We are thrilled to announce the 2019 First Edition Literary Gala authors! We’re looking forward to an evening of excellent literary programming at the Gala and riveting sessions with these authors at their panels throughout the Festival Weekend. On Friday, October 25, we will celebrate and support literacy in Texas at the Gala with acclaimed authors Sarah M. Broom, Stephen Harrigan, Sharon Robinson, and Alexander McCall Smith.
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!
Please note, the Gala is currently sold out. If you’d like to be placed on the wait list, please contact our office.
Sarah M. Broom: Broom’s memoir, The Yellow House, arrived on shelves in August and was an immediate New York Times bestseller, featured on Good Morning America and receiving accolades from many outlets, including the New York Times, NPR, Kirkus Reviews, Publisher’s Weekly, and more. Broom shares the deeply researched, intimately told story of her East New Orleans family and the house in which she was raised. A Whiting Award winner, Broom’s writing has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Oxford American, and O, The Oprah Magazine.
Stephen Harrigan: Novelist, journalist, historian, screenwriter; Stephen Harrigan is one of the most celebrated and accomplished writers in Texas. It’s only fitting that the University of Texas Press would turn to Harrigan to write a masterwork, a definitive new history of Texas. Weighing in at nearly 1,000 pages, Big Wonderful Thing is a thorough, riveting record of Texas, told with a novelist’s eye for detail and including the stories of all of the people who have defined Texas over the centuries. A major Lone Star literary event!
Sharon Robinson: Daughter of legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson, Sharon Robinson has published multiple award-winning books for young readers. She’s also an educational consultant for Major League Baseball and co-manager of Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life a baseball-themed national character education curriculum designed to empower students to face obstacles in their lives. In her new book, Child of the Dream: A Memoir of 1963, she shares her own inspiring story of the year she turned thirteen, when the unique opportunities of being her father’s daughter (going backstage at the Apollo Theater; attending the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom) meet the realities of her isolation as one of few black people at her Connecticut high school and her struggle to find her place in the Civil Rights movement.
Alexander McCall Smith: Known for his warmth, wit, and signature style that highlights the humanity of his beloved characters and settings, Alexander McCall Smith became a household name with his “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency “series, first launched into the world in 1999. Twenty years later, Smith is an internationally bestselling author whose work has expanded to fill multiple bestselling series, stand alone novels, and even children’s books. A new installment in “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency ” series is always a major event and we’re honored Smith will share it with us here in Texas.
Carrie Fountain: Emcee for the evening, Carrie Fountain is a poet and novelist, and serves as the 2019 Texas Poet Laureate. Fountain is the author of two poetry collections, Instant Winner and Burn Lake, winner of the 2009 National Poetry Series Award, and the YA novel I’m Not Missing. Her poems have appeared in Tin House, Poetry, and The New Yorker, among many others. She is the host of KUT’s This Is Just to Say, a radio show and podcast where she has intimate conversations on the writing life with other poets and writers.