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tv   2021 National Book Awards  CSPAN  December 6, 2021 3:59am-5:30am EST

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television companies support c-span2 as a public service. here is a look at the best-selling nonfiction books according to portland, oregon. topping the list reporter and creator of the 1619 project nikole hannah-jones and her look at american history, slavery and its legacy in southern day america. followed by the dawn of everything archaeologist in the late anthropologist critical look at the development of human society. after that he suggests we should work with rather than shape the land we live on ingredients week grass. the best-selling nonfiction books is joshua mcfadden's cookbook, greens for every season in musician the storyteller.
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some of these authors appeared on booktv and you can watch the programs anytime a >> it's an honor to welcome everybody to the 72nd national book award. i'm coming in life from the random house building. shout out, they have wi-fi that won't quit. . . the national basketball association. i am just saying, that impression would have gotten me on saturday night live. i am excited we are all gathered here on one of the biggest nights to celebrate one of the biggest awards and brightest
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most game changing talent in the industry. a host last nominee, i know all about that. the producer is in my ear talking to me. i am not nominated this evening? for anything? are you sure? there is still time for me to get nominated and be a dark horse winner tonight. [laughter] available everywhere. okay. check out this excerpt from my book in which i talk about performance ally ship. basically, white guilt is a comic. it always has a sob story. constantly caught up in the drama without realizing she is a key architect in the spectacle that is her life. always getting fired and acting why she does not know why.
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she was making movies to bring home to your cap. she dm to me and told me he wishes he had wrote that. they are telling me that is also not true. while i deal with being the susan lucy of a national book award, nomination let's focus on the matter at hand. but speared growing up in cleveland ohio i wrote stories in my bedroom. most of them were about my crush on my teacher. don't judge my journey. they found me to develop my voice. as for the books i read, they were the past that i needed to the world. my escape was to challenge a belief that i had. i know i am not only one. everyone close your eyes for a second.
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go on, close them. think about the first book that changed deal. now, try to remember how the pages smelled. maybe they were slightly musty or maybe they were fresh as a baby because it was a brand-new copy you got from the bookstore. okay. how comforting it felt. finally, think about the excitement that horst through you as you just could not wait to tell your parent, teacher, sibling or friend about what you just read. okay. now open your eyes. look. awards are nice, dressing up as fun. okay. recognition from your peers is amazing. but the high you get from reading that sentence, paragraph four book that will live in your
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bones forever or in the case of all view tonight, right in that sentence, paragraph or book is what it is all about. it is what truly matters. i should know. i am the author of three books in the publisher of others. the voice of the women, people of color, lgbt qi a+ community. books are my safe space. my happy place. which means that all of you nominees are my safe space and my happy place. so, i am thrilled to be here tonight celebrating all the nominees and honorees. you are the heartbeat of this industry. you are the inspiration for so many. thank you for your talent, vulnerability, bravery and your contribution to the literary tradition. you make us smile, laugh, think, cry and feel. show us how the world is and how
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it can be or what it should be. as for me, next time i submit my book i will get myself a nomination. i've learned my lesson. okay. let's go and get the show on the road. tonight's event is open and free to everyone. it is also the biggest fundraiser for the national book foundation. they are a nonprofit organization and they need your support. if you believe in the power books changing the world, please consider donating today. okay. $12,000 is a little rich for my blood. 150. boom! we also have an audience room tonight : people that love books our champion of the national book foundation. hey everybody. make some noise. show your hands. thank you so much for being here
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with us tonight. your bookshelves look amazing. getting it flawless. everyone has good internet. let's check in with them over the course of the night. we began by honoring the foundations lifetime achievement honoree. the first of these awards is the literary and award for outstanding service in the american literary community which is given to a person that has shown a remarkable dedication. books and reading. last year the foundation honored the late publisher carolyn reedy. of the past winners include doctor maia angelou. of the american book sales association, two nights honoree is exceptional in our service to libraries, books, reading in the literary community. honoring her tonight is ron charles. a writer at the washington post.
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weekly books and produces a video series called the totally hip book review. previously ron was editor of the book section. his work has been honored by the national book critics circle, the society for featured journalism and the american library association. check this out. he has also served as a judge for the pulitzer prize for fiction. since 2013 he has hosted life of the poet. an interview series cosponsored by the library of congress. it gives me great pleasure to welcome ron charles. >> thank you. nancy once wrote each time i get a new book there is a rip chance at this is a book that i will fall in love with.
