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San Antonio Book Festival Reveals Lineup For Extended Fest

 Books on my shelf
Jack Morgan | Texas Public Radio
Books on a shelf.

This year marks the ninth annual San Antonio Book Festival. In a key way, this one is unlike the eight that came before: This one is all virtual. But Director Lily Gonzalez said that’s got a lot of upsides.

Keith Dannemiller
Sandra Cisneros

One of the positives of also being virtual is that you can attract writers from all over the world,” Gonzalez said. “So whereas before, we might’ve been limited by budget constrictions on how many people we could fly into San Antonio or put up in hotels, now everybody’s just sitting on their couch at home, so there’s no limit.”

And that’s going to result in a festival that’s much bigger than in years past.

“Our audience is going to see a record-shattering lineup of nearly 200 writers. That’s amazing for us,” she said.

Washington Post writer David Ignatius
Stephen Voss
Stephen Voss
David Ignatius

An event called Sandra Cisneros Presents will have her presenting four of her favorite up-and-coming authors. And another session about a local book is drawing big interest.

“There’s a wonderful book by Trinity (University Press) called Revolutionary Women in Texas and Mexico. That also has a lot of local contributors and editors of that book,” she said.

A session featuring a new book on the death penalty shows another trend: The celebrity author moderators.

“The moderator for that session is Piper Kerman, who wrote Orange is the New Black which became a hit TV show,” she said.

Just like San Antonio Book Festivals in the past, this one is free.

“You will have to register to attend the festival; that’s just the nature of our online platform, but registration is free,” Gonzalez said. “There are a small number, just a handful, of ticketed sessions, and those require a book purchase.”

The Official Festival book store is the Nowhere Bookshop and they will send you a book for those select sessions.

“Somebody like Walter Isaacson, Kristin Hannah or Jeff VanderMere — those are our three ticketed sessions,” she said.

The Book Festival will be three days this year, kicking off on April 9.

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Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii