Two National Book Award finalists to present program at Selby Library on Aug. 17

Free event part of National Book Foundation summer program

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On Aug. 17, two National Book Award finalists will participate in a panel discussion at Selby Public Library titled Ghosts of Our Past, the county has announced.

The event will be part of the Summer with the National Book Awards program, presented by the National Book Foundation (NBF), a county news release explains.

Scheduled to appear at the free event are Margaret Wilkerson Sexton and Diana Khoi Nguyen, the release notes. Sexton’s debut novel, A Kind of Freedom, was a 2017 award finalist; Nguyen’s poetry collection Ghost Of was a 2018 award finalist, the release adds. Both authors will share perspectives on survivor stories and how they approach writing about family exile and segregation, the release says.

The discussion will be moderated by Chimene Suleyman.

The event will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 17, the release notes. Selby Public Library is located at 1331 First St. in downtown Sarasota.

“It’s always a reason to celebrate when our library system hosts nationally recognized authors,” said Renee DiPilato, director of Sarasota County’s Libraries and Historical Resources Department, in the release. “We’re honored to welcome them and look forward to sharing their discussion with the community.”

The NBF program brings authors to local library branches in several states throughout the summer, the release explains. “The program celebrates one of the nation’s most prestigious literary prizes, while focusing on the work of American authors,” the release adds.

For more information, call the Sarasota County Contact Center or visit