Get to know our 2019 Festival Poster Artist: Dave McClinton

Every year, the TBF selects a piece by a Texas artist to represent the Festival Weekend and to celebrate the arts in Texas. It’s a tradition that began in 1998, and through the years, we’ve been lucky to highlight works of acclaimed artists such as Lance Letscher, Julie Speed, Randal Ford, Keith Carter, Kate Breakey, and Jack Unruh.

Now, we are proud to unveil the official 2019 Festival Poster: “Burgeoning,” a mixed-media digital collage by Austin-based artist and graphic designer Dave McClinton. “Burgeoning” will be featured on this year’s Festival poster and will represent our 2019 Festival Weekend.

photo credit: Arius Holifield

McClinton, who moved to Austin in the 1990s and has lived here since, has worked as a professional graphic designer for twenty-five years. His vibrant, provocative style makes use of photography, portraiture, historical American documents, and textures found in everyday life.

McClinton says that, while he’s been a professional designer for more than two decades, he did not begin making his own art until just a few years ago.

“When I chose to study graphic design over studio art in school, I always thought in the back of my head I’d come back to [my art] eventually. But next thing you know, twenty years had gone by.”

In 2015, McClinton saw a call for submissions to participate in one of the West Austin Studio Tour stops and submitted.

“The next thing you know, I was printing and framing my art, and having it shown. It was a really quick, sudden thing. . . . Ever since then, I’ve been throwing myself into it full force, having found my way back into the art world.”

When asked about his influences and growth as an artist, McClinton says he loves creating and making art first “for the pure beauty of it.”

“I like making things that look nice, I do,” he says, “but what really solidified the impulse for me, what really took off is the essential purpose, the message that might be behind the artwork. Some of that messaging has been creeping into the landscapes, like ‘Burgeoning,’ as well as my more socio-political work.”

The art for this year’s poster, Burgeoning, is a collage made from wrinkled paper, photographed and rendered as a mountain landscape. The idea for McClinton’s crumpled paper series was sparked when he noticed the discarded gift wrapping on his kitchen table looked like a miniature mountain sculpture. He then began collecting different types and weights of paper and sculpting mountainous piles of these crumpled papers, which he then photographed from every angle to edit and create the final works.

“I enjoy the process, I enjoy the making of it,” he says. “Crumpling, twisting the paper— the physicality of it is very cathartic.”

McClinton says the reception of the series has been positive, and in some cases, personal. He recalls many viewers coming up to him and trying to guess which mountain range different works depicted, saying they were sure they’d seen the same peak close to their childhood home or on a memorable vacation.

“I get these people that see them and say, ‘Oh that looks like the Flatirons,’ or ‘That’s Long’s Peak,’ or, ‘Oh that’s Half Dome, right?’ The final art is digital, but the first step is making these sculptures with my hands, and I enjoy this notion of giving someone a view of a place they’ve never been, they couldn’t possibly have been there, but they see something in it, and it recalls these memories for them. People see these paper mountains and remember their own narratives and stories from their lives.”

Many of the works in the series feature crags and peaks of brightly colored paper, but for some, such as with “Burgeoning,” McClinton has begun to integrate words and text into the materials of the mountain sculptures as well. As with many of his other works that include text and documents in the collage, McClinton researches and prints old documents and publications pertaining to the history of slavery and racism in America. He says he knows that for readers, storytelling is an important aspect of books and reading, and with his artwork, he’s taking narratives and making them a visual representation, a record of these voices.

“The image is what I’m focusing on, the metaphor. . . In most of these, you can’t see specifically what’s written there, you can see some words but not all. The thing I like about that is the curiosity viewers will have. If you’re going to a book festival, I’m guessing you’re an avid reader, so I’m sure people will be curious to piece together these words and the meaning behind them.”

The historical trauma of slavery and ongoing narrative of racism in America is the subject McClinton engages with often in his art, and many of his works combine text and portraiture, depicting both images of people today and from America’s past. However, he finds the imagery of a striking, craggy mountain range to work just as well in exploring this issue.

“Mountains are naturally created over thousands of years, but when you think about it, a mountain’s birth is an incredibly violent act, two plates of land slamming together and erupting into this jagged scar on the face of the Earth,” he says. “It’s not a huge metaphorical leap to say that our history of slavery and racism in America is this huge, monumental, mountain-range-sized scar on this country’s past. So, on the one hand, I want people to say, ‘oh, look at this beautiful mountain’ but on the other, I want to talk about the monumental, painful scar on our history that slavery was, that racism still is.”

