Join us at Austin Central Library!

Join us at Austin Central Library for a special day of in-person and online Adult Programming with the Texas Book Festival!

About this event

Please note: all attendees must provide proof of vaccination (OR negative COVID test within 72 hours of event) to attend.

Sign up for each session you would like to attend. All sessions will also be available to stream online.

Schedule: Doors open at 9:30 am

10:00 am – Amor Towles in Conversation about The Lincoln Highway in the Special Events Center (1st Floor)

Amor Towles—New York Times bestselling author of The Gentleman of Moscow—talks about his latest novel, The Lincoln Highway, a multi-perspective story that takes place over ten days and hundreds of miles in 1950s America.

10:00 am – Texas Institute of Letters Presents: Meet the 2020 TIL Award Winners in the Reading Room (4th Floor)

Join 2020 Texas Institute of Letters 2021 award winners for a discussion moderated by TIL president Sergio Troncoso. Since 1938, TIL has honored works of literature by authors born in Texas, who have lived in Texas for a period of five years, or whose subject “substantially concerns” Texas. Hear three of the authors recognized this year by TIL’s distinguished membership—Marisol Cortez (Luz at Midnight; winner, Best First Book of Fiction), David Meischen (Anyone’s Son; winner, Best First Book of Poetry), and Christina Soontornvat (A Wish in the Dark; winner, Best Middle Grade Book)—read from and discuss their works.

11:00 am – On Climate, Energy, and Texas in the Reading Room (4th Floor)

Less than a year since the big “Texas Freeze” and mere months since the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its most current—and most urgent—report, two Texas authors gather to examine the past, present, and future of alternative energy and its potential to avert disaster. Andy Bowman’s The West Texas Power Plant that Saved the World tells the story of an unassuming facility in Pecos County that could offer the blueprint for a renewable-energy future. Carey W. King’s The Economic Superorganism cuts through highly charged and seemingly incompatible narratives around economics and energy and provides a realistic understanding of this most complex of subjects.

12:00 pm – Maria Hinojosa in Conversation about Once I Was You in the Special Events Center (1st Floor)

Maria Hinojosa, veteran journalist and executive producer of Peabody Award–winning program Latino USA, has spent nearly thirty years reporting on immigration and the communities the mainstream media too often overlooks. In new memoir Once I Was You, Hinojosa illustrates—via her own family’s experiences growing up on the South Side of Chicago—a story of migrating to the United States. Join her as she discusses her own experiences and the public impact of the rhetoric surrounding immigration.

1:00 pm – Texas History in Black and Brown in the Reading Room (4th Floor)

Join Texas Christian University history professor Max Krochmal, former UT-Austin journalism professor Bill Minutaglio, and University of North Texas history professor J. Todd Moye for a conversation about Texas history through the lenses of politics, race, struggle, and resistance. New books Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Histories of Resistance and Struggle in Texas and A Single Star and Bloody Knuckles: A History of Politics and Race in Texas explore long-neglected figures and events in the Lone Star State.

2:00 pm – Being Texan: Texas Monthly Editors in Conversation about the Lone Star Way of Life in the Special Events Center (1st Floor)

Texas Monthly editors Kathy Blackwell, Wes Ferguson, José R. Ralat, and Mimi Swartz share with audiences the treasures found in Being Texan: Essays, Recipes, and Advice for the Lone Star Way, a rich anthology of Texas tales, artifacts, and reportage.

3:00 pm – Writers’ League of Texas Presents: Novels as Big as Texas in the Reading Room (4th Floor)

Join authors Stacey Swann (Olympus, Texas), William Sibley (Here We Go Loop de Loop), Kelsey McKinney (God Spare the Girls), and Simon Han (Nights When Nothing Happened)—all of whom have authored new novels featuring the Lone Star State as backdrop, and in some cases as character in its own right.

4:00 pm – The Devil’s Treasure: A Conversation with Mary Gaitskill in the Special Events Center (1st Floor)

Since the debut of her revered short story collection, Bad Behavior—which included the story adapted into the 2002 film Secretary—Mary Gaitskill has lent brutal honesty and formal daring to the literary scene. “She catches cruelty and inexplicable desire, what she has called ‘the dirt within,’ as well as any writer we have,” as Dwight Garner of the New York Times has put it. Gaitskill’s new book, The Devil’s Treasure, is no less audacious than her previous work. Linked together by the story of a girl named Ginger who discovers a portal to hell in her own backyard, Gaitskill’s latest, richly illustrated work presents excerpts of her previous novels, including 2005’s Veronica and 2015’s The Mare, as well as a memoir—all of it stitched together with authorial commentary.