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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 29, 2006
Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the 2006 National Book Festival Gala
The Library of Congress
7:15 P.M. EDT
MRS. BUSH: Thank you very much, everyone, for the very warm welcome. And thank you, Dr. Billington, for that most magnificent introduction. I don't think I've ever had such a wonderful one. And, of course, thank you and the staff of the Library of Congress for organizing this beautiful event and for organizing the fabulous book festival that will take place tomorrow on the National Mall. I hope every one of you will join us there again tomorrow to see all the great activities for children, and then, of course, to meet your favorite authors. And a special thanks to the authors. You're the reason we're here. Thank you very much for being our celebrity guests at the National Book Festival, and for drawing those 100,000 people that come out to meet you and to hear your works. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)
Members of Congress, members of the Cabinet, ambassadors, and distinguished guests. Welcome to the Sixth Annual Book Festival. Tonight we celebrate America's literary culture, the joys of reading, and our favorite books. We'll hear from authors who have made great contributions to America's literary landscape.
Nathaniel Philbrick is a leading authority on the history of Nantucket Island. And the book he'll read from tonight, the Mayflower, chronicles that vessel's historic voyage and the settlement of Plymouth Colony.
Sharon Draper's works explore with insight and wit the challenges facing today's young people, while incorporating in her books important narrative about African American history.
Doris Kearns Goodwin is an award-winning historian and biographer, renowned for her portrayals of America's leaders. And tonight, she'll read from her new book about Abraham Lincoln. Of course, these achievements of hers pale in comparison to her most impressive investigative accomplishment: She was apparently the first woman ever to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room. (Laughter.)
We'll also hear from a writer who's introduced America and the world to Afghanistan, an Afghanistan beyond the Taliban, beyond the Soviets, beyond the warlords. Through his novel, The Kite Runner, this book paints a fascinating portrait of Afghan life over the last 30 years, and it tells a compelling story of how wounded people and wounded societies seek redemption and renewal.
President Bush and I really loved The Kite Runner very much, and tonight it's my pleasure to introduce the author of this magnificent book. Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Khaled Hosseini. (Applause.)
END 7:18 P.M. EDT