Dante Alighieri’s “The Divine Comedy” had been an epic religious and literary work for 150 years when a publisher in Florence attempted to do something that had never been done — illustrate it in a printed book. The year was 1481. Gutenberg’s revolutionary printing press was just 26 years old. Nicolaus Laurentii took on the […]
“The Metropolitan Opera Murders,” the latest entry in the Library’s Crime Classics series, is a novel from a woman who knows the score. Helen Traubel, a longtime star soprano who performed at the Met for years, wrote the book in 1951, shortly before she left the opera to pursue a career in popular entertainment.
This is a guest post by Maria Peña, a public relations strategist in the Library’s Office of Communications. Maya Angelou broke ground as a multifaceted author, poet, actress, recording artist and civil rights activist, while Adelina “Nina” Otero-Warren left an indelible mark in New Mexico’s suffrage movement. This year, both are among five trailblazing women […]
Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is back with his first newsletter of 2022.
“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.
The 2021 National Book Festival will run online from Sept. 17-26, featuring more than 100 novelists, poets, non-fiction authors, chefs and lifestyle gurus.
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.