Janelle Monáe, Nick Offerman headline Library of Congress’ National Book Festival

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the National Book Festival (Part 1)

The National Book Festival returns to the Washington Convention Center on Saturday for free events on 10 stages from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with the theme “Books Bring Us Together.”

“We’ve been doing the book festival for 22 years,” Festival Director Jarrod MacNeil told WTOP. “Over the past two years we’ve been forced to do it virtually because of the pandemic … but this year we are getting back to in person and we’re really excited.”

This year’s lineup includes acclaimed singer/actress Janelle Monáe, who will be speaking about her debut book “The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer.”

“She is an American songwriter, she is an actress, she is a fashion icon,” MacNeil said. “She had a great conversation with the Librarian of Congress recently and I know that Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, is very excited about her coming to our main stage.”

You’ll also hear from Nick Offerman, best known as Ron Swanson in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” who will be discussing his new book “Where the Deer and the Antelope Play: The Pastoral Observations of One Ignorant American Who Loves to Walk Outside.”

Nyle DiMarco of “America’s Next Top Model” and “Dancing with the Stars” will be discussing his new memoir “Deaf Utopia: A Memoir―and a Love Letter to a Way of Life.”

You’ll also meet Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks, author of “Year of Wonders,” “March” and her new book “Horse: A Novel,” which MacNeil calls “an interesting story about … the most famous unknown horse when it comes to the horse-racing industry.”

Mitch Albom will celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” while actress Megan Mullaney will interview “comedic master” Leslie Jordan.

“Being able to come back to an in person event for the National Book Festival is really rewarding,” MacNeil said. “Books do bring us together.”

Find more information here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the National Book Festival (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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