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2023 National Book Festival

It’s Here! The 2023 National Book Festival Author Lineup

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The long-awaited moment has come. The 2023 Library of Congress National Book Festival author lineup is here!


The 2023 Festival will return to the Washington Convention Center on Saturday, Aug. 12. The festival theme, “Everyone Has a Story,” celebrates the storyteller in us all. We can’t wait to hear the compelling, fun, thought-provoking, and captivating stories from our featured authors.


If you are not able to join the festival in person, tune into sessions throughout the day on Videos of all presentations will be made available on demand in the weeks after the festival. We’ll be sharing the schedule and more details here on the Bookmarked blog as we approach the festival.



For those who love a good memoir: we will feature actor Elliot Page’s “Pageboy” and R.K. Russell’s “The Yards Between Us: A Memoir of Life, Love and Football.” Uyghur poet Tahir Hamut Izgil will share about his homeland and the persecution of Muslim minorities in western China.

For those who love the intersection of history and cutting edge current events, Douglas Brinkley and David Lipsky will discuss the history of climate change. Matthew Desmond will discuss his latest work “Poverty, by America.” John Lisle and Janet Wallach will discuss their books on the history of spies and American spy craft.

Foodies and culinary appreciators, this one’s for you: explore the role of food in your family’s story with Cheuk Kwan, author of “Have You Eaten Yet: Stories from Chinese Restaurants Around the World,” and Anya von Bremzen, author of “National Dish: Around the World in Search of Food, History and the Meaning of Home.”


True crime junkies will explore the role of race in true crime media during a conversation featuring award-winning author Rebecca Makkai, who will share her latest novel “I Have Some Questions for You,” and crime journalist Sarah Weinman, author of “Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning.”

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and poet Camille T. Dungy discuss how contemporary poets and poems connect us to the natural world in Harjo’s “Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light: 50 Poems for 50 Years” and Dungy’s nonfiction work “Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden.”

Fore clear-eyed views on our complex world, check out George Saunders’s session with his latest collection of stories in “Liberation Day.” The 2022 Prize for American Fiction winner Jesmyn Ward will share why fiction matters.

Fantasy, horror, sci-fi readers, we have taken care of you too: TJ Klune returns with another fantasy adventure, “In the Lives of Puppets,” a tale of artificial intelligence robots and their human son. The inimitable horror author Grady Hendrix and the master of Afrofuturistic tales, Tananarive Due, will discuss the many ways humans can be haunted.


Young adult readers will enjoy a conversation with the authors of “White Bird” R.J. Palacio and Erica S. Perl, as well as a magical new folktale from Grace Lin, “Once Upon a Book.”


There is plenty for teens (and adults who love YA, of course): Educator Chasten Buttigieg will share his memoir, “I Have Something to Tell You – For Young Adults.” National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina shares the graphic novel adaptation of “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass” with the novel’s illustrator Mel Valentine Vargas.


The National Book Festival will take place on Saturday, Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. The festival is free and open to everyone, and ticketing is not required.

Follow to learn more about attending the festival. A comprehensive schedule will be announced in the coming weeks on the Library’s Bookmarked blog. Subscribe to the blog for updates on festival plans and more.


Full Lineup of Featured Authors by Genre


Elizabeth Acevedo discusses her new novel, “Family Lore,” a story that explores mutigenerational experiences, reckoning with death and living authentically.

Animals Talk to Me: Narrators From the Wild Henry Hoke and Shelby Van Pelt explore how animals and humans learn from one another in their new novels “Open Throat” (Hoke) and “Remarkably Bright Creatures” (Van Pelt).

Alone With a Secret: Novels That Provoke and Reveal Victor LaValle’s historical fiction “Lone Women” and Kevin Wilson’s “Now Is Not the Time to Panic” feature protagonists made lonely with the weight of their secrets.

The Family You Need, the Family You Create: Literary Fiction Esmeralda Santiago and Luis Alberto Urrea discuss how we create our own families with their novels “Las Madres” (Santiago) and “Good Night, Irene” (Urrea).

George Saunders shares his latest collection of stories in “Liberation Day.”

Amor Towles shares his novel “The Lincoln Highway,” a story about a fateful journey fleeing home.

Why Fiction Matters Jesmyn Ward, former Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction winner and author of the National Book Award-winning “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” explores why fiction matters.

Genre Fiction

Backroads and Buried Bodies: Southern Noir – Known for his Southern noir crime fiction, S.A. Cosby shares his latest novel “All the Sinners Bleed.”

Hauntings Aren’t Just for Houses: Horror Fiction Tananarive Due, award-winning writer of Black horror and Afrofuturism, explores her new collection “The Wishing Pool and Other Stories” with Grady Hendrix, whose original take on humor and horror is alive in “How to Sell a Haunted House.”

