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Here Are the Authors Coming to the 2024 Library of Congress National Book Festival

The August event will feature novelist James McBride, opera singer Renée Fleming, and many more writers.

Photograph by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress/GPA Photo Archive/Flickr.

The annual Library of Congress National Book Festival is back, and this time over 90 authors strong. From 9 AM to 8 PM on August 24, book lovers will converge at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for talks and panels with some of today’s hottest literary talent. The event is free and open to the public, but if you can’t make it in person, main stage events will be live-streamed.

Here are some of the most noteworthy events:

James McBride will speak about his historical fiction novel The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, which Barack Obama named as one of his favorite books of 2023.

Sandra Cisneros, author of the widely-taught coming-of-age novel The House on Mango Street, will discuss the 40th anniversary of the book.

Opera gem Renée Fleming will talk about her anthology of essays, Music and Mind: Harnessing the Arts for Health and Wellness, and will be joined by scientist Daniel J. Levitin, author of I Heard There Was a Secret Chord: Music as Medicine.

Rebecca Yarros will discuss her Empyrean series, a staple of the emerging ‘romantasy’ genre.

Casey McQuiston, author of The Pairing (and also Red, White & Royal Blue) will talk about their inspirations for romance writing alongside Abby Jimenez, author of Just for the Summer.

Billionaire and Baltimore Orioles owner David Rubenstein, in conversation with historian Douglas Brinkley, will discuss his book The Highest Calling: Conversations on the American Presidency.

Claire Messud, author of novel This Strange Eventful History, will sit on a panel about generational family secrets, and will be joined by authors Donna Hemans (The House of Plain Truth) and Rachel Khong (Real Americans).

Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak about her memoir, An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s.

Genre-traversing author James Patterson will talk about his nonfiction book, The Secret Lives of Booksellers and Librarians: Their Stories Are Better Than the Bestsellers.

Journalist Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City) will speak about his political horror The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War.

New York Times columnist Carlos Lozada and writer/law professor Jeffrey Rosen will discuss politicians and writing through their respective books: The Washington Book: How to Read Politics and Politicians, and The Pursuit of Happiness: How Classical Writers on Virtue Inspired the Lives of the Founders and Defined America.

Authors Ayana Mathis (The Unsettled) and Viet Thanh Nguyen (A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, A History, A Memorial), will reflect on writer and activist James Baldwin.

Washington Post columnist Monica Hesse, author of The Brightwood Code, will talk about code breaking with Candace Fleming, author of The Enigma Girls: How Ten Teenagers Broke Ciphers, Kept Secrets and Helped Win World War II.

Attorney and author David Baldacci will present his latest courtroom novel, A Calamity of Souls.

Check out the full slate of authors here.

Josie Reich
Editorial Fellow