Washington, DC - The 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival will offer an outstanding lineup of authors for readers of all ages for the festival’s 19th year, with more than 140 nationally recognized authors, poets and illustrators, as well as the addition of stages devoted to science and international subjects.

On Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, doors will open at 8:30 a.m., with programs beginning at 9 a.m. and running until 8 p.m.

The stellar lineup includes U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, eminent historians David McCullough and Michael Beschloss, celebrity D.C. chef and humanitarian José Andrés, graphic novel superstar Raina Telgemeier and Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction recipient Richard Ford.

The 2019 festival also will invite visitors to Explore America’s Changemakers, part of a yearlong initiative coinciding with a series of exhibitions, events and programs at the Library. Among numerous festival programs dedicated to the theme of Changemakers, a special panel will feature new books on Winston Churchill by Andrew Roberts, Frederick Douglass by David Blight and visionary women including Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall and Alice Waters, by Andrea Barnet.

Here are a few festival highlights:

  • U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will participate in a conversation with NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg; Ginsburg will discuss her career and her book “My Own Words.”
  • David McCullough, one of America’s most-read historians, will talk about “The Pioneers: The Heroic Stories of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West.”
  • José Andrés will review his humanitarian work, especially when he helped feed the people of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Diane Rehm, whose radio show on NPR aired for nearly 40 years, will interview Andrés, who will also discuss his new vegetable cookbook.
  • Raina Telgemeier will greet thousands of her fans and introduce them to “Share Your Smile: Raina’s Guide to Telling Your Own Story.”
  • American historian Henry Louis Gates Jr. will offer two presentations, one for children on his new book “Dark Sky Rising” and one for adults on Race in America.
  • Presidential historian Michael Beschloss will talk about “Presidents of War.”
  • Matthew Gray Gubler, one of the stars of CBS’ “Criminal Minds,” will present his children’s book “Rumple Buttercup.”
  • Graphic novelist Ngozi Ukazu, who has rewritten the rules of publishing, will discuss “Check, Please!”
  • Award-winning novelist Laila Lalami will talk about “The Other Americans.”
  • Julia Alvarez will look back on her novel “In the Time of the Butterflies,” an international sensation when it was published 25 years ago.
  • Susan Choi will discuss her highly acclaimed novel “Trust Exercise.”

Authors participating in this year’s festival will make their presentations on the following stages:

Stages for Adults

Main Stage: José Andrés, Michael Beschloss, David Brooks, Richard Ford, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David McCullough and Raina Telgemeier

Fiction: Louis Bayard, Ann Beattie, Susan Choi, Barbara Kingsolver, Laila Lalami, Rebecca Makkai, Thomas Mallon, Sigrid Nunez, Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Powers and Roxana Robinson

Genre Fiction: Charlie Jane Anders, Johnny D. Boggs, James Ellroy, Margaret George, Philippa Gregory, Anne Hillerman, Paul Andrew Hutton, Joe Ide, Craig Johnson, Brianna Labuskes, Seanan McGuire, Sara Paretsky, John Scalzi and Victoria Schwab

History & Biography: Rick Atkinson, Douglas Brinkley, Colin G. Calloway, Joanne B. Freeman, Casey Gerald, David Maraniss, Andrew Roberts, Evan Thomas, David Treuer, Elaine Weiss and Brenda Wineapple

International: Liliana Colanzi, María Dueñas, Melba Escobar, Inga Gaile, Cristina Rivera Garza, Amitav Ghosh, Olga Grjasnowa, Caoilinn Hughes, Claudia Salazar Jiménez, Jeanine Leane, Brenton McKenna, Kim Scott and Kim Thúy

Poetry & Prose: Julia Alvarez, Sheila Black, Jericho Brown, Nathan Englander, Aminatta Forna, Ilya Kaminsky, R.O. Kwon, Dorianne Laux, Valeria Luiselli, Alberto Manguel, Madeline Miller, Brendan Mathews, Lydia Millet, Pamela Paul, Linda Sue Park, Maria Russo, Jon Scieszka, Natasha Trethewey, Renée Watson, Emily Wilson, and Jenny Xie

Science: Peter Brannen, Alexandra Horowitz, Beth Macy, Thomas W. Malone, Lisa Margonelli, Jim Ottaviani, David Quammen, Douglas Rushkoff, Daniel Stone, Frans de Waal and David Sloan Wilson

Understanding Our World: Andrea Barnet, David Blight, David Epstein, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Judge Richard Gergel, Reyna Grande, David Grann, Amy Gutmann,  Joshua Hammer, Aleksandar Hemon, Parag Khanna, Steve Luxenberg, Alberto Manguel, Suketu Mehta, Jonathan Moreno, Elaine Pagels, Steven Pearlstein and Andrew Roberts

Stages for Young People

Children: Mac Barnett, Cece Bell, Sophie Blackall, Fred Bowen, Max Brallier, Molly Brooks, Pablo Cartaya, Fabien Cousteau, Lucy Ruth Cummins, Gale Galligan, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Brian Floca, Matthew Gray Gubler, Shannon Hale, Jennifer Holm, Matthew Holm, Jon Klassen, Ann M. Martin, Juana Medina, R.J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park, LeUyen Pham, Matt Phelan, Greg Pizzoli, Sherri Duskey Rinker, Sharon Robinson, Adam Rubin, Victoria Schwab, Jon Scieszka, Ronald L. Smith, Jennifer Swanson and Steven Weinberg

Teens: Holly Black, Monica Hesse, Kathleen Glasgow, Ellen Hagan, Faith Erin Hicks, Linda Holmes, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Mitali Perkins, Rainbow Rowell, Misa Sugiura,  Ngozi Ukazu, Renée Watson, Scott Westerfeld and Markus Zusak

Poetry Slam: The National Book Festival Youth Poetry Slam will include some of the nation’s top youth slam groups from the nation’s capital. Champion delegates from these groups will compete to be named the festival's top youth slammer by performing new works.

The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein. Charter sponsors are the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron sponsors are the James Madison Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Champions are Thomas V. Girardi, the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, PBS and Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program; and, in the Friends category, Booklovers Circle Members, Bookshare - a Benetech initiative, Buffy Cafritz, Embassy of Australia, Embassy of Canada, Embassy of Germany, Embassy of Ireland, Embassy of Latvia, Embassy of Peru, Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction administered by The University of Alabama School of Law, The Hay-Adams, Inter-American Development Bank, The Junior League of Washington, Andy King, Leon Levy Center for Biography (CUNY), Library of Congress Federal Credit Union, Mexican Cultural Institute, Timothy and Diane Naughton, Planet Word, Scholastic Inc, Small Press Expo (SPX), Spain Arts & Culture and Western Writers of America; Media Partners are C-SPAN2’s Book TV, The New York Times and NPR. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival can contact the Library at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Later this summer, the National Book Festival app for iOS and Android smartphones will be updated with complete presenter, schedule and wayfinding information. Follow the festival on Twitter @librarycongress with hashtag #NatBookFest, and subscribe to the National Book Festival Blog at loc.gov/bookfest/.

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