AI: They Just Want to Be Our Friends – Known for fantasy stories with LGBTQ+ representation, TJ Klune discusses his latest novel “In the Lives of Puppets,” which tells the story of a family of robots and their human son.

My Gig at the Godzilla Preserve – The Hugo Award-winning science fiction writer John Scalzi discusses “The Kaiju Preservation Society,” set in a New York City beset by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fiction and Nonfiction

Body Count: Talking About Crime in Our Age of ReckoningRebecca Makkai, award-winning author of “The Great Believers,” returns with “I Have Some Questions for You” in conversation with crime journalist Sarah Weinman, author of “Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning.” Makkai and Weinman discuss the intersection of race and true crime media – and society’s fascination with unsolved cases.

Biography, History and Memoir

History Is Heating Up: Environmental Awakening vs. Climate Change Denial Douglas Brinkley discusses the history of climate change and his new work “Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and the Great Environmental Awakening,” with David Lipsky, author of “The Parrot and the Igloo: Climate and the Science of Denial.”

Capital Secrets: J. Edgar Hoover’s Shadowy Reign Beverly Gage discusses the nuances of Hoover’s life in “G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century” alongside James Kirchick, author of “Secret City: The Hidden History of Gay Washington.”

David Grann discusses “The Wager: A Tale of Shipwreck, Mutiny and Murder.”

John Hendrickson explores society’s view of disability in “Life on Delay: Making Peace With a Stutter.”

Records of Survival: Escaping Genocide and Human TraffickingTahir Hamut Izgil and Saket Soni discuss their experiences with human trafficking and genocide in “Waiting to Be Arrested at Night: A Uyghur Poet’s Memoir of China’s Genocide” (Izgil) and “The Great Escape: A True Story of Forced Labor and Immigrant Dreams in America” (Soni).

My Life, Considered – NPR journalist Mary Louise Kelly explores the story of her life and career in “It. Goes. So. Fast.: The Year of No Do-Overs.”

Accidental Spies: The Scientist and the SocialiteJohn Lisle, author of the new work “The Dirty Tricks Department: Stanley Lovell, the OSS and the Masterminds of World War II Secret Warfare” discusses spy craft with Janet Wallach, author of “Flirting with Danger: The Mysterious Life of Marguerite Harrison, Socialite Spy.”

Actor Elliot Page discusses his new memoir “Pageboy.”

Yards Between Us: Sports and American Culture R.K. Russell explores the intersection of American culture and sports in “The Yards Between Us: A Memoir of Life, Love and Football.”


Behind the Scenes with Black Writers Jericho Brown, Camille T. Dungy and Tiphanie Yanique share their craft in “How We Do It: Black Writers on Craft, Practice and Skill.”

Matthew Desmond discusses his latest work “Poverty, by America.”

AphroChic: Celebrating the Black Family Home Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason share their inspiring and revealing new book.

Dig In: What Food Says About Us – Explore the meaning of food with Cheuk Kwan, author of “Have You Eaten Yet: Stories from Chinese Restaurants Around the World,” and Anya von Bremzen, author of “National Dish: Around the World in Search of Food, History and the Meaning of Home.”

Siddhartha Mukherjee discusses “The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human.”

Poetry and Nonfiction

The World Offers Itself to Your Imagination: Nature Poetry – Former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, author of “Weaving Sundown in a Scarlet Light: 50 Poems for 50 Years,” and Camille T. Dungy, writer of “Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden,” discuss how contemporary poets and poems connect us to the natural world. 

Redacting and Retelling: New Ways of Confronting Systemic Racism Shane McCrae discusses “Pulling the Chariot of the Sun: A Memoir of a Kidnapping,” with Nicole Sealey, author of the work of poetry “The Ferguson Report: An Erasure.”

Myths and Promises: Decoding “Latino” in America José Olivarez and Héctor Tobar explore their heritage in “Promises of Gold” (Olivarez) and “Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of ‘Latino’” (Tobar).

For Teens and Adults

Chasten Buttigieg Has Something to Tell You (Hint: It’s About Finding Yourself) –The teacher and advocate discusses his memoir “I Have Something to Tell You – For Young Adults.”

I’m Already Stressed About Homework, You Need Me to Solve a Mystery Too?
Dive into new murder mysteries with
Nick Brooks’ “Promise Boys” and Karen M. McManus’ “One of Us Is Back.”

Ruta Sepetys discusses “You: The Story: A Writer’s Guide to Craft Through Memory.”

Young Adults

Lie, Fight, Gatekeep: Girls vs. the Power Angeline Boulley and Amélie Wen Zhao explore the strength and resolve of teenagers in their books “Warrior Girl Unearthed” (Boulley) and “Song of Silver, Flame Like Night” (Zhao).

