2017 Texas Book Festival Author Lineup: Sneak Peek

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We’re thrilled to announce thirteen of the authors and illustrators who will participate in this year’s Texas Book Festival, happening November 4 and 5 in and around the State Capitol grounds in Austin, Texas. Our full 2017 lineup will be announced in early September. For now, mark your calendars and join us here in the heart of Texas as we celebrate another fabulous year of books with 250 of today’s most acclaimed authors.


CLAIRE MESSUD – The Burning Girl: A Novel

Claire Messud, bestselling author of The Emperor’s Children and The Woman Upstairs, returns with one of the most highly anticipated novels of 2017; a bracing, hypnotic coming-of-age story about the bond of best friends that asks the big questions: To what extent can we know ourselves and others? What are the stories we create to comprehend our lives and relationships?


MARGARITA ENGLE – Forest World (and) All the Way to Havana

We’re honored to welcome the newly appointed 2017-2019 United States Young People’s Poet Laureate, Margarita Engle, with two wonderful new books for young readers. Forest World is a lively middle grade novel in verse that tells the story of a Cuban-American boy who visits his family’s village in Cuba for the first time—and meets a sister he didn’t know he had. Illustrated by Mike Curato, All the Way to Havana showcases the colorful buildings and iconic classic cars of Havana, this verse picture book follows a Cuban boy and his family on their road trip into the city. Engle’s books have also received multiple Pura Belpré and Americas Awards as well as a Jane Addams Award, an International Reading Association Award, a Newbery Honor and the Walter Dean Myers Honor.


MARK BITTMAN – How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Tenth Anniversary Edition

Mark Bittman has revolutionized the way we think about, and read about, food. The author of 20 acclaimed and bestselling cookbooks, including the How to Cook Everything series and VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00, Bittman also wrote for the Times for two decades, becoming the country’s first food-focused Op-Ed columnist for a major news publication. At the Festival, he will present the tenth anniversary edition of his bestseller, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food. Bittman has starred in four television series and has written for nearly every major newspaper in the United States and many magazines.


LISA KO – The Leavers: A Novel

The Leavers has been one of the most talked-about books among Festival staff, and readers nationwide, this year! A vivid and moving examination of borders and belonging, The Leavers, which won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction, is the story of how one boy comes into his own when everything he’s loved has been taken away—and how one woman learns to live with the mistakes of her past. Ko’s writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2016, The New York Times, Apogee Journal, Narrative, O. Magazine, Copper Nickel, Storychord, One Teen Story, Brooklyn Review, and elsewhere.


ANGIE THOMAS – The Hate U Give

It is with tremendous excitement  that we welcome #1 New York Times bestselling author Angie Thomas to our YA tent this year with The Hate U Give, a groundbreaking, thought-provoking debut novel inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, about a teen girl who is the only witness to her friend’s fatal shooting by a police officer. It has received starred reviews from 8 literary journals, one of the highest amounts received for a young adult novel, and will be published in over 20 countries. The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly both called it required reading. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 and Temple Hill Productions.


GAIL SIMMONS – Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from a Life of Adventurous Eating

Beloved food world figure and Top Chef judge Gail Simmons will join us in our Central Market Cooking Tent this year with her fabulous new cookbook, Bringing It Home, in which she shares her best recipes and food experiences from her travels exploring global flavors and keeping detailed diaries, to her Top Chef culinary adventures with the world’s most notable chefs. Simmons makes frequent television appearances on Today, Good Morning America, The Chew, and The Talk, and has been featured in New York magazine, Travel + Leisure, GQ, and People, among others.


JAVAKA STEPTOE – Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat

Javaka Steptoe’s stunning new picture book, Radiant Child, is one of the most celebrated picture books of the year, awarded the 2017 Randolph Caldecott Medal and the 2017 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award. Steptoe’s vivid text and bold artwork echo Basquiat’s own style, introducing young readers to the powerful message that art doesn’t always have to be neat or clean–and definitely not inside the lines–to be beautiful. He has  illustrated several other award-winning books for children, including his debut picture book, In Daddy’s Arms I Am Tall, which won the Coretta Scott King Award, and Jimi: Sounds Like a Rainbow (written by Gary Golio), which received a Coretta Scott King Honor.



The bestselling author of six novels, including The Middlesteins and Saint Mazie, Jami Attenberg is no stranger to best-of and must-read lists. Her latest novel, All Grown Up, has been one of the first early hits of 2017. This wickedly funny novel about a thirty-nine-year-old single, childfree woman who defies convention as she seeks connection has struck a chord with readers, including such book lovers as Judy Blume, who says, “I read it twice, laughing, cringing, and even tearing up.”


TOMÁS Q. MORÍN – Patient Zero

One of the most notable poets writing in Texas, Tomás Q. Morín will present his second collection at this year’s Texas Book Festival, Patient Zero. In these poems, Morín explores love gone sideways in the lives of lovers, parents and children, humans and the divine. Morín is the winner of the APR/Honickman Prize and runner-up for the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award. He is co-editor with Mari L’Esperance of the anthology, Coming Close: 40 Essays on Philip Levine, and translator of The Heights of Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda.


COLIN MELOY & CARSON ELLIS – The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid

Young readers, we’re so excited to present you with the dynamic middle grade duo of Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis at this year’s Texas Book Festival! From the creators of the New York Times bestselling Wildwood Chronicles comes an original, humorous, and fast-paced middle grade novel about a band of child pickpockets—imagine The Invention of Hugo Cabret meets Oliver Twist. Colin Meloy is well-known as the lead singer and songwriter for the band the Decemberists. Carson Ellis is the acclaimed illustrator of several books for children, including Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead.


ROGER D. HODGE – Texas Blood

Roger D. Hodge, bestselling author and national editor of The Intercept, has written an illuminating history of the Texas borderland from their settlement through seven generations of his own ranching family. What brought the author’s family to Texas? What is it about Texas that for centuries has exerted a powerful allure for adventurers and scoundrels, dreamers and desperate souls, outlaws and outliers? In search of answers, Hodge travels across his home state–which he loves and hates in shifting measure–tracing the wanderings of his ancestors into forgotten histories along vanished roads.



Of course, we have to talk politics and country at the Festival. We’re very excited to welcome long-time political strategist, New York Times bestselling author and chief analyst for ABC News Matthew Dowd to discuss A New Way, in which Dowd addresses an America desperate for leaders with integrity to help them thrive during a period of profound national change and division, and offers a model for leadership that maintains values of the past while looking to the future.