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he was encouraged by the possibility of such love waiting for us on the very next page. like most people i first heard nancy pearl when i heard her voice on the radio recommending books. she was funny, she was warm and most of all she was enthusiastic. she immediately reminds me of my first librarian whose voice through my classmates through adventures around the world and across the galaxy. later the enthusiasm for literature came from experience. and titled her memoir girl discovers reading then discovers life. growing up in detroit, nancy found the public library offered a refuge from a difficult home. she was rescued from despair from books. it is not too much of an exaggeration to say reading save my life. at a young age she discovered that books allow turbo to find herself into escape herself. by the time she was 10, she knew
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she wanted to be a librarian. a self-described rita holick. she started working at a bookshop in detroit even before she graduated from high school. she eventually earned a bachelors degree from the university of michigan and from there her involvement with books cap evolving. she began her career as a children my beer and in the move to the tulsa city county library and then the public library where she became the public director of the washington center for the books. it was there in seattle that she had a nancy sized idea. in 1998 she started a book club that embrace the whole population of the city. a program called if all of seattle read the same book, exemplifies the breath of nancy's vision and the depth of her face and the power of literature. that program is replicated in every state of america and around the world. a program based on the idea that people reading in a public place to talk about a book could learn
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to appreciate the book and each other. i believe she once said there is an opportunity for reading and discussion to help make the world a better place. what could be more necessary at a moment when our society feels fractured and libraries find themselves in the culture wars. at a time when too many people are on alarmed that a book may disturb their hundred them. i read to enlarge my horizon to gain wisdom to experience judy. to understand myself better and further pure wonderment of it all. in 2004, nancy retired from her post as executive director of the washington center for books. not a person given mockery she has made a mockery of retirement. following up on her expensive book lust she went on to publish more book lust and will crush for children and teens enter
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first novel. she also wrote book lust to go. recommended books for travelers and dreamers. it is a book that demonstrates what emily dickinson met when she said that there is no freedom like a book to take us away. and perhaps that has been the thesis of all of nancy's work. throughout her career she has been a critic. a readers advocate. someone understanding how thirsty people are to find books that they love. and to hear hers to know that it is inspired by good humor. there is no coincidence that she was chairman of the fiction committee the year andrew greer won a pulitzer prize. reminding us that a comic novel can be a great work of art. nancy's voice on radio, television and their own best-selling books resonating self power lit fully because she represents the idea of a librarian. and activists from the pleasure
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of reading, she is not a guardian of the treasurers. she has a farmer of the orchard. i have never wavered, she writes. my belief of being librarian forms the best and noblest careers that anyone could have. it is my honor to introduce the recipient of the 2021 award for outstanding service in the community nancy pearl. i want to thank the national book foundation from the bottom of my heart for this award. i feel as though my entire life has been validated. to find myself in such notable company as previous winners such
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as dave, maia angelo and terry gross is beyond wonderful. when you have gotten to be the agent i am, there are so many people that have made a difference in my life. if i named all of them, i far exceed my time limit. here are just a few. my husband joe who has made my reading life possible. ms. francis whitehead, the children's librarian at the park and branch at the detroit public library who took this miserably unhappy 8-year-old girl that i was and gave me the world through the book she recommended. including the hobbit, strawberry girl and johnny tremaine. she had showed me that books are places where you can both find yourself and lose yourself. i knew when i was 10 that i wanted to be a librarian just like ms. whitehead. so i could give to other
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children what she gave me. ms. glenn the middle school librarian who made sure that i read my father's dragon and eleanor cameron's the wonderful slight to the mushroom planet. they hired me to work at the yorktown alley bookstore in tulsa oklahoma. craig who brought me to the seattle public library from tulsa. by creating a job for me that required me to do what i love tinted best. talking about books in the pleasures of reading and not having to do anything i was not good at which was basically everything else. craig gave me the time, space and encouragement to create the seattle book program which was grown throughout the world in to all of those one city one book projects.
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gary, and editor here in seattle writing a book about good books to read. mark who used me as a model for the librarian action figure, immortalizing me and what i am pretty sure is nonbiodegradable plastic, sunshine and cultural affairs officer at the u.s. embassy who came up with the idea that having all the teenagers in the country, whether they be muslim, read and discuss the absolutely true diary of a part-time indian. and she asked me to come to bosnia to work with librarians and teachers who would be discussing this book with those teens. my experience there solidified my belief that reading and then
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discussing a book can be a small, but important step in helping heal a fractured nation or a community in conflict. lastly, i want to thank all of the writers, editors and publishers whose books have given me so much joy to the years. i am, i believe, the first librarian to win this award. i am dedicating it to all of the librarians who do such a central work for communities. one of the foundational principles of the public library is that it is a truly egalitarian institution available free to everyone. regardless of ethnicity, race, religion, age or economic status. and as such it is a democratizing and unifying source in our society which is needed now than ever before. thank you again to the national
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book foundation for this great honor. >> congratulations and now back to our host phoebe robinson. >> nancy has her own action figure. get that money. that is amazing. i love libraries. i go to them all the time. thank you so much for your incredible work. the second lifetime achievement award we will be presenting tonight to american letters. previous winners of this award include toni morrison, stephen king, walter mosley and gwendolyn brooks. they enrich the literary heritage through the five-year ward. an extraordinary impact anterior to present the metal.
