Author Events

R. Marie Griffith – Moral Combat

Tuesday, January 23, 7pm
Left Bank Books

R. Marie Griffith, Moral Combat, Left Bank BooksLeft Bank Books welcomes Washington University professor of religion & politics R. Marie Griffith, who will sign and discuss her new book, Moral Combat: How Sex Divided American Christians and Fractured American Politics!

Gay marriage, transgender rights, birth control—sex is at the heart of many of the most divisive political issues of our age. The origins of these conflicts, historian R. Marie Griffith argues, lie in sharp disagreements that emerged among American Christians a century ago. From the 1920s onward, a once-solid Christian consensus regarding gender roles and sexual morality began to crumble, as liberal Protestants sparred with fundamentalists and Catholics over questions of obscenity, sex education, and abortion. Moral Combat is a history of how the Christian consensus on sex unraveled, and how this unraveling has made our political battles over sex so ferocious and so intractable.

"Thoughtful study of the great schism between religious conservatives and progressives about women's control over their own bodies." —Kirkus Reviews

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Moral Combat from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 7:00pm

Steven Pinker – Enlightenment Now

Saturday, March 3, 7pm
St. Louis County Library

Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom. Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing.

This event is presented by the St. Louis County Library. For more information, please call 314-994-3300.




Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 7:00pm

Observable Readings: Erika L.Sánchez, Ari Banias & Aaron Coleman

Monday, April 2, 7:30pm
Dressel's Public House

Erika L. Sánchez is a poet, essayist, and fiction writer. Her first collection of poetry, Lessons on Expulsion, was published by Graywolf Press in fall 2017. Her young adult novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, was published by Knopf Books for Young Readers in fall 2017, and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her nonfiction has also appeared in Al Jazeera, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. She has received a CantoMundo Fellowship, a “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargeant Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. She was recently named a 2017-2018 Princeton Arts Fellow. She lives in Chicago.

Ari Banias is the author of Anybody (W.W. Norton, 2016). He was born in Los Angeles, grew up in the Chicago area, and currently lives in Berkeley, CA, where he teaches poetry and works with small press books. He holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and an MFA in poetry from Hunter College, where he was a teaching fellow. The author of a chapbook, What’s Personal is Being Here With All of You (Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs, 2012), his poems appear in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Guernica, LARB Quarterly, Poetry, A Public Space, The Volta, and as part of the MOTHA exhibition Transgender Hirstory in 99 Objects. He is the recipient of the 2014 Cecil Hemley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America and the 2012 Campbell Corner Prize, and has been awarded fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and Stanford University’s Wallace Stegner program.

Aaron Coleman is the author of the chapbook St. Trigger, which won the 2015 Button Poetry Prize, judged by Adrian Matejka, and his first full-length collection, Threat Come Close, is forthcoming from Four Way Books in March 2018. A Fulbright Scholar and Cave Canem Fellow, Aaron received his MFA from Washington University in St. Louis. From Metro-Detroit, Aaron has lived and worked with youth in locations including Chicago, St. Louis, Spain, South Africa, and Kalamazoo. Former Public Projects Assistant at Pulitzer Arts Foundation, winner of the Tupelo Quarterly TQ5 Poetry Contest, The Cincinnati Review Schiff Award, and the American Literary Translator Association’s 2017 Jansen Memorial Fellow, Aaron’s poems have appeared in Boston Review, Fence, New York Times Magazine, and elsewhere. He is currently a Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow in Washington University’s Comparative Literature PhD program.

Suggested $5.00 donation at the door.

Monday, April 2, 2018 - 7:30pm

Chris Bohjalian – The Flight Attendant

Tuesday, March 13, 7pm
St. Louis County Library HQ

Nationally bestselling author of The Guest Room and The Double Bind, Chris Bohjalian delivers a powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night. Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings--her job as a flight attendant making it easy to find adventure. The occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable, but harmless—until she awakes in a Dubai hotel room with a dead man by her side and no idea what has happened, Set amid the captivating world of those whose lives unfold at forty thousand feet, The Flight Attendant unveils a spellbinding story of memory, of the giddy pleasures of alcohol and the devastating consequences of addiction, and of murder far from home.

This event is presented by the St. Louis County Library. For more information, please call 314-994-3300.



Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 7:00pm

Elaine Weiss – The Woman's Hour

Monday, March 12, 7pm
St. Louis County Library HQ

Presented by the ‘Buzz’ Westfall Favorite Author Series

Nashville, August 1920. Thirty-five states have ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, twelve have rejected or refused to vote, and one last state is needed. It all comes down to Tennessee, the moment of truth for the suffragists, after a seven-decade crusade. Following a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle, The Woman's Hour is an inspiring story of activists winning their own freedom in one of the first great twentieth-century battles for civil rights.

This event is presented by the St. Louis County Library. For more information, please call 314-994-3300.



