Two days of panels, readings, music, kid’s activities, Lit Crawl and more
Oct. 26-27 at the State Capitol; free and open to the public
AUSTIN—The Texas Book Festival schedule, featuring an enormous variety of more than 225 authors plus a jam-packed lineup of live music, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, the Lit Crawl, and more, was announced today.
The Festival is held Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 26 and 27, in and around the State Capitol in downtown Austin, and is free and open to the public.
Themes that have emerged in this year’s Festival include: the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination (panel with Hugh Aynesworth, Allen Childs, and Howard Willens revisiting the shot heard around the world), the Obama administration (Dan Balz, Jonathan Alter, and Richard Wolffe on change in America and Obama), bullying (a panel called “Haters Gonna Hate”), and National Book Award nominees (the Festival features six: James McBride, Joan Silber, Lawrence Wright, Terry Teachout, George Packer, and Anne Ursu.)
Saturday’s highlights will include Reza Aslan in conversation with Owen Egerton; R.L. Stine speaking about A Midsummer Night’s Scream; Literary Death Match emceed by Adrian Todd Zuniga, co-creator of the original Literary Death Match reading series; Iconoclasts, in which Meg Wolitzer and Lynda Obst discuss their latest books, moderated by Sarah Bird; Popular Ornithology with Snapper novelist Brian Kimberling and moderator/avid birder Jonathan Meiburg of Shearwater fame; and the Texas Writer Award honoring Nobel prize-winning physicist Steven Weinberg.
Highlights Sunday include Cults of Personality, in which authors Jeff Guinn and Lawrence Wright discuss the power of charisma; Lemony Snicket; a panel on Dallas noir featuring Ben Fountain and Kathleen Kent; and Jess Walter on his novel Beautiful Ruins.
“The Festival is a wonderful place to engage with renowned authors and discover new ones,” says Marc Winkelman, the Festival’s board chair. “As someone in the book business, I can say that despite perennial reports of its demise, publishing is in an exciting phase. The books we showcase at the Festival are a strong indication that the printed word is alive and well,” Winkelman says.
Additional headlining nonfiction authors include Reza Aslan, Mark Leibovich, Scott Anderson, Richard Wolffe, Ken Jennings, Geoff Dyer, George Packer, and A. Scott Berg. Additional headlining fiction writers include Jonathan Lethem, Kami Garcia, A.M. Homes, Jeff Lindsay, Sherman Alexie, Katherine Applegate, Jon Scieszka, George Pelecanos, Teddy Wayne, Jennifer duBois, Cristina Garcia, and Claire Vaye Watkins. The complete list of authors is available at www.texasbookfestival.org.
Even bigger and better this year is Saturday night’s Lit Crawl Austin, a co-production of the Texas Book Festival and the Litquake Foundation. Inspired by San Francisco's long-running Lit Crawl (and produced with their participation), Lit Crawl Austin will feature some of America's most groundbreaking writers onstage at various East Austin venues, talking about and signing their latest books. This year’s edition of Lit Crawl will include a popup zine shop, authors playing literary Taboo, the opportunity to have fortunes read by authors, and stories told at the Texas State Cemetery.
The youngest readers will enjoy the Children’s Chapter, by presenting sponsor H-E-B, which includes the Children’s Read Me a Story Tent, the Children’s Entertainment Tent, and the Children’s Activity Tent.
“For families, everything we offer at the Festival looks, smells, and tastes like free fun—stories read by the actual authors of favorite picture books, DIY craft activities, a kid fashion show emceed by Jon Scieskza and Mac Barnett,” says Festival executive director Lois Kim. “But our goal is serious: we want kids to read more and to get excited about reading. Authors are our secret weapon for improving literacy in Texas.”
Famous cooking experts from around the nation and here in Texas will be featured in the Cooking Tent, sponsored by Central Market, to present their latest cookbooks, engage in discussions, and perform a variety of cooking demonstrations.
In addition to new food vendors this year, the Festival will for the first time feature the TMBBQ ’Cue Court, brought to you by Texas Monthly, which will feature three barbecue joints from Texas Monthly’s popular and impeccably curated top 50 list.
H-E-B is the presenting sponsor of the 2013 Festival. Additional major sponsors include: Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & Noble, Brigid Cockrum and Family, Texas Monthly, Central Market, Tocker Foundation, Buena Vista Foundation, C-SPAN2/Book TV, Austin American-Statesman, Pentgram, and media partners KUT and KLRU.
About the Texas Book Festival
The Texas Book Festival is a nonprofit organization that celebrates authors and their contributions to the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination. Founded in 1995 by Laura Bush, Mary Margaret Farabee, and a group of dedicated volunteers, the Festival is held on the grounds of the Texas Capitol every fall. The Festival features author readings from more than 225 renowned Texas and national authors, panel discussions, book signings, musical entertainment, live cooking demonstrations, and children’s activities. Thanks to donors, sponsors, and 1,000 volunteers, the Festival remains free and open to the public. The TBF supports Texas public libraries and literacy through its Library Grants and Reading Rock Stars programs, and also hosts events year-round. Visit www.texasbookfestival.org for more information, and join the conversation using the hashtag #txbookfest on Facebook and Twitter @texasbookfest.