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LeVar Burton to Host 2021 National Book Festival Broadcast on PBS

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Levar Burton, seated at a starkly lit library table, with a book open in front of him
LeVar Burton. Photo: Robyn Von Swank.

LeVar Burton, fresh from a hosting gig on “Jeopardy,” turns his attention to hosting a special edition of the Library’s 2021 National Book Festival, a one-hour special on PBS that is studded with some of the world’s brightest literary stars.

The show, “Open a Book, Open the World: The Library of Congress National Book Festival,” premieres Sunday, Sept. 12, at 6 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, and the PBS Video app. The show will feature 20 of the world’s most captivating authors and celebrities, ranging from actors Michael J. Fox and Lupita Nyong’o, to Nobel Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Annette Gordon Reed.

“Books open the world to us, fuel our imaginations and show us our common humanity, especially as we confront huge challenges in society,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We’re proud to collaborate once again with PBS and public television stations nationwide to celebrate the power of reading from our national library.”

Burton, a longtime champion of reading, will host from his public library in Los Angeles with Hayden appearing at the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill.

“I’m proud and honored to join Dr. Carla Hayden to explore the National Book Festival,” Burton said. “A good book can take you on a journey. After the last year, we’re all ready to plot a new course, and books can be an amazing compass. Join me for the National Book Festival as some of our nation’s leading literary voices bring us a sense of renewal, discuss their newest work and open up a whole new world of possibilities.”

More information is available in today’s news release on the broadcast.

Neely Tucker, writer and manager of the Library of Congress blog, contributed to this post. Join us for the 2021 National Book Festival, Sept. 17-26. Audiences are invited to create their own festival experience this year, with programs in a range of formats. Subscribe to this blog for future updates on the festival, and visit the festival website.

Comments (6)

  1. Thanks!

  2. How do I sign up for the various authors I’d like to see read and be interviewed online?

  3. Ok

  4. Our local PBS station WCMU is not showing the September 12th program. How do I get PBS from another location?

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