Texas Book Festival 2017: The First Dozen

Lisa Ko, Claire Messud lead off first look at fest lineup

On Monday, the Texas Book Festival announced the first dozen authors for the 2017 edition, taking place Nov. 4 and 5, and the 22nd year of this Lone Star celebration of the written word promises a wealth of talent for fans of the novel, lit for kids and young adults, and cookbooks.

Headed to the State Capitol the first week in November will be Claire Messud, author of the New York Times bestseller The Emperor’s Children and The Woman Upstairs, whose new novel The Burning Girl, will hit bookstores just before Labor Day; Lisa Ko, whose debut novel The Leavers, a timely look at immigration and government authority, won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction; and Jami Attenberg, the New York Times best-selling author of The Middlesteins and her new novel All Grown Up.

On the YA front will be Angie Thomas with her debut novel The Hate U Give, the tale of a young woman dealing with racism and police violence, that received starred reviews from eight literary journals; Margarita Engle, the national 2017-2019 Young People’s Poet Laureate and author of two recent books: Forest World, a middle-grade novel in verse, and All the Way to Havana, a look at Cuba through a child's eyes; Javaka Steptoe, artist, designer, illustrator, and winner of the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and the 2017 Caldecott Medal for his new picture book, Radiant Child; and Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis, the band's illustrator-in-residence who also happens to be Meloy's wife, with the follow-up to their illustrated novel The Wildwood Chronicles, The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid.

Foodies can look forward to the presence of Mark Bittman, former New York Times Op-Ed columnist and author of the bestselling How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, which is receiving a 10th anniversary edition this year; and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons, who will be releasing a new cookbook, Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating, just weeks before the festival.

Rounding out the list announced Monday are poet Tomás Q. Morín, whose new collection is titled Patient Zero; political strategist Matthew Dowd, whose latest book is A New Way: Embracing the Paradox as We Lead and Serve; and editor and historian Roger Hodge, whose book Texas Blood takes a look back at seven generations of his family's life in the Lone Star State.

Of course, these 12 make up only 5 percent of the literary lights who will attend the 2017 TBF, but you'll have to be patient to find out about the other 95 percent. Until then, gaze at the official poster's dreamy image of a pitayo cactus at sunset – created by Austin-based photographer and author of the new book The Spirit of Tequila, Joel Salcido and imagine the 250 celebrated and emerging fiction writers, journalists, artists, scientists, and more who will fill up TBF 2017's weekend of readings, signings, and panel discussions.

The announced authors in brief:

● Jami Attenberg – All Grown Up

● Mark Bittman – How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

● Matthew Dowd – A New Way: Embracing the Paradox as We Lead and Serve

● Margarita Engle – All the Way to Havana and Forest World

● Roger D. Hodge – Texas Blood

● Lisa Ko – The Leavers

● Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis – The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid

● Claire Messud – The Burning Girl

● Tomás Q. Morín – Patient Zero

● Gail Simmons – Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating

● Javaka Steptoe – Radiant Child

● Angie Thomas – The Hate U Give

For more information, visit www.texasbookfestival.org.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Texas Book Festival
Texas Book Festival 2020: Meet the Whiting Award Winners in Poetry
Texas Book Festival 2020: Meet the Whiting Award Winners in Poetry
Three emerging literary stars on disturbing the peace

Barbara Purcell, Nov. 10, 2020

Texas Book Festival 2020: Mychal Denzel Smith and Isaac J. Bailey in Conversation
Texas Book Festival 2020: Mychal Denzel Smith and Isaac J. Bailey in Conversation
The two authors discuss Black Americans and life post-America

Evan Rodriguez, Nov. 10, 2020

More by Robert Faires
Valoneecia Tolbert Geeks Out in <i>Tales of a Blerd Ballerina</i>
Valoneecia Tolbert Geeks Out in Tales of a Blerd Ballerina
The actress looks back at what it was to be young, geeky, and Black

April 9, 2021

Vote for New Music in Golden Hornet's String Quartet Smackdown VII
Vote for New Music in Golden Hornet's String Quartet Smackdown VII
For the seventh year, Golden Hornet referees this composition competition while you decide the winner

March 26, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Texas Book Festival, Texas Book Festival 2017, Claire Massud, Lisa Ko, Colin Meloy, Carson Ellis, Javaka Steptoe, Angie Thomas, Gail Simmons, Tomás Morín, Roger D. Hodge, Margarita Engle, Matthew Dowd, Jami Attenberg, Mark Bittman, Joel Salcido

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle