Photo courtesy of the Dallas Public Library.


Let’s Read About the Dallas Book Festival

Authors Andrew Solomon, Paulette Jiles, and Yaa Gyasi will appear at the free, daylong fest, returning this spring.

The Dallas Book Festival will run alongside the Dallas Festival of Ideas this year, turning the downtown library and city hall into twin oases of active readers on April 29.

The book festival, a daylong series of readings, discussions, and book-minded events with renowned authors occupying all eight floors of the library’s downtown branch, announced its lineup of literary headliners today. It includes Andrew Solomon, who won a National Book Award for nonfiction for The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, and poet Paulette Jiles.

On the other side of Young Street at Dallas City Hall, the Festival of Ideas will unfold as a series of forums discussing innovative ideas for the city. The two festivals will share a headliner at the end of the day with a talk featuring the writer Yaa Gyasi, the author of the acclaimed 2016 novel Homegoing.

Both events are free to attend, and more information on each can be found here or here.

Below is a press release with more info from the Friends of the Dallas Public Library:

National Book Award Winner Andrew Solomon and acclaimed authors Greg Iles, Paulette Jiles, Eric Litwin and Kristen Radke headline the 2017 Dallas Book Festival, a daylong celebration of literature, arts and culture on Saturday, April 29.

For the first time, the annual Book Festival is being held in conjunction with the Dallas Festival of Ideas, a series of forums, seminars and discussions about the city’s future, for a unique, unprecedented event in downtown Dallas.

“We’re thrilled about this collaboration,” said Kate Park, executive director of Friends of the Dallas Public Library, which is presenting the Book Festival along with the Dallas Public Library. “Together we’re presenting an amazing array of writers, thinkers and performers who will engage, entertain and challenge our city.”

The Book Festival will take place on all eight floors of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, 1515 Young St. The Festival of Ideas will be centered across the street at Dallas City Hall. The two festivals will combine for the closing session, featuring a conversation with novelist Yaa Gyasi, with complementary programming throughout the day. All events are free and open to the public.

The full schedule will be available soon at Details of the Festival of Ideas can be found at

The Book Festival, which began in 2006, drew more than 4,000 people last year. It features dozens of authors in individual presentations, interviews about their work or taking part in panels. Among the notable writers attending are:

  • Andrew Solomon, who won the National Book Award for The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, and is a noted authority on mental health.
  • Kristen Radtke, a writer and illustrator whose appearance coincides with the release of her graphic memoir, Imagine Wanting Only This.
  • Paulette Jiles, a novelist and poet whose most recent book, News of the World, was a National Book Award finalist.
  • Eric Litwin, a musician and best-selling author of children’s books who inaugurated the popular Pete the Cat series.
  • Greg Iles, whose 15 novels include the best-selling Natchez Burning and The Bone Tree and the forthcoming Mississippi Blood, to be released March 21. Iles will be featured in conversation with Stanley Nelson, editor of the Concordia (La.) Sentinel, whose investigations of the Ku Klux Klan and unsolved racially motivated murders in the region inspired many of Iles’ books.

Other highlights include storytelling for children, craft projects, and discussions ranging from sportswriting and Shakespeare to quilting and ferreting out truth in an era of fake news.

Festival sponsors include The Dallas Morning News, Dallas Museum of Art, the Roy & Christine Sturgis Charitable Trust, Half Price Books, Deep Vellum Publishing, UNT’s Mayborn School of Journalism, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Community Coffee, Habitat for Humanity, Institute of Texas Culture,, Tissu, Society of Children’s Book Writers, Dallas Modern Quilt Guild, Urban Spools and WordSpace.