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Best of the National Book Festival: Colson Whitehead, 2012

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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!

Colson Whitehead, who on May 4, 2020, received his second Pulitzer Prize for fiction, for “The Nickel Boys,” appeared on the Poetry & Prose stage at the Library of Congress National Book Festival in 2012. He was introduced by writer Louis Bayard. Whitehead’s new novel at the time was “Zone One,” about a plague of zombies. Whitehead says that after he saw the film “Dawn of the Dead” at age 11, he began having zombie nightmares. The novel he would next publish, in 2016, was the Pulitzer-winning “The Underground Railroad.” Q&A begins at 26:00.

The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate its 20th birthday this year. You can get up-to-the-minute news, schedule updates and other important festival information by subscribing to this blog. The festival is made possible by the generosity of sponsors. You too can support the festival by making a gift now.