The Texas Book Festival Unveils Its List of Participating Authors
In-person and virtual panels and discussions abound
By Adrienne Hunter,
9:00AM, Wed. Sep. 22, 2021
The Texas Book Festival, one of the largest literary festivals in the country, announced its lineup of more than 200 authors. The fest returns to Austin with a mix of virtual and in-person events over nine days starting on October 23 and is, as always, free and open to the public.
The page-turning celebration includes a slate of authors including Chandler Baker, Oscar Cásares, Ann Cleeves, Tamron Hall, Nathan Harris, Louis Menand, and Sam Quinones.
The in-person component of the festival includes an event at Symphony Square on Saturday, Oct. 30, complete with the annual lit crawl and children’s picture book authors sharing their tales with the tikes. The following day’s events move to the still relatively shiny Central Library for a handful of adult programming.
Among the presenters will be Chandler Baker, an Austin-based attorney and New York Times bestselling author of feminist thriller Whisper Network. She’ll present The Husbands, her much-anticipated follow-up.
Austinite Oscar Cásares (author of Brownsville) sits on a panel discussion of Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in Between Worlds. The anthology is a collection of essays, poems, and short stories from Mexican American authors, including Cásares.
Award-winning author Ann Cleves, known for the Vera and Shetland series, presents The Heron’s Cry, the next installment in her Two Rivers series. Cleaves boasts a long list of accomplishments including being a bestselling author, writing multiple series for TV, and having her work translated into 20 languages.
Presenting her debut novel, As the Wicked Watch, is Texan-born Tamron Hall, an Emmy award-winning journalist and TV host. The thriller follows a reporter unravelling the work of a Chicago serial killer.
Nathan Harris brings his debut novel, The Sweetness of Water to the fest. Harris is a Michener Center for Writers graduate, Kidd Prize recipient, and a finalist for the Tennessee Williams Fiction Prize. The historical novel received the coveted “O” insignia from Oprah herself.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louis Menand follows up his Metaphysical Club, with The Free World: Art and Thought in the Cold War, which sheds light on how American culture changed between World War II and the Vietnam War.
Among the sea of 200 participating authors will be Sam Quinones with The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth. The journalist and award-winning author’s nonfiction narrative is a response to his New York Times bestseller, Dreamland.
For the younger readers (or YA at heart) there’s the 2021 Texas Teen Book Festival, taking place online on October 23 and 24. Presenters include Angeline Boulley, Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and Neal Shusterman.
The Texas Book Festival, which again is completely free to the public, is a nonprofit promoting the joys of reading and writing. Visit the website to see whether your favorite authors will be presenting online or in person.
Alphabetical Author List:
Benjamin Alire Sáenz
H. W. Brands
Meghan P. Browne
Anneliese M. Bruner
Ellen Riojas Clark
Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
Becky Duval Reese
Saraciea J. Fennell
Cassy Joy Garcia
Lorena Junco Margain
Darcie Little Badger
Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Tracy Nelson Maurer
J. Todd Moye
Khosrou Daniel Nayeri
Joe Nick Patoski
W. Chase Peeler
Katie Russell Newland
ire'ne lara silva
Mark Haskell Smith
Jane M. Von Bergen
S. Kirk Walsh
Kimberly Willis Holt
Laekan Zea Kemp