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the novel the sympathizer won the pulitzer prize for fiction and numerous other awards. nothing ever dies vietnam in the memory of war. the national book award for nonfiction. a university professor in the chair of english at the university of southern california and a recipient of fellowships from the guggenheim and macarthur foundation. wow. with great pleasure i would like to welcome -- one of the most inventive and unpredictable writers whose work i've had the pleasure of reading. it is a real honor to have this opportunity to say a few words. not least of all, an asian
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american and japanese-american writer. i mention these because there book span all of them. travel across many borders. the stories of diverse peoples in the americas and polluting those of asian descent. karen has been enormously meaningful to me. someone who was saved by discovering asian american literature in the same year karen began publishing. this was 1990. a college student. wondering if i could be a writer in english. someone like me could be part of america. welcome karen with her first novel. it blows my mind. you are part of america, yes, the novel says. she met more than just united states. bringing together magical realism and a story about environmental construction. why hs of characters began exploring themes she would
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pursue for the next 30 years. the movements of migrants, degradation, capitalism, difficulties with race relations and the challenges of writing about history and memory from south to north america. from japan to the united states. the next novel about japanese immigration to brazil, the japanese in latin america paid much more attention than being paid to japanese americans in the united states. karen's work implies this focus binds us in the united states, not only to much of the rest of the world, but to how we are impacting by global forces of war, migration and capitalism that we help instigate. tropic of orange on which countless chapters have been written, imagine los angeles as the site of an apostle elliptic funny moment caused by a gigantic orange moving from mexico to california and
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bringing with it. see how many threads karen weaves together. she is ambitious and it is one of the things that i most love and it meyer about her as a writer. she can move easily from a grand topic. a book of short pieces about japanese brilliant hundred brilliance. some say in sensibility, not a book of short pieces inspired by jane austen during japanese americans. her work as serious as it is about the damage we do to each other to the world is straight with humor and satire. as well is ultimately deep humanity and compassion. one reason why the founder of letters is so moving. a work inspired by the collect of archive which spans the 20th century and all the human drama including japanese americans. and turn it was not only a
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japanese-american, it was an american tragedy. karen's work. one reason why her masterpiece is for me, the great american asian novel. asian and parentheses. asian americans in our histories literature he found in politics and jokes at the heart. what is also at the heart is radical hope. found in all of karen's work. we must have a mower just future that literature, imagination and the writers all have important roles to play. an unwavering commitment to her artistic vision. having a distinguished contribution to american literature. karen, congratulations on this richly deserved.
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>> to the board of directors of the national book foundation, chair, executive director and associate director and. thank you for this gracious and profound honor. thank you for your gracious introduction. the names of former honor reason looting the illustrious maxine pinkston. i know that i am here because of a small, but mighty independent press, coffeehouse press and its visionary publisher. read my work and took a chance on my writing. alan and the coffeehouse staff brought me into the world of publishing. intellectual and social influence, the art of bookmaking and the level of language and stories. after launching my first novel, alan asked, well, karen, what do
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you have next? oh, i answered, very different. you won't want it. let us be a judge of that. since then i've published all my books with coffeehouse. over the years that cap my books in print. they continue to have access to my books. i am here because coffeehouse has envisioned the long-distance of the journey. knowing that books take time to be read and to share. coffeehouse is understood that a small margin of profit over time might give authors like me a chance to grow and to find leadership. i have grown up as a writer within a nation of american literary community. but, where is asian america. it is, i believe, and imagine space that recognizes immigration and participation of asian and pacific islander
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people in american society and political life. initially, this literature inserted its grounding within american continental history, but it has always been referential to the crossing of oceans. this navigation has not necessarily been -- but the result of colonialism, racism and core. asian american literature is at heart the literature of politics and resistance. for our community, your recognition tonight is significant. especially this year post- pandemic having weathered the twitter of corruption and mendacity. the brutality of racial profiling and the provocation of anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, anti-muslim, anti-asian hatred. in such time, may our writing
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forge tolerance and care. i am also here because of the generosity and support of a broader shared community. sharing mentors and teachers across the world and most significantly colleague students and staff at the university of california santa cruz. who have provided me with a home to research and to write. i am here because my friends and family close and extended, especially my sister jean and my creative husband and partner have given me love and faith. because you believed. many years ago, my aunt took me to visit the author. here later i would discover the wartime correspondence with her dear friend. i took for granted the
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connection of the family to the connection through the church and uc berkeley into their wartime incarceration at topaz in utah. i know they planned this meeting because they were proud who thought that i was the writer. this memory is comical and sweet to me. meanwhile, an earnest kid in college had no idea. in those years, the most successfully published japanese-american writer of her generation. i may name other writers. [inaudible] of these writers, only -- was able to live by her craft.
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she lived alone and very modestly. in 1949, she published her first book the dancing teakettle and other japanese folktales. i assumed this book read to me as a child to have been the first book of japanese folktales written in english. of these tales, one story that continues to resonate for me is in the story, saving a giant turtle. returning it. one day while fishing, the turtle reappears and invites to visit the princess of the sea. climbing onto the turtle's back and travels to the bottom of the ocean. he lives there and luxury. at last he misses home. as he leaves, the princess offers him a small jewel box.
