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Texas Book Festival Announces Authors for 2021

Lawrence Wright, Colson Whitehead, Sandra Cisneros and more will present work this fall

An exciting lineup for the Texas Book Festival is taking shape.

Organizers of the landmark literary event announced 15 authors who’ll participate this fall, including two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Colson Whitehead, best-selling author of The House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros, author of best sellers A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility Amor Towles and Austin resident Lawrence Wright (also a Pulitzer Prize winner), whose medical thriller about a deadly virus, The End of October, was released in April of 2020 and whose non-fiction account of a real-life pandemic, The Plague Year: America in the Time of COVID, just debuted in June of 2021.

Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright will return to this year’s Texas Book Festival. Portrait by Kenny Braun.

After an all-digital festival last year, this year’s event will be hybrid, taking place virtually October 25th through the 28th and in person in downtown Austin on the grounds of the Texas Capitol on October 30th and 31st.

“We are so happy that authors and readers connected with one another through TBF programming last year,” Deputy Director Claire Burrows says in a statement offering a sneak peek at the talent joining this year’s fest. “We’re thrilled to introduce just a few of the authors that will participate in the 2021 Texas Book Festival. We want to bring these incredible voices to you wherever you are, whether you’re on Congress Avenue in downtown Austin or at home in El Paso.”

Photo by Bob Daemmrich.

With a full roster of writers coming out later this summer, here’s the list of announced authors and the works they’re presenting at TBF 2021:

Rumaan Alam, Leave the World Behind

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World

Sandra Cisneros, Martita, I Remember You / Martita, te recuerdo

Mary Gaitskill, The Devil’s Treasure

Gabriela Garcia, Of Women and Salt

Elizabeth McCracken, The Souvenir Museum

Maggie Nelson, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint

R. J. Palacio, Pony

Raj Patel, Inflamed: Deep Medicine and the Anatomy of Injustice

Don Tate, Pigskins to Paintbrushes

Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway

Sergio Troncoso, Nepantla Familias: An Anthology of Mexican American Literature on Families in Between Worlds

Colson Whitehead, Harlem Shuffle

Lawrence Wright, The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid

Cecily Wong, Gastro Obscura: A Food Adventurer’s Guide

Best-selling author and two-time Pulitzer winner Colson Whitehead will release Harlem Shuffle this September.

“It’s a creative time in the literary events space,” Literary Director Matthew Patin says in a statement. “We’re in an in-between era, and having both virtual and in-person formats gives us the opportunity to host conversations among authors and readers in whichever way they prefer. And with so much talent coming to TBF this year, including the authors in this sneak peek, those conversations will be many.”

The Texas Book Festival was founded in 1995 by former First Lady Laura Bush, Mary Margaret Farabee and volunteers. The festival is free and open to the public. Visit for more info.