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.
Author Nelson Johnson, a former lawyer and judge in New Jersey, used the Library’s collections to inform his bestselling “Boardwalk Empire,” turned into a hit HBO series; and his new historical novel about Clarence Darrow, “Darrow’s Nightmare.”
Novelist, short-story and essayist Joy Williams, known for books such as “State of Grace” and “The Quick and the Dead,” has won the 2021 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.
The photographs of Bernard Gotfryd, now free for anyone to use from the Library’s collections, are a remarkable resource of late 20th-century American pop-culture and political life, as he was a Newsweek staff photographer based in New York for three decades. He was also a Holocaust survivor who wrote about the experience with grace and courage.
Jason Reynolds, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, devotes his June newsletter to the mysteries of doing the laundry.
Mark Twain made his name on the lecture circuit with a talk about his work as a newspaper correspondent in Hawaii, then known as the Sandwich Islands.
U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo has edited a new anthology of poems, “Living Nations, Living Words,” a companion volume to ongoing project at the Library to bring Native poets into mainstream cultural conversations.