Best of the National Book Festival: Natasha Trethewey and Jenny Xie, 2019

Looking forward to the 2020 National Book Festival? In the meantime, you can watch past festival presentations by exploring our full National Book Festival video collection—which includes this video of Natasha Trethewey and Jenny Xie discussing “the poetry of place” and their new books, “Monument: Poems New and Selected” (Trethewey) and “Eye Level” (Xie), on the Poetry & Prose stage at the 2019 Festival.

Ralph Ellison’s “Juneteenth”

In commemoration of Juneteenth, Manuscript Division curator Barbara Bair explores Ralph Ellison’s unfinished second novel. First published posthumously in 1999 as “Juneteenth,” and a decade later (in 2010) as “Three Days Before the Shooting…,” Ellison’s novel takes a deep dive into the complexities of race and violence and prices of transformation in America.

There’s a Library of Congress Affiliate Near You (And They Have Great Programs to Offer!)

The Library of Congress, through its Center for the Book, has affiliates in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Now, you can learn about your local Center for the Book’s public programs in one place: Our newly launched Calendar of Events tells you what your state or territory is doing as well as the activities of other Affiliate Centers. And, through the beauty of the internet, you can be a part of programs from just about any state, as the current pandemic has forced almost all programs to go online.

The House I Live In: Philip Roth’s America

For Jewish American Heritage Month, Manuscript Division curator Barbara Bair explores Philip Roth’s novel “The Plot Against America” (and its recent television adaptation). Set between 1940 and 1942, when Roth himself was a child, the novel examines the status of being Jewish and being American in a particularly perilous time period in American and world history.