Welcome to our ongoing celebration of the 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival! If you love storytelling or are simply curious about the world, you’ve landed in the right place. As a way into this vast — and vastly fascinating — festival celebrating “American Ingenuity,” we offer here a string of highlights that truly illustrate the resilience, intelligence and wit of this year’s authors. Please enjoy, and make sure to explore our full National Book Festival video collection and special limited-time content on the Virtual Festival Platform.
The following post was written by Guy Lamolinara, communications officer in Literary Initiatives.
Many of the books featured at the 2020 National Book Festival focused on women — “Fearless Women,” to be specific. In fact, we offered a “Timely Topic Thread” on that very theme, sponsored by the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission. The Commission was created by Congress to commemorate 100 years of the 19th Amendment, which secured women’s right to vote in the U.S. Constitution when it was certified in 1920. The “Fearless Women” videos can be accessed on the Virtual Festival Platform (click on “Stages,” then on “Fearless Women,” then “Sessions”).
Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton was raised by one fearless woman named Hillary Clinton — former senator, former secretary of state and the first woman to be nominated for president by a major political party.
Chelsea Clinton and the illustrator Alexandra Boiger have acknowledged women’s achievements with their “She Persisted” series of books, the most recent being “She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game” (Philomel). It features women athletes who overcame lopsided odds and inspired the world. Clinton recorded a video exclusively for the festival.
The theme of the 20th National Book Festival was American Ingenuity, which Clinton addressed: “I do not think that Americans have a unique claim to ingenuity. I do think, though, it’s important that we celebrate [and] amplify examples of American ingenuity … to really inspire young people today, to help young people see themselves in very real examples … of ingenuity and then hopefully to imagine themselves into their own expressions of ingenuity. … The stories we tell our children are so profoundly important for what they understand about American history.”
You can see many more captivating authors on the Virtual Festival Platform, and also see Q&A sessions with Chelsea Clinton and other select authors.
The more than 120 authors, poets and illustrators who joined us for the 2020 National Book Festival, our first virtual festival, rose to the challenges of presenting online, and they shared their unique and fascinating perspectives on a range topics. We invite you to explore the videos. You’re sure to find something that suits your interests!
The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival celebrates its 20th birthday this year. You can get up-to-the-minute festival news, highlights, and other important information by subscribing to this blog. The festival is made possible by the generosity of sponsors. You can support the festival, too, by making a gift now.