McClinton cites American designer, artist, and architect Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam War Veteran’s Memorial, which also evokes the imagery of a long, deep scar. When asked about his other influences and favorite artists, he laughed and wondered if he could even name a fraction of them.

“There’s too many to mention,” he says. “I like the graphic nature of Jean-Michel Basquiat, I like the graphic nature of Keith Haring, there was a woman named Nancy Spero. She would do things where she would draw the shape of a body or of a face, and use that over and over again, almost like it was a rubber stamp. She’d put them in different settings and give them different colors and different textures, so they weren’t identical, but they were still the same profile of a face, the same profile of a body, and she used it to great effect to tell her story. When I saw her work, I realized I was kind of doing the same thing and I thought, ‘well, if this woman who’s been doing art for seventy-five years and that was good for her, then that was good for me.'”

McClinton also details his long admiration for artists such as Carrie Mae Weems, Lorna Simpson, Glenn Ligon, Vincent Valdez, and keeps going—as any reader knows when asked to name their favorite author, there are always too many to name.

See more of Dave’s work on his site

Join us for the 24th annual Texas Book Festival on October 26-27. 

2019 Festival Lineup Sneak Peek

As Literary Director of the Texas Book Festival, I have the wonderful job of confirming all of the authors for the big Festival Weekend. I’m thrilled to share with you a sneak peek of this year’s lineup. Below are fifteen of the 250+ authors who will join us in Austin on October 26-27 for the 24th annual Texas Book Festival. We’re thrilled these writers can join us and cannot wait to share the full lineup with you at the end of August!

John Hodgman – Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms
I’m a big fan of comedy: stand-up, sketch, even improv, and always love when comedians write books and we get to bring them to Texas. The last time I saw John Hodgman, he made me hold his coffee while he played the ukulele for several hundred fans. This time? Who knows! His latest book, Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms, is a humorous meditation on what it means to be in the public spotlight to the degree that Hodgman has been: as a star of The Daily Show, a bestselling author, a popular podcaster, a pretty impressive ukulele player, the PC guy from those old Apple commercials, and also an ordinary guy.

We are happy to make Book Tickets available for this Festival sessions, which means that fans can secure a signed copy of the book and first access to seating to this session in advance. We do this because it helps us ensure that we don’t over-promise seats or books and that no one wastes time the day-of standing in line only to be turned away. Book Tickets also support our nonprofit!

Full details and Book Tickets here


Attica Locke – Heaven, My Home
Attica Locke is a story-telling powerhouse. If you’ve had the good fortune to see her in person, you know how quickly she draws an audience in with her passion, her deep knowledge, and humor. She is also one of our most celebrated Texas crime writers, bringing to life her East Texas background in her acclaimed and bestselling books. All of this is not to mention her career as a screenwriter for When They See Us, Empire, and other acclaimed shows. Her latest crime novel, Heaven, My Home, is a follow-up to bestselling Bluebird, Bluebird and finds us back in the East Texas terrain of Texas Ranger Darren Matthews.

Jericho Brown – The Tradition
Poet Jericho Brown’s latest collection, The Tradition, has been one of the most highly anticipated books across any genre in 2019. Since it landed on shelves in April, The Tradition has catapulted to the top of must-read lists and made Brown, a Whiting Award winner and recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship, among many other achievements, a literary household name. Writing about his experience as a black, gay Southern man in America, Brown’s work has resonated with many readers. At the Festival, we look forward to a session dedicated to Brown and this exceptional new work.

Kristen Arnett – Mostly Dead Things
Perhaps you know her as a librarian. A Floridian. Person of many pets. Frequenter of 7-11. Punster. Ravioli philosopher. New York Times bestselling novelist. Kristen Arnett first came across my radar with her debut story collection, Felt in the Jaw, in 2017. Her new novel, Mostly Dead Things, may have taken over your Twitter feed when it was officially published a few weeks back. This story of taxidermy and Florida is a unique, touching, and often hilarious take on grief, love, and family.

Susan Choi – Trust Exercise 
Trust Exercise absolutely knocked my socks off. Choi takes the concept of the novel to daring, exhilarating new territory in this story of teenage students coming of age at a performing arts high school. Questions of truth — who gets to tell it, who gets to define it, who gets to claim it — are at the center of this riveting, mind-bending work of fiction. Make sure you read this one with a friend. You’re going to want to talk about it when you’re done.


