Texas Book Festival: Austin authors to look for

Oh yes, we know — Austin loves its self-proclaimed title as “Live Music Capital of the World.”

But we read and write too.  And Austin is home to a multitude of acclaimed writers.

As the Texas Book Festival welcomes the literati to town this weekend, let’s spotlight the local authors joining the fest’s limelight this year.

READ: Austin authors to look for at the Texas Book Festival

We’ve written about them recently too.

 Karan Mahajan’s “The Association for Small Bombs” is finalist for this year’s National Book Award. A sensitive exploration of the aftermath of terror and how it affects innocent families the novel is “a tour de force of psychological probing and empathy,” said our critic earlier this year.


Karan Mahajan, an Austin-based author and recent graduate of UT’s Michener Center for Writers, is the author “The Association of Small Bombs,” which was recently named a finalist for the National Book Award. RALPH BARRERA/ AMERICAN-STATESMAN


Antonio Ruiz-Camacho‘s auspicious debut collection of related short stories, “Barefoot Dogs” is a harp, moving, wryly funny and wise, the stories of wealthy Mexicans who have fled to the United States to escape drug violence.

Dominic Smith‘s beguiling novel “The Last Painting of Sara de Vos,”  conjures a fictional female painter in the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century to tell a compelling tale of creativity, authenticity and complicity in forgery, both artistic and moral.

In “A Friend of Mr. Lincoln,” Stephen Harrigan trains his sharp sensibilities and narrative elegance on the overlooked early years of Abraham Lincoln, when the future president was a young circuit-riding lawyer and awkward suitor.

And Sarah Bird pens a valentine to Lone Star ladies in the 80 delightful illustrated pages of Love Letter to Texas Women.”

With “The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State,” Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright continues his riveting, insightful journalism chronicling the complexities within the Middle East

READ: Our team’s Texas Book Festival picks

MORE: Check out Austin360.com arts and culture coverage

Going to the fest

The Texas Book Festival is free and open to the public. texasbookfestival.org

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 5 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 6.


Author of nine novels, Austin writer Sarah Bird wrote a valentine to Lone Star ladies with “Love Letter to Texas Women.” RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Author of nine novels, Austin writer Sarah Bird wrote a valentine to Lone Star ladies with “Love Letter to Texas Women.” RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Author: Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is the arts critic for the Austin American-Statesman. She writes about visual art, theater, dance, music, performance, public art, architecture and just about any combination thereof.

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