Texas Book Festival Local Guide

One of the city’s main parties is back for the first time in person since 2020 was canceled due to the pandemic. The 27th edition of the festival takes place this weekend (November 5-6) in and around the State Capitol building and will feature nearly 300 authors, food trucks and even a few Hollywood stars. Here’s what you need to know before you go.

When is it?

Saturday, Nov. 5 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 6 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Don’t forget to set your clocks back on Sunday morning (technically at 2 a.m.) when daylight saving time ends!

Where can I park?

Anywhere downtown near the Capitol. The public car parks on San Jacinto Boulevard and 15th Street are also free for festival-goers. For those requiring special accommodations, contact the Texas Book Festival at 512-477-4055 or [email protected]

How can I buy tickets?

This is the best part: you don’t! No registration is required and events are free to the public. Tickets can be purchased for Nelson DeMille, Janet Evanovich and Jacques Pepin events, which guarantee priority seating and a signed book.

What type of food will be available?

Grab brisket nachos from Taco Baby, a banh mi from Saigon Le Vendor, a savory prosciutto or turkey pancake from Crepe Crazy, or one of the best underrated burgers in town from Wholly Cow Burgers. All vendors will be located on 11th Street between Colorado and Congress.

What are the 9 events not to be missed?

Ann Richards: the one and only

Nov. 5, 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Texas monthly Attempted

Three writers come together to celebrate one of Texas’ most beloved governors. Founder of the Ann Richards Legacy Project, Margaret Justus delves into the late politician’s iconic wit and wisdom. Richards’ campaign manager and chief of staff, Mary Beth Rogers, divulges her inside view, as explored in her memoir Hope and hard truth. And children’s book author Meghan P. Browne discusses her picture book biography, Ann indelible.

The Long of It: Enduring Texas Crime Fiction

Nov. 5, 12:15 p.m.–1 p.m.

Capitol Extension Room E2.014

Austin author Jeff Abbott digs deeper into his Sam Capra series of novels about a suburban father who is secretly a fixer for an underground government agency. Join the New York Times The best-selling writer is legendary Edgar and Stoker award-winning novelist Joe R. Lansdale, the creator of the popular Hap and Leonard series that has been running for over three decades.

Omar Epps in conversation about Nubia: The Awakening

Nov. 5, 12:30 p.m.–1:15 p.m.

First United Methodist Church

The star actor of Juice and Love & Basketball sits down to discuss his first novel, which follows three Nubian teenagers who must navigate a climate-ravaged (and class-divided) New York City. The recipient of nine NAACP Image Awards will then sign copies of his book for an hour.

Texas Musician Profiles: DJ Screw and Roky Erikson

Nov. 5, 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Texas monthly Attempted

Two of Texas’ most important musical icons are the focus of this panel. In Brian T. Atkinson’s profile of psychedelic rocker Roky Erickson, he explores the 13th Floor Elevator singer’s story of mental illness and the widespread musical influence he left behind. Meanwhile, Lance Scott Walker delves into the all-too-abbreviated life of hip-hop star DJ Screw, who forever elevated Houston’s vaunted rap scene.

Fiction Set in Austin: Deep Secrets and Haunted Pasts

Nov. 5, 2 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Texas monthly Attempted

Writer from the capital (and austin monthly contributor) Amanda Eyre Ward is joined by fellow Austin-based author Michael Parker to discuss their acclaimed latest works. of the room The lifeguards puts Zilker Park and Barton Springs in the limelight, when a group of mothers and sons find themselves in possession of a dark Greenbelt secret. Scheduled for release November 15, Parker’s I am the light of this world explores a fateful road to Austin in the 1970s that leads to the disappearance of a lover and decades of consequences.

Maybe We’ll Get There: Margo Price in Conversation

Nov. 5, 3:15–4 p.m.

Central Presbyterian Church

From her working-class roots to the stages of Nashville and the national spotlight, this Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter has experienced untold hardship and tragedy in a life worthy of the stories told through her country songs. No wonder she earned the respect of greats like Willie Nelson along the way. In her moving new memoir, she deals with her youth as a high school dropout, the search for artistic freedom, and the struggles of motherhood.

Barrio Black

Nov. 6, 12 p.m.-12:45 p.m.

Tent lit Latinx

New Texas genre master Gabino Iglesias had his big hit this year with The devil bring you home, the story of a father who becomes a reluctant hitman after the death of his daughter. Driven into cartel violence on both sides of the border, the protagonist encounters inner demons and monsters both human and supernatural. Iglesias is joined by Rudy Ruiz, winner of two gold medals at the International Latino Book Awards. His last, valley of shadowsconcerns a sheriff brought out of retirement after a series of grisly murders rocked the town of Olvido in the late 1870s.

The last mobster in Austin

Nov. 6, 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.

Texas monthly Attempted

If you’re unfamiliar with Frank Hughey Smith, writer Jesse Sublett is about to take you on a wild ride. A suspected criminal mastermind and Dixie Mafia figure, Smith spent the 1970s building an underworld empire where he sought to destroy his rivals amid the capital’s mercenaries, madams, and vice general. Sublett, who has resided in Austin for nearly 50 years (including as the founder of punk band The Skunks), is just the nonfiction writer who takes on one of the most notorious characters in the city.

A year of pandemic sketches with Edward Carey

Nov. 6, 2:30 p.m.–3:15 p.m.

Austin-Jones Contemporary Center

Struggling with isolation at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, this local author and illustrator began a series of portrait sketches which he posted on social media. Daily exercise has become a visual response to difficult times, as well as an exploration of human connection. How to find comfort in quarantine? Carey found an ingenious solution through her works spanning everything from Breonna Taylor and John Lewis to grackles and Brontë sisters.

Angela C. Hale