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if he wishes to return, he must never open that box. well, perhaps you know the story the turtle may be a magical being. upon whose climbing to sign our destiny. perhaps what lies ahead is an adventure or an escape or the moment of our death. the responsibility of our journey. the turtle with its shell has a different lesson. how we must travel within our bodies even if marked by ethnicity, gender, color, immigrants, refugees, exile by the fortune of life set forth on the back of immortal turtles to distant places. sometimes alternate displaced
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bombed out reality to discover that it is impossible. there is also the predicament of our mobility as globalized transnational often celebrated but for many migrant laborers a great perk rarity. i the jewel box. a secret hidden within. the dream, the soul, the joyful horrific messy contributions of life. the stories of a journey and deed. sometimes revealed and extravagant, comically or insanely violate ways. the imagination is the only sane site. do bloodied combat for grief and
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anger finding solace in reconciliation. his heart filled with confusion. curiosity, wonder, seeking answers will open his gifted box and reap the consequences. we discovered that writing what we think, turning ideas on the page can reconstruct ways of thinking. ideas are dangerous and transformative. writing them is creative work for which we are responsible, accountable. writing requires our constant care and integrity. i think all of you who have gifted me with this amazing journey. i have been truly blessed. ♪♪
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>> congratulations. now back to our host phoebe robinson. >> while. that speech was powerful. her hair was looking fire. i agree. writing, you have to include integrity. we need to move in a good positive way. now i would like to introduce the national book foundation board chair david steinberger. come on over. >> good evening. thank you. we are so thrilled to have you here with us tonight as our oure virtual book awards. celebrating the best in literature. the powerful writing, talented authors and of course the many
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readers touched by books. all of those joining us tonight welcome to the 72nd annual national book awards. i need to start by thanking the team at the national book foundation. your perseverance and dedication over the past year has been nothing short of extraordinary. the board of directors arm some of the most committed and enthusiastic people i've ever had the opportunity to work with. thank you all. i am honored to serve this institution alongside each of you. tonight we are coming to you from the offices of england random house surrounded by books as we should be, generously made available to us by our ward member. thank you for hosting us tonight. i would like to thank all of those that have made not just this night but the year-round work at the national book foundation possible. we have a lot of people to thank
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and it is my privilege to be doing the thinking. thank you. thank you to our national book sponsors. amazon, apple, barnes & noble, google, harpercollins, new york city mayors office and simon & schuster. thank you to our national book award signature virtual cable host mick ellen and our virtual table host baker and taylor, books a million, caa, cushman and wakefield. my fellow board members and also thank you both. ingram, the new york times, scholastic, ww norton and company. thank you to the nonprofit table host anonymous. bookshop, candlewick, gray wolf, independent publishers group,
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princeton university press, leader university press and thank you to all of our individual supporters, your generate city makes it work the foundation does day in and day out possible. it is not just an award show. it is the single largest source of funding for the national book foundation. the foundation celebrating the best literature in america expand its audience and ensure that books have a prominent place in american culture. the foundation work and chores children and families in public housing communities across the country have access to free high quality books more than 1.56 million books to date. the foundation work gives adult caregivers opportunities to cultivate their love of reading m readers of all ages books of
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all literature. to continue this work, we need your help. as of now we have raised more than $550,000 towards our goal of $650,000. if you are watching tonight, if you believe like we do that books matter, that they can change minds and change lives, we hope that you will make a generous donation and support our work at national force hundred/awards. we cannot do it without your support. i could not be more excited to introduce you to the new champion of this work. our former executive director is now publisher. we again congratulate lisa and we are gratified that she remains actively involved with the foundation as a member of our board directors.
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ruth dickey joined the foundation in may of this year and it was not easy. she was in seattle, the foundation in new york, we are in the middle of a pandemic, but she is doing great. in addition to being a poet and a book award judge, she has ran organizations across the country with an eye not just towards artistic excellence but towards making a difference to people of all backgrounds and circumstances including many you can otherwise overlook. she is a builder of and big believer in big dreams. we could not be happier to have her at the helm of the national book foundation. before we hear directly from ruth, let's take a look at our work and why we do it. >> since 1950 the book awards celebrated the best books in the united states and help them reach more readers.
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>> i feel like i left my body. i just went completely numb with shock. i definitely spoke from the heart and also forgot to thank my family who was sitting right next to me and my parents. that is one thing that i found when i became a 535 many years ago, somebody is reading my work out there. i had no idea. all of a sudden there were people in new york that all of a sudden in some way i felt like i was connected to now. >> four main pillars, awards and honors, education and access, public programs and support for the literary field. i am awed by all of the way they were intrepid and partners inspiring and intrepid and continuing to do important work of connecting readers at this time when it mattered more than ever.
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it encourages families and the children in their lives to approach reading and talk about reading and stories in the same way we would talk about a movie or a sports program of this sort >> the facilities have access to books. literature for justice was a three year program designed to have conversations around books that illuminated mass incarceration in our country. giving wind to those conversations. we have continued our partnership to bring books to people who are incarcerated in every corner of the country. >> what i'm excited about is the thing this that we really believe will bring hope and joy. i do think that freedom starts with the book. sometimes it is easy to forget
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that. expanding the community. >> the environment connects children and families living in public housing communities. high quality diverse books. >> we were able to get 4500 books. this year we have 7000 books. being able to allow children to choose books, often times books that have pictures of their likeness and choose any book that they like. as many books as they walked. build their own library. it is really like a gift. >> the fund was created to address a crisis to support organizations navigating a pandemic. it is a partnership between the academy of american poets. supported by the andrew w mellon foundation. the fall of 2021 we announced there will be a second round of
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support. $4.3 million in the second round of emergency funding. >> books offer the opportunity one page at a time, one word at a time to think about what matters. >> it is our truth. the way we can get to places we cannot get to otherwise. >> having control. how will i use whatever i have learned? >> the books that we love are not just books that we chose. books that other people chose. >> the fundamental level, the work is to create a sense of belonging in reading for readers absolutely everywhere. help readers have extraordinary experiences with books. >> how do people do it?
