April 23rd – April 29th is National Library Week, the perfect time to visit, celebrate, and support your local library. Join these Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau speakers in applauding the vital services that librarians provide, from encouraging literacy to inspiring writers to providing invaluable programming for their communities and schools.
A winner of the National Book Award and two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Colson Whitehead has established himself as one of the most versatile and innovative writers in contemporary literature with bestsellers like The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys. In 2020, he received the Prize for American Fiction, with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden remarking, “Whitehead’s work is informed by probing insights into the human condition and empathy for those who struggle with life’s sometimes harrowing vicissitudes.[…] He has expanded the scope of historical events, transforming them into metaphors for today’s world.”
New York Times-bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks writes impeccably researched historical novels, including March and People of the Book. A favorite with library audiences, Brooks delves deeply into history with a journalist’s eye for detail and a master storyteller’s sense of character. Her latest novel, Horse, provides a meticulously-researched account of the violence and ruthless exploitation of the tradition of American horseracing.
Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times-bestselling memoir Wild and Tiny Beautiful Things, her beloved collection of “Dear Sugar” advice columns that was recently adapted into a Hulu television series starring Kathryn Hahn. A warm, funny, and captivating speaker, Strayed’s talks about love, loss, adventure, courage, empathy, and the power we possess to blaze our own wild trails attract large audiences at any library function.
Hernan Diaz is the award-winning author of In the Distance, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award, and Trust, a 2022 Booker Prize Longlist Nominee, which he wrote during his Fellowship at the New York Public Library’s Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. An emerging talent and brilliant new voice in literature, Diaz captivates audiences with witty conversations about foreignness, his theory of genre, literary history, and the critical role of research in his work.
Ta-Nehisi Coates is an award-winning author and journalist who has emerged as an essential voice for our times. The author of the bestselling books The Water Dancer and the 2015 National Book Award winner, Between the World and Me, he addresses library audiences across the country on urgent cultural topics that include censorship, Black history, and his personal experiences growing up as an African American male in the United States.
Lauren Groff is the award-winning and bestselling author of three National Book Award finalists: Fates and Furies, Florida, and Matrix. A captivating and passionate speaker, Groff loves to connect with library audiences through her thoughtful reflections on the writing craft and discussion of the influences and inspiration behind her bestsellers. Her upcoming book, The Vaster Wilds (September 2023), is a taut and electrifying historical novel about one spirited girl alone in the wilderness that tells the story of America in miniature.
Will Schwalbe is a firm believer in the power of books to change lives. The author of the beloved New York Times bestselling memoir The End of Your Life Book Club, Schwalbe is a passionate advocate for literature, literacy, and the joys of reading. His new book, We Should Not Be Friends, is a warm, funny, irresistible memoir that follows an improbable and life-changing college friendship over the course of forty years.
Tommy Orange is the author of There There, a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. A national bestseller and Pulitzer Prize finalist, There There shows us violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. Orange talks about his craft, the writing process, and Native American history and culture in dynamic and frank in-conversation programs that are perfect for library audiences.