Get your bookmarks ready and join NPR journalists at the 17th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival on Saturday, September 1, 2018. More than 100 authors, illustrators and poets will be gathered at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center that weekend for a full day of Q&A sessions, special programs and family friendly activities. NPR hosts and journalists will lead book chats with writers in a wide range of genres and topics.
Learn more below about the writers and authors NPR journalists will be interviewing throughout the day made just for bibliophiles. The following entries are listed in chronological order.
Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Catherine Kerrison with NPR's Eric Deggans
TV critic Eric Deggans will moderate a conversation with authors Erica Armstrong Dunbar and Catherine Kerrison.
Dunbar is the Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Black Studies and History at the University of Delaware. In 2011, she was appointed the first director of the Program in African American History at the Library Company of Philadelphia. Dunbar has been the recipient of Ford, Mellon and Social Science research Council fellowships and is an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer. Her first book, "A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City," was published by Yale University Press in 2008. Her new work, a National Book Award finalist, is "Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge" (Atria).
Kerrison is an associate professor of history at Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses in colonial and revolutionary America and women's and gender history. She holds a Ph.D. in American history from the College of William and Mary. Her first book, "Claiming the Pen: Women and Intellectual Life in the Early American South" (Cornell), won the Outstanding Book Prize from the History of Education Society in 2007. She has recently written "Jefferson's Daughters: Three Sisters, White and Black, in a Young America" (Ballantine).
Min Jin Lee with NPR's Lynn Neary
Arts Desk Correspondent and guest host Lynn Neary will interview author Min Jin Lee.
Min Jin Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7. She grew up in Queens, New York. A graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Lee studied history at Yale College, then received a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. After practicing for two years, she began writing full time. She lived in New York with her husband and son until 2007, then spent several years in Japan, researching and writing her second novel, "Pachinko" (Grand Central), which was a finalist for the National Book Award and appeared on many lists for top book of the year. She lives in New York with her family.
Sy Montgomery and Juli Berwald with NPR's Linda Holmes
Pop Culture Happy Hour Host Linda Holmes will moderate a conversation between authors Sy Montgomery and Juli Berwald.
Researching articles, films and her 21 books for adults and children, best-selling author Sy Montgomery has been chased by an angry silverback gorilla in Rwanda, hunted by a tiger in India and swum with piranhas, electric eels and pink dolphins in the Amazon. Her work has taken her from the cloud forest of Papua New Guinea (for a book on tree kangaroos) to the Altai Mountains of the Gobi (for another, on snow leopards.) Her books for adults include "The Good Good Pig," "Birdology," "Spell of the Tiger," "Journey of the Pink Dolphins and "Walking with the Great Apes." She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, the writer Howard Mansfield, their border collie, Thurber, and their flock of free-range laying hens. Her book "The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness" (Atria), was a National Book Award Finalist. She has recently published "Tamed and Untamed: Close Encounters of the Animal Kind" (Chelsea Green).
Juli Berwald received her Ph.D. in ocean science from the University of Southern California. She is the author of "Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone" (Riverhead). Berwald has also written a science textbook and has worked as an editor. She has written for a number of publications, including The New York Times, Nature, National Geographic and Slate.
Mark Eisner, Fiona Sampson, Kay Redfield Jamison with NPR's Terence Samuel
4 – 4:50 pm
Deputy Managing Editor Terence Samuel will moderate a conversation between authors Mark Eisner, Fiona Sampson and Kay Redfield Jamison.
Eisner has spent most of the past two decades on projects related to the great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1971. Eisner's recent work is "Neruda: The Poet's Calling" (Ecco). Library Journal called the book "a definitive biography." In addition to writing about Neruda, Eisner has translated many of his poems, including ones for "The Essential Neruda." In association with Latino Public Broadcasting, Eisner is working on a documentary of the poet's life.
Fiona Sampson received an M.B.E for services to literature in the Queen's New Year's Honors in 2017. She is a Fellow and former Council Member of the Royal Society of Literature, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, the English Association and the Wordsworth Trust. Her publications include 29 volumes of poetry, literary nonfiction and criticism. She has received the Newdigate Prize, the Cholmondeley Award, a Hawthornden Fellowship, Kathleen Blundell and Oppenheimer-John Downes Awards from the Society of Authors, and she has been shortlisted twice for both the T.S. Eliot Prize and Forward Prizes. She is also the author of "Lyric Cousins" and "The Catch." Sampson's new book is "In Search of Mary Shelley: The Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein" (Pegasus).
