The Write Stuff

San Antonio Book Festival debuts world-famous lit event and author lineup

San Antonio Book Fest debuts world-famous lit event and author lineup

San Antonio Book Festival
The San Antonio Book Festival returns April 4.  Photo courtesy of San Antonio Book Festival

On Wednesday evening, February 5, San Antonio literature lovers gathered at Say Sí for the unveiling of the eighth annual San Antonio Book Festival lineup. This year's festival will return to the Alamo City on Saturday, April 4, at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art for a free, family-friendly day of events.

More than 150 authors from around the globe are scheduled to be in attendance, including lit stars such as Saeed Jones, Lara Prescott, Tim O'Brien, Stephen Harrigan, Attica Locke, Marie Arana, and César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández. Festival-goers can take part in a full day of author presentations, panel discussions, book sales, signings, children and teen activities, and food trucks.

"For one glorious weekend devoted to the written word, we invite everyone to come together to have citywide conversations about the important topics driving our national discourse," said Lilly Gonzalez, SABF’s executive director, in a release.

Though part of the fun of SABF is stumbling into an unplanned reading or discussion, there a few that are already guaranteed to be popular. Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, joins Casey Cep, New York Times bestselling author, to discuss her debut, Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee.

San Antonio and Texas will, of course, be well represented. Famed author Stephen Harrigan will talk about his new book, Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas, and Texas musician (and Go-Go) Kathy Valentine is scheduled to discuss her latest, All I Ever Wanted: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir. San Antonio authors scheduled to appear include Paulette Jiles, Naomi Shihab Nye, and Henry Flores.

SABF will also feature timely programming, including a session with César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, who will address immigration and imprisonment while discussing his latest book, Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants. Journalist and former CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley will also attend to discuss his latest book, Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter’s Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times.

The fest will also feature special events, including the debut of Lit Crawl in San Antonio, only the 15th city in the world to host the very fun (in our opinion) event. Lit Crawl will take place the evening of Friday, April 3, as part of First Friday in Southtown in the Blue Star Arts complex. It's a fun (and often funny) chance to let loose, mingle with authors, and get drunk on words (and libations).

“Lit Crawl is America’s most vibrant, national literary event and I’m thrilled we’re working with its creators to put a San Antonio spin on it,” said Clay Smith, festival literary director. “Prepare yourself to experience book events entirely unlike anything you’ve encountered before.”

Also new this year is Sandra Cisneros Presents, a special opportunity for the renowned writer to introduce audiences to the people who inspire her. For 2020, Cisneros will feature Saeed Jones (How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir); Attica Locke (Heaven, My Home: A Highway 59 Mystery); and Marie Arana (Silver, Sword & Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story).

And this is the just the start of the programming. Also on the schedule are children's activities, the 4th Annual Book Appétit Literary Feast, and Book It! luncheons leading up to the festival.