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Best of the National Book Festival: Margot Lee Shetterly, 2017

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Welcome to our ongoing celebration of the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Each weekday, we will feature a video presentation from among the thousands of authors who have appeared at the National Book Festival and as part of our new year-long series, National Book Festival Presents. Mondays will feature topical nonfiction; Tuesday: poetry or literary fiction; Wednesday: history, biography, memoir; Thursday: popular fiction; and Friday: authors who write for children and teens. Please enjoy, and make sure to explore our full National Book Festival video collection!

The underlying theme of “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race” is one that has been written about many times. Or perhaps not written about at all: So many of the stories about the contributions of African Americans to the history of our nation have yet to be told.

Margot Lee Shetterly, who took to the History & Biography stage at the 2017 National Book Festival, told one of those previously little-known stories in her best-selling book from 2016. She said to her interviewer, NPR’s television critic Eric Deggans, that one of the ways to bridge the divide among races is “bringing forward these stories that have always been there. The people have been there. The history is there. The stories are what we need to tell now.”

Shetterly takes questions beginning at 27:00.