Texas Book Fest Q&A with Lyz Lenz

Lyz Lenz is the author of the memoir God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America. 

TBF: Why did you write your new book? What was your inspiration?

Lyz Lenz: I wrote this book, because during the 2016 election I watched my life and my country fall apart. I wanted to understand the place I lived in better and I wanted to understand the way politics and faith intersected better both in our culture and in our lives. And I was also hoping to find some hope.

TBF: What’s the last book you read, loved, and can’t stop recommending? Why is it so good?

LL: I just read Heavy by Kiese Laymon. It’s a master-class in writing and style. He writes in the future tense! But it’s also an example of a deeply layered book that manages to be personal and political, poignant and conversant with our culture. It was so good, I finished it then immediately read it again.

TBF: What’s the first book you remember reading? Who gave it to you?

LL: The Bible. My parents no doubt. I was a very early reader and when I first started reading at the age of 3, no one believed I could read so they’d give me really hard books to read and ask me to read from them and I would. I think it became kind of a parlor trick as well. Something to amuse the grown-ups. The first books I remember reading and loving were these books in a series titled, All of a Kind Family, about a large Jewish family in post-World War I, Brooklyn. I loved them and it’s also the first time I felt disappointed by a main character.


Lyz Lenz is one of 300 authors who will appear at the 2019 Texas Book Festival which takes place October 26-27th 2019 in downtown Austin. The Festival is free and open to the public! Check out all of this year’s authors.