The Library Foundation's cultural series featuring
author events, musical performances, film screenings, cooking demos & art exhibitions
at the Austin Central Library

Big Wonderful Thing
Wednesday, November 20
Central Library Special Events Center

As a writer of historical fiction, Stephen Harrigan has beautifully rendered the drama of our past in his award-winning novels A Friend of Mr. Lincoln, Remember Ben Clayton, and The Gates of the Alamo. His latest work, Big Wonderful Thing, is an ambitious history of the entire state of Texas  a story of struggle and triumph in a land of extremes, a story of drought and flood, invasion and war, boom and bust, and the myriad peoples who, over centuries of conflict, gave rise to a place that has shaped the identity of the nation and the destiny of the world. Harrigan will read from and discuss Big Wonderful Thing with author and Texas Monthly executive editor Mimi Schwartz. Get your free tickets! For front-row seating and priority in the signing line, become a member of The Library Foundation.

Previous atCentral Events

Launched with the Central Library's opening on October 28, 2017, atCentral has featured an accomplished assortment of authors, musicians, artist, filmmakers, and foodies. Previous programs have featured:

Books & Authors

Hanif Abdurraqib (Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes on a Tribe Called Quest)
Sarah Bird (Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen)
Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Legacy)
Edward Carey (Little)
Brian Catling (The Cloven)
Jack E. Davis (The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea)
Ben Fountain (Beautiful Country Burn Again)
Vivien Goldman (Revenge of the She-Punks)
Andrew Sean Greer (Less)
Rachel Kushner (The Mars Room)
Bethany McLean (Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking & How It's Changing the World)
Bryan Mealer (The Kings of Big Spring: God, Oil & One Family's Search for the American Dream)
Liane Moriarty (Nine Perfect Strangers)
Christopher Paolini (The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm)
Ann Patchett (The Dutch House)
Joe Nick Patoski (
Austin to ATX: The Hippies, Pickers, Slackers, and Geeks Who Transformed the Capital of Texas)
Asher Price (Earl Campbell: Yards After Contact)

Foodies & Chefs

Christina Lane (Dinner Just for Two)
Kate McDermott (Home Cooking)
Alon Shaya (Shaya)


Ex Libris
The Secret Life of Lance Letscher


Bill Callahan
Tameca Jones
Michael Fracasso


Edward Carey
Lance Letscher
Reckonnoiter (roving performances by paper chairs)
Mirror, Mirrored (contemporary collection inspired by fairy tales)

atCentral is made possible by the generous support of ...

To become a supporter or sponsor of atCentral, contact Cecily Sailer at