When you finally get to the Texas Book Festival

2015 texas book festIt took me ten years to get to the Texas Book Festival and, apparently, Margaret (fucking) Atwood. So I saw her twice.

First on Friday at the Overheard taping with Evan Smith. Then on Saturday in the House Chamber to officially start the festival.

Atwood discussed the seedy origins of The Heart Goes Last, her contribution to Katie Paterson’s Future Library, and her obsession with things like the Salem witch trials (she has an ancestor that was hanged—and lived).

She teased Evan Smith when he tried to put a number to the years she has been writing. Everything from sex robots to conservative politician bashing came up, and I learned about Zombies, Run!, in case I should ever decide to run.

My mission was simple enough after seeing Atwood. I picked out my session by names I recognized: Elizabeth McCracken, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Adeena Reitberger, and Vincent Scarpa. I learned about writers I have not read: Elizabeth Strout, Sarah Gerard, and Alexandra Kleeman. I went to a few panels, a LitCrawl reading, and skipped many things I had bookmarked.

If you haven’t been, go. Go and buy books and enjoy the excitement of reading.


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