2017 First Edition Literary Gala Authors!

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We are thrilled to announce the 2017 First Edition Literary Gala authors! Join us at the Gala for a night of excellent literary programming, and then find these authors at their panels throughout the Festival weekend. On Friday, November 3, we will celebrate and support literacy in Texas at the Gala with acclaimed authors Walter Isaacson, Min Jin Lee, Attica Locke and Kevin Young.

The 2017 Gala will be emceed by Skip Hollandsworth, executive editor and author at Texas Monthly. The Gala is a crucial source of funding for literacy programming throughout the state, and helps keep the Festival Weekend free and open to the public. Thank you to all these authors for helping inspire Texans to love reading!


Min Jin Lee: Award-winning author of Pachinko, a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. The national bestseller is also a New York Times Editor’s Choice and one of American Booksellers Association’s Indie Next Great Reads. Lee’s debut novel, Free Food for Millionaires (May 2007), was a No. 1 Book Sense Pick, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, a Wall Street Journal Juggle Book Club selection, and a national bestseller. It was one of the Top 10 Novels of the Year for The Times of London and featured on NPR’s Fresh Air and in USA Today.


Attica Locke: Award-winning author and, most recently, writer and producer on the Fox drama Empire. Locke’s novels include Pleasantville, 2016 winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction; Black Water Rising, nominated for an Edgar Award, an NAACP Image Award, and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize; The Cutting Season, a national bestseller and the winner of the Ernest Gaines Award for Literary Excellence; and her current novel, Bluebird, Bluebird, an exhilarating, timely novel about the collision of race and justice in America.


Walter Isaacson: President and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, D.C. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of Time magazine. Isaacson is the acclaimed international bestselling author of Steve Jobs, Einstein: His Life and Universe, and Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003). His most recent biography, Leonardo Da Vinci, is based on thousands of pages from Leonardo’s astonishing notebooks and new discoveries about his life and work. Isaacson weaves a narrative that connects his art to his science. He shows how Leonardo’s genius was based on skills we can improve on in ourselves, such as passionate curiosity, careful observation, and an imagination so playful that it flirted with fantasy.


Kevin Young: Award-winning poet, critic, and, as of this November, poetry editor of The New Yorker. Young is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose, most recently Blue Laws: Selected & Uncollected Poems 1995-2015, longlisted for the National Book Award. He will be presenting his latest nonfiction book, Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News, which follows his last nonfiction work, The Grey Album: On the Blackness of Blackness, which was a New York Times Notable Book, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism, and the winner of the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize.