Literary Lowdown

San Antonio Book Festival announces literary standouts for 4th anniversary

San Antonio Book Fest announces literary standouts for 4th anniversary

San Antonio Book Festival poster 2016
San Antonio Book Festival is a free event with presentations, discussions, signings, cooking demos, teen and children's activities, and more. San Antonio Book Festival/Facebook

In anticipation of its fourth annual event, San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) has announced its initial lineup of over 85 top national, regional, and local authors, along with new programming details.

The free family-friendly festival brings together thousands of people for a full day of presentations, panel discussions, book sales and signings, recipe demonstrations, children’s and teen activities, and food truck offerings.

Highlights this year include Texas-based author Stephen Harrigan (The Gates of the Alamo) in attendance with his latest historical novel, A Friend of Mr. Lincoln; actress Sonia Manzano of Sesame Street with her memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx; award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister with her highly anticipated All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation; and George Hodgman with his memoir Bettyville, which received a National Book Critics Circle nomination and was included in NPR’s Best Books of 2015.

“This year’s lineup offers so many brilliant reads and authors with wide critical acclaim,” said Clay Smith, literary director of the festival, in a statement.

Can’t-miss San Antonio writers include John C. Kerr, Eileen Curtwright, and Bruce M. Shackelford. Alamo City children’s book authors Diane Gonzales Bertrand and Xavier Garza will represent for the kiddos, and local cookbook authors Chris Waters Dunn and Cappy Lawton will be on hand for a cooking demo with Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex. Another must-see is San Antonio Express-News editor Mike Leary (2012 Pulitzer Prize winner for public service journalism) chatting with fellow editors Terry Scott Bertling and Jamie Stockwell on their book, Our Story of 150 Years in the Alamo City.

New to the fest in 2016 are the Book It luncheons, which provide an opportunity to sit down with an author and eight dining companions for an intimate meal. Festival attendees can Book It with best-selling author Kate Bolick (Spinster); Texas-based and Pulitzer Prize finalist H.W. Brands (Reagan: The Life); or Skip Hollandsworth (The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America’s First Serial Killer), who co-wrote the film Bernie with Richard Linklater. You can purchase Book It tickets in advance, which benefit SABF.

Other key programming includes an awards ceremony recognizing the student winners of the 2016 SABF Fiction Contest and the Literary Death Match at Empire Theatre where four acclaimed authors go head to head in performing the most exciting sections of their work in front of an audience and panel of judges.

Presented by the San Antonio Public Library Foundation in partnership with the Texas Book Festival and Southwest School of Art, the festival takes place Saturday, April 2 from 10 am to 5 pm at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art. For more information on programming and authors, visit the SABF website.

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