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Virtual Programming at the 2023 National Book Festival

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This is a guest post by 2023 Junior Fellows Nikki Dobbins and Ester Luna.

Are you passionate about reading and the arts? Do you want to meet your favorite authors and listen to them speak about their work? If the answer to these questions is yes, we encourage you to join thousands of book lovers at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C. on Aug. 12 for the 23rd annual National Book Festival.

But maybe you can’t make it to the Festival in person. Or perhaps you simply can’t wait until Aug. 12 to kick off the book festivities—or want to keep the celebration going after it ends. In any case, the Library has you covered.

Virtual Guide

Explore the Virtual Guide that highlights all virtual events and activities taking place before, during and after the Festival.

The guide includes links to livestreams of author presentations, partner events and information about local watch parties hosted by libraries and other organizations across the country. It’s also a resource in navigating our schedule filter, and explains how to build a personalized festival schedule with the “Add to Calendar” feature.

Build your own virtual schedule for PBS Books partner events by selecting “partner events” from the event type drop-down menu and click “apply” to see all PBS events in one place. Click “Add to Calendar” below the event’s date and time to add each event that interests you to your personal calendar.

PBS Books Series

The Library of Congress is once again partnering with PBS Books to highlight a diverse selection of eleven authors and their works featured at this year’s National Book Festival from July 20 through Aug. 31.

PBS Books will collaborate with PBS stations nationwide to host and stream virtual interviews with these authors spanning a variety of backgrounds and genres: see below for a sneak peak into the next two interviews coming up. The interviews, which run approximately 45 minutes, will also be available on-demand on the PBS Books website.

Beverly Gage. Photo credit: Kathleen Cei

On August 10, PBS Books will host Beverly Gage, a 20th-century American history professor at Yale University. Gage is the author of “The Day Wall Street Exploded,” which discusses the history of terrorism in 19th and 20th-century America. She also writes for The New York Times, The Washington Post and The New Yorker, among other publications. Gage’s newest biography, “G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century,” won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize in Biography.

The next interviews are with T.J. Klune on August 23, Matthew Desmond on August 24, and Héctor Tobar on August 30th.

Left – Trang Thanh Tran (Photo credit: Heather Wall Photography) and right – Angeline Boulley (Photo credit: Marcella Hadden).

The last video is will delight fans of young adult novels, featuring an interview with Angeline Boulley and Trang Thanh Tran on August 31. Boulley is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and her debut novel “Firekeeper’s Daughter” earned a Michael L. Printz Award, William C. Morris Award, Walter Dean Myers Award and an American Indian Youth Literature Honor. In her new novel “Warrior Girl Unearthed,” teens devise a plan to return the remains of the Anishinaabe “Warrior Girl”—which are being held at a museum archive—to her rightful tribe. Tran is a debut YA author of “She Is a Haunting,” an unsettling horror novel about a Vietnamese-American girl who travels to her home country and finds it anything but homey.

For the interview schedule and more information about each author, click here. The interviews are also available on-demand on the PBS Books website.

Panels taking place on the National Book Festival’s Creativity and Inspiration Stages will be livestreamed on August 12th and can be accessed on the Watch the Festival page. Book TV on C-SPAN2 will also livestream select events from the Insight Stage, and the Center for the Book’s Great Reads from Great Places program will present additional Festival book and video selections.

You can also engage with the National Book Festival online by connecting and sharing on social media with the hashtag: #NatBookFest.

Thanks to our virtual programming, you can enjoy the National Book Festival from just about anywhere—be it the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, or the comfort of your couch.

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