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What’s On: Festival Program Guide for Sunday, Sept. 19

Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Sunday, Sept. 19 include (L-R from top) Katherine May, Yiyun Li, Douglas Stuart, Matt Parker, Joseph J. Ellis, Jennifer Ackerman, David Allen Sibley, Noé Álvarez, Maria Hinojosa, Elliot Ackerman and Adm. James Stavridis.

Welcome to Day Three of the Library of Congress National Book Festival! And here’s your daily Festival program guide with a schedule for live presentations today, and more! Each morning, we’ll run down the schedule for the day’s live presentations and preview the following day’s schedule, so you won’t miss a thing. (You can always review the full Festival schedule here.) You can get this notice sent to your inbox each morning by subscribing to the National Book Festival blog. Here’s the rundown for today:

Today: Sunday, Sept. 19 LIVE

1 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Katherine May. Katherine May, author of “Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times” (Riverhead), discusses her new book about coping with circumstances beyond your control with 7News On Your Side anchor Alison Starling.

2 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Yiyun Li and Douglas Stuart. Yiyun Li, author of “Must I Go” (Random House), and Douglas Stuart, author of “Shuggie Bain” (Grove), discuss their new books with Alexander Chee, author and contributing editor at The New Republic.

3 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Matt Parker. Matt Parker discusses his new book, “Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World” (Riverhead), with Roswell Encina, chief communications officer at the Library of Congress.

4 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Joseph J. Ellis. Joseph J. Ellis discusses “The Cause: The American Revolution and Its Discontents, 1773-1783” (Liveright) with philanthropist and National Book Festival co-chairman David M. Rubenstein.

5 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Jennifer Ackerman and David Allen Sibley. Jennifer Ackerman, author of “The Bird Way: A New Look at How Birds Talk, Work, Play, Parent and Think” (Penguin), and David Allen Sibley, author of “What It’s Like to Be a Bird: From Flying to Nesting, Eating to Singing—What Birds Are Doing, and Why” (Knopf), discuss their new books with Joel Achenbach, science writer for The Washington Post.

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Noé Álvarez and Maria Hinojosa. Noé Álvarez, author of “Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land” (Catapult), and Maria Hinojosa, author of “Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America” (Atria), discuss their new books with María Elena Salinas, journalist and principal of MES Multi-Media LLC.

7 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Elliot Ackerman and Adm. James Stavridis. Elliot Ackerman and Adm. James Stavridis, co-authors of “2034: A Novel of the Next World War” (Penguin), discuss their novel with philanthropist and National Book Festival co-chairman David M. Rubenstein.

Videos On-Demand: Watch Anytime

Watch videos from 35 of this year’s participating authors! Stream at your convenience. Here’s the full list.

  • Joy Williams, author of “Harrow” (Knopf) and recipient of the 2021 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, discusses her new book with Robert Casper, head of poetry and literature at the Library of Congress. Williams speaks to the process of writing the first novel she has published in 20 years and the importance of fiction in understanding our world.
  • Sharice Davids discusses “Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman” (HarperCollins Kids), which tells the triumphant true story of how Davids became one of the first Native American women elected to Congress and the first LGBTQ Congress member to represent Kansas.
  • Jay Coles discusses “Things We Couldn’t Say” (Scholastic), a novel about a bi Black boy finding first love while facing the return of his absent mother, with Library of Congress teen interns Courtney Kim and Christina Lu.

More Author Talks & Festival Events Near You

Our media partners have joined us to broaden the National Book Festival celebration this year to include conversations with many of our Festival authors. Check out the full list here.

In addition, local organization and affiliate Centers for the Book have found ways to bring the National Book Festival closer to you. Find watch parties, community conversations, story walks, poetry slams, book club meetings and more.

You can also explore these events by state and discover Great Reads from Great Places through the Festival Near You interactive map.

Tomorrow: Monday, Sept. 20 LIVE

3 p.m. ET: The Visible Book: A Look Inside at Book Construction, Historic to Modern. Look inside the covers and learn how books are constructed. The Library’s Conservation Division shows you how to identify the influences of historic book structures in the modern bindings of today.

5 p.m. ETLive Conversation with Kristen Arnett and Raven Leilani. Kristen Arnett, author of “With Teeth” (Riverhead), and Raven Leilani, author of “Luster” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), discuss their new books with New Republic writer Jo Livingstone.

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Lawrence Wright. Lawrence Wright discusses “The Plague Year: America in the Time of COVID” (Knopf) with philanthropist and National Book Festival co-chairman David M. Rubenstein.

Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Monday, Sept. 20 include (L-R) Kristen Arnett, Raven Leilani and Lawrence Wright.

Follow the Conversation

Join in the National Book Festival conversation on social media by using the hashtag #NatBookFest and follow the Library on these social media channels:

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.


  1. Sharon Broussard
    September 19, 2021 at 8:48 am

    So, we can watch this on Youtube in real time? No need for Zoom, Teams etc.?

  2. PR Tibbe
    September 20, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    I’m frustrated that the last 2 emails I received came at 8 pm at night so I couldn’t check your list to see if I could watch a live event. Today is Sept. 20 9:30 am & I don’t have today’s blog posting yet. Is there something you can do to get email out sooner? Or something I can do? Thank you.

    • John Sayers
      September 20, 2021 at 12:45 pm

      I’m sorry you’re not getting the emails in a timely manner. It sounds like you may have your email settings on “daily digest,” which means you receive all emails from the Library in a single group email at the end of the day. You have to change that setting yourself here. Or, if you’d rather not, you could log in each morning to the Festival blog. (In addition, we also have a preview of the following day’s presentations in each daily guide.) Hope this helps!

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