its website at

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 includes the current exhibition “Books That Shaped America,” a list of 88 fiction and nonfiction works that can be seen – and commented on via a survey – on the National Book Festival website,

U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a major figure in the civil rights movement who organized student sit-ins at segregated lunch counters and joined in the freedom rides of the 1960s, recently authored “Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change.” Lewis helped form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which he later chaired. His leadership in the Alabama march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in 1965, later dubbed “Bloody Sunday” for the violent law-enforcement reaction to the marchers, helped hasten the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Elected to Congress in 1986, Lewis – who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and the Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support and is ranking member of its Subcommittee on Oversight -- also has written “Walking With the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement.”

Jeff Kinney is the author and illustrator of the best-selling “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” series that outlines the misadventures of a middle-school student. Kinney once aspired to be a comic-strip artist after working on a strip while attending the University of Maryland in the 1990s. His “Wimpy Kid” concept was a work in progress for eight years before the first book in the series was published in 2007 and became a best-seller. Kinney now lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two sons; he also develops online games and created a website,

Christopher Paolini, whose fantasy works include “Eragon,” Eldest,” “Brisingr” and “Inheritance,” was 15 when he wrote the first draft of “Eragon” in 2001. The book was self-published before being brought to the attention of the publishing house Alfred A. Knopf; his works now reach a global audience. The first three books in the series have sold 25 million copies worldwide. Paolini has lived in Southern California and Montana.

In addition to the festival’s special activities for children and teens, this year’s festival will include a “Special Presentations” mini-pavilion on Sunday featuring discussions of the 50th anniversary of Madeleine L’Engle’s book “A Wrinkle in Time” and the 75th anniversary of the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” Also in that pavilion, awards will be given to the young winners of a “Books That Shaped Me” essay contest offered by the Library of Congress in cooperation with the District of Columbia Public Library.

Other authors and illustrators slated to participate in the Library of Congress National Book Festival include Jill Abramson, Tom Angleberger, Avi, Mac Barnett, Annie Barrows, Fergus Bordewich, Natalie Pope Boyce, Christopher Bram, Giannina Braschi, Marc Brown, Peter Brown, Douglas Brinkley, Nick Bruel, Michael Buckley, Esme Raji Codell, Bryan Collier, James Dashner, Anna Dewdney, Michael Dirda, Maria Dueñas, Stephen Dunn, Kathleen Ernst, John A. Farrell, Sharon Flake, John Gaddis, Michael Grant, Linda Greenhouse, Jenny Hahn, Charlaine Harris, Paul Hendrickson, Tad Hills, Ellen Hopkins, Nalo Hopkinson, Tony Horwitz, Elois James, Tayari Jones, Laura Kasischke, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Charles Kupchan, Hope Larson, David Levithan, Margot Livesey, Matt Luckhurst, Thomas Mallon, Leonard Marcus, Sonia Manzano, Steven Millhauser, Dominique Moceanu, Jane O’Connor, Corey Olsen, Patricia Polacco, Adam Rex, Peter Reynolds, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Rachel Renee Russell, Laura Amy Schlitz, Francesca Serritella, Bob Shea, Susan Richards Shreve, Judy Sierra, Anita Silvey, David Small, Sally Bedell Smith, Jerry Spinelli, Philip C. and Erin E. Stead, Sarah Stewart, Maggie Stiefvater, David Ezra Stein, David O. Stewart, Raina Telgemeier, Jeffrey Toobin, Justin Torres, Vernor Vinge, Siobhan Vivian, Eric Weiner, Jacqueline Woodson and Ed Young.

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. Charter Sponsor Target will reprise its “Family Storytelling Stage” featuring authors (including Kinney) 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, Wells Fargo and the Institute of Museum and Library Services; Patrons the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS; Contributors Barnes & Noble; Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive, LEGO Systems, Inc. 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 12-148
ISSN 0731-3527