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Announcing Shonda Rhimes and More Authors Who Have Said “Yes” to the 2016 National Book Festival

Shonda Rhimes pictured on the back cover of her book “Year of Yes”

Shonda Rhimes pictured on the back cover of her book “Year of Yes”

I am feeling inspired after having just read Shonda Rhimes’ book “Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be your Own Person.” Rhimes is the popular writer and producer behind such huge television hits as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.” In her book she chronicles her recent commitment to saying Yes for one year, and the amazing transformations that resulted from opening herself up to new opportunities and stepping out of her comfort zone.

I was halfway through reading the “Year of Yes” when I learned that Rhimes would be presenting at this year’s Library of Congress National Book Festival! Propelled by her book, I immediately volunteered to be her staff author escort at the festival. Last year David Fernandez-Barrial blogged about his experiences as an author escort, one of the many roles that Library staff assume to make the festival a reality each year. In my 12 years of working on various aspects of the festival, this is one role that I’ve never taken on, but I saw the opportunity to meet a phenomenal woman who is an inspiration to me and to so many and thought, here’s my chance to say Yes and to start off my own challenge of sorts.

Shonda Rhimes is one of the more than 40 authors added to the 2016 National Book Festival lineup the other week. Other recently added authors include:

  • Oscar-winning (“Cabaret”) actor Joel Grey, who has just published his memoir, “Master of Ceremonies”
  • Carl Hiaasen, a columnist for the Miami Herald, will speak about his new thriller, “Razor Girl”
  • Poet, fiction and nonfiction writer Eileen Myles (who is also an extra on the television show “Transparent”) will read from her latest book, “I Must Be Living Twice”
  • Katherine Paterson, America’s most-honored writer for young people, will discuss her memoir as well as the making of her novel “The Great Gilly Hopkins” into a major motion picture
  • Legal analyst and New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin will feature his latest work, “Urban Guerrilla: The Wild, Strange Saga of Patty Hearst and the Symbionese Liberation Army”
  • Journalist, humorist, food writer, poet and novelist Calvin Trillin will present his new book for young people, “No Fair! No Fair!”
  • Colson Whitehead will launch his new novel at the festival, “The Underground Railroad.”

The growing list of authors announced for 2016 can be found on the National Book Festival web site.

As we prepare for the 16th anniversary of the Library of Congress National Book Festival we hope that you are inspired by the array of talented writers that will be in attendance, and that you too will say Yes to joining us. And, there are also opportunities for the public to volunteer to staff the event if you are looking for “new” ways to experience the festival. (2016 volunteer registration coming in the spring.)

One Comment

  1. Lorraine – Little Pampu
    April 1, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    I’ll be visiting DC during that time. Goodness! I would love to be YOUR volunteer helper for a chance to meet Ms. Rhimes. I’m a writer too and a fan of hers! I’m adding the book festival to my itinerary. Best wishes!

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