The festival will take place Saturday, September 5, 2015, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. All programs will be free of charge.
The festival’s theme, “I Cannot Live Without Books,” is a tribute to Jefferson’s legacy and his offer of his own books to replace the fledgling congressional library that was destroyed by fire during the British attack on the U.S. Capitol in 1814. The purchase of his 6,400 volumes was finalized in 1815 and the collection eventually was installed in the Library of Congress, where it is still on display and in use. Based on that core collection, the Library went on to become the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in near-countless collections. Festivalgoers this year will be given a very special glimpse into Jefferson’s lifelong passion for books.
Among the first to authors accept the festival’s invitations this year are eminent historians Annette Gordon-Reed, David McCullough and Walter Isaacson; Guggenheim Fellow Daniel Alarcón; Newbery Medal-winner Kwame Alexander; PEN/Faulkner Award winner Ha Jin; Guggenheim Fellow Naomi Shihab Nye; and Pulitzer Prize for fiction winners Marilynne Robinson and Jane Smiley.
The festival will feature more than 100 distinguished authors across many fields and in all genres of writing, with audiences ranging from young readers to adults. Although new programming is promised for 2015, the festival will continue to offer its popular pavilions dedicated to Children, Teens, Contemporary Life, History & Biography, Fiction & Mystery, Graphic Novels, Picture Books, Science, Poetry & Prose and the Culinary Arts.
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