January 22, 2020 (REVISED March 12, 2020) National Book Festival Presents Winter and Spring Events as Series Continues

Early 2020 Lineup Includes: Alice McDermott, Douglas Brinkley, Margaret Atwood, Nan Talese, Richard Ford, Joy Harjo and More

Press Contact: Brett Zongker (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Website: National Book Festival Presents
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In winter and spring 2020, the National Book Festival Presents Alice McDermott, Douglas Brinkley, Jeanne Theoharis, Nan Talese, Margaret Atwood, Richard Ford, and more.

The Library will be closed to the public, including researchers and others with reader identification cards, until Wednesday, April 1, 2020,  to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 coronavirus. During the closure, all Library-sponsored public programs, including some events in the series National Book Festival Presents, are postponed or cancelled.

National Book Festival Presents, the new series from the Library of Congress showcasing authors, their books, and related Library treasures, will continue with a winter and spring season of events featuring Alice McDermott, Douglas Brinkley, Margaret Atwood, Nan Talese, Richard Ford, Joy Harjo and other authors.

The season will kick off with “Fearless: A Tribute to Irish American Women” on Feb. 6, featuring novelist Alice McDermott in conversation with Pennsylvania Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon and CBS News’ Margaret Brennan.

The Feb. 6 program begins at 7 p.m. in the Coolidge Auditorium on the ground floor of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E. The event is open to the public and presented in collaboration with the Embassy of Ireland. Free tickets are available at eventbrite.com/e/90177149281. Signed copies of McDermott’s latest novel are available for pre-purchase.

McDermott’s critically acclaimed eighth novel, “The Ninth Hour,” set in Irish Brooklyn, was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2017 Kirkus Prize for Fiction. Time magazine, The Wall Street Journal, NPR and others named the novel among the top works of fiction in 2017. McDermott is known for her portrayals of Irish American family life.

Scanlon is an education and human rights advocate representing Pennsylvania’s 5th District. She was first sworn in as a member of Congress on Nov. 13, 2018. Brennan is moderator of CBS News’ “Face the Nation” and the network’s senior foreign affairs correspondent based in Washington. All three women will discuss their Irish backgrounds and family stories.

National Book Festival Presents author events will be free to the public, though registration will be required. Subscribe here for email updates on ticketing and book sales. Ticketing links are included for February events here. Ticketing information for future events will be released at loc.gov/bookfest/nbf-presents.

The National Book Festival Presents winter/spring 2020 season will continue with the following events:

  • Thursday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium: “Rosa Parks: The History and the Heart” with Parks biographers Douglas Brinkley (“Rosa Parks: A Life”) and Jeanne Theoharis (“The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks”) and NPR’s Michel Martin. The event is in celebration of African American History Month and the Library’s new exhibition “Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words,” which will be open for extended hours before the event. Free tickets are required and available at this site: eventbrite.com/e/90351071487. Signed copies of the authors’ books are available for pre-purchase.
  • POSTPONED: Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium: “State of the Art: Great American Editors.” Nan Talese, legendary fiction editor, in conversation with novelist Margaret Atwood, author of “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Moderated by Library of Congress Literary Director Marie Arana. Additional Great American Editors programs are planned to celebrate groundbreaking editors and their authors. Event will be rescheduled at a later date.
  • CANCELED: Friday, March 13, at 9:30 a.m., Coolidge Auditorium: Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature and Symposium, co-sponsored by We Need Diverse Books. Award-winning author Grace Lin will serve as the ceremony’s emcee; the symposium will feature finalists and winners. The event is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.
  • CANCELED: Thursday, March 19, at 7 p.m., Room LJ-119: Author Jeffrey Rosen will discuss his new book, “Conversations with RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Life, Love, Liberty and Law.
  • POSTPONED: Thursday, April 2, at 7 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium: Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction: “A Good Story Knows No Borders.” Prize winner Richard Ford will offer a talk and then discuss the universality of fiction and the power of translation with Frank Heibert, Ford’s German translator. Moderated by Library of Congress Literary Director Marie Arana. Event will be rescheduled at a later date.
  • CANCELED: Thursday, April 30, at 7 p.m., Coolidge Auditorium: The closing event of 23rd U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo. Co-sponsored by the Library’s American Folklife Center and Music Division.
  • Thursday, May 7, at 7 p.m., Room LJ-119: “Discovering the Americas We Never Knew.” To celebrate the ancient world, Library of Congress cartography expert John Hessler will discuss his new book about Pre-Columbian cultures, “Collecting for the New World,” published by the Library. Hessler is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London. Free tickets are required and will be available for reservation on April 2.
  • Thursday, May 21, at 7 p.m., Room LJ-119: Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic Philip Kennicott of the Washington Post will discuss his new book, “Counterpoint,” about his life in music. Free tickets are required and will be available for reservation on April 30.

Book sales for National Book Festival Presents events will be provided in collaboration with East City Books.

The Library’s National Book Festival, founded in 2001, will continue to host the signature daylong festival this year, celebrating its 20th anniversary on Aug. 29, 2020.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


PR 20-004
ISSN 0731-3527