Texas Book Festival

Hip to the Lit

2011 poster featuring art by Marc Burckhardt
2011 poster featuring art by Marc Burckhardt

Couldn't you just taste the fall crisp in the air on Monday morning? Further proof our favorite season is just around the bend: The lineup for one of fall's finest traditions, the Texas Book Festival, was just announced. It'd take us the bulk of this page to list every one of the 200-plus authors who'll be bullish on books come Oct. 22-23, but here's the highlight reel:

Big fiction draws include Amy Waldman, whose debut novel, The Submission, has garnered raves; Booker Prize winner Alan Hollinghurst (The Stranger's Child); and 2009 Texas Book Festival alum Colson Whitehead, who'll be promoting his new postapocalyptic zombie novel, Zone One. Other attendees include Russell Banks (Lost Memory of Skin), Chuck Palahniuk (Damned), and Kathy Reichs, hyping a new procedural starring Temperance Brennan (the inspiration for TV's Bones) and her second foray into young adult lit, Seizure: A Virals Novel. Oh, and speaking of the kids: Internet-anointed author Adam Mansbach will talk up his "bedtime book for parents," Go the Fuck to Sleep.

As befits a festival set at our state Capitol grounds, books with politics on the brain are well-represented here, including Jim Lehrer's Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates and Sally H. Jacobs' The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama's Father. Other nonfiction selections look farther afield, to India (Siddhartha Deb's The Beautiful and the Damned: A Portrait of the New India), to Mexico (Ioan Grillo's El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency), and to the Middle East (James Zogby's Arab Voices: What They Are Saying to Us, and Why It Matters; Robin Wright's Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World).

Austinite Lawrence Wright knows a thing or two about the Middle East – okay, more than a thing or two; he's a leading authority on al Qaeda. Wright and fellow Austinite Stephen Harrigan (Remember Ben Clayton) are this year's recipients of the Texas Writers Award. Other familiar faces from these environs include Amanda Eyre Ward (Close My Eyes), Louis Sachar (The Cardturner), and recent Chronicle cover boy Ernie Cline (Ready Player One).

You can check out the entire lineup at www.texasbookfestival.org; you'll also find info there on how to become a TBF member (benefits include a "fast pass" to the front of the line at panels and in the signing tent). And keep an eye on this section, where we'll be profiling TBF authors in coming weeks.

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Texas Book Festival, Amy Waldman, Lev Grossman, Colson Whitehead, Russell Banks, Alan Hollinghurst, Tom Perrotta, Chuck Palahniuk, Kathy Reichs, Jim Lehrer, Sally H. Jacobs, Siddhartha Deb, Ioan Grillo, Ina Caro, James Zogby, Robin Wright, Lawrence Wright, Stephen Harrigan, Amanda Eyre Ward, Louis Sachar

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