Meat and Greet

Texas Book Festival and 'Texas Monthly' to pair writers with barbecue

Meat and Greet

The combination of barbecue and books may seem – on the page, at least – like an idea doomed for sauce-smeared failure. But we trust that the fine folks at the Texas Book Festival and Texas Monthly knew what they were doing when they cooked up the plan for a jointly run author series this spring and summer, set to take place at Lamberts.

To be fair, nobody's going to be reading books at this thing, but rather listening to a varied group of writers talking about the books they've written (which will be on sale on-site). The list includes such locals as prolific historian H.W. Brands, whose newest tome is The Murder of Jim Fisk for the Love of Josie Mansfield: A Tragedy of the Gilded Age; Amanda Eyre Ward, author of the forthcoming Close Your Eyes; and seasoned funny lady Sarah Bird (The Gap Year), as well as out-of-towners with Texas ties, including The New Yorker's national treasure Calvin Trillin, whose latest, Trillin on Texas, was published by the University of Texas Press earlier this month.

Also in the lineup: Austin photographer Michael O'Brien, whose new coffeetable book Hard Ground is a collection of black-and-white portraits of the homeless with accompanying poetry by Tom Waits. (And speaking of: O'Brien will sign copies of the book on Thursday, March 31, 6-8pm at the Barnes & Noble Westlake). Another photographer, James H. Evans, will talk up his May 2011 collection Crazy From the Heat: A Chronicle of Twenty Years in the Big Bend. (Maybe make the barbecue extra spicy that night?)

Austin-based journalist and historian Douglas Brinkley (The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960) kicks off the series Tuesday, March 22 – but there is a catch. Given the relative smallness of the venue, seating will be limited to an invite list sent out to Texas Book Festival members and Texas Monthly subscribers. But, really, if ya gotta be a joiner, we could think of far worse clubs to sign up for.


March 22: Douglas Brinkley

April 11: Calvin Trillin

April 19: Michael O'Brien

May 24: James Evans

June 6: H.W. Brands

July 19: Sarah Bird

Aug. 9: Amanda Eyre Ward

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