The Austin Chronicle

Texas Book Festival Lineup and Schedule Goes Online and IRL

By Richard Whittaker, October 5, 2021, 3:30pm, Picture in Picture

Between the pandemic reducing in-person events, and the ongoing Texas legislative session taking over the Capitol grounds, this year's Texas Book Festival (Oct. 23-31) has had to make some changes. However, today's reveal of the full schedule shows the celebration of literature isn't letting readers down.

This year's stripped-down lineup begins online, with eight days of virtual programming starting on Oct. 23, including conversations with Maria Hinojosa (host of NPR's Latino USA) about her autobiography, Once I Was You, and Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright about his new history of the Covid-19 response, The Plague Year.

However, there will still be some in-person events. The second weekend (Oct. 30-31) will include events for children downtown at Symphony Square (1117 Red River), plus panels for adult readers at the Austin Central Library (710 W. Cesar Chavez).

Texas Book Festival runs Oct. 23-31: details and info at Here's the full schedule for in-person and online events (* denotes virtual events).


11:45am: Virtual keynote: Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World).*

Virtual children's programming, including Gloria Amescua (Child of the Flower-Song People), Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg (AstroNuts Mission Three: The Perfect Planet) and more.*


2pm Virtual keynote: Angeline Boulley, (Firekeeper's Daughter).*


Children's virtual programming including Kathi Appelt (Once Upon a Camel), Adrianna Cuevas (Cuba in My Pocket) and more, plus the announcement of the Texas Bluebonnet Award Announcement.*


Noon: Ann Cleeves in Conversation about The Heron’s Cry, her sequel to The Long Call.*

2pm Hear My Voice / Escucha mi voz: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States.*


Noon: The Family Roe: A Conversation with Joshua Prager.*

7pm: In As the Wicked Watch author Tamron Hall in Conversation with Texas Writer Award Recipient Attica Locke.*


Noon: House on Mango Street author and Texas Writer Award recipientSandra Cisneros in Conversation about Martita, I Remember You / Martita, te recuerdo.*

2:45pm: 20 Years Later: Talking about 9/11 with Those Too Young to Remember with authors Alan Gratz (Ground Zero) and Lauren Tarshis (I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001).*


10am: The Plague Year author: Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright in conversation with the Texas Tribune’s Evan Smith.*

4:45pm: Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice: Rupa Mayra and UT–Austin’s Raj Patel in Conversation.*

7pm: The National Book Foundation Presents An Evening with National Book Awards.*


10:45am: Viva Texas Rivers!: Adventures, Misadventures, and Glimpses of Nirvana Along Our Storied Waterways with contributors Steven Davis, Sam Pfiester, Carmen Tafolla, Joe Nick Patoski, and TBF 2021 poster artist Clemente Guzman.*

12:45pm: Legends of Texas Music with photographer Tracy Anne Hart (Seeing Stevie Ray) and Michael Corcoran (Ghost Notes).*


10am: Deception, Deadly Rivals, and Uneasy Alliances: New Fiction from Texas Thriller Authors.*

11am: Boom State: Mayors of Austin, Houston, and San Antonio in Conversation about the “Texas Triangle."*

2:45pm: Beer Made from Fog, Millennia-Old Egg Ovens, Dining in the Sky, and More: A conversation with Gastro Obscura’s Cecily Wong (Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide).*

Children's day at Symphony Square with Bavu Blakes (El’s Mirror, David Bowles My Two Border Towns / Mis dos pueblos fronterizos), and more.


Virtual programming

Noon: Elizabeth McCracken (The Souvenir Museum) and Rumaan Alam (Leave the World Behind) in conversation*

Adult in-person programming at Austin Public Library

10am: Amor Towles in conversation about The Lincoln Highway

Noon: Maria Hinojosa in conversation about Once I Was You

2pm: Being Texan: Texas Monthly Editors in Conversation about the Lone Star Way of Life

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