UNT’s Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference has announced the slate for this year’s chat-and-chew in July.
The high points? Mary Karr (left), author of The Liars’ Club and her latest recovering-from-alcoholism memoir, Lit, will be the keynote speaker the opening evening — this year, to be held at the Austin Ranch, a dude facility in Grapevine. The other two keynote speakers will be Mark Bowden, best known as the author of Black Hawk Down, and Gary Smith, the senior writer for Sports Illustrated. Jack Shafer, Slate’s editor-at-large and a noted media critic, will hold forth in a “plenary session,” as will NPR’s Mandalit del Barco. Bryan Burrough, best known hereabouts as the author of a new history of Texas oil (The Big Rich), is also a contributing writer for Vanity Fair, which is what he’ll be talking about. Hampton Sides, who’s visited the Mayborn before (with his Kit Carson book, Blood and Thunder), is back with a new book about the manhunt for Martin Luther King assassin James Earl Ray (Hellhound on His Trail).
Of particular interest to me: book reviewers/book editors Steve Weinberg, Ed Nawotka (Bloomberg News) and Mike Merschel (Dallas Morning News) will hold forth on a panel about getting famous and getting rich writing about books.
They’re being bitter and ironic.
You can see the entire schedule here.