“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.”
The San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) announced its 2020 author lineup, which includes more than 120 local, regional, and national authors who will appear at the eighth annual festival as well as a new event—Lit Crawl. This year’s lineup includes nationally renowned authors such as Saeed Jones, Attica Locke, Marie Arana, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, and more. The weekend of festivities will take place on Saturday, April 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art.
SABF is a free, family-friendly event that draws more than 20,000 festival goers to downtown San Antonio for a full day of author presentations, panel discussions, book sales, signings, children’s and teen activities, and food trucks. SABF showcases first-time novelists and established writers, introducing attendees to new literary talents and connecting them with their favorite authors. All festival writers can be found at sabookfestival.org, where a detailed festival schedule will be available in March.
This year, SABF announced the addition of a new free event, Lit Crawl, a big block party for books and everyone who loves to read them. This is the first time Lit Crawl will happen in San Antonio, which is just the fifteenth city globally to produce Lit Crawl. The event will take place the evening of Friday, April 3, as part of First Friday in Southtown in the Blue Star Arts complex. Lit Crawl brings literature to the streets, offering a mini festival within the larger book festival that features writers, poets, and storytellers performing their work and inviting audience participation. Lit Crawl will feature several events, including Literary Death Match, where four writers will compete for “bookish” glory.
“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 the festival’s literary director, Clay Smith. “Prepare yourself to experience book events entirely unlike anything you’ve encountered before.”
SABF brings together many award-winning authors from around the nation, including Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, named a best book of the year by National Public Radio, the Washington Post, Amazon, and BuzzFeed. Brodeur has been published in the New York Times and is the executive director for Aspen Words. Casey Cep, New York Times bestselling author, will discuss her debut, Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, a riveting account of Harper Lee’s life and her unfinished work.
In addition, internationally acclaimed writer Sandra Cisneros will debut a new festival event, Sandra Cisneros Presents, where she introduces four of her favorite writers to festival audiences. Additional nationally celebrated artists include Saeed Jones, a prize-winning poet and author of the book How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir, which received the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction; Attica Locke, author of Heaven, My Home: A Highway 59 Mystery, a captivating novel that follows a Texas Ranger’s hunt for a missing boy; and Marie Arana, the former editor of the Washington Post’s Book World, joins the festival to discuss her book Silver, Sword & Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story.
Renowned journalist and former CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley will speak about his new book, Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter’s Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times. César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández will address immigration and imprisonment in introducing his latest book Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants.
Artist Michael Ray Charles and scholar Cherise Smith will be featured at the festival to discuss Michael Ray Charles: A Retrospective. Historian, novelist, journalist, and screenwriter Stephen Harrigan will talk about his dynamic new book, Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas. Also joining the event will be New York Times bestselling author and geopolitical forecaster George Friedman, author of The Storm Before the Calm: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020’s, and the Triumph Beyond.
Veteran and National Book Award-winning author of the beloved books The Things They Carried and Going After Cacciato, Tim O’Brien, will discuss his latest bestseller, Dad’s Maybe Book. Lara Prescott’s bestselling debut novel, The Secrets We Kept, takes a look at a long-kept secret by the C.I.A. The Go-Go’s were the first all-female band to have a #1 album in America and bass guitarist Kathy Valentine writes all about it in her book All I Ever Wanted: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir, where she takes readers from her childhood in Texas to her spot on the big stage.
“This year’s record-breaking lineup is reason enough to celebrate, but I’m also tremendously proud that the festival consistently comes up with new events, like Lit Crawl, to showcase writers and engage our city’s readers,” said Lilly Gonzalez, SABF’s executive director. “We have a wealth of literary talent in San Antonio during the book festival weekend, and it’s all offered for free. 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.”
The event will also feature local authors including poet, memoirist, and National Book Award finalist Paulette Jiles, who will be launching her new novel, Simon the Fiddler: A Novel, a story about traveling musicians set at the end of the Civil War, at the festival. Young People’s Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye, the poetry editor for the New York Times magazine, will discuss her latest book of poems, Cast Away. The book is a collection of over eighty poems that shine a light on the many things society tosses away. Author of Racism, Latinos, and the Public Policy Process, Henry Flores will shed light on three policy areas (gun control, immigration, and voting rights) which are a strong focus of his book.
SABF is also excited to bring back the fourth annual Book Appétit Literary Feast at the Witte Museum’s Mays Family Center on April 2 featuring novelist Amor Towles. SABF will also be hosting Book It! luncheons, three opportunities to have an intimate lunch with a festival author at Club Giraud on April 4. Book Appétit tables are available now for purchase at sabookfestival.org. Ticket sales for Book It! luncheons are forthcoming.
The full author lineup is available here.
The mission of the San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) is to unite readers and writers in a celebration of ideas, books, libraries, and literary culture. SABF was first presented in April 2013. Founding partners include the San Antonio Public Library, the Southwest School of Art, the San Antonio Public Library Foundation, and Texas Book Festival. This “Fiesta for the mind” is a gift to visitors and the citizens of San Antonio, free and open to all.