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Texas Book Festival reveals 2019 lineup's first round of names

John Hodgman, Attica Locke, Kwame Alexander and more coming to Austin

Joe Gross
jgross@statesman.com
Asia Woods browses for books at the 2018 Texas Book Festival. The annual literary event returns Oct. 26-27 this year. [JAY JANNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN FILE]

John Hodgman, Attica Locke, Kwame Alexander, Hafsah Faizal and more authors are coming to the Texas Book Festival this year, organizers announced Wednesday.

The festival revealed 15 authors in the first round of names from its 2019 lineup. The annual literary event — scheduled for Oct. 26-27 inside and around the Texas Capitol — brings author panels, discussions, book signings and more to Austin every fall.

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Hodgman is a well-known humorist, coming to Austin for his new book, “Medallion Status: True Stories from Secret Rooms.” Book tickets for his session are now available at the Texas Book Festival website; they include a signed copy of the book and priority seating for the session. Seating for non-ticket holders will be limited and available the day of the event on a first-come, first-served basis.

Children's fiction writer Alexander is a Newbery Medal winner, poet and New York Times bestselling author of 21 books, including the new picture book “The Undefeated," intended to teach young readers about African American culture.

Faizal is a best-selling author of fiction for young adults, coming with the fantasy work “We Hunt the Flame.”

Locke, an author and producer of TV shows like "When They See Us" and "Empire," will come to the festival with “Heaven, My Home,” the follow-up to her award-winning thriller, “Bluebird, Bluebird.”

Also on the lineup: Former University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven will appear to promote his new book, “Sea Stories: My Life in Special Operations.” Oscar Cásares will be in Austin with the novel “Where We Come From" (the American-Statesman's pick for the Statesman Selects book series from May). Saeed Jones, formerly of BuzzFeed, will present his new memoir, “How We Fight for Our Lives,” a coming-of-age story blended with poetry and prose. Kristen Arnett, an award-winning essayist, is also set for the festival with her debut novel, "Mostly Dead Things."

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The other names revealed on the lineup are Aarti Namdev Shahani, author of "Here We Are: American Dreams, American Nightmares"; Alexander McCall Smith, author of “To The Land of Long Lost Friends”; Ben Mezrich; author of “Bitcoin Billionaires"; Jericho Brown, author of “The Tradition”; Marie Arana, author of “Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story”; Cassy Joy Garcia, author of “Cook Once, Eat All Week”; and Susan Choi, author of “Trust Exercise." The full 2019 festival lineup will feature more than 250 writers and will be announced in the coming months.

Organizers on Wednesday also pulled back the curtain on this year’s poster, titled "Burgeoning." Austin-based artist Dave McClinton designed the poster, a collage made from wrinkled paper, photographed and rendered as a mountain landscape.

2019 Texas Book FestivalWhen: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 26, with Lit Crawl event at night; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 27

Where: In and around the Texas Capitol; Lit Crawl events take place at various East Austin venues

Cost: Free

Information: texasbookfestival.org