On Display: Texas Book Festival Alums

With twenty-three Texas Book Festivals under our belt, we’re proud to have in our TBF family hundreds and hundreds of writers who have graced our stages with their wit, insight, and remarkable work over the last two and a half decades. We’re celebrating some of these Texas Book Fest alums with a new display up at BookPeople. Every writer featured on these shelves has a highly anticipated new book out in 2019. Before diving into their latest, we highly recommend you pick up the books they shared with us when they made the trip here to Texas. Read the previous books, pre-order the new ones, and, in the meantime, we’ll be working hard behind the scenes to bring you a bright, shiny, twenty-fourth Texas Book Festival October 26-27. Happy reading! 

Valeria Luiselli
Valeria Luiselli is one of the most important writers publishing today. She uses her voice and platform to call attention to the experiences of people traveling across border between Mexico and the United States. She spoke about her debut novel, Faces in the Crowd, at the 2014 Texas Book Festival. Her new novel, Lost Children Archive, is out now and is an enveloping, involving work of narrative and emotional brilliance about all that hangs in the balance at the border.

Oscar Cásares
Oscar is one of our beloved Texas writers! He was a featured author at the Fest in 2003 with his story collection, Brownsville, and again in 2009 with his novel, Amigoland. We’re looking forward to his new novel, Where We Come From, out on May 21. This time around, Cásares writes Brownsville from the perspective of a woman swept up in an operation to smuggle people over the border from Mexico into Texas.

Marlon James
Marlon James was a featured author at the 2014 Texas Book Festival with his Man Booker Prize-winning hit novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings. His latest novel, Black Leopard Red Wolf, is on shelves now and is already a huge success with readers such as Neil Gaiman, who calls it, “….A dangerous, hallucinatory, ancient Africa, which becomes a fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made, with language as powerful as Angela Carter’s. It’s as deep and crafty as Gene Wolfe, bloodier than Robert E. Howard, and all Marlon James. It’s something very new that feels old, in the best way. I cannot wait for the next installment.” This is the first installment of a trilogy! Start reading, y’all.


Nicole Dennis-Benn
Nicole visited the Festival in 2016 with her debut novel Here Comes the Sun, the rich, unforgettable story of two sisters who come of age and find themselves in a changing Jamaica. The novel won the Lambda Literary Award, was a Finalist for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, was a Finalist for the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award, and was named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times and…. just about everyone else. Dennis-Benn’s highly anticipated new novel, Patsy, on sale June 4, is the story of a Jamaican mother who leaves her daughter behind to make a life in America, and the daughter who comes of age without her.

Colson Whitehead
Oprah Book Club-beloved, Pulitzer Prize-winning, mega-bestselling novelist Colson Whitehead graced the Festival stage in 2009 with his novel, Sag Harbor, in 2011 with his zombie-apocalypse novel Zone One, and in 2014 with his nonfiction account of a dive into the life of professional poker-playing, The Noble Hustle. He’s a TBF MVP! We’re very excited for his new novel, out July 16, The Nickel Boys, is based on the true story of a juvenile detention center in 1960s Florida and spotlights the irreparable harm and racial bias of American justice and the prison system, while also highlighting the persevering light and hope of the Civil Rights movement.

Jami Attenberg
We love, love, love New York-turned-New Orleans writer Jami Attenberg. She’s yet another TBF MVP, with three Festival appearances under her belt: in 2012 with The Middlesteinsin 2015 with Saint Mazie; and in 2017 with All Grown Up. Her latest novel is a deep dive into toxic masculinity, deep family dysfunction, and the beautiful city of New Orleans. Don’t miss All This Could Be Yours, on shelves October 22!


Margaret Atwood at the 2015 Texas Book Festival. 

Margaret Atwood
Margaret Atwood is one of our major literary heroes. We were honored to host her at the Texas Book Festival and at our First Edition Literary Gala in 2015 with The Heart Goes Last. She was also here in 2009 with her novel The Year of the Flood. Along with the rest of the universe, we are SO READY for her forthcoming sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, coming September 10, The Testaments

Chigozie Obioma
Named “the heir to Chinua Achebe” by the New York Times, Chigozie Obioma’s debut novel, The Fisherman, published to great acclaim in 2015, when he made his way to the Texas Book Festival. His new novel, An Orchestra of Minorities, tells the story of a Nigerian poultry farmer who sacrifices everything for the woman he loves. It’s on shelves now.

Douglas Brinkley
Texas author Douglas Brinkley is a long time friend of the Festival and another one of our MVPs! He’s appeared as an author in 2006 (The Great Deluge), 2007 (Gerald R. Ford), 2009 (The Wilderness Warrior), 2011 (The Quiet World), 2012 (Cronkite), 2014 (The Nixon Tapes), AND 2016 (Rightful Heritage). Whew! That’s a lot of books to write. In true historian style, Brinkley hasn’t stopped researching and writing. This time, his historical obsessions center around JFK and the space race in the new book, American Moonshot, out on April 2.


Laila Lalami
Pulitzer Prize finalist. Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize. A New York Times Notable Book. A Kirkus Best Fiction  Book of the Year. Whew! The Moor’s Account was a massive success when Laila Lalami visited the Texas Book Festival in 2014. Her new novel is part family saga, part murder mystery, part love story, and totally absorbing. Don’t miss The Other Americans, on sale March 26!

Erin Morgenstern
The Night Circus was a major literary event when it descended on our libraries in 2011. We were thrilled to host her then and have been anxiously awaiting Morgenstern’s next book ever  since! Her cinematic storytelling style woos us and wraps us up  in her brilliant, imaginative worlds. Ready yourselves for The Starless Sea, out on November 5!

Mira Jacob
The debut novel from Mira Jacob, The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing, was a breakout hit in 2015. We were so lucky to have Mira with us at the Fest that year! Now, she’s developed a whole new, imitable style with her forthcoming graphic novel, Good Talk, telling the story of her experience coming of age as an Indian-American woman in the ’80s and ’90s, and of her present-day life raising her biracial son in the Trump era. On shelves March 26!