Novelists Lindsay Hunter and Alissa Nutting preside over a small underground room in the Capitol building. Joking in glee that the setting is really doing something for her Law & Order fantasies, Nutting says hello and sets the tone for the panel “Connecting… Connecting….”
You may have thought of Dan Rather, former reporter and news anchor at CBS and Dan Rather Reports, as a global phenomenon, but at his appearance at the Texas Book Festival this weekend, the world was reminded just how Texas he is.
The pews of Central Presbyterian Church filled early and completely for a conversation between lauded authors Jeffrey Eugenides and Claire Messud. Austin author Amanda Eyre Ward moderated this conversation on the process of crafting remarkable fiction.
It’s old news by now: The days of the fantasy genre existing solely as a bunch of Tolkien knockoffs is over. The sword-and-sorcery novel that dominated much of 20th century fantasy still holds its place in the genre, but it’s now joined by many other kinds of magical stories – as evidenced by the range of sci-fi/fantasy panels at the Texas Book Festival.
On a muggy Saturday morning in the Capitol's ornate House Chamber, Laura Bush sat poised in a fat leather armchair. Her hair was perfect (as always), and the heavy strand of pearls around her neck matched the buttons of her pink cashmere sweater. “It’s Mom’s birthday!” Jenna Bush Hager elated from the podium near her sister Barbara.
My fascination with the Middle East had drawn me to The New Sectarianism, the book in which Geneive Abdo covers in spectacular depth the reality and modern-day impacts of the ancient religious rift between the Shi’a and Sunni sects of Islam.
Everyone loves to gush about their pets, but writers may do so with a particular descriptive and storytelling panache. The panel “Writers and Their Dogs: There Will Be Pictures” put this to a test, staging just such a conversation before an audience. True to the titular promise, there were pictures.