The 2022 Library of Congress National Book Festival returns to returns to live audiences this Labor Day weekend for the first time in three years, bringing celebrities and cult favorites back to Washington for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live events across the nation’s capital.
The one-day, all-day festival — Saturday, Sept. 3, from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. — will feature more than 120 authors, poets and writers under the theme of “Books Bring Us Together.” It’s not quite the same festival as fans have known in past years, as there will be new storytelling and audiobook events. Festival stages have been renamed and refocused, including the addition of a Life/Style stage to encompass changing pop culture trends.
Big names abound. Singer-songwriter Janelle Monáe discusses bringing the Afrofuturistic world of her albums to the written page for her book, “The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer.” Deaf activist Nyle DiMarco shares his story in “Deaf Utopia: A Memoir — and a Love Letter to a Way of Life.”Actor Nick Offerman, perhaps best known for his role as Ron Swanson on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” talks about his love of the great outdoors in “Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside.” Comedian and internet personality Leslie Jordan is sure to entertain with a discussion of his book, “How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived.”
Young audiences will be enthralled by a conversation featuring the six authors behind “Blackout” —Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon. Author Donna Barba Higuera joins the Young Adult stage to discuss her award-winning dystopian novel “The Last Cuentista.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks shares her latest novel “Horse.” Clint Smith discusses his recent work “How the Word Is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America.”
The festival will be held 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.
Can’t make it? No problem. Events on several of the stages will be livestreamed. Videos of all presentations will be made available on demand shortly after the festival.
The full lineup of featured authors follows, organized by stage.
Main Stage: Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk and Nicola Yoon; Nyle DiMarco; Leslie Jordan; Janelle Monáe; Nick Offerman.
History & Biography: Tomiko Brown-Nagin; Jack E. Davis; Howard W. French; Kate Clifford Larson; Kelly Lytle Hernández; David Maraniss; Candice Millard; Clint Smith; Danyel Smith.
Life/Style: Geoffrey L. Cohen; Tracy Dennis-Tiwary; Todd Doughty; Hekima Hapa and Lesley Ware; Celeste Headlee; David M. Rubenstein; Ellen Vora.
Pop Lit: Mitch Albom; Louis Bayard; Jennifer Close; Susan Coll; Karen Joy Fowler; Grant Ginder; Xochitl Gonzalez; Katie Gutierrez; Dolen Perkins-Valdez; Amanda Eyre Ward.
Science Fiction & Fantasy: Chelsea Abdullah; Holly Black; B. L. Blanchard; Rob Hart; M. J. Kuhn; Victor Manibo; Tochi Onyebuchi; Leslye Penelope; Lucinda Roy; Nghi Vo.
Society & Culture: Rachel Aviv; Gal Beckerman; Daniel Bergner; Juli Berwald; Will Bunch; Morten Høi Jensen, Shawn McCreesh and Becca Rothfeld; Kathryn Judge; Brendan McConville; Robert Samuels; Linda Villarosa; Edith Widder; Elizabeth Williamson; Ed Yong.
Writers Studio: Nuar Alsadir; Geraldine Brooks; Kim Fu; Diana Goetsch; Rebecca Miller; Tomás Q. Morín; Sarah Ruhl; Morgan Talty; Jesmyn Ward; Lidia Yuknavitch.
KidLit: Kwame Alexander; Mac Barnett and Shawn Harris; Fred Bowen and James E. Ransome; David Bowles; Soman Chainani; Johnnie Christmas; Erin Entrada Kelly; Kat Fajardo; Lev Grossman; Gordon Korman; Juliet Menéndez; Andrea Davis Pinkney and Tybre Faw; Julian Randall; Tui T. Sutherland; Jennifer Ziegler.
Please Read Me A Story: Derrick Barnes and Vanessa Brantley-Newton; Mac Barnett; Ruth Behar; Ruby Bridges; Marc Brown; Xelena González; Bakari Sellers; Brittany J. Thurman.
Young Adult: Samira Ahmed; Victoria Aveyard; Donna Barba Higuera; Namina Forna; Chloe Gong; Tiffany D. Jackson; Ryan La Sala; Ebony LaDelle; Darcie Little Badger; Malinda Lo; E. Lockhart; Anna-Marie McLemore; Jason Reynolds; R. M. Romero; Sabaa Tahir; David Valdes.
All authors will participate in book signings following their events. Festivalgoers will be able to purchase books by the featured authors from Politics & Prose, the official bookseller of the 2022 National Book Festival.
In collaboration with the Library’s National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, the festival will feature a panel of popular audiobook narrators sharing insights into their work. The festival will also feature for the first time performances by the literary nonprofit Literature to Life, a performance-based literacy program that presents professionally staged verbatim adaptations of American literary classics.