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San Antonio Book Festival announces 2019 lineup

February 7, 2019

Among the writers taking part in the seventh annual San Antonio Book Festival are historian Douglas Brinkley, novelists Tayari Jones and Andre Dubus III and Ron Chernow, whose 2005 doorstopper inspired the musical “Hamilton.”

The free celebration of all things literary takes place April 6 at the Central Library and the neighboring Southwest School of Art. It is prodcued by the San Antonio Public Library Foundation.

San Antonio itself is the subject of some of the writers, courtesy of such homegrown talents as Char Miller, whose latest work is “San Antonio: A Tricentennial History”; former mayor Lila Cockrell, whose memoir “Love Deeper Than a River: My Life in San Antonio” was released earlier this year; and Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, who will be discussing his new book “The Changing Face of San Antonio: An Insider’s View of an Emerging International City.”

More than 100 authors are taking part. Here’s a look at a few:

Ron Chernow: The historian’s most recent book is 2017’s “Grant,” a biography of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. He also has written about such noted figures as John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan and George Washington, but may be best known for “Alexander Hamilton.” The 2005 book inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton.”

Douglas Brinkley: The historian, whose previous work includes a look at Theodore Roosevelt’s environmentalism and a biography of legendary television newsman Walter Cronkite, is marking the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing in September with “American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race.”

Tayari Jones: Jones’ 2018 novel “An American Marriage,” the story of a couple whose lives are upended when the husband is sent to prison, landed on many ‘best of’ lists. It also was an official selection of Oprah Winfrey’s book club.

Andre Dubus III: The author of such well-received novels as “House of Sand and Fog” and “The Garden of Last Days,” will talk about his latest. “Gone So Long” is about a woman who must decide whether to let her father, who killed her mother and has been released from prison after 40 years, back into her life.

Susan Page: Page, the Washington bureau chief for USA Today, will be here just a few days after her new book drops. “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty” looks at the life of the late first lady. Source material includes hours of interviews with Bush in the final months of her life as well as the diaries that she kept.

Octavio Solis: The Trinity University alum may be best known for such plays as “Santos y Santos” and “La Posada Magica.” His heralded 2018 memoir “Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border” reflects on his experiences growing up in El Paso.

Henry Thomas: Yep, that Henry Thomas. The actor who first made a name for himself as the wide-eyed protector of an alien in the 1982 movie “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” will be here to talk about “The Window and the Mirror,” the first book in his forthcoming Oesteria and the War of Goblinkind series of fantasy novels.

Elizabeth McCracken: McCracken has received stellar reviews for “Bowlaway,” her first novel in more than 10 years. The new book follows three generations of a family that operates a candlepin bowling alley in New England.

Meg Medina: Medina was awarded a Newberry Medal for her book “Merci Suárez Changes Gears,” a coming of age story about a sixth grader coping with issues at school and at home.

Rick Bragg: The former New York Times reporter’s latest book is “The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table, a combination memoir/cookbook. It’s his latest exploration of his family history, following such earlier books as “All Over But the Shoutin” and “Ava’s Man.”

Joe R. Lansdale: The prolific author will be here just a few weeks after the release of “The Elephant of Surprise.” It’s the latest yarn in his series of thrillers featuring the misadventures of Texas-based private investigators Hap and Leonard.

See the full lineup at the book festival’s website.

dlmartin@express-news.net | Twitter: @DeborahMartinEN

Deborah Martin is an arts writer in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | dlmartin@express-news.net | Twitter: @DeborahMartinEN

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