We’re excited to announce this year’s Festival Friends Pass authors! Friends Pass holders will enjoy priority seating and access to the signing lines for these sessions. We will announce the session dates, times, and venues in mid-October.
The Texas Book Festival brings free culture, literature, and art to Texas thanks to generous donors. Become a 2023 Festival Friend by donating $100 or more and we’ll say thank you with a Festival Friends Pass. You’ll also know that you are helping us keep the Festival free and accessible to readers in Austin and across Texas.
2023 Festival Friends Pass Authors
Click on the book cover to secure a copy of a book from Austin independent bookstore BookPeople
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is the New York Times-bestselling author of Friday Black. His work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The Paris Review, and elsewhere. He was a National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” honoree, the winner of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award and the Saroyan Prize, and a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for Best First Book, along with many other honors.
Ingrid Rojas Contreras was born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia. Her essays and short stories have appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, Guernica, and Huffington Post, among others. She has received fellowships and awards from The Missouri Review, Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, VONA, Hedgebrook, The Camargo Foundation, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures. She is the book columnist for KQED Arts, the Bay Area’s NPR affiliate.
Ali Hazelwood is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love, Theoretically and The Love Hypothesis, as well as a writer of peer-reviewed articles about brain science, in which no one makes out and the ever after is not always happy. Originally from Italy, she lived in Germany and Japan before moving to the US to pursue a PhD in neuroscience. When Ali is not at work, she can be found running, eating cake pops, or watching sci-fi movies with her three feline overlords (and her slightly-less-feline husband).
Steve Inskeep is a cohost of NPR’s Morning Edition, the most widely heard radio program in the United States, and of NPR’s Up First, one of the nation’s most popular podcasts. His reporting has taken him across the United States, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Pakistan, and China. His search for the full story behind the news has led him to history; he is the author of Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War; Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi, and Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab.
Walter Isaacson is the bestselling author of biographies of Jennifer Doudna, Leonardo da Vinci, Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, and Albert Einstein. He is a professor of history at Tulane and was CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time. He was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2023.
Ann Patchett is the author of several novels, works of nonfiction, and children’s books. She has been the recipient of numerous awards including a 2023 National Humanities Medal, the PEN/Faulkner, the Women’s Prize in the U.K., and the Book Sense Book of the Year. Her novel The Dutch House was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. Time named her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee, where she is the owner of Parnassus Books.
Steven Rowley is the New York Times bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus, a Washington Post Notable Book of 2016, The Editor, named by NPR as one of the Best Books of 2019, The Guncle, a Goodreads Choice Awards finalist for 2021 Novel of the Year and winner of The 22nd Thurber Prize for American Humor, and The Celebrants, a TODAY Show Read With Jenna Book Club pick. His fiction has been published in twenty languages. All of his books are in development for feature film or television adaptation.
Rachel Renée Russell is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dork Diaries, an international blockbuster series chronicling the life and misadventures of middle school students, Nikki Maxwell and her best friends Chloe and Zoey. With humor and wit, Rachel’s books encourage tweens to embrace their individuality and always let their inner dork shine through. The Dork Diaries series has been translated into forty-two languages worldwide and its characters are as diverse as the millions of tweens who read the books. With more than fifty-five million books in print, the series has garnered such honors as two Kids’ Book Choice Awards, an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for Children, the Milner Award for Children’s Literature, and a Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Book of the Year nomination. Rachel is also the author of a second New York Times bestselling series, The Misadventures of Max Crumbly, which received a Kids’ Book Choice Award. Rachel will be joined by her daughter Nikki Russell, illustrator of the Dork Diaries series.The mother-daughter team has released nineteen consecutive New York Times bestsellers.
Curtis Sittenfeld is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including Romantic Comedy, which was picked for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, Rodham, Eligible, Prep, American Wife, and Sisterland, as well as the collection You Think It, I’ll Say It. Her books have been translated into thirty languages. In addition, her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post Magazine, Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories, for which she has also been the guest editor. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, and Vanity Fair, and on public radio’s This American Life.
Héctor Tobar is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and novelist. He is the author of the critically acclaimed, New York Times bestseller, Deep Down Dark, as well as The Barbarian Nurseries, Translation Nation, and The Tattooed Soldier. Héctor is also a contributing writer for the New York Times opinion pages and an associate professor at the University of California, Irvine. He’s written for The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times and other publications. His short fiction has appeared in Best American Short Stories, L.A. Noir, Zyzzyva, and Slate. The son of Guatemalan immigrants, he is a native of Los Angeles, where he lives with his family. Our Migrant Souls is his latest book.
Abraham Verghese is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the author of books including the NBCC Award finalist My Own Country and the New York Times Notable Book The Tennis Partner. His most recent book, Cutting for Stone, spent 107 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and sold more than 1.5 million copies in the U.S. alone. It was translated into more than twenty languages and is being adapted for film by Anonymous Content. Verghese was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2016, has received five honorary degrees, and is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He lives and practices medicine in Stanford, California where he is the Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine. A decade in the making, The Covenant of Water is his first book since Cutting for Stone.