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Treat Your Shelf: Join NPR At The Virtual National Book Festival

The 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate the theme "Open a Book, Open the World."
The 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival will celebrate the theme "Open a Book, Open the World."

Calling all bookworms! The 2021 Library of Congress National Book Festival begins on September 17, with virtual programs rolling out over ten days in an extended schedule. Audiences will hear from more than 100 writers, along with a few NPR staffers, as they celebrate the festival theme "Open a Book, Open the World." Participants will be able to create their own unique festival experience with access to on-demand videos and some of your favorite NPR podcasts, author conversations in real time, and live question-and-answer sessions.

Be sure to follow the National Book Festival blog for updates. See below for more information about the six NPR staff appearances, including an in-person event featuring Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

Live Festival Events

September 18, 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm EDT

Petra Mayer interviews Elizabeth Hand, author of The Book of Lamps and Banners, and Alex Mchaelides, author of The Maidens, about their new books.

September 21, 7:00 pm - 7:30 pm EDT at The Thomas Jefferson Building (Coolidge Auditorium)

Lulu Garcia-Navarro interviews Adrienne Raphel, author of Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can't Live Without Them, and Will Shortz, author of The New York Times Hardest Crosswords Volume 8 and The New York Times Super Sunday Crosswords Volume 10, about their obsessive crossword fascination. Subscribe to the National Book Festival blog to be notified of updates regarding ticketing information.

September 23, 5:00 pm - 5:30 pm EDT

Karen Grigsby Bates interviews Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, author of The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois, and Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, about their latest works.

Videos On-Demand

All videos presentations will be available on September 17 at 10:00 am.

Elizabeth Blair talks to Chang-rae Lee, author of My Year Abroad, and Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Committed about their early experiences as immigrants to the United States, the complexities of displacement and belonging, and the various ways their novels confront history and culture.

Maureen Corrigan talks to Tana French, author of The Searcher, about her approach to the mystery genre, what it's like to be an outsider in a new place and why she reread Agatha Christie's books during quarantine.

Eric Deggans talks to Annette Gordon-Reed, author of On Juneteenth, about her autobiographical approach to her new book, and the importance and impact of learning the whole truth about slavery, white supremacy and Juneteenth.

NPR podcasts*

  • TED Radio Hour interview with New York Times best-selling author and National Ambassador of Young People's Literature Jason Reynolds about his most recent book "Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks." The podcast drops September 17.
  • Short Wave interview with outdoors activist Ambreen Tariq about her book "Fatima's Great Outdoors." The podcast drops on September 17.
  • Life Kit interview with journalist Eric Garcia about his book "We're Not Broken." The podcast drops on September 20.
  • It's Been A Minute interview with author Brandon Taylor about his book "Filthy Animals." The podcast drops on September 21.
  • Code Switch interview with Kacen Callender, author of multiple novels for children, teens and adults about the National Book Award-winning book "King and the Dragonflies." The podcast drops on Sept. 22.
  • Alt Latino interview with award-winning Chilean author Isabel Allende. The podcast drops on September 26.
  • *Dates subject to change watch the podcasts' feeds for updates

    Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.