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Join Us Tonight, May 27: National Book Festival Presents “The Art of the Memoir”

The following post was written by Rob Casper, head of Poetry and Literature in Literary Initiatives.

Image of Cathy Park Hong and Wayétu Moore

Tonight at 7 p.m. ET, poet Cathy Park Hong (“Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning”) and novelist Wayétu Moore (“The Dragons, the Giant, the Women”) discuss how their memoirs give voice to history and speak to the present moment.

The Library of Congress kicked off its National Book Festival Presents series in fall of 2019, and throughout the past two seasons we’ve featured an amazing array of authors both in-person and online. I’m thrilled to let you know the final series event for 2020/2021, called “The Art of the Memoir,” is a real knockout.

For this event, we brought together two very different writers—with two powerful books. Cathy Park Hong wrote three books of poetry before she turned to prose with “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Memoir.” Wayétu Moore published her first novel in 2018, and two years later followed up with her memoir “The Dragons, the Giant, the Women.” Both have been unabashed successes, garnering major awards and “best of the year” nods and even a spot on bestseller lists! And both showed the flexibility of the memoir format.

Tune in tonight at 7 p.m. ET on the Library’s Facebook page or YouTube channel (and available afterward on the Library’s website) to learn more about how Hong’s memoir, “a hybrid collection of cultural criticism, memoir, history—with a dash of theory thrown in,” allowed her to be personal; how Moore “genre-hopped” as a novelist but wrote a fictionalized account of her mother’s experience in her memoir; and much much more.

National Book Festival Presents “War, Combat and the American Soldier” on March 25

On Thursday, March 25, at 7 p.m. ET, prominent historians of war Margaret MacMillan (“War: How Conflict Shaped Us”) and Rick Atkinson (“The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775-1777”) will be in conversation with philanthropist David M. Rubenstein as part of the National Book Festival Presents series.

2021 National Book Festival Presents Series Opens With “Giants of Racial Justice”

On Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. ET, Peniel E. Joseph (“The Sword and the Shield”) and Tamara Payne (“The Dead Are Arising”) will discuss their books on Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. in a National Book Festival Presents virtual program with Eric Deggans, NPR’s TV critic and media analyst-contributor for MSNBC and NBC News.