If FIESTA is San Antonio’s party to celebrate the city’s history and rich diversity, then the San Antonio Book Festival is the tailgate event. Celebrating ideas, books, libraries, and literary culture, the San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) is your chance to flex both your mental and partying muscles in anticipation of FIESTA—there is something for the entire family at SABF.
SABF is a free, daylong, family-friendly event that draws thousands for author presentations, panel discussions, book sales and signings, recipe demonstrations, children’s and teen activities, a Festival marketplace, and food trucks. On March 8, SABF announced its schedule of events for its 4th annual Festival, to be held on April 2 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art. Top attractions in this year’s lineup include actress Sonia Manzano of Sesame Street fame with her memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx; Stephen Harrigan (The Gates of the Alamo), with his latest historical novel A Friend of Mr. Lincoln; award-winning journalist Rebecca Traister with her highly anticipated book, All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation; and George Hodgman with his memoir Bettyville, which received a National Book Critics Circle nomination and was included in NPR critic Maureen Corrigan’s Best Books of 2015.
“This year’s lineup offers so many brilliant reads and authors with wide critical acclaim,” said Clay Smith, the Festival’s Literary Director. “Our Festival’s books cover a broad range of topics. We are featuring two basketball books: New York Times columnist Joe Nocera’s Indentured: The Rebellion Against the College Sports Cartel and Alexander Wolff’s The Audacity of Hoop: Basketball and the Age of Obama. In addition, we are proud to announce our first panel on gay literature featuring George Hodgman and Bob Morris (Bobby Wonderful: An Imperfect Son Buries his Parents), who both tackle the subject of reckoning with the place where they grew up.”
In addition to the featured books, SABF is also showing Rara Avis: John James Audubon and the Birds of America, the latest documentary by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Al Reinert, and featuring a teaser performance of I-DJ, the latest play by award-winning playwright and poet Gregg Barrios.
For young readers, the Festival offers interactive experiences for teens at the Geekbus and with a flip book photo booth in GeekTown, free books from the Literacy Caravan, a performance by Magik Theatre, and educational activities from the Express-News’ History in Motion RV and the Doseum, San Antonio’s Museum for Kids. New this year, the festival will host a Party Time hour in the Children’s Tent where young visitors can spend time with Festival authors and illustrators.
Also new this year are a series of Book It luncheons—an opportunity to sit down to an intimate lunch with an author and eight companions. The Festival is offering four Book Its, three on the day of the festival and one the day prior. Festival attendees can Book It with Kate Bolick, H.W. Brands, Skip Hollandsworth, or Sarah Bird. Ticket pricing is available on the SABF website, and all funds raised will benefit SABF.
Literary Death Match, the Festival’s celebratory conclusion, will once again take place at the Empire Theatre, 7:00 p.m. Four celebrated authors perform the most exciting sections of their work for an audience and panel of judges, who take turns spouting hilarious, off-the-wall commentary, then select their favorite writer to advance to the finals. Sharp commentary–with audience participation– determines who is crowned Champion. This year’s competitors include Sara Benincasa (D.C. Trip), Jamie Brickhouse (Dangerous When Wet: A Memoir), David Crabb (Bad Kid: A Memoir), and Joaquín Zihuatanejo (Fight: Poems). Judges are Trinity professor and author Coleen Grissom, author Zach Anner, and comic Sandra Valls.
To receive the latest information on Festival details, follow SABF on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Stay tuned for an announcement about the Book Festival app, where you’ll be able to customize your schedule for April 2. See you at the Book Festival!