Texas Book Festival 2019

Not sure what to do this weekend at the state’s biggest literary gathering? We’ve got nearly three dozen ideas.

Come Saturday morning, the grounds of the Capitol in downtown Austin will be given over to the 24th edition of the Texas Book Festival, the annual gathering of writers, publishing industry professionals, and, especially, book lovers of every age. The weekend-long festival, which was co-founded by former First Lady Laura Bush and the late Austin community activist and philanthropist Mary Margaret Farabee, will bring hundreds of authors together for readings, interviews, and panel appearances, all of which are open to the public. (Some events are very popular, and seating is not guaranteed.) To help Texas Monthly readers gear up, we’ve put together a collection of nearly three dozen TM stories—some old, some new—about Texas authors attending the festival, from old favorites like Stephen Harrigan to new stars like Ire’ne Lara Silva. There’s a lot to discover at the Capitol this weekend, so start making your plans now.

The Secret Side of Janis Joplin

Oct 21, 2019 By Patricia Sharpe

Holly George-Warren's biography of the Port Arthur singer covers the drugs and excess, of course. But it also uncovers the hard-working professional hidden behind all the live-hard-die-fast trappings.

Severo Perez’s Complex Valentine to San Antonio

The filmmaker turned novelist revisits the city of his youth, in all its pain and glory.

Empire of the Perfect Pass

Aug 24, 2016 By Brian D. Sweany

Quanah Parker, Stonewall Jackson . . . and Hal Mumme?! Why S.C. Gwynne took a break from historical epics to tell the story of the Texas coach who changed football.

Lara Prescott: “Literature Has Lost None of Its Power to Change Hearts and Minds.”

On this week’s National Podcast of Texas, author Lara Prescott on ’The Secrets We Kept,’ a novel about a real-life CIA plot to publish ’Doctor Zhivago.’

Heisman trophy winner Earl Campbell
Why Earl Campbell Matters

Oct 21, 2019 By Joe Levin

A new biography of ’The Tyler Rose’ demonstrates that the legendary running back’s insistence that he wasn’t a transformative racial figure was too modest by half.

W.K. Stratton’s Lifelong Obsession with ‘The Wild Bunch’

The Austin author traces the history of the movie that changed his life.

TEXAS HISTORY - Paredes and Dobie Illustration
Américo Paredes vs. J. Frank Dobie

Sep 18, 2019 By John Phillip Santos

For years, the great folklorist convinced many scholars and activists that the vaunted “Texas Man of Letters” was an anti-Mexican racist. Maybe it’s time to reconsider that judgment—as Paredes himself eventually did.

Photos of East Austin, Before the Boom

A new book celebrates a pair of well-established African American and Latino communities that are disappearing from Texas's fastest-growing city.

Podcasts