How Can We Deal with the World’s Injustices? Ask a Teen!Lesa Cline-Ransome and Jennifer De Leon present teens reckoning with injustices in “For Lamb” (Cline-Ransome) and “Borderless” (De Leon).

Will and Jane 2.0: Classics Updated Sayantani DasGupta and Brittany N. Williams share the importance of diversity in fairy tales and classics in “Rosewood: A Midsummer Meet Cute” (DasGupta) and “That Self-Same Metal” (Williams).

“Take a Trip,” They Said. “You’ll Have a Great Time!” They Said. Teens experience terror at vacation destinations in Trang Thanh Tran’s “She Is a Haunting.”

National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina shares the graphic novel adaptation of “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass” with the novel’s illustrator Mel Valentine Vargas.

When Lies and Secrets Come Into the Light Mark Oshiro shares his new work “Into the Light” and Linda Kao shares “A Crooked Mark.”

Graphic Novels

Alan Gratz shares his latest work “Captain America: The Ghost Army.”

Me, My Story, My PicturesJarrett J. Krosoczka and Pedro Martín explore the experiences of multigenerational road trips and youthful summer memories in “Sunshine” (Krosoczka) and “Mexikid” (Martín).

Middle Grade

Adults Are the Worst, Especially on the Ancient Silk RoadDaniel Nayeri tells a tale of an unexpected journey on the Silk Road in “The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams.”

What If? Time Travel, Supervillains and Other Everyday Things Jamar Nicholas and Nisi Shawl share their imaginative works of fiction “Leon the Extraordinary” (Nicholas) and “Speculation” (Shawl).

Witchlings Go On a New Adventure Claribel A. Ortega navigates magic and friendships in the second Witchlings book, “The Golden Frog Games.”

White Bird: Deep in the Wonder Universe with R.J. Palacio and Erica S. Perl  R.J. Palacio and Erica S. Perl discuss their new novel adaptation of “White Bird.” Set within the Wonder universe, this story reflects the power of kindness. Due to a change in the release date of the “White Bird” movie, we regret we’re no longer able to screen clips. Moderated by National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina.

Gary D. Schmidt shares “The Labors of Hercules Beal.”

Sara Shepard presents her book “Penny Draws a Best Friend.”

Picture Books

A Poem Is a Pocket That Can Hold Your Dreams – Former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo and Michaela Goade share “Remember,” a picture book adaptation of the work of poetry that invites young readers to reflect on the world around them.

Read a Book and Try On Your Dreams! Grace Lin shares a nod to “Alice in Wonderland” in her new book “Once Upon a Book.”

The World Is a Big Place for Little Creatures Doug Salati and Lane Smith share their picture books “Hot Dog” (Salati) and “Stickler Loves the World” (Smith).


Most authors will participate in book signings following their events. Festivalgoers will be able to purchase books by the featured authors from Politics and Prose, the official bookseller of the 2023 National Book Festival, in advance at and onsite at the Festival.

C-SPAN’s Book TV will return to the National Book Festival to livestream select sessions and interview featured authors.

The Library’s National Book Festival was co-founded in 2001 by first lady Laura Bush.

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-Chair David M. Rubenstein. Sponsors include: Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), General Motors, James Madison Council, National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the John W. Kluge Center; additional support provided by the CoStar Group, For The People Fund, with seed funding provided by the Ford Foundation, Sharjah Book Authority, Friends of the Library of Congress (FLOC), Library of Congress Federal Credit Union and The Hay-Adams.

Comments (29)

  1. Are there hotels that charge under 200. per night…?

    Thank you

  2. For those inquiring about hotels, I would recommend looking west for something less intrusive on the savings account, if that’s a concern. Hotels in Gainesville and Manassas will get you close proximity to I-66, where you would then travel about 20 or so miles to the Vienna Metro. DC parking is a coin toss on any given day, and using public transportation will give you a better feel and appreciation for the area overall.

    There are other choices beyond that 20 mile limit, but that distance seems to be a threshold for out-of-town travelers.

  3. one day is not enough time!! And, why was the date moved from early September?

    • Thank you for your interest! The Library is excited to be returning to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center once again for the 2023 National Book Festival. Like with any venue, availability changes from year to year, and the Aug. 12 date was the best option for the festival this year. As an added bonus, patrons that might traditionally be out of town Labor Day Weekend or were otherwise unavailable may now have the opportunity to attend the festival due to this new date.

  4. Wow!!!!

  5. Love the theme and the author lineup! Looking forward to coming back!

  6. Loved the festivals when they were on the Mall. Any chance of returning to the outdoor venue in the future?

    • Thanks for your interest in the National Book Festival! Following the festival each year, we invite attendees to submit their feedback via an online survey. We invite you to participate as feedback is always appreciated.

