"A Christmas Memory," Truman Capote's bittersweet short story about his small-town Alabama childhood with his eccentric elderly cousin, has been one of the nation's most beloved tales in the holiday canon since it was first published in 1956. The Library has Capote's handwritten draft of the story, which reveals much about the young Capote.
The Library's first live event since the COVID-19 restrictions of 2020 took place on Sept. 21, 2021 during the National Book Festival, with a conversation between crossword puzzle gurus Will Shortz and Adrienne Raphel.
Nobel Laureate and Booker Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro, making a headlining appearance at this year’s National Book Festival, was asked why so many of his central characters work in service-oriented jobs.
A metaphor, he said, for the lives most of us lead
Venture Smith dictated his life story in 1798, making it the first slave narrative in the United States. The Library's original copy is extremely rare. Smith's story is also one of the very few narratives by enslaved people who could recount their early life in Africa.
Abraham Lincoln, with little formal education, studied a popular textbook, "English Grammar in Familiar Lectures" on his own while in his 20s. Through it, he gained a mastery of the language that would give the nation some of its most enduring speeches.
LeVar Burton, fresh from a hosting "Jeopardy," turns his attention to hosting a special edition of the Library's 2021 National Book Festival, a one-hour special on PBS that is studded with some of the world's brightest literary stars.
Jade Snow Wong was a pioneering Asian American writer, businesswoman and artist. Her memoir, "Fifth Chinese Daughter," became a mid-century landmark of Asian American letters, while her ceramic works were shown in some of the nation's premier museums. The Library holds her papers.
Sybille Jagusch, chief of the Library's Literature Center, has just published "Japan and American Children's Books," a gorgeously illustrated volume that details how Japan and Japanese culture has been portrayed in American children's books over the past two centuries.