Saeed Jones – How We Fight for Our Lives
Saeed Jones is well-known for his work as BuzzFeed’s LGBTQ culture editor and, until recently, the co-host of BuzzFeed’s morning show, “AM to DM.” He is also an acclaimed poet, whose collection Prelude to a Bruise won the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award, and was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award. This new memoir, his first, is a poignant examination of his experience coming of age as a gay black man and of his relationship with his mother. When I finished this book, all I could do was sit there and be held by the beauty of this language, the tenderness and honesty of Jones’s accounting of his own life, and the sweet tension and love between mother and son. This book is a gift.

Alexander McCall-Smith – To the Land of Long Lost Friends
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.    

Hafsah Faizal – We Hunt the Flame
We love YA at the Texas Book Festival! This year, we’ll once again bring back our YA HQ Tent, your destination for YA authors at the Fest. Hafsah Faizal’s debut We Hunt the Flame exploded onto the scene this year, enchanting readers with its tale of intrigue, romance and ancient Arabia. We’re thrilled to welcome her to the Fest. Fans of fantasy, don’t miss this one!


Kwame Alexander – The Undefeated
This picture book by Newbery Award honoree and children’s author powerhouse Kwame Alexander had me in tears the first time I read it. Proud and powerful, The Undefeated highlights black triumph in America by celebrating those who have made history by progressing civil rights and fighting for justice. Without giving away too much, we can tell you that Alexander’s Festival appearance will include a special, not-to-be-missed musical performance.

Cassy Joy Garcia – Cook Once, Eat All Week 
San Antonio-native and Texas A&M graduate Cassy Joy Garcia was in her early twenties and suffering from pain, exhaustion and anxiety when she began studying nutrition. Her work became a life-changing passion, launching not only a new way of life, but a brand new career helping all of us learn how to be more mindful of the relationship between food and our quality of life. Her new cookbook, Cook Once, Eat All Week, is a friendly guide to making good eating easy, affordable and fun, every day and every week.

William McRaven – Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations
Admiral William McRaven has played a part in some of the most significant missions in military history, from the capture of Saddam Hussein to the raid on Osama bin Laden. His previous book was a #1 New York Times bestseller. We are honored that he will join us to discuss his new work, Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations, and share more stories from his remarkable and heroic life and career in United States special operations.


Ben Mezrich – Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption
Strap in for a behind-the-scenes ride into the rise of bitcoin. Mezrich’s previous book, Accidental Millionaires, was a huge bestseller and became the basis for the movie The Social Network. Now, Mezrich picks up the story of brothers Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss as they dust off the aftermath of their falling out with Zuckerberg and bet on a brand new piece of technological revolution: crypto-currency.


Oscar Cásares – Where We Come From
Brownsville native Oscar Cásares has penned a thoughtful, illuminating new novel about a woman unwittingly caught up in human smuggling on the border between Mexico and the United States. We’ve had the pleasure of hosting Oscar in Midland and Austin to talk about this book in its launch month. I’ve now heard him read from this story three times, and, each time, I’ve been riveted by the understated style with which he delivers such enormous emotional impact. This is not a political novel; it is a human story, and we’re grateful to Oscar for joining us to talk about it.

Marie Arana – Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story
First and foremost, I have to recognize Marie Arana as a colleague. As the Literary Director of the National Book Festival, Arana brings together a wonderful lineup of writers each year in Washington D. C. for a book festival founded with the same vision and with the same founder as our Festival: Laura Bush. As a historian, Arana examines Latin America in her new book through the lives of three individuals who represent the forces that have shaped the region.

Aarti Namdev Shahani – Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares
One of the primary reasons I read is to understand our collective human experience. One of the most discussed and debated human experiences right now is that of migration, moving from one country to another. Narratives about the “right” and “wrong” way to immigrate to America abound, and it is thanks to writers such as Aart Namdev Shahani that we are able to see beyond galvanizing stereotypes to the actual quality of what it means to come to this country. Shahani, an NPR correspondent, writes about her family’s experience moving to Queens from India, and the complicated truths at the center of their relationship to this country and her relationship to her father.

This is just the beginning! We have so many amazing authors in store for you at this year’s Texas Book Festival. We’ll be busy over the next few months bringing together all of the details for the big weekend. Stay tuned for more major announcements over the next couple of months, including announcements of this year’s Gala authors, our children’s lineup, and, of course, the announcement of our full author lineup coming at the end of August!

Leer en español.