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i don't know how people do it. thanks, everyone. have a good day. >> thank you so much, david, for that leadership and introduction. i am absolutely thrilled to be here as the executive director of the national book foundation. welcome to the audience joining us from new york and austin and seattle. my hometown in north carolina. we have viewers and honorees from all over the world. charlottesville virginia, montana to china. i am so grateful for the technology that allows us to gather and celebrate literature together. if there was ever a time that underscored the extraordinary experiences that books provide, it has been these past 20 months through each grief and each joy of this historic time, there been books, books that inspire, books or comfort, books that change how we see the world and books that help us imagine new
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possibilities. we are so thankful for the efforts of the countless publishing teams, booksellers, librarians, teachers, writers and advocates that have brought us books that expand and transform our lives. i am delighted to gather tonight to celebrate the 25 extraordinary books that are finalists this year. to select these books from over 1800 submitted books our esteemed panels of judges who you can see here read and read and read and read. they have continued to meet on zoom throughout the judging process. they have thought deeply and discussed thoroughly and read some more. we are grateful for their tremendous devotion to literature, for their heart and humor and time they have given to this process. i am in awe of their dedication. i had the great fortune of being a judge for the awards in 2019 from that almost inside vantage point, the awards process will nearly effortless.
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i know now due to the incredible work of the national book foundation staff and interns, meredith andrews, donnelly, natalie, taylor michael, kendall neal, jordan smith, megan kenzie, williams mcbride and all of this year team who upheld the awards and all of our work come to life. thank you to the associate director of the international book awards. and fabulously shepherd the awards for four years. in true form when longer thank you prepared she cut it for time. thank you for making tonight a reality. i feel tremendously grateful and lucky to work with such an incredible community to celebrate reading and books. i could not have wished for a warmer welcome than the one i have received from the board of directors. your leadership and partnership has been extraordinary.
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thank you to our dinner community who even though there was not a dinner have been so enthusiastic and supportive. thank you to the book council for your energy and ideas and support. thank you to our partners in making this event happen. the video team the really useful team making this all possible. especially. thank you. you are all technology whizzes. we know that you love this event and it shows. thank you for the magic of getting all the honorees on screen tonight. i cannot wait to hear who the winners are and our imagine our finalists feel the same way. let's take a quick sneak into the green room to take a peek at our finalists. for the sake of sleep, it was recorded a few hours ago, but they are waving at us from around the world as well.
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many of these finalists are just now beginning our beginning again to have in-person events with readers to see the impact of their work on people everywhere. finalists, please remember those moments. they are just the start. every time someone connects with your book these impacts will be felt. the months and years and decades to come. congratulations to all of you. thank you for your books and your words. we are gather tonight to celebrate the power and importance of books in our lives and in our world. a finalists demonstrates that books do not just reflect our humanity, they remind us that humanity is shared. reading gives us an experience simultaneously unmitigated. we need books. the deep thinking and learning in empathy that reading brings, books can open minds.
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that is why books can be challenging and why books are currently being challenged. this is also precisely why books matter. why it feels especially important to celebrate literature, uplift the voices of authors and champion reading. what a gift tonight. books are most meaningful and most life-affirming when shared. neighbors and colleagues, at bookstores and libraries over dinner tables and zoom squares. reading provides powerful opportunities for us to connect to different people, new ideas and even difficult conversations tonight we celebrate the community of readers and our shared commitment to create a culture of belonging and books in every corner of our country. thank you to all gathered here tonight. we are all part of this work. a very simple idea that books are for everyone.
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thank you so much. back to you. >> you need to write my speeches from now on. okay. let's check in with our audience room. how are you all doing? are you still awake? are you still having fun? are you inspired? by more books? no? okay. are you getting excited for the announcement of the national book awards? thank you so much for being here tonight. until the moment that the title of the winner leaves the judges mount, only the five person channel judges know the decision everyone is hearing it here for the first time. the winner will be announced by the chair of the respective
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category presented in reverse alphabetical order. young people's literature, translated literature, poetry, nonfiction and fiction. young people's literature. exciting writing out there. now the national book award for young people's literature. >> the power and wonder of our world to entertain educate or inspire. the race and politics and through history and our own personal mythology across that. the extraordinary books offer young people a connection to community and reflection of their experiences. to build a future that we are
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celebrating. the panel chair for this year's national book award for young people's literature is the director of simmons university center for the study of children's literature. >> here we are. it seems to have taken so very long to get here and yet it is as if we just started reading yesterday. what a privilege it is been to participate in the national book awards. to foster a nation of readers by elevating excellence in new books published for young people. i want to thank ruth and for their undying support. i want to thank my panel. leslie connor, tracy g. having been recognized by the national book awards themselves, thank you for your deep
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understanding about these awards. as a pup books in the hands, the heart, the minds of young readers. pablo, leslie, tracy experience personally the audiences and the engaged readers the national book awards has brought. we read, we talked, we talked and we read and we read some more and we read some more and then we kept talking and reading and talking and then finally, finally we are here with you tonight. the passion for storytelling. leslie shares the ambitions of each book and called out details that pierced our narrative arc. tracy asked us to look deeply to help us understand not only what we did, but what it could do. enriching our discussions with the commitment to the power of literature. i learned new ways of interrogating, appraising, appreciating books published for young people. i will never read and i will
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never teach the same ever again. thank you all. the finalists for the national book award for young people's literature, the legend of aunt depot, ping one random house. last night at the telegraph club books for young readers. too bright to see. books for young readers. ping one random house revolution in our time. the black panther party's promise to the people. amber mcbride fuel and friends mcmillan publishers. and the national book award for young people's literature, 2021 goes to last night at the telegraph club. melinda low, books for young
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readers. >> melinda low. last night at the telegraph club. books for young readers. an imprint of penguin random house. last night at the telegraph club close with desire and homes with sensuality. fear and intolerance. melinda low materializes chinese-american lily and a love story during the rise of 1950s mccarthy. the exquisite probes contrasts lilly's unhurried of her sexuality against the question belonging at the telegraph club. sentence by restrained sentence into this incandescent novel of clear possibility.
