San Antonio Book Festival officials joined several authors at the Central Library on Tuesday morning for the announcement of the author lineup for fourth annual San Antonio Book Festival which will be held Saturday, April 2.  More than 85 authors are on the schedule.

The list of authors is available at and below this story. Included on the list are some familiar San Antonian names like Naomi Shihab Nye, Texan authors like Stephen Harrigan and Douglas Brinkley, and nationally recognized names like Thomas Mallon and “Sesame Street” star Sonia Manzano.

Each year before Fiesta, the annual one-day bookfest attracts several thousand people downtown to the Central Library, the adjacent Southwest School of Art and to tents set up on Augusta Street to attend author readings, conversations, and panels, children and teen literary events, cooking demos by food and cook writers, and live music performances. The book festival is the signature annual event benefitting the San Antonio Public Library Foundation.

“We’ve come a really long way since (the first author announcement),” said Book Festival Executive Director Katy Flato. Armed with more experience and notoriety, the event is “more refined and more renowned” each year, presenting more opportunities for local authors to gain recognition.

The event is free and open to the public.

“The Book Festival is an extremely valuable (tool to) increase literacy rates in San Antonio,” said San Antonio Public Library Director Ramiro Salazar.

For its fourth year, organizers have added more national and international, and more notable, authors to the lineup that is still heavy with local authors.

“That’s the trick of programming. Getting us more well-known on a national stage while being fiercely proud of the writers we have here,” said Book Festival Literary Director Clay Smith, who led the author list curation. While subject matter ranges from the emotional lives of animals to bullying to biographies, the author list has been tailored with a “San Antonian lens.”

Dozens of authors will participate in more than 30 readings, signings, panels discussions and other events aimed at engaging audiences of all ages.

Rebecca Traister, “All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an independent Nation” (March 2016) and Kate Bolick, “Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own” (April 2015) will take part in a panel discussing the increasing number of American women opting out of traditional, legal marriage. While Traister’s work is a geographical analysis of the correlation between single women and societal advancement, Bolick profiles women of all walks of life that have yet to – or refuse to – tie the knot.

The Book Festival’s first panel on gay literature will feature George Hodgman “Bettyville: A Memior” (March 2015) and Bob Morris, “Bobby Wonderful: An Imperfect Son Buries his Parents” (May 2015) as they “both tackle the subject of reckoning with the place where they grew up,” Smith said.

Common themes like feminism, LGBTQ experiences, and border relations emerged in the publishing world over the course of a year, Smith said. These “crosscurrents of ideas” will be showcased in the festival’s full schedule of events released in March.

With overlapping times in various venues, the main advice for newcomers looking to get the most out of panels and special author events is to check out the schedule ahead of time to plan out the day.

New this year for the kiddos is a “Party Hour” scheduled at the end of Saturday that will invite children’s book authors on stage to create a book live with the audience.

There will also plenty of ticketed opportunities that benefit the Book Festival and Library Foundation to mingle with the literary-like minded. On Friday, April 1, the formal Book Appétit Literary Feast, a kind of prelude to the festival, will feature a conversation between authors Harrigan (“A Friend of Mr. Lincoln“) and Mallon (“Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years“) with former journalist Dan Goodgame, vice president of executive communications for Rackspace Hosting. Tickets start at $250.

(Full Disclosure: Dan Goodgame and Katy Flato are both on the Rivard Report board.)

Lit Happens is another new addition to the event lineup. The Rivard Report, now a nonprofit, is co-planning this event with the Book Festival to bring a more casual evening of literature and cocktails to Stay Golden Social House on Friday, April 1. Authors will be paired with teams to compete in a storytelling competition. Inspiration for the short stories will be pulled from San Antonio’s history and pop culture. Details will be announced soon.

During the festival, three authors will be featured during shorter, more intimate Book It Luncheons. Bolick’s luncheon is already sold out while tickets for lunch with H. W. Brands and another with Skip Hollandsworth are still on sale for $175. Buy the entire eight-seat table for $1,500. A fourth author will be added to the Friday schedule in the coming weeks.

The festival will close out, as it always does, with a hearty serving of Literary Death Match. A lively game-show like event that invites four authors on stage to read their work in front of a panel of three local judges á la American Idol – but with a lot more humor, friendly banter, and cash bar.

Here is the list of authors:

Marisa Abrajano, “White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics”

Sara Benincasa, “D.C. Trip”

Robert Jackson Bennett, “City of Blades”

Terry Scott Bertling, “San Antonio: Our Story of 150 Years in the Alamo City”

Diane Gonzales Bertrand, “A Bean and Cheese Taco Birthday / Un cumpleaños con tacos de frijoles con queso”

Kate Bolick, “Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own”

Carmen Boullosa, “Before”

H.W. Brands, “Reagan: The Life”

Jamie Brickhouse, “Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir”

Adam Briggle, “A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking: How One Texas Town Stood Up to Big Oil and Gas”

Douglas Brinkley, “Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America”

Monica Brown, “Lola Levine Is Not Mean!”

