Announcing our 2020 Author Lineup!

The 2020 Virtual Texas Book Festival will feature more than 125 authors, illustrators, poets, journalists, artists, and thought leaders across a diverse array of genres and topics, including Matthew McConaughey, David Chang, Kevin Kwan, Sigrid Nunez, Isabel Wilkerson, Julia Alvarez, Yaa GyasiErin Brockovich, Brit BennettJosé R. RalatMichael J. Sandel, Dean Koontz, Kathy ValentineIbi Zoboi, and more!

See the full lineup!

Texas Teen Book Festival

Elizabeth Acevedo and Nic Stone will be the keynote speakers for the 2020 Texas Teen Book Festival, taking place online on October 31 and November 1. The TTBF lineup also includes Tiffany D. Jackson, Candace Bushnell, Natalia Sylvester, Lilliam Rivera, Yamile Saied Méndez, Rory Power, Francisco X. Stork, and more.

Children’s programming

Children’s programming will run from November 2 to 6 and will include acclaimed children’s authors and illustrators Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg, Isabel Quintero, Mikaila UlmerDerrick Barnes, Anna Meriano, Rebecca J. GomezRaúl The Third, David Bowles, Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey, and more.

2020 First Edition Literary Gala

Adult author programming will run from November 6 to 15. The First Edition Literary Gala will also take place virtually this year on Friday, November 6 at 7:30 p.m. CST,  featuring authors Julia Alvarez, Nick Hornby, and Natasha Trethewey, as well as emcee Michael Ian Black. Find sponsorship information here.

Shop books by Festival authors

Make sure you stop by our online store at BookPeople, our official indie bookseller, to pick up your copies of books by all the excellent authors joining us for this year’s Festival!

SHOP HERE

Shop our Festival bookstore at BookPeople!

Make sure you stop by our online store at BookPeople, our official indie bookseller, to pick up your copies of books by all the excellent authors joining us for this year’s Festival!

SHOP HERE

Save the dates for the 2020 Virtual Texas Book Festival:
Texas Teen Book Festival: October 31-November 1
Children’s Programming: November 2-6
Adult Programming: November 6-15

Attend the 2020 First Edition Literary Gala!
Friday, November 6 | 7:30 p.m. CST

Find Gala sponsorship information here.

Book Club Discussion: Q&A with ‘Mexican Gothic’ author Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The Austin360 Book Club powered by Texas Book Festival thoroughly enjoyed reading Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia in August! This dark twist on the classic gothic novel is definitely a story you’ll want to read with the lights on. We were delighted to talk with the book’s author about the book! Want to discuss Mexican Gothic with us? Join the book club on Facebook!

What inspired you to write your own twist on a gothic novel? Why set it in 1950s Mexico?

Gothic literature does not include many people of color. When it does, they are an Other that is horrific or exotified. You see it in Dragonwyck, where there is a mixed-race woman whose main role is to appear to be shifty and potentially dangerous/mad. You see it also it with Dracula, who is technically European, but he’s Eastern European and at the point in time when Stoker is writing this is seen as an ‘inferior,’ dangerous sort of person and a racial Other. And you even see it in Jane Eyre, with the mad wife in the attic. The wife is technically white, but in the 19th century there is this fear of degraded whiteness. So the thought is that white people who are growing up in the Caribbean, who are being exposed to the influences of people of color, of the Other, are being diminished in some capacity. It’s a compromised whiteness.

So I wanted to place a Mexican heroine in the middle of a Gothic novel and not have her be a figure of exotic thrills or repulsion. She is not the dreaded Other and the European forces are not by default the superior, civilized element of the book.  

Parts of this book feel very Shirley Jackson-esque, the way High Place seems to be its own character. Were you inspired by any other “haunted houses” in horror stories, or maybe even real-life locations, when writing about High Place? 

I was inspired by a real town in Mexico called Real del Monte. It’s up high in the mountains, it tends to be chilly there and rainy during certain times of the year, and it was mined by the British in the 19th century. The English presence earned it the nickname of ‘Little Cornwall’ and it has a very distinctive English cemetery. When I visited that cemetery I thought it was like stepping into a vintage horror movie, with mist all around.