Brunch with Edward Lee

When: Sunday, October 28 at 11am-1pm

Where: Olamaie
1610 San Antonio Street
Austin, TX 78701

Tickets: Include three-course brunch and copy of Buttermilk Graffiti

Tickets now available!

We are thrilled to partner with Olamaie to host Edward Lee for an exclusive brunch on Sunday, October 28, at 11 a.m. Tickets are now on sale for this special event, and will include a three-course brunch featuring recipes Chef Michael Fojtasek will present with his own spin from both of Lee’s cookbooks, including his latest, Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting-Pot Cuisine, along with Olamaie biscuits and brunch cocktails.

The morning will kick off with passed appetizers from Olamaie, with Lee onsite to welcome and mingle with guests and explain the inspiration for his dishes. Tickets for the limited seating event are priced at $125 per person and are available now. Tickets include one signed copy of Buttermilk Graffiti along with food and cocktails at brunch.

Edward Lee is the chef and owner of 610 Magnolia, MilkWood, and Whiskey Dry in Louisville, Kentucky, and culinary director of Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland, and Penn Quarter, Washington, DC. He appears frequently in print and on television, including earning an Emmy nomination for his role in the Emmy Award-winning series The Mind of a Chef. Most recently, he wrote and hosted the feature documentary Fermented. Lee has released two cookbooks, Smoke & Pickles and Buttermilk Graffiti. In his latest release, which was named one of Publishers Weekly’s Top 10 Food Books for spring 2018, Lee delves into the intersection of food and culture on an epic trip across America where he finds exceptional food in unconventional places.

Lee will also be at the Texas Book Festival in the Central Market Cooking Tent on Saturday, October 27, in the afternoon. The schedule details will be available on the Texas Book Festival website.

Purchase your brunch tickets today!

Exciting News: TBF is Moving!

Hey Booklovers! We’ve got exciting news: we’re moving!
While the Texas Book Festival will still take place in and around the Texas State Capitol in downtown Austin, our 6th street office—our home since the Festival’s beginning in 1995—is officially closed.

But don’t worry! We aren’t going far.

We are excited to be joining the Center for Social Innovation at Springdale General on the east side of Austin later this summer, and can’t wait to share photos of our new digs with you!  In the meantime, please save our current mailing address:
PO Box 6020
Austin, TX  78762

Keep an eye out for moving updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Lineup Sneak Peek: Fifteen Authors presenting at the 2018 Texas Book Festival

We are thrilled to give you a sneak peek at our 2018  Texas Book Festival Lineup! These fifteen authors are set to present their books over the Festival Weekend, October 27 and 28, in and around the Texas State Capitol in downtown Austin.

We’ll reveal our full lineup of authors presenting at the 2018 Festival in August—in the meantime, you can catch all TBF news and announcements by signing up for our newsletter, and following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.



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Alexander Chee – How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

Bestselling author of  The Queen of the Night, Alexander Chee, has now put himself on the map as the next great essayists of his generation with How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, his first work of nonfiction. In a collection of essays about his life, Chee details events both deeply impactful to him, like the death of his father, and to the nation, like the AIDS crisis, and 9/11. With a voice that is both commanding and honest, Chee stuns in his nonfiction debut.


Alfredo Corchado – Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexian-American Migration

The second book from Mexican-American journalist Alfredo Corchado, Homelands tells the story of Mexican immigration through three decades. Centered around four friends, an activist, an entrepreneur, a lawyer, and Alfredo himself, Corchado tracks the changes and challenges of  immigration through their relationships with one another. Homelands is both a beautiful story about friendship and required reading for our current political state. Corchado is currently the Mexico City bureau chief of The Dallas Morning News.


Erin Entrada Kelly – You Go First

We are proud to welcome Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly to the 2018 Festival. Author of several middle grade novels, including Hello, Universe, Kelly’s latest novel, You Go Firstfollows the lives of young Charlotte and Ben, two kids with little in common outside of an online Scrabble game. Kelly’s gem of a book tackles bullying, family, and the ultimate struggle that is middle school in a beautiful and engaging way.


David Grann – The White Darkness

Acclaimed author and New Yorker staff writer David Grann follows his two bestselling books, Killers of the Flower Moon and The Lost City of Z, with a brand new true story of adventure. The White Darkness follows Henry Worsley and his fascination with Ernest Shackleton, the explorer who attempted to be the first person to reach the South Pole and cross Antarctica on foot. Grann brings an impossible story to life with a powerful prose about a man and his obsessions.