Ada Calhoun, “St. Marks Is Dead: The Many Lives of America’s Hippest Street”

Brandon Caro, “Old Silk Road: A Novel”

David Crabb, “Bad Kid: A Memoir”

Eileen Curtright, “The Burned Bridges of Ward, Nebraska: A Novel”

Tracy Daugherty, “The Last Love Song: A Biography of Joan Didion”

Clark Davis, “It Starts with Trouble: William Goyen and the Life of Writing”

John T. Davis, “North Beach”

James Dennis, “North Beach”

George T. Díaz, “Border Contraband: A History of Smuggling Across the Rio Grande”

Angela Dominguez, “Mango, Abuela, and Me”

James R. Doty, M.D., “Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart”

Brent Douglass, “North Beach”

Chris Waters Dunn, “Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex”

Nathalie Dupree, “Mastering the Art of Southern Vegetables”

Jessica Dupuy, “The United Tastes of Texas: Authentic Recipes from All Corners of the Lone Star State”

Álvaro Enrigue, “Sudden Death”

Phoebe Fox, “Heart Conditions: The Breakup Doctor Series, #3?

Xavier Garza, “The Donkey Fights La Llorona and Other Stories”

Melissa Ginsburg, Sunset City: A Novel”

Cynthia Graubart, “Mastering the Art of Southern Vegetables”

Kaitlyn Greenidge, “We Love You, Charlie Freeman: A Novel”

Coleen Grissom, “The World According to Coleen”

Kali Nicole Gross, “Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America”

Nathan Hale, “Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Alamo All Stars”

Stephen Harrigan, “A Friend of Mr. Lincoln: A Novel”

Sarah Hepola, “Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget?

Dave Hickey, “25 Women: Essays on Their Art”

George Hodgman, “Bettyville: A Memoir”

Skip Hollandsworth, “The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal, and the Hunt for America’s First Serial Killer”

K.A. Holt, “House Arrest”

A.G. Howard, “Untamed: A Splintered Companion”

Paulette Jiles, “News of the World: A Novel”

Julia Claiborne Johnson, “Be Frank With Me: A Novel”

Varian Johnson, “To Catch a Cheat”

John C. Kerr, “The Silent Shore of Memory: A Novel”

Austin Kleon, “The Steal Like an Artist Journal: A Notebook for Creative Kleptomaniacs”

David K. Langford, “Fog at Hillingdon”

Cappy Lawton, “Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex”

Mike Leary, “San Antonio: Our Story of 150 Years in the Alamo City”

Cynthia Levinson, “Hillary Rodham Clinton: Do All the Good You Can”

Matt Lewis, “Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays and Informal Celebrations”

David Liss, “Randoms”

Thomas Mallon, “Finale: A Novel of the Reagan Years”

Sonia Manzano, “Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx”

Meg Medina, “Mango, Abuela, and Me”

Daniel Miyares, “Surf’s Up”

Bob Morris, “Bobby Wonderful: An Imperfect Son Buries His Parents”

Joe Nocera, “Indentured: The Rebellion Against the College Sports Cartel”

Naomi Shihab Nye, “Famous”

Chris Offutt, “My Father, the Pornographer: A Memoir”

Karen Olsson, “All the Houses: A Novel”

John Parra, “Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans”

Ashley Hope Pérez, “Out of Darkness”

Rene S. Perez II, “Seeing Off the Johns”

Renato Poliafito, “Baked Occasions: Desserts for Leisure Activities, Holidays and Informal Celebrations”

Al Reinert, “Rara Avis: John James Audubon and the Birds of America”

Pam Muñoz Ryan, “Echo: A Novel”

Carl Safina, “Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel”

Lisa Sandlin, “The Do-Right”

Steven P. Schneider, “The Magic of Mariachi / La Magia del Mariachi”

Bruce M. Shackelford, “The Wests of Texas: Cattle Ranching Entrepreneurs”

ire’ne lara silva, “Blood Sugar Canto”

Adam Silvera, “More Happy Than Not: A Novel”

Dominic Smith, “The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel”

Jamie Stockwell, “San Antonio: Our Story of 150 Years in the Alamo City”

Francisco X. Stork, “The Memory of Light”

DJ Stout, “Variations on a Rectangle: 30 Years of Graphic Design from Texas Monthly to Pentagram”

Whitley Strieber, “The Super Natural: A New Vision of the Unexplained”

Don Tate, “Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton”

Kimball Taylor, “The Coyote’s Bicycle: The Untold Story of Seven Thousand Bicycles and the Rise of a Borderland Empire”

Laura Tillman, “The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City”

Rebecca Traister, “All The Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation”

Emma J. Virján, “What This Story Needs Is a Hush and a Shush”

Tommy Wallach, “Thanks for the Trouble”

Wendy Williams, “The Horse: The Epic History of Our Noble Companion”

Laura Wilson, “That Day: Pictures in the American West”

Alexander Wolff, “The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama”

Joaquín Zihuatanejo, Fight: Poems”

*Top image: San Antonio Book Festival 2014. Photo courtesy of the San Antonio Public Library. 

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‘Saturday Before Fiesta’ = San Antonio Book Festival

San Antonio Book Festival Will Draw Thousands Downtown

Q&A with Katy Flato: Book Festival Director, Mother, and Author Groupie

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Iris Dimmick

Senior Reporter Iris Dimmick covers public policy pertaining to social issues, ranging from affordable housing and economic disparity to policing reform and workforce development. Contact her at