The 15th annual National Book Festival features the largest-ever contingent of writers (175) for Saturday’s literary shindig at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C. And while there will be no shortage of political and policy tomes being hawked and talked about, there will be a noticeable absence from among the authors among us: members of Congress.
Members are typically present to share a memoir or the like, such as Rep. James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., last year discussing and signing copies of his “Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black,” last year. Whether it is because the festival is held during Labor Day weekend or the timing just wasn’t right no representative or senator will be present. Heck, not even a former member is scheduled to be there.
The festival’s motto this year is a quote from Thomas Jefferson: “I cannot live without books.” Perhaps we could tack onto it “But I can live without congressmen.”