San Antonio Book Festival Announces 2020 Lineup Featuring More Than 120 Authors

  • February 5, 2020
San Antonio Book Festival Announces 2020 Lineup Featuring More Than 120 Authors - San Antonio Book Festival

The Free Festival Presents Adrienne Brodeur, Sandra Cisneros, Scott Pelley, Saeed Jones, Kathy Valentine, and more


New event for 2020: LIT CRAWL

The San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) is excited to announce its 2020 author lineup, which includes more than 120 local, regional, and national authors who will appear at the 8th annual Festival as well as a new event — Lit Crawl. This year’s lineup includes nationally renowned authors such as Saeed Jones, Marie Arana, César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, and more. The amazing weekend of festivities will take place on Saturday, April 4, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art.

SABF is a free, family-friendly event that draws more than 20,000 Festival goers to downtown San Antonio for a full day of author presentations, panel discussions, book sales, signings, children’s and teen activities, and food trucks. SABF showcases first-time novelists and established writers, introducing attendees to new literary talents and connecting them with their favorite authors. A detailed Festival schedule will be available in March.

This year, SABF is thrilled to announce the addition of a new free event, Lit Crawl, a big block party for books and everyone who loves to read them. This is the first time Lit Crawl will happen in San Antonio and the city is just the 15th one globally to produce Lit Crawl. The event will take place the evening of Friday, April 3, as part of First Friday in Southtown in the Blue Star Arts complex. Lit Crawl brings literature to the streets, offering a mini-festival within the larger Book Festival that features writers, poets, and storytellers performing their work and inviting audience participation. Lit Crawl will feature several events, including Literary Death Match, where four writers will compete for “bookish” glory; at another event, writers will speak about writerly topics but will be unaware that the audience has been instructed to take a shot every time one of the writers utters specific words. Lit Crawl involves the local literary scene and captures San Antonio’s unique flavor—all while getting book lovers and revelers alike drunk on words. The inaugural Lit Crawl is produced with the help of Ricos Products and the Blue Star Arts Complex.

“Lit Crawl is America’s most vibrant, national literary event and I’m thrilled we’re working with its creators to put a San Antonio spin on it,” said the Festival’s literary director, Clay Smith. “Prepare yourself to experience book events entirely unlike anything you’ve encountered before.”

Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me

SABF brings together many award-winning authors from around the nation, including Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, named a best book of the year by National Public Radio, the Washington Post, Amazon, and BuzzFeed. Brodeur has been published in the New York Times and is the executive director for Aspen Words.

Casey Cep, New York Times bestselling author, will discuss her debut, Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, a riveting account of Harper Lee’s life and her unfinished work.

In addition, internationally acclaimed writer Sandra Cisneros will debut a new Festival event, Sandra Cisneros Presents, where she introduces four of her favorite writers to Festival audiences. Cisneros’ long list of accolades includes NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and national and international book awards, including the National Medal of the Arts awarded to her by President Obama in 2016. Additional nationally celebrated artists include Saeed Jones, a prize-winning poet and author of the book How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir, which received the 2019 Kirkus Prize in Nonfiction; and Marie Arana, the former editor of the Washington Post’s Book World, joins the Festival to discuss her book Silver, Sword & Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story.

Michael Ray Charles, featured artist in the book Michael Ray Charles: A Retrospective by Cherise Smith

Renowned journalist and former CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley will speak about his new book, Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter’s Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our Times. César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández will address immigration and imprisonment in introducing his latest book Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants. Artist Michael Ray Charles & scholar Cherise Smith will be featured at the Festival to discuss Michael Ray Charles: A Retrospective. Historian, novelist, journalist, and screenwriter Stephen Harrigan will talk about his dynamic new book, Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas. Also joining the event will be New York Times bestselling author and geopolitical forecaster George Friedman, author of The Storm Before the Calm: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020’s, and the Triumph Beyond.

Veteran and National Book Award-winning author of the beloved books The Things They Carried and Going After Cacciato, Tim O’Brien, will discuss his latest bestseller, Dad’s Maybe Book. Lara Prescott’s bestselling debut novel, The Secrets We Kept, takes a look at a long-kept secret by the C.I.A. The Go-Go’s were the first all-female band to have a #1 album in America and bass guitarist Kathy Valentine writes all about it in her book All I Ever Wanted: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir, where she takes readers from her childhood in Texas to her spot on the big stage.