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>> while. while. it has been an incredible experience to be part of the national book awards. first i want to say thank you to the judges. i am so, so honored. last night at the telegraph club began as a short story. i want to thank my friend sondra mitchell for giving me the opportunity to write that story. thank you to my agent foreseeing the novel in that story and inspiring me to see it, too. thank you to my editor. working with you has been transformative. i am so grateful to have you on my side. thank you to my publisher at sutton and everyone at penguin young readers. everyone at my agency.
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so many people have worked so hard behind the scenes to get this book in front of readers. thank you. parts of this novel are in chinese and i would not of been able to write them without the help of my parents and my aunt. [speaking in native tongue] to my grandmother, you may not be in this world anymore, but you are here with me in every book. to my wife amy, thank you for all the ways that you support me. i love you. one more thing. when my first novel came out in 2009, it was one of 27 young adult books about lgbtq characters. this year hundreds of books have been published. the growth has been incredible. the opposition to our stories have also grown. schools across the country are
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facing significant right-wing pressure to remove books about people of color, lgbtq people and especially transgender people from classrooms and libraries. i urge everyone of you watching to educate yourselves about your school board and vote in your local elections. 2022 is coming and we need your support to keep our stories on the shelves. do not let them erase us. thank you. ♪♪ >> congratulations. now back to our host phoebe robinson. >> melinda, that speech was fire. do not let them erase us. yes. we can all take that into our lives to make things better. congratulations on your win. so excited for you. this award was added in 2018.
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the first award added in over two decades. the translated literature award as a global perspective. books from all over the world that are published here in the united states. and now, the national book award for translated literature. >> reading literature in translation is an active journey and discovery. words transport us, no plane or train requires two cultures, art and perspectives beyond our own. translated literature brings the world to us. the stylist for translated literature, translated into english from arabic, chinese, french and spanish. these extraordinary books are triumph collaboration that led personal and political history. expanding our notion of the
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possible. stephen snyder whose translation of the memory police serving as dean of language schools at metal mary college. >> good evening. it has been a great honor and pleasure to serve on the committee charged with electing the national book award for translated literature. i first want to recognize my extraordinary collaborators and wrens who shared a fascinating journey the other members of our committee, jesse, -- [inaudible] during our many meetings i have been having wise and insightful reading for each book. i have learned from their
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tremendous intelligence, candor, generosity of spirit and i'm deeply grateful for them and enormously proud of the work that we have done. we have had the privilege of reading 154 entries representing 24 languages. a thrilling and at times daunting task that convinced us of the tremendous literature around this transformation. it is finally coming to its own in this country. more work appearing each year and more attention being paid to the brilliant array of international literary talent and a new generation of gifted translators who work across a wide range of languages and traditions. we are delighted to be able to recognize each of the submissions in this category, attend marvelous works on a long list and assign finalists being celebrated here this evening. those finalists are, alisa --
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translated from the french by higgins and published by open letter. in paradise translated from the chinese by morris and published by new york review books. the twilight zone by no now fernandez. translated from spanish by natasha and published by gray wolf press. when we cease to understand the world by benjamin, translated from the spanish by adrian west and published by new york review books. planet of clay. translated from the arabic larry price and published by world edition. this year's national book award for translator goes to winter translated by higgins and published by open letter.
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♪♪ translated from the french by higgins. open letter. this spare novel evokes the atmosphere of abandonment and isolation as well as the stark beauty of winter in a south korean seaside resort town near the north korean border. narrated by sharply observe it resident the story explores risks of identity, personal, cultural and national in the fleeting kinship that is possible between solitary strangers. the elegant translation brings out the tender and mysterious novel.
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the mac thank you so much. [speaking in native tongue] [speaking in native tongue] >> thank you from the bottom of her heart. she is so surprised. she does not know what to say.
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this is a book that is come from our heart. she says a big thank you to everyone. i cannot thank everyone enough. it is such an honor. we are completely overwhelmed by this. thank you to the publishers. i wanted to also say thank you to our first editor on this book. she has worked so hard on this text with us. this is such an honor. it is just fantastic for all of us. for all of the people that will now read your book and get to know more of your book. it is just a wonderful thing. thank you so much to everyone. ♪♪ >> congratulations.
