Top of page

What’s On: Festival Program Guide for Tuesday, Sept. 21

Share this post:

Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Tuesday, Sept. 21 include (L-R, from top) Kristin Hannah, Maggie Shipstead, Simon Winchester, Danielle Evans, Charles Yu, Adrienne Raphel and Will Shortz.

Welcome to Day Five of the Library of Congress National Book Festival! Every morning, we’ll run down the schedule for the day’s live presentations and preview the following day’s schedule. (You can always review the full Festival schedule here.) You’ll get this notice sent to your inbox each morning if you have subscribed to the National Book Festival blog. Here’s the rundown for today:

Today: Tuesday, Sept. 21 LIVE

3 p.m. ET: Copyright: The Engine of Free Expression. You are an owner of copyright-protected material. Learn how writing a story, creating a work of art, composing or recording music, or simply taking a picture engages with copyright. Find out more about how this automatic right affects your work and what it covers. Learn about the U.S. Copyright Office and the work it does to encourage creativity.

4 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Kristin Hannah and Maggie Shipstead. Kristin Hannah, author of “The Four Winds” (St. Martin’s), and Maggie Shipstead, author of “Great Circle” (Knopf), discuss their new books with Washington Post book critic Ron Charles.

5 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Simon Winchester. Simon Winchester discusses “Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World” (Harper) with Osita Nwanevu, a contributing editor at The New Republic.

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Danielle Evans and Charles Yu. Danielle Evans, author of “The Office of Historical Corrections” (Riverhead), and Charles Yu, author of “Interior Chinatown” (Pantheon), discuss their new books with Amy Stolls, director of Literary Arts at the National Endowment for the Arts.

7 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Adrienne Raphel and Will Shortz. Adrienne Raphel, author of “Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them” (Penguin), and Will Shortz, author of “The New York Times Hardest Crosswords Volume 8” (St. Martin’s Griffin) and “The New York Times Super Sunday Crosswords Volume 10” (St. Martin’s Griffin), discuss crosswords with NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro in the Library’s Coolidge Auditorium. (Tickets required.) This in-person event will be live-streamed on

Videos On-Demand: Watch Anytime

Explore 35 conversations with authors that you can stream and watch anytime! Here’s a small sampling of the talks available:

  • Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro, author of “Klara and the Sun” (Knopf), discusses the inspiration for his new novel, what led him to become a writer and how humans offer their contributions to society, with author and former Library of Congress Literary Director Marie Arana.
  • Sharon G. Flake discusses “The Life I’m In” (Scholastic), a companion novel to her bestseller “The Skin I’m In,” with Library of Congress teen intern Neena Dzur. The novel presents the unflinching story of Char, a young woman trapped in the underworld of human trafficking.
  • Katie Zhao discusses “How We Fall Apart” (Bloomsbury), a thriller in which students at an elite prep school are forced to confront their secrets when their ex-best friend turns up dead, with teen interviewer Brandon Marshall.

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.

Available today:

Other NPR podcasts:

In addition, local organizations 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: Wednesday, Sept. 22 LIVE

3 p.m. ET: Art, Literature and Poetry: Creative Collaborations at the Library of Congress. Beginning with early 20th-century livres d’artiste and concluding with contemporary graphic and book artists, Library curators discuss the many creative unions between art and the written word.

 4 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Olivia Campbell and Janice P. Nimura. Olivia Campbell, author of “Women in White Coats: How the First Women Doctors Changed the World of Medicine” (Park Row), and Janice P. Nimura, author of “The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine” (Norton), discuss their new books with journalist Melody Schreiber, editor of “What We Didn’t Expect: Personal Stories About Premature Birth.”

5 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Brit Bennett and Robert Jones Jr. Brit Bennett, author of “The Vanishing Half” (Riverhead), and Robert Jones Jr., author of “The Prophets” (Putnam’s), discuss their new books with Lauren Christensen, senior staff editor for The New York Times Book Review.

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Kai Bird, James Oakes and David O. Stewart. Kai Bird, author of “The Outlier: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter” (Crown); James Oakes, author of “The Crooked Path to Abolition: Abraham Lincoln and the Antislavery Constitution” (Norton); and David O. Stewart, author of “George Washington: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father” (Dutton), discuss their presidential biographies with Nancy Cordes, chief White House correspondent for CBS News.

7 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Avi Loeb. Avi Loeb discusses “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligent Life Beyond Earth” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) with science journalist Sarah Scoles.

Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Wednesday, Sept. 22 include (L-R, from top) Olivia Campbell, Janice P. Nimura, Brit Bennett, Robert Jones Jr., Kai Bird, James Oakes, David O. Stewart and Avi Loeb.

How Are We Doing? Let Us Know

We’re always looking for feedback on the National Book Festival. Let us know about your Festival experience: please take a brief survey, and help us improve the Library of Congress National Book Festival for everyone. Thank you!

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.

Comments (3)

  1. No internet access for video streaming. Consider downloadable
    episodes accessible over a period of time.

  2. Will the live event with Adrienne Raphel and Will Shortz be available on demand? I hope so! Thanks.

    • You bet, Janis! You can watch it right now on our livestream feeds of each day on YouTube. Here’s the stream from Day Five, and the Adrienne Raphel / Will Shortz discussion begins at about 04:18:00 in the stream. We’ll also have versions of each individual presentation on both YouTube and our website at in a few days.

Comments are closed.