Sandra Cisneros – Puro Amor 

We are proud to present much-beloved poet and author, Sandra Cisneros, winner of the American Book Award and acclaimed author of The House on Mango Street. Cisneros’s latest book is a bilingual blend of fiction and illustration about love, devotion, and a house full of animals. Sweet, poignant, and full of life, Puro Amor is illustrated throughout with the author’s original line drawings. 


Fatima Farheen Mirza – A Place for Us

The debut novel from Fatima Farheen Mirza, A Place For Us explores themes of family, sense of self, and belonging. The first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth, A Place for Us features a less-than-perfect family with less-than-perfect relationships. Parents struggle with the decisions of their children, daughters choose to marry for love and not tradition, and a son tries to make his way home. Brimming with both love and loss, Mirza writes with an eloquence deserving of praise.


V.E. Schwab – Vengeful

We are pleased to announce New York Times bestselling author of the Shades of Magic series, This Savage Song, and Our Dark Duet, and master of contemporary science fiction and fantasy, V.E. Schwab, will be attending the 2018 Texas Book Festival! Schwab’s newest is the highly anticipated sequel in her Villains series, Vengeful (following Vicious, which was re-released earlier this year).


Tommy Orange – There There

Breakthrough author Tommy Orange’s debut novel, There There, has been one of the most highly praised books of 2018 thus far. There There is a multi-generational story that follows the lives of twelve characters all headed to the Big Oakland Powwow for different reasons. A powerful book about the plight of the urban Native American, The New York Times has called it “groundbreaking” and “extraordinary.”


Mary Pope Osborne – Magic Tree House#30: Hurricane Heroes in Texas 

The 30th installment of Mary Pope Osborne’s Magic Tree House series, Hurricane Heroes in Texas, series brings Jack and Annie to our own great state for the 1900 Hurricane in Galveston, Texas—the most devastating natural disaster in the history of the Western Hemisphere. Osborne’s historical fiction books for young readers has become an internationally-beloved and bestselling series and is supplemented by nonfiction companion books.


Tayari Jones – An American Marriage

New York Times Bestseller and a 2018 Oprah Book Club pick, Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage has been called “haunting … beautifully written” by the New York Times, and “A tense and timely love story’ . . . Packed with brave questions about race and class,” by People magazine. A stunning love story from the author of Silver Sparrow, An American Marriage is a brilliant as it is heartbreaking, following newlyweds Roy and Celestial as they begin to build a life together, only to have it torn apart by unforeseeable circumstances.


Chloe Benjamin – The Immortalists

From the author of The Anatomy of Dreams comes The Immortalists, one of the year’s first big bestsellers. The New York Times Book Review calls it, “A captivating family saga.” Benjamin’s novel follows the four Gold children whose lives are dictated by the prophecies of a traveling physic who claims to be able to predict the day someone will die. A novel of family and the power we give to our beliefs, The Immortalists is a stunner of a story.


Sandhya Menon – From Twinkle, With Love

New York Times bestselling Young Adult author of When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon’s latest novel From Twinkle, With Love has been called “utterly charming” by NPR. Following aspiring filmmaker Twinkle Mehra as she chases her dreams—and her heart—Menon’s sophomore novel is just as perfect and endearing as her first. We are elated to welcome Menon to the Festival!


Leslie Jamison – The Recovering 

Bestselling author of The Empathy Exams, and columnist for the New York Times Book Review, Leslie Jamison’s latest book, The Recovering, is part memoir, part investigative work. Focused on addiction and the narrative surrounding it, Jamison includes her own story, along with others including John Berryman and Billie Holiday, in order to examine who we are and why we need. Keen observations and unique voice make for a starkly real story about addiction and recovery which Entertainment Weekly called “Achingly wise.”


Walter Mosley – John Woman

From the beloved author of 47, Down the River Unto the Sea, Blonde Faith, and Devil in the Blue Dress, comes a new literary novel, John Woman, the riveting tale of a young New Yorker who transforms himself into Professor John Woman after the death of his father and the disappearance of his mother. Author of more than forty-five works of fiction and nonfiction, Walter Mosley is one of the most prolific authors of our time.


Joe Holley – Hurricane Season: The Unforgettable Story of the 2017 Houston Astros and the Resilience of a City

Journalist and native Texan Joe Holley has written for The Washington Post, Texas Monthly, Columbia Journalism Review, and The Houston Chronicle. His latest work, Hurricane Season, follows the Houston Astros’ journey to their first-ever World Series win in 2017, following the devastation caused when Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast earlier that year. Chronicling both the story behind the team as well as the hearts of its players, Holley’s story is as bold and beautiful as the city of Houston itself.

