Tidbits from the Austin book scene

PARIS, FRANCE - SEPTEMBER 20. American writer Jonathan Franzen poses during a portrait session held on September 20, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Ulf Andersen/Getty Images)

PARIS, FRANCE – SEPTEMBER 20. American writer Jonathan Franzen poses during a portrait session held on September 20, 2011 in Paris, France. (Photo by Ulf Andersen/Getty Images)

Several big events are coming up in books, including the Texas Teen Book Festival (September) and the Texas Book Festival on the Capitol grounds (October).

But we have lots of other prominent authors coming to town soon.

One of the biggest will be Jonathan Franzen, who’ll be at BookPeople at 7 p.m. Sept. 19. His latest is “Purity,” and it’s getting great reviews. Kirkus gives it a star, and those don’t come easily. Tickets are required for the signing.

We’ll publish the Kirkus piece the Sunday before Franzen’s appearance.

“Purity” deals with youthful idealism, extreme fidelity and murder, with a cast of characters that include good and bad parents, journalsits and leakers.

Three Austin authors, meanwhile, have new paperback releases coming up for their fine books: Elizabeth McCracken’s “Thunderstruck,” Amanda Eyre Ward’s “Under the Same Sky” and Elizabeth Crook’s “Monday, Monday.”

McCracken, meanwhile, is a big fan of another new book, “A Manual for Cleaning Women,” by Lucia Berlin. As is McCracken’s wont, she’s been tweeting about it and was quoted in a New York Times story.

Berlin died in 2004 at 68, and most critics consider her to be way-underappreciated. The new collection of her short stories was edited by Stephen Emerson and has a foreword by Lydia Davis. It’s a gritty volume, with a lot of caustic humor.


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