The subject of eugenics comes up a lot in the book. What made you want to address this topic?

I have a Master’s degree in Science and Technology Studies. My thesis revolved around eugenics and early 20th century literature, specifically Lovecraft’s work. Eugenics was a widespread ‘discipline.’ There were eugenics journals, it showed up in textbooks and it even inspired legislation. Eugenics often mixes with issues of race and Latin America becomes a contested space in eugenics thought because there is race mixing, which is seen as very dangerous by white eugenicists in places such as England. That is how you find people such as Ephraim Squier, an America archeologist, saying that “In Central and South American and Mexico we find people not only demoralized from unrestrained association of different races, but also the superior stocks becoming gradually absorbed in the lower.”

How did you get the idea to use the ouroboros as the Doyle family’s coat-of-arms?

I saw it in a tombstone. It was a symbol used by alchemists and by Gnostic sects. I also found references of it in books such as Mushrooms, Myth and Mithras: The Drug Cult that Civilized Europe.

Your publisher shared a Spotify playlist to go along with the book—were there any particular pieces of music that inspired you while writing this book?

No. I very much like “The Chromatics,” though.

It was recently announced that the book has been optioned for a Hulu series by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos. What parts of the novel are you most excited about seeing brought to life?

I think the set design for the house, to be honest with you. And I’m just really curious to see how screenwriters adapt something from book form into a script.

 What are you reading right now?

I’m doing preliminary research for another book, so my reading list would look extremely bizarre. For my own pleasure I just bought “Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas” by Roberto Lovato and I have a review copy of “The Phlebotomist” by Chris Panatier.  

September Book Club: ‘The Only Good Indians’ by Stephen Graham Jones

We’re excited to share that 2020 Festival author Stephen Graham Jones’ The Only Good Indians is our September pick for the Austin360 Book Club powered by Texas Book Festival!

This gripping new tale of horror, guilt, and revenge centers on four Native American friends haunted — quite literally — by a hunting trip gone wrong. Years after the incident, one of the men, Lewis, is suddenly forced to face his past before it gets to him first. With its expert blend of chilling imagery and social commentary, Jones’s novel tackles themes of tradition and cultural identity while keeping readers hooked.

Grab your copy of The Only Good Indians from our friends at BookPeople, and make sure to save the date for our annual BookPeople Day of Sales, which benefits the Texas Book Festival, on Thursday, September 10.

Jones is one of more than 125 authors coming to this year’s Virtual Texas Book Festival, which takes place online October 31 to November 15! In lieu of book club discussions in September, October, and November, we’ll be reading book club picks by Festival authors that we’re excited to hear from and see at this year’s Festival! Stay tuned for our full author lineup coming (extremely) soon!

Past 2020 book club picks:

Announcing our 2020 First Edition Literary Gala authors!

We’re so excited to share the details of our First Edition Literary Gala with all of you!

Like our 2020 Festival, the annual Gala will be completely virtual this year. Held on November 6 at 7:30 p.m., this year’s virtual evening will feature some of the most notable authors in publishing, including acclaimed novelist and memoirist Nick Hornby, National Medal of Arts recipient Julia Alvarez, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. Comedian and author Michael Ian Black will emcee the virtual evening.

Every year, the Texas Book Festival gala is a can’t-miss event,” says Sarah Queen, TBF Board of Directors Chair. “That still holds true for this year’s Virtual Gala, and we’re excited that the virtual program will allow our friends across Texas and beyond to join us in supporting literacy and literary programming in Texas.”

This year, Gala attendees will partake in the exclusive program from the comfort of their homes. Each ticket and sponsorship comes with access to the virtual program and to headlining ticketed author sessions during the Festival, as well as other literary favors and benefits. The Gala will also feature a virtual silent auction with exceptional vacation homes, private author experiences, and other packages generously donated by local businesses and artists. Anna Hargrove and Dalton Young are this year’s Gala co-chairs.