Announcing our 2018 Festival Poster Artist!


We are thrilled to announce we have selected our 2018 Festival poster artist, Austin-based painter Valerie Fowler! Fowler’s oil painting, Spring, Everything Changes, will be featured on this year’s Festival poster and will represent our annual Festival Weekend.

Fowler’s career has spanned more than thirty years and includes a wide variety of works, from oil on canvas paintings to commissioned murals, CD art for local musicians, and even a fully illustrated 64 page book called “Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase,” to accompany a musical project written, recorded, and produced by her husband Brian Beattie. Fowler’s work most often explores the wildly diverse natural world of Texas and describes “a natural world of extreme beauty and vigor while also conveying nature’s sensitive vulnerability.”

“The Texas Book Festival is thrilled to feature Valerie Fowler’s work this year,” says Lois Kim, executive director of Texas Book Festival. “Her beautifully alive paintings convey the fantasy in our imaginations and the energy of what lies just beneath the surface. They perfectly capture the creative spirit of our Festival.”

The painting selected for our 2018 Festival poster features a gorgeous, surrealistic interpretation of Fredericksburg peach trees in bloom, evoking a sense of storybook wonder and the unique possibility of the Texas landscape.

“I hope my paintings bring recurring pleasure,” Fowler says. “Having a work of art you come back to is much like reading a favorite novel—every time you return to it, it takes you back to moments from earlier in your life: who you were before, who you’ve been since, and also gives you something new. When a painting keeps giving each time you come back to it, that’s part of what really makes it a successful painting.”

Our tradition of choosing a representative work by a Texas artist began in 1998, and the honor has been shared by acclaimed artists and photographers such as Lance Letscher, Julie Speed, Randal Ford, Dan Winters, Kate Breakey, and Jack Unruh.

“The Texas art community, I would say, is wide open, just like our skies, and we’re lucky to see so many diverse genres and types of art. The uniqueness is that there’s so much variety in Texas. Beyond even the differences in styles and influences between regions, you find a wide variety inside those regions—each city and area holds as much variety as the state itself, and the vastness of our state really lends itself to growing that variety.”

Join us this year on October 27 and 28 in downtown Austin for the 2018 Texas Book Festival!


Announcing the Recipients of our Harvey Relief Fund!


Last November over the 2017 Texas Book Festival Weekend, Festival-goers from all across the state helped us raise money to provide relief for school libraries affected by Hurricane Harvey. With matching grants from The Tocker Foundation and the Texas Book Festival, we were able to raise $10,000 to help five school libraries in Houston and the Gulf Coast area recover.

“These rebuilding grants are a wonderful example of the local community joining two Texas nonprofit literacy organizations to support Texas libraries in need. We are looking forward to seeing the new books on the shelves of these worthy schools.”  —Lois Kim, Executive Director


The five school libraries selected for funding are Aransas ISD Little Bay Primary and four
schools in Houston ISD: Forest Brook Middle School, Mitchell Elementary, Martinez Elementary, and Robinson Elementary.

Aransas ISD’s Little Bay Primary was heavily damaged during the storm and will not reopen. Its pre-kindergarten classrooms received substantial damage and all mentor texts for classroom libraries were lost. Funds will be used to purchase new classroom books for the 2018-2019 school year at Aransas ISD’s new campus, the Discovery Learning Center.

More than 20,000 books were destroyed in the four Houston ISD school libraries selected for funding. Forest Brook Middle School, Mitchell Elementary, Martinez Elementary, and Robinson Elementary will receive funds to help replace the books that were lost at each campus.

Thanks to you, these libraries will be able to replace books lost to flooding. 
Together, we keep our state #TXBookStrong!

Day of Sales at BookPeople: Buy a Book and Support the Texas Book Festival!


TBF Day of Sales

BookPeople in Austin, TX

Tuesday, May 29, 9am-11pm

Join us for Texas Book Festival’s annual Day of Sales at local Austin bookstore, BookPeople! On Tuesday, May 29, a portion of proceeds from all books sold at BookPeople will be donated to the Texas Book Festival. Buy a book and help support the Texas Book Festival as well as a great indie bookstore!

Not sure where to start? Check out our list of recent favorite reads! Whether you’re buying for yourself or someone else, we’ve got recommendations for every sort of reader here.


