The Texas Book Festival returns to Austin October 26-27, and let's just say the 2019 lineup is one for the ... books. (Sorry.) On June 26, the festival unveiled 15 of this year's headlining names, ranging from famous comedians to New York Times best-selling authors.
The free, open-to-all fest takes over downtown Austin for one weekend every fall, turning Congress Avenue and the Texas State Capitol grounds into a lit-lover's dream. Attendees can take part in panels, book signings, literary-themed events, and the famed Lit Crawl through East Austin.
Leading off the lineup, which will eventually include 250 famous and emerging writers, journalists, artists, chefs, and more, is John Hodgman (Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Room); Kristen Arnett (Mostly Dead Things); Empire producer Attica Locke (Heaven, My Home); Susan Choi (Trust Exercise); Saeed Jones (How We Fight for Our Lives); and Hafsah Faizal (We Hunt the Flame).
“We can't wait to introduce these wonderful writers to Texas readers in October,” says Julie Wernersbach, Texas Book Festival literary director, in a release. “Their stories have moved us, made us laugh, dazzled us with enchanted worlds, and broadened our understanding of global history and current events. They represent the dynamic literary landscape we celebrate here in Texas and beyond.”
Also announced were Aarti Namdev Shahani (Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares); Alexander McCall-Smith (The Land of Long Lost Friends); Ben Mezrich (Bitcoin Billionaires); Jericho Brown (The Tradition); Kwame Alexander (The Undefeated); Marie Arana (Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American History); Oscar Cásares (Where We Come From); Cassy Joy Garcia (Cook Once, Eat All Week); and William McRaven (Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations).
June 28 also marks the unveiling of this year's poster, an original piece by Austin-based artist Dave McClinton. The poster, always a collectible part of the festival, is a "collage made from wrinkled paper, photographed and rendered as a mountain landscape."