Gala sponsorship options start at $600 for a single ticket, which includes a pass to all ticketed Festival events as well as the Virtual Gala, a printed Gala program, a Festival author book, and sponsor recognition on the TBF website. Additional sponsorship levels include a viewing gift basket with a cocktail kit or bottle of wine, snacks, guest passes to the Virtual Gala, virtual author meet-and-greets, Gala author books, virtual cooking demonstrations, and more. Find out more about the sponsorship opportunities here.

Last year’s First Edition Literary Gala raised more than $700,000 for the Texas Book Festival. Proceeds keep the annual Festival and Texas Teen Book Festival free and open to the public and fund TBF’s outreach programs. This year, TBF awarded $100,000 in grants to 42 Texas public libraries and, through its Reading Rock Stars program, provided nearly 9,300 books to students in Title I schools across Texas.

This year’s featured authors include the following:

Julia Alvarez: Julia Alvarez left the Dominican Republic for the United States in 1960 at the age of ten. She is the author of six novels, three books of nonfiction, three collections of poetry, and eleven books for children and young adults. She has taught and mentored writers in schools and communities across America and, until her retirement in 2016, was a writer-in-residence at Middlebury College. Her work has garnered wide recognition, including a Latina Leader Award in Literature from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the Hispanic Heritage Award in Literature, the Woman of the Year by Latina magazine, and inclusion in the New York Public Library’s program “The Hand of the Poet: Original Manuscripts by 100 Masters, from John Donne to Julia Alvarez.” In the Time of the Butterflies, with over one million copies in print, was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts for its national Big Read program, and in 2013, President Obama awarded Alvarez the National Medal of Arts in recognition of her extraordinary storytelling. Her latest novel, Afterlife, the story of a retired college English teacher who finds a pregnant undocumented teenager on her doorstep, will be featured at TBF. Buy Afterlife here.

Michael Ian Black: Michael Ian Black is an actor, comedian, and writer who started his career with the sketch comedy show The State on MTV and has created and starred in many other television shows. Movie appearances include Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, and Sextuplets. Black is the author of several books for children, including the award-winning I’m Bored, I’m Sad, and I’m Worried and the parody A Child’s First Book of Trump. His books for adults include the memoirs You’re Not Doing It Right and Navel Gazing and the essay collection My Custom Van. Black also co-authored with Meghan McCain America, You Sexy Bitch. As a stand-up comedian, Michael regularly tours the country and he has released several comedy albums. His podcasts include Mike & Tom Eat Snacks, with Tom Cavanagh; Topics, with Michael Showalter; How to Be Amazing; and Obscure. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and two children. His book A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son, heartfelt meditation on toxic masculinity addressed to his college-age son, will be featured at TBF. Buy A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son here.

Nick Hornby: Nick Hornby is the author of several internationally bestselling novels, including High Fidelity, About a Boy, and A Long Way Down, as well as several works of nonfiction, including Fever Pitch, Songbook, and Ten Years in the Tub. He has written screenplay adaptations of Lynn Barber’s An Education, which was nominated for an Academy Award, Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, and Colm Tóibín’s Brooklyn. He lives in London. At TBF, Hornby will be presenting Just Like You, a funny, charming portrayal of a middle-aged almost-divorcee who unexpectedly falls for a younger man. Buy Just Like You here.

Natasha Trethewey: Natasha Trethewey is a former US Poet Laureate and the author of five collections of poetry, as well as a book of creative nonfiction. She is currently the Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University. In 2007 she won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry for her collection Native Guard. Memorial Drive, Tretheway’s memoir remembering the life of her mother, who was murdered by her former stepfather when Tretheway was 19, will be featured at TBF. Buy Memorial Drive here.

TBF’s full author lineup will be revealed in mid-September. The 2020 Virtual Texas Book Festival will take place online from October 31 through November 15. 

Purchase books by this year’s Festival authors from our friends at BookPeople!

