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Austin, Ep. 6

October 26, 2013 — In the greatest morning masterclash in literary history, Literary Death Match returned to the Texas Book Festival (and the Paramount Theatre) for a humdinger that finished with Team Chris L. Terry outdueling Team Sasha West by a final score of 63-49 in Lone Star Lit finale that won Terry the LDM Austin, Ep. 6 crown.

But before dopy Amazon reviews were shouted, the morning commenced with Chris L Terry (author of Zero Fade) lighting up the stage with a skateboarding-specific story that had the crowd enraptured. Next up was Nina McConigley, who read a giggle-inducing story from her wonderful collection Cowboys and East Indians

The mic was then handed to the night's trio of all-star judges: A.M. Homes, award-winning author of May We Be Forgiven and This Book Will Save Your LifeCristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, performance poet and author of The Year of No MistakesJacob Tomsky, author of The New York Times bestselling hotel memoir Heads in BedsThe three dealt high praise mixed with crowd-pleasing barbs (Aptowicz loving Terry's "Salinger" cosplay choice, but criticzing McConigley for being too beautiful) before deciding that it would be Terry who would advance to the finals. 

After a brief intermission that lasted .4 seconds, Round 2 began with Sasha West, author of the National Poetry Series' Failure and I Bury the Body, who read a rich foursome of short poems — featuring skinning rabbits and disguising profanities by having the crowd bleep them out. Finally, it was Jonathan Lethem (National Book Critics Circle Award winner of Dissident Gardens and Motherless Brooklyn) making his first LDM appearance since starring in the LDM TV: The Pilot 10 months before. Lethem wowed with The Drew Barrymore Stories (which are so brilliantly hilarious, they have to be read/heard to be believed). Again the judges were under the spotlight, and after another round of fun-time commentary the three decided West had narrowly conquered Lethem, naming her the a.m.'s second finalist. 

Then LDM creator Adrian Todd Zuniga took center stage, announcing the Lone Star Lit finale, in which he read off 1-star Amazon book reviews written about the 100 Best Books of All-Time. The finalists (teamed with a mix of volunteers from the crowd, judges and semi-finalists) took turns nailing book after book, but with everything to play for in overtime, it was Chris L. Terry who shouted out the final answer, winning him the LDM Austin, Ep. 6 medal, and literary immortality to go with it. 

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