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Best of the National Book Festival: José Andrés, 2019

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The following welcome was written by Marie Arana, Library of Congress Literary Director.

José Andrés speaks with Diane Rehm on the National Book Festival Main Stage, August 31, 2019. Photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress.

Welcome to our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival! If you’re looking for food for the mind, heart and soul, you’ve come to the right place. Sit back and let our authors take you to other worlds.

There is nothing so rewarding to a reader than seeing a favorite writer in person and hearing how a book or idea came to be; and there’s nothing so rewarding to a writer than being seen, heard, and applauded for work done. That is why the National Book Festival, established twenty years ago, has become one of the most beloved public book events in the country. For a full two decades now, hundreds of thousands of writers and readers have come together to celebrate the joys of reading.

The Literary Initiatives group of the Library of Congress is delighted to present this retrospective of the Festival. In the weeks, perhaps months, to come, we will roll out an assortment of author talks, bringing you highlights from the many stages of the Festival, from its beginnings on grounds of the Library of Congress to its expansion to the Mall, to its later incarnation in the vast halls of the Washington Convention Center. Most recently, the Festival has found new life as National Book Festival Presents, a year-long series kicked off earlier this fall at the Library of Congress, which will also be represented here.

Whatever your tastes, you’re bound to be entertained and enlightened. Here is what we’ll be offering on a daily basis:

Monday—Topical nonfiction

Tuesday—Literary fiction and poetry

Wednesday—History, biography, or memoir

Thursday—Popular genre fiction

Friday—Children’s and Teens

Today, we begin this series with world renowned chef and author José Andrés on the Main Stage at the 2019 National Book Festival, talking with Diane Rehm about his proactive spirit in the wake of a devastating hurricane, as recounted in his book “We Fed an Island: The True Story of Rebuilding Puerto Rico, One Meal at a Time,” and about his cookbook “Vegetables Unleashed.” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden introduces the presentation, which begins at 4:45; the Q&A begins at 47:15.


—Marie Arana

Comments (3)

  1. You are a great Man, a great Chef and Organizer

    but above all you have a spiritual strength and

    understanding that is astounding and leaves me

    inspired and filled with love.

  2. Thank you so much for putting this series of blogs together to help us book lovers enjoy the days we are spending at home during this crisis. This Is great fun for all of us. I hope my book friends are using the link I sent them. They will be happier and healthier if they do. I get to attend so many of the forums that I missed. What a deal!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  3. Kudos to the Library of Congress for engaging and recording for posterity speakers who have made a significant contribution in their fields. José Andrés has demonstrated what it means to care for others by proving food for others in distress. The Library’s interviews and recordings will only become more important when researchers examine the archives. Thank you, LOC!

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