“This year’s record-breaking lineup is reason enough to celebrate, but I’m also tremendously proud that the Festival consistently comes up with new events, like Lit Crawl, to showcase writers and engage our city’s readers,” said Lilly Gonzalez, SABF’s executive director. “We have a wealth of literary talent in San Antonio during Book Festival weekend, and it’s all offered for free. For one glorious weekend devoted to the written word, we invite everyone to come together to have city-wide conversations about the important topics driving our national discourse.”

Naomi Shihab Nye, author of Cast Away

The event will also feature local authors including poet, memoirist, and National Book Award finalist Paulette Jiles, who will be launching her new novel, Simon the Fiddler: A Novel, a story about traveling musicians set at the end of the Civil War, at the Festival. Young People’s Poet Laureate Naomi Shihab Nye, the poetry editor for the New York Times magazine, will discuss her latest book of poems, Cast Away. The book is a collection of over 80 poems that shine a light on the many things society tosses away. Author of Racism, Latinos, and the Public Policy Process, Henry Flores will shed light on three policy areas (gun control, immigration, and voting rights) which are a strong focus of his book.

SABF is also excited to bring back the 4th Annual Book Appétit Literary Feast at the Witte Museum’s Mays Family Center on April 2 featuring novelist Amor Towles. SABF will also be hosting Book It! luncheons, three opportunities to have an intimate lunch with a Festival author at Club Giraud on April 4. Ticket sales for Book It! luncheons are forthcoming.


Marie Arana (Silver, Sword & Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story)

Chandler Baker (Whisper Network)

Steven Banks (Middle School Bites)

Janine Barchas (The Lost Books of Jane Austen)

Chris Barton (Fire Truck vs. Dragon)

Yvette D. Benavides (San Antonio 365: On This Day in History)

Diane Gonzales Bertrand (The Taco Magician and Other Poems for Kids / El mago de los tacos y otros poemas para niños)

Tonya Bolden (One Person, No Vote: How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally [YA Edition]; Saving Savannah)

Adrienne Brodeur (Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me)

Geraldo Cadava (The Hispanic Republican: The Shaping of an American Political Identity, from Nixon to Trump)

Ada Calhoun (Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis)

Norma Cantú (Meditación Fronteriza: Poems of Love, Life, and Labor)

Reyes Cárdenas (Tortured Barrio Songs)

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo (Children of the Land: A Memoir)

Casey Cep (Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee)

Joe Cepeda (I See)

J.C. Cervantes (The Fire Keeper: A Storm Runner Novel, Book 2)

Michael Ray Charles (Michael Ray Charles: A Retrospective)

Marcia Chatelain (Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America)

Sandra Cisneros (Puro Amor; A House of My Own)

Gilda R. Daniels (Uncounted: The Crisis of Voter Suppression in the United States)

Jenny Davidson (The Duchess of Angus, ed.)

David Martin Davies (San Antonio 365: On This Day in History)

Steven L. Davis (The Essential J. Frank Dobie)

Kate Winkler Dawson (American Sherlock: Murder, Forensics, and the Birth of American CSI)

Diana Marie Delgado (Tracing the Horse)

Jason DeParle (A Good Provider Is One Who Leaves: One Family and Migration in the 21st Century)

Jaquira Díaz (Ordinary Girls: A Memoir)

Nicky Drayden (Escaping Exodus: A Novel)

Jennifer duBois (The Spectators)

John Olivares Espinoza (The Date Fruit Elegies: Poems)

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (Stop Telling Women to Smile: Stories of Street Harassment and How We’re Taking Back Our Power)

Lewis F. Fisher (Greetings from San Antonio: Historic Postcards of the Alamo City)

Henry Flores (Racism, Latinos, and the Public Policy Process)

George Friedman (The Storm Before the Calm: America’s Discord, the Coming Crisis of the 2020s, and the Triumph Beyond)

Adriana M. Garcia (Por Todo Nuestro Alrededor)

Xavier Garza (Vincent Ventura and the Mystery of the Witch Owl/Vincent Ventura y el misterio de la bruja lechuza; Maximilian & the Curse of the Fallen Angel)

Lorenzo Gomez III (Tafolla Toro: Three Years of Fear)

Rachel González (Quinceañera Style: Social Belonging and Latinx Consumer Identities)

Xelena Gonzalez (Por Todo Nuestro Alrededor)

Jessica Goudeau (After the Last Border: Two Families and the Story of Refuge in America)

Christine Granados (Fight Like a Man and Other Stories We Tell Our Children)

Stephen Harrigan (Big Wonderful Thing: A History of Texas)

Anthony Head (Spirit: The Life and Art of Jesse Treviño)

Bethany Hegedus (Rise: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou)

César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández (Migrating to Prison: America’s Obsession with Locking Up Immigrants)

