The Library of Congress is once again presenting the National Book Festival, and Indiana is excited to be part of it. The 22nd iteration of the festival will take place in-person on Sept. 3 at the Washington Convention Center. A selection of programs will be livestreamed, and videos of those presentations can be viewed online after the festival concludes. The theme for this year’s festival is “Books Bring Us Together.”
Indiana is participating in the festival in a variety of ways. The Indiana Center for the Book will staff the Indiana booth in the Roadmap to Reading area of the festival, and two books by Indiana authors are being highlighted at the festival as part of the Great Reads from Great Places initiative. “Zorrie” by Larid Hunt is the selection for adult readers and “You Should See Me in a Crown” by Leah Johnson is the selection for youth readers.
The Indiana Center for the Book recently hosted an evening with Laird Hunt where Suzanne Walker, director of the center, spoke to the author of “Zorrie” about the novel and especially about the author’s Indiana roots. “Zorrie” is unique because it was chosen to represent two states at the festival. Laird Hunt is from Indiana, but currently lives in Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Center for the Book partnered with Indiana on the event and has also chosen the book to represent their state at the festival.
Leah Johnson, author of “You Should See Me in a Crown” was interviewed back in 2021 by Sammy, the toucan puppet affiliated with the Indiana Center for the Book. They talked about books, reading, and of course, being from Indiana.
In addition to these two authors, Indiana author Karen Joy Fowler will also be at the festival in-person. Fowler’s book “Booth” is featured in a Toolkit put together by Indiana Humanities and Indiana Center for the Book. Use the toolkit participate in the festival. Explore the writings of one of the authors. Learn more about the Library of Congress, our national library. Listen to a podcast interview in a group and discuss it afterwards. Above all, enjoy connecting with Hoosier literary heritage. The Golden Age of Indiana literature isn’t in the past. It’s beginning all over again.
This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center librarian Suzanne Walker.