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More than 200 authors and about 40,000 book fans will descend on the Texas Capitol October 26-27 for the 2013 Texas Book Festival. Throughout the year KUT News speaks with authors about their lives and their work. To celebrate the upcoming festival, we have collected some of those interviews here. From 9-11 to Scientology to the Kennedy assassination, it's a diverse set of works from a fascinating group of authors.

Former Austinite's Memoir Not Your Usual Mother-Daughter Story

Meredith Zinner
Domenica Ruta says her years in Austin at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin were pivotal in beginning to sever the tumultuous relationship she had with her mother.

Domenica Ruta had a childhood some kids would envy- ice cream for breakfast; shopping trips and movies instead of school sometimes; no real rules at home. But for every dream moment like those, there were the nightmares, too - a drug addicted mother; the constant threat of violence; and the joking encouragement to become a teen mother.

Ruta takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through her life in her new memoir With or Without You. You might think she wishes things had been different- that perhaps her mother had been more like other mothers. Actually, Ruta says she wouldn't change a thing about her life. Listen to the full interview with Domenica Ruta to hear the good, the bad, and the ugly about life with her mother and the lessons she learned from it.

Jennifer Stayton is the local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" on KUT. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on X @jenstayton.
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