The Texas Book Festival in Austin is bigger than ever this year, boasting its largest lineup — more than 280 authors — in its 19-year history. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held Saturday and Sunday in and around the State Capitol.
The lineup includes some of the literary world’s heavy hitters — Martin Amis, James Ellroy, Joyce Carol Oates, Sarah Bird and others — plus 12 chefs and food writers (including Dean Fearing, The Texas Food Bible) and an eclectic blend of politics, poetry and other diverse topics. More than 100 authors have Texas ties, including Fort Worth’s Jeff Guinn, who’ll talk about his new Old West fiction series that opened with Glorious.
“It wasn’t that we intentionally set out to make it bigger; it’s that there were so many fantastic submissions we fell in love with this year that we had to make more room,” festival literary director Steph Opitz said on the website.
This year’s extracurricular event is Kayak with Festival Authors, 8-9 a.m. Saturday on Lady Bird Lake. Shannon Galpin ( Mountain to Mountain: A Journey of Adventure and Activism for the Women of Afghanistan) and Jake Halpern ( Bad Paper: Chasing Debt From Wall Street to the Underworld) will be the mini-tour guides for the chat and row activity. Call Congress Avenue Kayaks, 512-809-8916, to reserve a spot.
The popular Lit Crawl will take place Saturday night. For complete schedule information, see www.texasbookfestival.org.
— Celeste Williams