We’re partnering with Gen Padalecki!

We’re so happy to announce we are partnering with Genevieve Padalecki and her Now & Gen Book Club. An actor, entrepreneur, mom, and Texan, Gen launched her Now & Gen book club this year, which reaches fans and followers around the world to spark conversation and create community among fellow book lovers.

Gen’s enthusiasm for books and desire to create thoughtful dialogue about books align so well with everything TBF does. We’re excited to collaborate with Gen on some of Now & Gen’s monthly book club picks!

Gen is also a mom of three kids so has her storytime nailed. Check out her reading one of her and her kids’ favorite bedtime books: Slinky Malinki by Lynley Dodd.

Follow Gen on social media:
Instagram – @nowandgen 
Twitter – @realGpad
Facebook – @Genevieve Padalecki

 

Sneak Peek: 15 authors coming to TBF

The Texas Book Festival is excited to unveil fifteen authors joining the two-week Virtual Festival this fall. 

In addition to the recently announced Texas Teen Book Festival keynotes, Elizabeth Acevedo and Nic Stone, the 2020 Festival will feature acclaimed suspense novelist Dean Koontz, award-winning novelist Yaa Gyasi, comedian Michael Ian Black, activist Erin Brockovich, and National Medal of Arts recipient Julia Alvarez, among others.

The 2020 Festival will feature more than 125 authors throughout two weeks of programming starting on October 31. The Texas Teen Book Festival will take place October 31 and November 1, followed by children’s programming from November 2 through 6. Adult programming will take place the final week of the Festival, November 6 through 15. TBF’s full lineup will be revealed in September.

The full list of fifteen sneak peek authors includes:

Julia Alvarez, Afterlife

Aimee Bender, The Butterfly Lampshade

Michael Ian Black, A Better Man: A (Mostly Serious) Letter to My Son

H. W. Brands, The Zealot and the Emancipator: John Brown, Abraham Lincoln, and the Struggle for American Freedom

Erin Brockovich, Superman’s Not Coming: Our National Water Crisis and What We the People Can Do About It

Candace Bushnell, Rules for Being a Girl

Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom

Stephen Graham Jones, The Only Good Indians

Dean Koontz, Elsewhere

Kevin Kwan, Sex and Vanity

José R. Ralat, American Tacos: A History and Guide

Richard Santos, Trust Me

Natalia Sylvester, Running

Natasha Trethewey, Memorial Drive

Kathy Valentine, All I Ever Wanted: A Rock ’n’ Roll Memoir

August Book Club: ‘Mexican Gothic’ by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

For the August pick for the Austin360 Book Club powered by the Texas Book Festival, we’ll be reading Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, a New York Times-bestselling twist on classic gothic horror stories, set in 1950s Mexico.

Read the full description of the book:

“After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.”

Buy your copy of Mexican Gothic from BookPeople!

Stay tuned for book discussion updates coming later in August, and make sure to join the book club on Facebook here.

Past 2020 book club picks:

Elizabeth Acevedo and Nic Stone joining Texas Teen Book Festival as keynote speakers

The Texas Book Festival is excited to announce two keynote speakers for the 2020 Texas Teen Book Festival, which will be held during the 2020 Virtual Texas Book Festival from October 31 to November 1. The 2020 Texas Teen Book Festival will feature keynote panels with authors Nic Stone and Elizabeth Acevedo. 

Clap When You Land, Acevedo’s 2020 novel written in verse, received “a standing ovation” from Kirkus. Acevedo’s The Poet X was a New York Times bestseller and won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpré Award, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and the Walter Award. She is also a National Poetry Slam champion. Buy Clap When You Land here.

Stone is a New York Times-bestselling author and former TTBF keynote speaker. Dear Justyce, a much-anticipated follow-up to her young adult bestseller Dear Martin, will be published on September 29, 2020. Stone’s middle-grade fiction debut, Clean Getaway, and the first of a series based on Marvel’s Black Panther comics, Shuri: A Black Panther Novel, were published in January. Preorder Dear Justyce here.