Claudia D. Hernández (Knitting the Fog)

Faylita Hicks (HoodWitch)

Joe Holley (Sutherland Springs: God, Guns, and Hope in a Texas Town)

Dan Hooper (At the Edge of Time: Exploring the Mysteries of Our Universe’s First Seconds)

Isabel Ibañez (Woven in Moonlight)

Lauren Michele Jackson (White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue…and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation)

Robert D. Jacobus (Black Man in the Huddle: Stories from the Integration of Texas Football)

Tiffany Jewell (This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work)

Paulette Jiles (Simon the Fiddler: A Novel)

Joe Jiménez (Rattlesnake Allegory)

Saeed Jones (How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir)

Peniel E. Joseph (The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.)

Fowzia Karimi (Above Us the Milky Way: An Illuminated Alphabet)

Michelle Ruiz Keil (All of Us with Wings)

Jeffrey J. Kripal (The Flip: Epiphanies of Mind and the Future of Knowledge)

Edward J. Larson (Franklin & Washington: The Founding Partnership)

Lindsay Leslie (Nova the Star Eater)

Juliana Delgado Lopera (Fiebre Tropical)

Mary Pauline Lowry (The Roxy Letters)

Louisa Luna (The Janes)

Samantha Mabry (Tigers, Not Daughters)

Bill C. Malone (Nashville’s Songwriting Sweethearts: The Boudleaux and Felice Bryant Story)

Bobbie Malone (Nashville’s Songwriting Sweethearts: The Boudleaux and Felice Bryant

Mari Mancusi (Geeks and the Holy Grail: The Camelot Code, Book 2)

Claudia Guadalupe Martínez (Not a Bean)

Jim Martinez (Marfa Garden: The Wonders of Dry Desert Plants)

Tehlor Kay Mejia (We Set the Dark on Fire: A Novel)

Sarah Menkedick (Ordinary Insanity: Fear and the Silent Crisis of Motherhood in America)

Anna Meriano (Love Sugar Magic: A Mixture of Mischief)

Alexandra Monir (The Life Below)

Amanda Montell (Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language)

Naomi Shihab Nye (Cast Away: Poems for Our Time)

Tim O’Brien (Dad’s Maybe Book)

Téa Obreht (Inland)

Karen Olsson (The Weil Conjectures: On Math and the Pursuit of the Unknown)

Chibbi Orduña (Otro/Patria)

Amalia L. Ortiz (The Canción Cannibal Cabaret & Other Songs)

Deborah Paredez (Year of the Dog)

Michael Parker (Prairie Fever)

Kimberly King Parsons (Black Light: Stories)

Scott Pelley (Truth Worth Telling: A Reporter’s Search for Meaning in the Stories of Our

Zeke Peña (My Papi Has a Motorcycle)

Severo Perez (Odd Birds)

Eduardo Porter (American Poison: How Racial Hostility Destroyed Our Promise)

Gerald Poyo (A Latino Memoir: Exploring Identity, Family, and the Common Good)

Lara Prescott (The Secrets We Kept)

Asher Price (Earl Campbell: Yards After Contact)

José R. Ralat (American Tacos: A History and Guide)

Nathaniel Rich (Losing Earth: A Recent History)

Paul Richter (The Ambassadors: America’s Diplomats on the Front Lines)

Donna Rifkind (The Sun and Her Stars: Salka Viertel and Hitler’s Exiles in the Golden Age of Hollywood)

Clay Risen (The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders, and the Dawn of the American Century)

Fatima Ronquillo (Spellbound: Fatima Ronquillo)

Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson (She Lives in Music)

Richard Z. Santos (Trust Me)

Sehba Sarwar (Black Wings)

Mary Lou Saxon (Marfa Garden: The Wonders of Dry Desert Plants)

Margaret Wilkerson Sexton (The Revisioners)

Cherise Smith (Michael Ray Charles: A Retrospective)

Christina Soontornvat (A Wish in the Dark)

Sydney Ladensohn Stern (The Brothers Mankiewicz: Hope, Heartbreak, and Hollywood)

Patrick Stockwell (The Light Here Changes Everything)

Whitley Strieber (A New World)

Tess Taylor (Rift Zone; Last West)

Camilla Townsend (Fifth Sun: A New History of the Aztecs)

Jesse Treviño (Spirit: The Life and Art of Jesse Treviño)

Deb Olin Unferth (Barn 8)

Kathy Valentine (All I Ever Wanted: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir)

Liliana Valenzuela (Codex of Love: Bendita ternura)

Amanda Eyre Ward (The Jetsetters)

Elizabeth Wetmore (Valentine)

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