Colson Whitehead and the 2020 Prize for American Fiction

Colson Whitehead, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novels “The Nickel Boys” and “The Underground Railroad,” will receive the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction during this weekend’s National Book Festival.

Whitehead, 50, is the award’s youngest winner, as it recognizes a lifetime of work.

“Colson Whitehead’s work is informed by probing insights into the human condition and empathy for those who struggle with life’s sometimes harrowing vicissitudes,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “In novels such as ‘The Nickel Boys’ and ‘The Underground Railroad,’ he has expanded the scope of historical events, transforming them into metaphors for today’s world.”

The author will take part in a live Q&A event at this year’s festival, Saturday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. Visit the festival website and register now for more details.

Literacy Awards | Library of CongressAlso, five organizations working to expand literacy and promote reading will be awarded the 2020 Library of Congress Literacy Awards.

Top prizes are being awarded to The Immigrant Learning Center, The International Rescue Committee Inc. – Pakistan Reading Project, the National Center for Families Learning, Pratham Books and Room to Read.

The Literacy Awards, originated by David M. Rubenstein in 2013, honor organizations doing exemplary, innovative and replicable work. Collectively, these awards spotlight the great efforts underway to promote literacy and respond to the needs of our time.

Here’s more on the Literacy Awards and their 2020 recipients.

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A Protester Who Changed America: Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks launched one of the most influential protests in American history, chronicled at the Library and featured in the exhibit, “Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words.” You can explore it online, even while the Library is closed due to COVID-19. The Parks papers and exhibit are part of the Library’s role in preserving and presenting the lives of revolutionary American changemakers.