Lois recommends:

God Save Texas – Lawrence Wright

Essential reading for every Texan! Wright takes the reader on a highly entertaining journey through some of the most colorful aspects of Texas’s history and identity, made rich and meaningful through Wright’s personal experiences and reflections.



Chemistry – Weike Wang

Refreshingly acerbic in style, Weike Wang’s novel features a confused young Chinese-American scientist’s reluctance to stay on the path of achievement in both love and career.





Julie recommends:

Everyone Knows You Go Home – Natalia Sylvester

Beginning with the appearance of a dead father, this novel is about family truth and fiction, the ways in which the past plays on the present, and the experiences of families who immigrate north over the border between Mexico and the U.S.



The Line Becomes a River – Francisco Cantú

Cantú’s mesmerizing chronicle of his life as a border guard opens up an important perspective on the urgent conversation of migration over the Mexico/U.S. border.





Claire recommends:

This One Summer – Jillian and Mariko Tamaki

This graphic novel is the beautifully illustrated coming-of-age story of summer-best-friends Rose and Windy as they face the fragile transition from childhood to adolescence.




March – John Lewis

The March graphic novel trilogy is Congressman John Lewis’s riveting account of his first-hand experience with Civil Rights, from his childhood in rural Alabama to meeting Martin Luther King, Jr. to marching to Selma.




Maris recommends:

The Female Persuasion – Meg Wolitzer

Greer Kadetzky’s trajectory changes when she meets Faith Frank, a charming famous feminist, in her freshman year of college. This sharp, sweeping novel follows Greer on her journey to find purpose in her post-college life.



Brass – Xhenet Aliu

Desperate to escape her small working-class Connecticut town, Elsie saves up tips from her waitressing job. But her plans change when she meets the brooding Bashkim. Narrated in equal parts by Elsie and her daughter Luljeta, Brass is a sparkling debut.




Lydia recommends:

You Bring the Distant Near – Mitali Perkins

This gorgeous novel follows three generations of the Das women as they emigrate to New York, struggle with culture shock and keeping tradition, grieve, grow, raise children, become American, and learn—over and over again—how to love.



Picture Us in the Light – Kelly Loy Gilbert

Danny Cheng’s college plans seem set with a scholarship to his top choice art school and his work in an exhibit in a hip San Francisco gallery, but discovering long-hidden painful family secrets, as well as suppressing his feelings for his best friend and his guilt over his part in a recent tragedy threaten to derail his future.




Lea recommends:

The Terrible Two – Mac Barnett

Great for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the reluctant reader in your life, this series follows two best friends/ pranking partners whose hijinks will have readers laughing out loud!




Grandma’s Purse – Vanessa Brantley-Newton

Great for talking about family history and connections with grandma! Kids and adults alike will love these beautiful illustrations.

Announcing 2018 Library Grant Recipients!

The Texas Book Festival is proud to announce it is awarding $100,000 in Texas Library Grants to libraries across the state.

Promoting literacy and strengthening Texas libraries have been primary components of the Texas Book Festival’s mission since our founding in 1995.

Since 1996, the Texas Book Festival has funded 1,121 library grants totaling more than $3 million to more than 600 public libraries in our state.

This funding, which comes largely from generous donations made by Festival supporters, enables libraries to share the diversity and breadth of literature with their entire communities.

Strong libraries foster strong communities. We’re grateful for the opportunity to support libraries as they find innovative ways to engage their patrons and encourage literacy in Texas.

2018 Texas Book Festival Library Grant Recipients

1. Allen Public Library
2. Alpine Public Library
3. Bandera County Public Library
4. Benbrook Public Library
5. Bonham Public Library
6. Boyce Ditto Public Library
7. Camp Wood Public Library
8. Charlotte Public Library
9. Cleburne Public Library
10. Cockrell Hill Public Library
11. Cooke County Library
12. Cross Plains Public Library
13. Dickens County-Spur Public Library
14. Dickinson Public Library
15. Dripping Springs Community Library
16. Driscoll Public Library
17. Elgin Public Library
18. Fannie Brown Booth Memorial Library
19. Flower Mound Public Library
20. Harrington Library
21. Henderson County Library
22. Hondo Public Library
23. Hutto Public Library
24. Judy B. McDonald Public Library
25. Lake Travis Community Library District
26. Little Elm Public Library
27. Longview Public Library
28. Lubbock Public Library – Mahon
29. Marathon Public Library
30. Mary Lou Reddick Public Library
31. McAllen Public Library
32. McMullen Public Library
33. Mesquite Public Library
34. Mt. Enterprise Library
35. Orange Public Library
36. Palacios Library, Inc.
37. Pasadena Public Libraries
38. Pflugerville Public Libraries
39. Pottsboro Area Library
40. Roberta Bourne Memorial Library
41. Sam Fore Jr. Public Library
42. Smithville Public Library
43. Stewart C. Meyer Harker Heights Public Library
44. T.L.L. Temple Memorial Library
45. Westworth Village Public Library
46. White Rock Hills Library
47. White Settlement Public Library
48. Whitehouse Community Library