Monday, March 12, 2018 - 7:00pm

Peter Carey – A Long Way From Home

Tuesday, March 6, 7pm
St. Louis Public Library HQ

Two-time Booker Prize-winning author, Peter Carey presents a wildly exuberant, wily new novel that circumnavigates 1954 Australia, revealing as much about the country as it does about three audacious individuals who take part in the infamous 10,000-mile race, the Redex Trial. This thrilling high-speed tale is often funny, even more so as the world gets stranger. Set in the 1950s, this is a world Americans will find surprisingly familiar: black, white, who we are, how we got here, and what we did to each other along the way.

This event is presented by the St. Louis County Library. For more information, please call 314-994-3300.




Tuesday, March 6, 2018 - 7:00pm

George Saunders – Lincoln in the Bardo

Saturday, February 17, 7pm
St. Louis County Library HQ

Master of the short story, George Saunders’ long-awaited first novel is a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. Lincoln in the Bardo won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for best original novel written in the English language.

Ticket Information:

 Individual Ticket - $20 (admits ONE and includes one paperback copy of Lincoln in the Bardo) OR Package Ticket - $25 (admits TWO and includes one paperback copy of Lincoln in the Bardo).

Tickets can be purchased starting January 8 through Brown Paper Tickets or at Library Headquarters. (No refunds.) For more information, please contact the St. Louis County Library at 314-994-3300.


Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 7:00pm

One Book, One Kirkwood: Stephanie Powell Watts – No One Is Coming to Save Us

Wednesday, May 2, 7pm
Kirkwood Public Library

This year’s choice for One Book, One Kirkwood is No One is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts! 

JJ Ferguson's return home to Pinewood, North Carolina and his plans to build a huge mansion overlooking the town and pursue his high school sweetheart, Ava, not only unsettles their family, but stirs up the entire town. The ostentatious wealth that JJ has attained forces everyone to consider what more they want and deserve from life than what they already have-and how they might go about getting it. Can they shape their lives to align with their wishes rather than their realities? Or are they already resigned to the rhythms of the particular lives they lead? 

“Patient yet rich . . . Watts powerfully depicts the struggles many Americans face trying to overcome life’s inevitable disappointments. But it’s the compassion she feels for her characters’ vulnerability and desires . . . that make the story so relevant and memorable.” —Publishers Weekly


This event is presented by the Kirkwood Public Library. For more information, please call 314-821-5770.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 - 7:00pm

Valentine's Event with Amy Bloom – White Houses

Thursday, February 15, 7pm
Ethical Society of St. Louis

Join Left Bank Books and Maryville Talks Books for a Valentine's Event with Amy Bloom, author of the new historical novel White Houses!

An untraditional life and love story, White Houses is inspired by the life of Lorena Hickok, and on her love affair and enduring friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Told from Lorena Hickok’s perspective, this novel is inspired by her life and by her relationship and long-term friendship with beloved Eleanor Roosevelt, the “First Lady of the World”. Hickok was the AP reporter who became “First Friend” and the love of Eleanor’s life. White Houses takes us behind the scenes in the Roosevelt White House, where Lorea lived, and follows Hickok’s life from childhood, and then in tandem with Eleanor’s, the ups and downs of being “First Friend,” through the death of FDR, and finally of Eleanor.

“It seems a minor miracle, what Amy Bloom has done in White Houses. Easily, the most intimate, crackling, and expansive rendering of Eleanor Roosevelt in print, and, more than this, a dizzyingly beautiful tale of what it means to be human, and what it is to love.” —Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

Ticket Information:

– A $30 ticket admits ONE person and includes ONE hardcover copy of White Houses.
– A $35 ticket admits TWO people and includes ONE hardcover copy of White Houses and a $5 rebate towards the purchase of a second copy of White Houses at the event.

Tickets available below. Please note: those who purchase a ticket and do not attend the event must pick up their copy of White Houses or contact Left Bank Books to arrange for shipping within 60 days of the event.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018 - 7:00pm

Catherine Kautsky – Debussy's Paris

Monday, March 12, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books welcomes author and pianist Catherine Kautsky, who will sign and discuss her new book, Debussy's Paris: Piano Portraits of the Belle Époque, with St. Louis Post-Dispatch theater critic Judith Newmark!

Claude Debussy's exquisite piano works have captivated generations with their dreamlike atmosphere and mysterious soundscapes. Written in Paris at the height of the Belle Époque, the music creates a soundtrack for Parisians' enjoyment of such delights as clowns, mermaids, eccentric dances, and the dark tales of Edgar Allan Poe. Debussy's Paris explores how key works reflect not only the most appealing and innocent aspects of Paris but also more disquieting attitudes of the time such as racism, colonial domination, and nationalistic hostility. Pianist Catherine Kautsky reveals little-known elements of Parisian culture and weaves the music, the man, the city, and the era into an indissoluble whole.

"Kautsky has written a wonderful book, a kind of total immersion in the Debussyan magic, and in the endless fascination of fin-de-siècle Paris . . . I was entranced and delighted throughout."
—Richard Goode, Grammy Award–winning concert pianist

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Debussy's Paris from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Monday, March 12, 2018 - 7:00pm