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Life & Arts
The 20thannual Texas Book Festival is happening Oct. 17 and 18 in and around the State Capitol in downtown Austin, Texas.This year’s festival will feature about 300 authors of all different genres, as well as exhibitors, live music, local food trucks, and family activities. Throughout the year, KUT’s daily news show Texas Standard and some of KUT’s podcast hosts have interviewed authors appearing at this year’s festival. Click on the links below to hear from the authors about their work and the art of writing.KUT's Jennifer Stayton talks with festival Executive Director Lois Kim about what's new at this year's festival and how books have withstood a surge in technology competing for people's attention.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd40000To honor the 50th anniversary of the TBF, Austin authors, festival volunteers, and festival organizers have been sharing some of their favorite festival memories. Author Antonio Ruiz-Camacho recalls professional and personal moments from festivals past.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd50000Volunteer Rosie Taylor recalls the gift an author made to some students and their touching reaction.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd50003Executive Director Lois Kim recalls the fastest boot makers in the west (well, at least in West Texas) and the part they played in a festival award.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd50006Austin author Sarah Bird has written nine novels. She remembers the time she was scheduled to moderate a panel .... well, she kind of remembers.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd50009In 1969, the University of Texas football team was undefeated and beat Arkansas in what’s often called the “Game of the Century.” One of the players on that team was Freddie Steinmark. He was from Colorado - small for a football player, but he made his mark with his tough and smart play. His college career was cut short because of cancer, but Freddie Steinmark wound up making as big an impact off the field as he did on the field. KUT's Jennifer Stayton spoke with Steinmark’s childhood friend and high school teammate Bower Yousse and Thomas Cryan, who have written a book about Freddie Steinmark's life. They will be speaking at the 2015 Texas Book Festival.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd5000c"The Same Sky” by Amanda Erye Ward reads like it could have been ripped from the headlines, as it examines the struggles of children migrants who are desperately searching for a new life in America. She spoke on Texas Standard.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd60001In this episode of Views and Brews, you can tour over 100 years of southern cooking with Toni-Tipton Martin, author of "The Jemima Code: Two Centuries of African American Cookbooks." Join KUT’s Rebecca McInroy, along with food writers and hosts of KUT’s podcast The Secret Ingredient, Tom Philpott and Raj Patel, and explore the rich social, political, and economic history of the South, through food.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd60004Gary Cartwright, one of the first writers at Texas Monthly, has influenced an entire generation of magazine writing. He spoke with Texas Standard.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd60007Sarah Hepola recently joined KUT podcast The Write Up to discuss her memoir. They also chatted about her work as an editor at Salon and as a freelance writer, and the complicated ways alcohol affected her writing and life.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd6000aAsher Price writes about energy and the environment for the Austin American-Statesman, so he took a scientific approach to his quest to dunk a basketball. He stopped by the Texas Standard to talk about his book "Year of the Dunk."00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd6000dJavier Auyero is the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Professor in Latin American Sociology at the University of Texas-Austin. He is the editor of Invisible in Austin: Life and Labor in an American City, and the author of several books, including Poor People's Politics and Patients of the State.00000175-b316-d35a-a3f7-bbdeffd70000And, author Sandra Cisneros, made famous by her novella “The House on Mango Street,” has released a memoir called “A House of My Own.” You can hear her interview here at the Texas Standard.

An Insider's Guide to the 2015 Texas Book Festival

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Texas Book Festival
The Texas Book Festival is held in and around the capitol building every year.

From Texas Standard:

This weekend tens of thousands of Texans will descend on the grounds of the state capitol for a little shindig called the Texas Book Festival. The annual celebration of all things literary will host 300 authors this year – the biggest yet.

Our in-house literary expert Clay Smith, editor of Kirkus Reviews, has an inside line on the festival. 

On the crowd expected this year:

“I think there’s around 50,000 people over the course of the two days. One of the beautiful things about the festival is the way that it uses our capitol as public space. So many of us visited as school children and then never go there again. It’s really a nice way to turn this majestic building into a literary conversation.”

On the Lit Crawl:

“This is the, maybe a little more hip, more performance-based author events that happen on Saturday night. My favorite one is called Balderdash...it’s basically where six or so fiction writers are being asked to make stuff up on the spot and make you believe that they know what they’re talking about.”

This year’s must-sees:

“Every year the festival has major writers, this year Margaret Atwood is one of those, Taye Diggs, who most people know as an actor and former model... has a new kids book that’s actually getting great reviews. If you dig a little bit deeper, there are really wonderful conversations happening throughout the weekend."

Clay also suggests:

Twisting History Into Fiction - Saturday, October 17th 1-2 p.m.

Take a look in history's rearview mirror with Jim Shepard and Viet Thanh Nguyen as they consider the ways in which they twist war and history into fiction in their novels, The Book of Aron and The Sympathizer.

Pranksters Workshop (for kids) - Sunday, October 18th 1-2 p.m.

“Want to pull off the best prank, one your friends couldn't dream of? Attend this one-of-a-kind event hosted by bestselling author Mac Barnett as he inducts you The Secret Order of Disorder as featured in the bestselling book series The Terrible Two, which he wrote with his buddy and pal Jory John.”

The Texas Book Festival starts Saturday October 17th at 10 a.m. More information can be found here.