How Grant Money Will Be Used

2018 grants target a mix of needs. Several libraries receiving a Texas Book Festival grant will expand their collection of Spanish and bilingual books, including Cockrell Hill Public Library, located in a city where 91% of residents are Latino, but only one eighth of the library’s current collection serves the needs of bilingual and Spanish-speaking families and individuals.

Other libraries will expand their audiobook collections, replacing collections currently held on decaying cassette tapes. Bandera County Public Library, for instance, will use its Texas Book Festival grant money to serve special needs students in their community who listen to audiobooks for educational and personal enrichment.

Many library grantees are rural, including Roberta Bourne Memorial Library, the only library in its area within 300 square miles. With its Texas Book Festival grant, the library will replace out-of-date and worn out books and update their collections which serve as an important resource for the local population, 29% of which is below the poverty line.

“The books and resources housed within public libraries across Texas should be celebrated, maintained, and updated,” says Lois Kim executive director of the Texas Book Festival. “The Texas Book Festival is committed to continuing to listen to what experienced and dedicated librarians across the state tell us they most need to best serve their communities.”

Event: GOD SAVE TEXAS Book Launch with Lawrence Wright!

Join us as we celebrate the official launch of GOD SAVE TEXAS, the highly anticipated new book from Pulitzer Prize-winning Texas writer Lawrence Wright!

Lawrence Wright speaking about and signing God Save Texas

When: Tuesday, April 17 at 7pm. Doors at 6pm.

Where: Central Presbyterian Church, 200 E 8th St, Austin, TX 78701

Hosted by: Texas Book Festival and Austin Film Festival. BookPeople is the bookseller for this event.

Book Tickets: Free admission with the purchase of a copy of God Save Texas. Book Tickets will be available, as space allows, at the door.

Books will be received at the event. Seating is first come, first serve.

General admission tickets are also available. General admission tickets will be available online through Monday, April 16. As of Tuesday, April 17, they will be available at the door, as space allows.

All ticket purchases support Texas Book Festival and Austin Film Festival, your local cultural arts nonprofits committed to keeping Austin interesting.

Can’t attend the event? Signed copies of the book are available to pre-order from BookPeople. They ship worldwide!


The Texas Book Festival and the Austin Film Festival are proud to present Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright in celebration of the launch of his highly anticipated new book, God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State. Wright will appear in conversation with AFF Executive Director Barbara Morgan at Central Presbyterian Church.

Admission is free with the purchase of a copy of God Save Texas from TBF and AFF. General admission tickets are also available. A book signing will follow the talk. Additional copies of the book will be available for sale at the event, courtesy of BookPeople.

About God Save Texas

In the summer of 2017, The New Yorker ran “America’s Future is Texas,” an excerpt of God Save Texas that caught massive national attention. Here, now, is the full story, a profound portrait of our Lone Star State that explores the history, culture, and politics of Texas the way only a native—and a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and journalist—can.

Join us for a conversation with Wright that digs deep into the heart of Texas and all of its complicated, contradictory, controversial glory. Wright holds up our stereotypes for rigorous scrutiny, examining everything from our kingdom of oil to our technology exports; our blue cities to our red state; our economic growth to our income disparity; and much more. If what happens here is what happens in the nation, then what, exactly, is going on? And what’s to come?

About Lawrence Wright

Lawrence Wright is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of nine previous books of nonfiction, including In the New World, Remembering Satan, The Looming Tower, Going Clear, Thirteen Days in September, and The Terror Years, and one novel, God’s Favorite. His books have received many prizes and honors, including a Pulitzer Prize for The Looming Tower. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. He is a longtime resident of Austin.

Join us for this big conversation about Texas.
Free Admission With The Purchase of GOD SAVE TEXAS.

Thank you for supporting your local cultural arts nonprofits!