Kay Redfield Jamison is the Dalio Family Professor in Mood Disorders and a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, as well as an honorary professor of English at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She is the author of the national best-sellers "An Unquiet Mind," "Night Falls Fast" and "Touched with Fire," and is the co-author of the standard medical text on bipolar disorder, "Manic-Depressive Illness: Bipolar Disorders and Recurrent Depression." Her new book is "Robert Lowell: Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character" (Vintage). Dr. Jamison is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Royal Society of Edinburgh and is a recipient of the Lewis Thomas Prize, the Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the National Academy of Medicine, and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship.
Brian Selznick with NPR's Barrie Hardymon
Weekend Edition Editor Barrie Hardymon will interview Brian Selznick. Selznick's books have garnered countless accolades worldwide and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He is the Caldecott Medal-winning creator of the No. 1 New York Times best-sellers "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," adapted into Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning movie "Hugo"; and "Wonderstruck," adapted by celebrated filmmaker Todd Haynes, with a screenplay by Selznick; as well as New York Times best-sellers "The Marvels" and "Baby Monkey, Private Eye" (co-written with Dr. David Serlin). In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the U.S. publication of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," Scholastic will publish new covers of the Harry Potter series illustrated by Selznick under its Arthur A. Levine imprint.
Luis Alberto Urrea with NPR's Mandalit del Barco
Arts Desk Correspondent Mandalit del Barco will interview best-selling author Luis Alberto Urrea. Urrea is a best-selling author of poetry, fiction and essays. He is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Urrea is also a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. His published works include "The Devil's Highway: A True Story," "Tijuana Book of the Dead," "Nobody's Son: Notes from an American Life," "Queen of America," "The Hummingbird's Daughter" and "The Fever of Being." His most recent book, is "The House of Broken Angels" (Little, Brown).
Francisco Cantú and Alfredo Corchado with NPR's Tom Gjelten
National Desk Correspondent will moderate a conversation with Francisco Cantú and Alfredo Corchado.
Cantú served as an agent for the U.S. Border Patrol in the deserts of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas from 2008 to 2012. A former Fulbright fellow, he is the recipient of a 2017 Whiting Award and the recent author of "The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border" (Riverhead). His essays and translations have been featured on "This American Life" and in "Best American Essays," as well as the magazines Harper's, Guernica, Orion, n+1 and Ploughshares. He lives in Tucson.
Corchado is the Mexico border correspondent for The Dallas Morning News and author of "Midnight in Mexico." He is a Nieman, Lannan, USMEX, Woodrow Wilson and Rockefeller fellow and the winner of the Maria Moors Cabot and Elijah Parish Lovejoy awards for courage in journalism. Corchado lives in Mexico City but calls the border home. His new book is "Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration" (Bloomsbury).
Isabel Allende with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly
All Things Considered Host Mary Louise Kelly will be in conversation with Chilean author Isabel Allende. Allende won worldwide acclaim when her best-selling first novel, "The House of the Spirits," published in 1982. In addition to launching Allende's career as a renowned author, the book, which grew out of a farewell letter to her dying grandfather, also established her as a feminist force in Latin America's male-dominated literary world. She has since written 22 more works, including "Of Love and Shadows," "Eva Luna," and "The Infinite Plan." Her new novel is "In the Midst of Winter" (Atria). In addition to her work as a writer, Allende also devotes much of her time to human rights. She makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area. Allende became a U.S. citizen in 1993, but lives, she says, with one foot in California and the other in Chile.
Louise Penny with Fresh Air's Maureen Corrigan
Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan sits down with mystery writer Louise Penny. Mystery writer Louise Penny came to her current profession when she was well into her 40s. Before she became a novelist, she was a journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Penny's work has garnered much critical praise, including receiving the Agatha Award five times. Her novels are set in Quebec and feature Chief Inspector General Armand Gamache. Penny's latest Gamache mystery is "Glass Houses" (Minotaur). She lives outside of Montreal near the American border.