August 3, 2016 Full Slate of Authors Confirmed for 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival

More Than 120 Writers, Poets and Illustrators to Participate

Press Contact: Gayle Osterberg (202) 707-0020
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221
Website: National Book Festival

The extraordinary roster of writers, poets and artists who will participate in the 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival has now been confirmed for the 16th annual event, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Many of America’s—and the world’s—most impressive and best known authors have accepted the Library’s invitation to discuss and sign their work in the nation’s largest free book festival.

The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein. Charter sponsors are AARP, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron sponsors, The James Madison Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; the Contributor-level sponsors are FedEx, The Junior League of Washington and Scholastic Inc.; and, in the Friends category, the Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc., GEICO, the Embassy of Italy, the Embassy of Latvia, the Embassy of Sweden, the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, The Hay-Adams, Mensa Education and Research Foundation, the Mexican Cultural Institute, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Small Press Expo, SPAIN arts & culture and Split This Rock. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at

Authors recently added to the National Book Festival lineup include civil rights legend and graphic novelist Rep. John Lewis, NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Caldecott Award-winning artist and writer Jerry Pinkney, renowned documentarian Ken Burns, New Yorker writer Calvin Trillin, rising star Yaa Gyasi, best-selling thriller writer Harlan Coben, Mexican novelist Álvaro Enrigue, historian Candice Millard, best-selling novelist Kristin Hannah, New Yorker cultural critic Adam Gopnik, Moroccan-born novelist Laila Lalami and two-time Newbery Medal winner Lois Lowry.

For the second consecutive year, the festival will offer an International stage, which will feature fiction and nonfiction writers from many nations, including Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Morocco, Sweden, Spain and Uruguay. The International stage will open with a special tribute to author Primo Levi, the Italian scientist and Auschwitz survivor who became an exemplary voice of conscience after World War II. The panel will feature Primo Levi’s translator, Ann Goldstein of the New Yorker, as well as the magazine’s cultural critic Adam Gopnik, and will be moderated by Michael Abramowitz, director of the Committee on Conscience at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Following are the confirmed participants and events for the 2016 Library of Congress National Book Festival:

  • Main Stage: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Stephen King, Shonda Rhimes, Salman Rushdie, Raina Telgemeier, Bob Woodward
  • Children: A Book That Shaped Me/Letters About Literature writing contests, Raymond Arroyo, Kate Beaton, Andrea Beaty, Aaron Becker, Sophie Blackall, Tonya Bolden, Louise Borden, Ken Burns, Doreen Cronin, Callista Gingrich, Thomas Gonzalez, Shannon Hale, Nadia Hashimi, Betsy Lewin, Juana Medina, Janet Nolan, Jerry Pinkney, Jason Reynolds, Sharon Robinson, Pam Muñoz Ryan, Calvin Trillin, Hervé Tullet, Brendan Wenzel
  • Teens: Kwame Alexander, Ali Benjamin, Edwidge Danticat, Brendan Kiely, Jo Knowles, Lois Lowry, Meg Medina, Holly Robinson Peete, Paul Rudnick, Kiersten White, Gene Luen Yang
  • Books to Movies Program: Monica Hesse (moderator), Patrick Ness, Katherine Paterson
  • Contemporary Life: Jabari Asim, Alejandro Danois, Angela J. Davis, Susan Jacoby, Jo Ann Jenkins, James McBride, Diane Rehm, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Jeffrey Toobin
  • Fiction: Charlie Jane Anders, Geraldine Brooks, Harlan Coben, Justin Cronin, Newt Gingrich, Lauren Groff, Winston Groom, Yaa Gyasi, Elizabeth Hand, Kristin Hannah, Carl Hiaasen, Steven J. Israel, Jay McInerney, Joyce Carol Oates, Hannah Pittard, Marilynne Robinson, Richard Russo, Colson Whitehead, Jacqueline Woodson
  • Food & Home: William Allman, Chuck Fischer, Alessandro Frassica, Adam Gopnik, Victor Hazan, Déborah Holtz, Pati Jinich, Roland Mesnier, Betty Monkman
  • Graphic Novels: Andrew Aydin, Darrin Bell, Berkeley Breathed, Rep. John Lewis, Ed Piskor, Michael Ramirez, Noelle Stevenson, Gene Luen Yang
  • History & Biography: Douglas Brinkley, Annette Gordon-Reed, Margo Jefferson, Jon Meacham, Candice Millard, Peter S. Onuf, Katherine Paterson, Stacy Schiff, Sarah Vowell, Joby Warrick
  • International: Roberto Canessa, Ann Goldstein, Adam Gopnik, Álvaro Enrigue, Nora Ikstena (with translator Margita Gailitis), Jonas Hassen Khemiri, Laila Lalami, Alberto Ruy Sánchez, Carlos Ruiz Zafón
  • Poetry & Prose: Poetry Out Loud student contest, Michael Cunningham, Marilyn Hacker, Joy Harjo, Mary Karr, Kelly Link, Eileen Myles, Ron Rash, Yuko Shimizu, A.B. Spellman, Luis Alberto Urrea
  • Poetry Slam with young poets
  • Science: James Gleick, Michael Hiltzik, Peter D. Kramer, Janna Levin, Joseph Mazur, Amy Ellis Nutt, Mary Roach, Eliezer Sternberg, Eric Weiner

For more information, visit the National Book Festival website. Later this summer, the National Book Festival App will be updated with complete presenter, schedule and wayfinding information for iOS or Android smartphones. Follow the festival on Twitter at @librarycongress with hashtag #NatBookFest.

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PR 16-121
ISSN 0731-3527