  7. I have gone to the festival many times and always stay at the Holiday Inn in Rosslyn, VA. It’s usually has one of the best dc area rates and only a few blocks to the Metro.

  8. Will masks be required? It seems variants still exist in the DMV.

  9. For those asking about hotels, I saw many downtown options at the <$200/night price point. And if you look in the suburbs, it's probably cheaper. Because the festival is on a Saturday, parking at Metro stations will be free and the fare will most likely be less than the cost of parking at or near the convention center. I live in a Maryland suburb and will be going by Metro

  10. For those looking for more economical hotel accommodations, look for hotels in the Mt. Vernon, VA , or Huntington areas south of Alexandria or in the Springfield VA area ie Hampton chains. Most are near metro stops that are an easy ride into DC

  11. When will the festival schedule be available? I will sign up as a volunteer but would love to be able to select the shift that will leave me the best opportunity to attend sessions with favorite authors/topics.

    • The schedule for the 2023 National Book Festival will be available here in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

  12. Hi, Some of the sessions will be online,right? Will you be listing which ones soon?

    Thanks for this terriifc festival!

    • Yes, that’s correct. Sessions in a few of the Festival stages will be livestreamed, and all sessions will be available on demand in the weeks following the Festival. Stay tuned to this blog for updates on the Festival schedule.

  13. One day is indeed not enough! If you can squeeze in more, I highly recommend adding a panel with award-winning novelist Mary Kay Zuravleff. Here are a couple of ideas:

    1. Several books have been released this year exploring the immigrant experience in this country, including Mary Kay Zuravleff’s novel, “American Ending.” Her book includes the story of a U.S.-born woman who loses her U.S. citizenship because she marries a Russian immigrant, based on her grandmother’s real-life experience.

    Pulling together stories of different immigrant experiences, by different authors, would make for a fascinating discussion. The host of such a panel on “Immigration Stories: Fact and Fiction” could be an expert drawn from LOC’s own current/former staff, such as former Congressional Research Specialist in Immigration Ruth Wasem, author of numerous reports and books on immigration history, including laws such as the one mentioned above that removed citizenship from U.S.-born women.

    2. An intriguing fiction/non-fiction duo would be authors Mary Kay Zuravleff and Erica Berry, both of whom released books this year. The title of Zuravleff’s novel, “American Ending,” is inspired by her Russian grandmother’s asking her children whether they want a story featuring wolves to have a Russian or an American ending. Berry’s “Wolfish” explores wolves, selves, and the stories we tell about fear.
    The two could explore the theme of How to be a brave woman/person when our bedtime stories are full of fear, embodied as wolves? How have these stories shaped previous generations, and how might changing the endings re-shape new generations’ sense of self and ability to face fear?

    • Thank you for your feedback and interest in the National Book Festival! We encourage you to take our survey during the Festival to provide input on what you want to see in future years.

  14. Your first link in the paragraph beginning with “Follow…” goes to the 2022 book festival page.

    • Our apologies for the error! The link will now direct to the 2023 Festival website.

  15. Nice job on the 2023 poster!

  16. Will cookbook authors be featured in the 2023 Book festival?

    • Yes! We think you’ll love the session with Cheuk Kwan, author of “Have You Eaten Yet: Stories from Chinese Restaurants Around the World,” and Anya von Bremzen, author of “National Dish: Around the World in Search of Food, History and the Meaning of Home.”

  17. Is there a schedule that shows what time each author is speaking? I am trying to book trains to DC and don’t want to miss my favorite authors but also don’t want to have to wake up at 4:45 AM if I don’t have to.

    • Thank you for your question! We will be announcing the Festival schedule in the coming days. Stay tuned to this blog for updates.

  18. Re: Hotels
    I’m staying at the Henley Park for $138/night. It’s down the street from the Convention Center and right across from the huge Marriott hotel. I’ve stayed there for several of the Book Festivals and get a good rate by booking early. Yes, you can find cheaper in the suburbs. But I live in the suburbs at the end of a Metro line and staying at a hotel downtown so close to the Festival is an annual treat to myself.

  19. Thanks for all the hard work on putting this together!

    In 2001, when then First Lady Laura Bush worked with Library of Congress head James Billington, there was an effort to reflect the ideological and regional diversity of our great nation. Most authors were still overwhelmingly progressive, but there were a few included from across the ideological spectrum.

    In the years that I’ve been attending since then, I fear that diversity has greatly diminished if not disappeared especially in the last few years.

    There are so many amazing authors who would bring so much to the festival. And it would only grow the attendance and make this amazing event more reflective of our country’s great diversity.

    I hope for future book festivals, there’ll be an effort to restore the ideological and regional diversity of years past.

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