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Best of the National Book Festival: Ernest Gaines, 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 author of the bestselling “A Lesson Before Dying” took to the Poetry & Prose stage of the 2017 Library of Congress National Book Festival to discuss his book “The Tragedy of Brady Sims.” Ernest Gaines (1933-2019), who won the National Book Critics Circle Award, among many other honors, was a writer-in-residence at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a MacArthur Fellow.

Gaines spoke with Michel Martin, weekend host of NPR’s “All Things Considered.” Martin reminded Gaines that in a 2010 interview with The New York Times he told the newspaper that he had “nothing original left to say.” “Do you remember saying that?” she asked. “No, I don’t” was the author’s quick reply.

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.