• Austin: The New Literary Wonderland

    Posted Posted by David Duhr in WBN News & Events     Comments No comments

    ***Spoiled Alert***

    This is a post about the numerous excellent literary events happening in and around Austin, Texas over the next few days. Those of you for whom this has no relevance are more than welcome to stick around and read it. Those of you who live here are encouraged to attend as many of these as you can, and to say hello if you see us wandering around.

    Earlier this month, WBN was lucky enough to have a small hand in organizing the Texas Observer Writers’ Festival and subsequent afterparty. It’s always interesting to get a peek behind the curtain and see everything that goes into planning such events; and for a week or two afterwards I find myself in awe of people who can pull these things off without a hitch, until my self-centeredness takes hold and it becomes all about me again.

    Last weekend, I was pleased to attend a Calvin Trillin reading/Q&A session at the home of Ray and Mary Margaret Farabee, two of Austin’s most renowned supporters of literature and all other arts. (If you were there, I was the jagoff in shorts while everyone else had on their church clothes.) (And I do mean everyone else.) As hard as it is to host a successful event in a public venue, it’s even more difficult to have one in your own home. Ray and Mary Margaret were incredible hosts, Trillin was affable and assured (why wouldn’t he be? He’s Calvin Trillin), and the event raised some good money for the Observer.

    So. Now that you’ve had to read three paragraphs of expository backstory, let’s take a look at the rest of this week.

    Today WBN is hosting a seminar entitled “Kick-Starting Your Nonfiction Book,” run by our friend David Kassin Fried of DKF Writing. So there’s our shameless plug of the day. Still a couple hours to register, so get on it, and then show up here between 11:30 and noon to chill out and chat with us before the seminar begins.

    Tomorrow is a big day, too. Mr. George Saunders will be reading and signing at Texas State-San Marcos at 3:30. You Florida workshoppers will probably remember (with fondness, I must assume) our reading of his powerhouse story “The Barber’s Unhappiness.” Justine and I will be at this reading, so say howdy.

    And then tomorrow night at Domy Books on E. Cesar Chavez, there is a book launch party for and readings by Dan Boehl and Lindsay Hunter. If we’re not wiped out from Saundermania, we’ll be there.

    Another option is the Austin Bat Cave’s monthly Story Department, where a $10 cover will get you free beer and lots of laughs.

    If you miss Saunders on Thursday, you can catch him Friday at the Katherine Anne Porter House in Kyle at 7:30. WBN, though, will be at the Pale King reading on campus at the Jessen Auditorium. Readers include some favorites of ours like Amelia Gray, Doug Dorst, and Kevin Brockmeier. This, ladies and gents, is going to be a good event.

    Saturday is just a smorgasbord, thanks to the New Fiction Confab. See the site for a list of all events, but you’ll find us in the crowd at these three:

    — The Brockmeier and Gray reading/discussion at Twin Oaks Library, moderated by Jill Meyers of American Short Fiction.

    — The Julie Orringer reading, moderated by Doug Dorst.

    — The panel discussion & signing with Brockmeier and others.

    It’s a good week to be an Austinite literature lover. And if Thursday and Friday don’t wipe you out, stop by during Saturday’s Write Here and get the creative juices flowing. One of us will be here at all times, we (almost) promise.

    (Just kidding–we wholly promise)

    ***Spoiler Alert ends***

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