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now back to our host phoebe robinson. >> i love when winners are speechless. true raw emotion. get out there and get this book if you have not yet. it is fantastic. we will move on over to poetry now. i am a terrible poet. that is why do comedy. at the national book award poetry. >> poetry asks us to pay close attention. two words, to linebreaks, to one another. the final list of the 2021 national book award for poetry, mind the complexities of the past, document the impacts and echoes of trauma and investigat. and yet these books also ask us to empathize, to imagine and to recognize beauty within the complexity of human life. the panel chair for this year's
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book award for poetry is jordan the author for poetry collections. the director of the helen zell writers program and the university of michigan. >> thank you for tuning in tonight. the national book award not only one of the great ones of my career, one of the great joys. a real gift we are called to service despite the work involved it also turns out to be a good time. beyond the wonderful books we read this year, i am including the many books that did not make it to the list of finalists. i also felt lucky to work with poets whose work on the page already admired. i'm happy to report they are bringing to the page back to the good spirits in the world. the foundation chooses the
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jurors. i said yes before knowing who i would be working. when i saw the names, i was as excited as tom cruise. i knew i could not have chosen a finder group of poets if i chose and then myself. i want to thank john choi who was a quiet storm of wisdom. natalie diaz who brought her deeply insightful voice to every meeting. harvey who always led the way both with her pics and with her openness and intuitiveness. kaminski who always caught anything we missed along the way. not only with his attention to detail but also his big generous heart. for all of their hard work and their generosity and for their deep emotional maturity throughout this process. i want to thank them. we are so proud to present to you our finalists for this year's national book award. they are what noise against the
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king. desiree c bailey yale university press. floaters homes. ww norton and company. show. douglas. 1000 times you lose your treasure wild when. the sunflower casts a spell to save us from the void. jackie. and this year's national book award for poetry goes to floaters. ♪♪ ww norton and company. martinez floaters manages to address the concerns of our time from a timeless voice i can be
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heard above this world. these poems remind us of the power of observation seeing everything. what is in front of us, what is behind us both in memory and heritage. what we can only imagine. believing all are worthy of psalms, all are worthy of taking seriously. this is a collection that is vital for our times and vital for the future. trying to make sense of today. ♪♪ >> thank you. very much. i am speechless to a large extent because i did not prepare a speech. but also because i am very honored by my selection as a recipient of the national book award for poetry and 2021.
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there is not enough time for me to thank everyone who deserves to be thanked. i will name some names and i beg your apology. i want to begin by thanking my wife to whom the book is dedicated. present on every single page. her love and support meant absolutely the world to me. i want to thank my editor and my publisher. i want to thank my agent robin cook, i want to thank someone who is not here. my father. who invited both an artistic and
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ethical example to me throughout my life. on every page it deserves. i want to acknowledge the work of the other poetry that our finalists this year. i know what it is like to be where i am and i know what it's like to be where you are. and i hope that we can form friendships, relationships. and, finally, i would like to think the judges. that is all i have to say. i am sure i will think of many more intelligent things to say once i leave your screen. thank you. ♪♪ >> congratulations. now back to our host phoebe
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robinson. >> i love a man who keeps it short and sweet. that was so lovely. the shout out to your wife is so beautiful. congratulations again. there are only two awards left. we are getting pretty close to the end of the night. before it is over, please consider supporting books by donating to this year's national book award. i am going to follow up so you better donate. next up is the national book award for nonfiction. >> across different themes, structures and topics, nonfiction investigates, discovers and transforms. the national book award finalist for nonfiction all asked timely questions. they seek difficult truth and expand our understanding.
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through memoir essays and history. these books explore justice, they are personal with sociopolitical critiques and celebrate black culture. they transform our understanding of environmental change and examine ecology, history and survival. the panel chair for this year's award for nonfiction is the author of eight books including the history of white people and old and art school. a memoir of starting over. >> hello, good evening book people. i am so pleased to be able to speak with you. this jury consisted of five dedicated readers and writers.
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we were a mix of skills of passion and of past. we work together collaboratively. we had 679 books. this is the largest category. it includes history, memoir. a whole range of different kinds of writing of nonfiction. i want to ensure everybody that wrote a book that we were able to look at that each book got the review by five pairs of eyes. we did not split this up. everybody read, reviewed everything. on the way to foraging our list of 10 long list, five finalists and today our winter. from beginning to and we worked
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collaboratively and we forged consensus every step of the way. we talked and talked and talked over nearly three months of weekly meetings. i thank my colleagues for their thoughtful dedication, the generosity of their critical spirit from beginning to end. speaking for myself and i think also for my colleagues, i would like to see how these hundreds of books really suffered me in this time in our history. you already know the books that we chose for our long list and our finalist and you will soon know who the winner is. many many more writers are grappling with the challenges, with the terrors of our times. hundreds of authors are facing this time and seeking ethical answers. may be me and the rest of the
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jury at the end of our deliberation feeling hopeful in the hands of our fellow citizens, especially our fellow citizens that are nonfiction authors. the finalists were a little devil in america -- running penguin random house random house. running out in search of water on the high plains. princeton university press. tastes like war, a memoir, feminist press of the city university of new york. a story of murder and indigenous
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justice in early america by nicole yousef. ww norton and company. all that she carried, the journey of a black family keepsake by random house penguin random house. and the winner is via miles for all that she carried. the journey of a black family keepsake random house penguin random house. ♪♪ >> all that she carried. a black family keepsake. random house. and imprint of penguin random house. all that she carried presents a black woman's counter compilation.
