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What’s On: Festival Program Guide for Friday, Sept. 17

Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Friday, Sept. 17 include (L-R from top) Kelli Jo Ford, Toni Jensen, Eric Eyre, Patrick Radden Keefe, Sarah Frier, Anna Wiener and LeVar Burton.

The long wait is over – the Library of Congress National Book Festival starts today! 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: Friday, Sept. 17 Live

11 a.m. ET: Washington Post Live: Michael J. Fox. Washington Post Live, in partnership with the Library of Congress National Book Festival, will host Michael J. Fox, author of “No Time Like the Future: An Optimist Considers Mortality” (Flatiron), in conversation with Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart.

11:25 a.m. ET: Washington Post Live: Joy Harjo. Washington Post Live, in partnership with the Library of Congress National Book Festival, will host U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, author of “Poet Warrior: A Memoir” (Norton), in conversation with Washington Post opinions writer Jonathan Capehart. Note: Event will immediately follow “Washington Post Live: Michael J. Fox.”

4 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Kelli Jo Ford and Toni Jensen. Kelli Jo Ford, author of “Crooked Hallelujah” (Grove), and Toni Jensen, author of “Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land” (Ballantine), discuss their new books with Nick Martin, the Indigenous Affairs desk editor at High Country News and a contributing editor at The New Republic.

5 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Eric Eyre and Patrick Radden Keefe. Eric Eyre, author of “Death in Mud Lick: A Coal Country Fight Against the Drug Companies That Delivered the Opioid Epidemic” (Scribner), and Patrick Radden Keefe, author of “Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty” (Doubleday), discuss their new books with Washington Post reporter Sari Horwitz.

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Sarah Frier and Anna Wiener. Sarah Frier, author of “No Filter: The Inside Story of Instagram” (Simon & Schuster), and Anna Wiener, author of “Uncanny Valley” (MCD), discuss their new books with CBS News’ “60 Minutes+” correspondent Laurie Segall.

7 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with LeVar Burton. Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden talks with actor and children’s literacy advocate LeVar Burton, host of the television special “Open a Book, Open the World: The Library of Congress National Book Festival” on PBS, about the power of reading, story and connection. Special guest appearance by Dolly Parton, whose “Dolly’s Imagination Library” program was recently honored with a Library of Congress Literacy Award.

NOTE: If you miss a favorite author, all live programs will be recorded and available to watch on the National Book Festival website and on the Library’s YouTube channel. If you miss a live program, you can find a full recording of the full Festival day, each day, on YouTube.

Videos On-Demand: Watch Anytime

At 10 a.m. ET today, we’ll release 35 conversations with authors that you can stream and watch anytime! Here’s three example talks you can watch later today:

  • Roxane Gay, co-author of “The Sacrifice of Darkness” (Archaia), discusses her approach as a black feminist, her endeavor to write across genre and her path to become a professional writer, with Everdeen Mason, editorial director of New York Times Games.
  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of “Mexican Gothic” (Del Rey) and “Velvet Was the Night” (Del Rey), and Sarah Pearse, author of “The Sanatorium” (Pamela Dorman), discuss the genre of the gothic novel, writing strong female characters and what comes next for each of them, with book critic Bethanne Patrick.
  • Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam discuss “Punching the Air” (Balzer + Bray) with Library of Congress teen interns Eti Gulati and Karen Yang. Co-authored by Zoboi and prison reform activist Salaam of the Exonerated Five, the book is a novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated.

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:

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.

Coming Up Tomorrow: Saturday Sept. 18 Live

noon ET: Live Conversation with Jason Reynolds.  Jason Reynolds, Library of Congress National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, discusses his ambassador platform, GRAB THE MIC: Tell Your Story, and his award-winning book “Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks” (Atheneum), with teen interviewers Courtney Kim and Brandon Marshall.

1 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Catherine Belton and Joshua Yaffa. Catherine Belton, author of “Putin’s People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), and Joshua Yaffa, author of “Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition and Compromise in Putin’s Russia” (Tim Duggan), discuss their new books with Jeff Pegues, chief justice and homeland security correspondent for CBS News.

2 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Daniel Kahneman and Cass R. Sunstein.  Daniel Kahneman and Cass R. Sunstein, co-authors of “Noise: A Flaw in Human Judgment” (Little, Brown), discuss their new book with New York Times Book Review writer and editor Gal Beckerman.

3 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Elizabeth Hand and Alex Michaelides. Elizabeth Hand, author of “The Book of Lamps and Banners” (Mulholland), and Alex Michaelides, author of “The Maidens” (Celadon), discuss their new books with NPR Books editor Petra Mayer.

4 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Mary Roach and Suzanne Simard.  Mary Roach, author of “Fuzz: When Nature Breaks the Law” (Norton), and Suzanne Simard, author of “Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest” (Knopf), discuss their new books with Sarah Kaplan, climate reporter for The Washington Post.

5 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Patricia Engel and Rivka Galchen.  Patricia Engel, author of “Infinite Country” (Avid Reader), and Rivka Galchen, author of “Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), discuss their new books with Kevin Larimer, editor-in-chief of Poets & Writers.

6 p.m. ET: Live Conversation with Heather McGhee. Heather McGhee discusses her new book, “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” (One World), with Errin Haines, editor-at-large of The 19th and a contributor at MSNBC.

Authors appearing in live Festival presentations on Saturday, Sept. 18 include (L-R from top) Jason Reynolds, Catherine Belton, Joshua Yaffa, Daniel Kahneman, Cass R. Sunstein, Elizabeth Hand, Alex Michaelides, Mary Roach, Suzanne Simard, Patricia Engel, Rivka Galchen and Heather McGhee.

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. Elizabeth A Rice
    September 17, 2021 at 9:22 am

    When will a live or recorded interview with Isabel Wilkerson be broadcast?

  2. Jean Weigel
    September 17, 2021 at 1:08 pm

    Best wishes for a spectacular festival. The “Open a Book…” video is beautifully done and a wonderful intro.

    Thanks for being so organized about repeating info, recording everything for later watching/listening — and just in general.

    LOC, you rock !!!

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