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Arts & Culture

The San Antonio Book Festival story continues this Saturday

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San Antonio Express-News
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San Antonio Book Festival

After a pandemic hiatus, the San Antonio Book Festival is back at the great big enchilada red library downtown this Saturday. Lilly Gonzalez is the Book Festival’s executive director. She said the event is where inanimate objects animate.

“The book festival, we like to say, is like books come to life. You can listen to the authors who write the books talking about them, giving you some juicy behind the scenes details about what went into writing the book,” Gonzalez said.

She noted that both reading and writing tend to happen in isolation.

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San Antonio Express-News
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San Antonio Book Festival

“The beauty of the book festival is that it brings those two communities together and you're able to engage with a similar passion, which is storytelling,” she said.

Attending the festival are 120 authors. While you can check the book festival’s website for a complete list, here’s a quick overview.

“We have authors for every age group. So some of our adult authors that I recommend seeing are, you know, the Pulitzer Prize winning poets, Jericho Brown and Natalie Diaz,” Gonzalez said. “We also have Lisa Olson, who wrote a fantastic book called Code of Silence. And in that session, we've actually been able to secure the whistleblower herself. So it's sure to be a really dynamic conversation.”

“And then of course, we have authors for what we call our young readers, and we have storytimes. Some of it is bilingual, so bilingual storytime happening all day in the H-E-B children's gazebo,” she said.

Texas Public Radio is supported by contributors to the Arts & Culture News Desk including The Guillermo Nicolas & Jim Foster Art Fund, Patricia Pratchett, and the V.H. McNutt Memorial Foundation.

She said even first-time attendees tend to be smitten with the festival.

“They say that they're really proud that something like this exists in our city. ‘I didn't know that this was right here in my backyard.’ Sometimes we hear that a lot,” she said.

There are food trucks for the hungry, and given the expected heat, a lot of the presentations are held indoors at the library or the Southwest School of Art. Food and parking may set you back, but not the Festival.

“The book festival is 100% free and open for all,” Gonzalez said.

The San Antonio Book Festival starts at 9 a.m. and wraps at 5 p.m.

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Lilly Gonzalez
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Monica Muñoz Martinez and John Phillip Santos
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