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the graceful prose gives us narrative history, social history and object history of women's craft who gave the daughter she was losing forever. offering the visual record of love in the face of the child trafficking atrocities of slavery. this book a scholarship at its best and most heartrending. >> i am beyond moved by this honor and i'm only holding it together. [inaudible] [laughter] i cannot believe this honor. it is such a great honor. i am deeply deeply thankful for
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it. i am grateful for my finalists in every category. especially nonfiction. i am so proud to be standing beside you. interpreting and translating the issues of our times. i am grateful to my family and everyone that made this possible and actually those that read my book. even if they only get part way through. down trip down the mississippi. i would like to thank the national book foundation and all of the judges and the professor. i would like to tell you that i
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like so many people, many many of us graduate school and i admire you so so much for your past work in african-american history. i cannot tell you what it means to me that you are the chair of this journey. i am very grateful to my agent who works with me and supports me for almost a decade. she shepherded this book into the hands of random house where it has been taking care of. and i am deeply thankful to my agent who is a warrior. tanya, you came in, you scooped me up, you took care of me. you helped me to find the heart of this book just in the nick of
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time. i also want to thank molly, molly, i remember your face when we were having coffee. i said that i wanted to write a book about an old bag. your face lit up. you were so curious. you are so receptive. you were the perfect editor for this project. you and i both know that this is a co-written book. many many pages. comments and feedback. the hundred pencil marks in the manuscript. going through this process. not just once, not just twice.
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i thought molly will be the death of me. you are not the death of me. you are the life of this book and i am so grateful. my last second i need to hold up rose, ashley. i want them to know and to see how much they are loved and honored today. thank you so very much. ♪♪ >> congratulations. now back to our host phoebe robinson. >> being honest about the editing process. i know editors are very important so shout out to all of them to help all of our winners write the best book that they could ever have written. now the national book award.
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♪♪ seeing humanity word by word and sentence by sentence. the stories within this year's national book award finalist for fiction include an author disorienting to her one woman's life on the plains of indiana and the love between two enslaved men on a plantation in the deep south. from a 12th century france to an interstellar ship and the 22nd century, these books show us that we are more alike than we are different. the panel chair for this year's book award for fiction. the author of 18 books including the house of broken angels. a distinguished professor of creative writing at the university of illinois chicago. ♪♪
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[speaking in native tongue] i cannot believe i got this opportunity to chair this committee. i want to thank everybody at the foundation for this opportunity. i want to thank ruth and anna especially for helping us create the world's coolest book club. did we really read hundreds of books? yeah, we did. they were amazing. so many of those hundreds of authors rose to this troublesome and troubling era. it was very difficult, but quite an honor and quite a blessing to do it. everybody on the team brought their a game. a little shout out to the committee. we pull and margaret and charles come out the champion. the nominees.
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matrix by lauren from riverhead books, penguin random house. bloomsbury publishing. the prophets robert jones junior jb putnam's son, penguin random house. helluva book by jason. and this year's national book award for fiction goes to helluva book. jason mott. >> jason mott. helluva a book. dutton books. and imprint of penguin. jason mott's helluva book weeds to get three narrative strands.
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unnamed author a boy named so it. a figure known as the kid into a masterful novel. structurally and conceptually daring examination of art, team, family and being black in america. somehow manages the impossible trick of being playful, insightful and deeply moving. all at the same time. highly original inspired work that breaks new ground. ♪♪ gmac i'm getting overwhelmed right now. i did write this just in case i got overwhelmed which is completely happening right now. i will just read in case i can't stumble through this. i would like to begin by apologizing due to time
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constraints that i cannot think personally tonight. tonight or like to thank my agent who exactly 10 years ago this month took me out of a slush pile and since that day has been constant and awe-inspiring in her love, support and friendship. i would like to thank my editor and the entire team who believed in this novel. they helped bring it into being. too many people to name. i think you all. i want to thank my friends and family, the people that truly made not only tonight possible, but all the other days and nights possible. to my parents who did not live to see this day and are watching right now, to everyone, we made it. lastly, dedicating this award to all of the other mad kids. to all the outsiders come out the weirdos, the bullies, the one so strange that they had no
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choice but to be misunderstood by the world and those around them. the one to and spite of this refused to outgrow their imagination, refused to abandon their dreams, refused to deny, diminish their identity or their truth or their love unlike so many others. thank you so very, very much. ♪♪ >> congratulations. now back to our host phoebe robinson. >> congratulations, jason. that speech was beautiful. i am so happy for you. you are an amazing talented writer. an enormous congratulations to all of the winners of tonight's national book awards. thank you to beyond graham who was our announcer tonight and whose words you may know from so many different audiobooks. thank you to all to tonight's
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finalist, winners, judges, attendees and viewers. the national book awards would not be possible without the wonderful support of readers everywhere. good night. i am taking my spanks off. >> a look now at some of the most notable books of 2021 according to publishers weekly. peter recounts a life of 19th century supreme court justice john marshall harlan did a great dissenter. read until you understand jasmine a griffin colombian university chair of the african-american studies department looks at the writings of black authors or public intellectuals to address issues of equality and freedom. science writer examines a conflict between humans and wildlife. under a white sky elizabeth colburn detail some of the way science is used to counteract as well as to adapt to the effects of climate change.
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brian reflects on his life in his memoir punch me up to the gods. most of these authors. on book tv and you can find their programs on just type the author's name in the search bar at the top of the page. ♪♪ >> weekends on c-span to our and intellectual fees. american history tv documents america story and on sundays book tv brings you the latest nonfiction books and authors. funding for c-span2 comes from these television companies and more including spark life. >> the greatest town on earth is a place you call home. at spark life it is our home, to. right now we are all facing our greatest challenge. working around the clock to keep you connected. we are doing our part so it's a little easier to do yours. along with these television companies support c-span2 is a public service.


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