Book Festival Sneak Peek

Texas Book Festival reveals surprising headliners: Celebrity chef, reggae legend and Pulitzer Prize winners

Texas Book Fest's surprising lineup includes reggae star & celeb chef

Ziggy Marley
Ziggy Marley is among the headlining authors at the 2014 Texas Book Festival. Ziggy Marley/Facebook
Lidia Bastianich
Lidia Bastianich will also be at the Texas Book Festival in Austin this October. Lidia Bastianich/Facebook
Lawrence Wright
Lawrence Wright is a book festival favorite. Photo by Daniel Bergeron
Ziggy Marley
Lidia Bastianich
Lawrence Wright

On Wednesday evening, the Texas Book Festival — at an exclusive literary salon cocktail hour held at the W Residences in downtown Austin — unveiled a taste of what the 2014 festival will offer.

The festival announced some of the headlining authors and this year's official poster design. Only eight of the headlining authors were announced (expect a more complete list as the date gets closer), but the list featured plenty to be excited about, including famous chef Lidia Bastianich, reggae musician Ziggy Marley, former CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson and fellow Austinite (and festival favorite) Lawrence Wright. 

The eclectic sneak peek list reflects the expansive, diverse spirit of Texas Book Festival, the biggest book festival in Texas and one of the premier literary events in the country. Held in and around the Capitol grounds the weekend of October 25 and 26, the festival expects a crowd of around 40,000 and more than 200 authors.

Literary director Steph Opitz says this year's festival will have cool opportunities for discovery. "There are, of course, some huge authors with celebrity above and beyond their writing, but there are also some powerhouse emerging writers coming this year. A lot of festival attendees will get to say, 'I saw that author first, at the Texas Book Festival.'"

The poster design is a photograph taken by the acclaimed Dan Winters. Known internationally for his photojournalism, Winters is the recipient of more than 100 awards and his work has appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, Time and Rolling Stone. The poster features a color image of the illuminated vintage movie palace, the Texas Theater, which opened in Seguin in 1933.

Check out the complete list of the headlining authors announced at the sneak peek event below. 

Martin Amis: International best selling author, whose most famous works include Money, London Fields, and The Information. His highly anticipated new novel The Zone of Interest comes out in September.

Lidia Bastianich: An American celebrity chef focusing on Italian and Italian-American cuisine, and also a beloved public television cooking host, author and restaurateur.

Edan Lepucki: A new author whose debut book, California, has become a personal cause for Stephen Colbert and Colbert Nation, who have campaigned to get the book on the New York Times Best Sellers list. They succeeded, and California debuted at No. 3 this week.

Ziggy Marley: Marley is a Jamaican musician, the oldest son of reggae legend Bob Marley and a children's book author. His most recent book is I Love You Too.

Hector Tobar: A novelist, non-fiction writer and reporter for the Los Angeles Times. In 1992, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his work as part of the team covering the L.A. riots. His latest work, Deep Down Dark, is the exclusive, official story of the 2010 mining accident in Chile when 33 miners were trapped for 69 days.

Valerie Plame Wilson: Wilson is a former United States CIA operations officer and is married to former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson. Wilson's memoir about her resignation from the CIA was made into a movie by the same name, Fair Game, starring Sean Penn and Naomi Watts. Her new novel Burned comes out this fall. 

Lawrence Wright: Pulitzer Prize-winning author, screenwriter and staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. His latest book Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David will be released in September.

Tiphanie Yanique: Caribbean fiction writer, poet and essayist born in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her debut collection of short stories, How to Escape From a Leper Colony, won endless praise and awards, and her first novel, Land of Love and Drowning, is out this month.


Visit the Texas Book Festival website for information about festival weekend. For information about volunteering, go here.