Author Events

Scott Kelly: Endurance

Tuesday, November 7, 7pm
St. Louis University High School Performance Arts Center

Left Bank Books retired astronaut Scott Kelly, who will discuss his new book, Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery!

The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, astronaut Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have: How does it feel to be launched in a rocket? What happens to your body in zero gravity? What do you do when you get a toothache 250 miles above the Earth? Kelly discusses this and more in Endurance, which recounts his year aboard the ISS as well as his rough-and-tumble New Jersey childhood and what sparked his astounding career, changing his trajectory from an unfocused, below-average student to a record-setting astronaut. Learn about his life on and off this planet, and what it will take to make the journey to Mars. As Kelly says—a lesson he's learned firsthand—"if we can dream it, we can do it."

"[Endurance] is replete with humor, thrills, surreal details, and recurring moments of ordinary humanity that turn Kelly's tale into a loving tribute to the pioneering individuals who risk all to shepherd man's exploration of the vast beyond." —Khaled Hosseini, And the Mountains Echoed

Ticket Information:

– A $35 ticket admits ONE and include ONE pre-signed copy of Endurance.
– A $40 ticket admits TWO and includes ONE pre-signed copy of Endurance and a $5 rebate towards the purchase of a second copy at the event.

Tickets available below. Please note: All copies of Endurance will come pre-signed. Scott will not be signing books at this event. Those who purchase a ticket and do not attend the event must pick up their copy of Endurance or contact Left Bank Books to arrange for shipping within 60 days of the event.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2017 - 7:00pm

Tom Batiuk: Lisa's Legacy Trilogy

Tuesday, October 24, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books welcomes Funky Winkerbean cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize nominee Tom Batiuk, who will sign and discuss the Lisa's Legacy Trilogy, which includes Prelude: Lisa's Story BeginsLisa's Story: The Other Shoe, and The Last Leaf: Lisa's Story Concludes

Timed to the 10th anniversary of Lisa’s Story, in which Lisa battles and ultimately succumbs to breast cancer, Tom Batiuk expands Lisa’s universe with two new titles: Prelude and The Last Leaf. 

Prelude, a prequel to The Other Shoe, brings together a collection of early Funky Winkerbean comic strips depicting the beginning of Lisa and Les’s relationship. First introduced in 1984, Lisa became a pivotal character in Les’s story, as well as becoming a central figure in her own arc that has resonated with readers for decades. Prelude follows Les as he begins dating and then breaks up with Lisa, before realizing how much he misses her—only to discover she is pregnant with someone else’s child.

In The Last Leaf, the sequel to The Other Shoe, Batiuk depicts the fallout of Lisa’s death as her husband Les and their daughter mourn and try to find a way to move forward. Lisa returns to the strip in Les’s imagination as he works through his grief and struggles to make decisions regarding their family’s life.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of at least one of the books in Lisa's Legacy Trilogy from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 7:00pm

Jo Ann Kargus: Cardinals Splendor Drink & Draw

Tuesday, September 5, 7pm
Llywelyn's Pub CWE

Cardinals Splendor, Left Bank Books, Jo Ann KargusHappy Hour Specials, baseball on the flatscreen, and crayons for all sports fans! Join Jo Ann Kargus for the third in her series of St. Louis-themed coloring books for grown folks, Cardinals Splendor! Color in your favorite baseball scenes as we watch the away game and drain some pints.

Cardinals Splendor features beautifully rendered images of beloved players, events and places of the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball team. Drawing by hand to produce intricate line drawings, St. Louis artist Jo Ann Kargus (a lifetime Cardinal baseball fan) takes us through the celebrated history of the team. Enjoy World Series victories, celebrated players, and iconic images dear to every Cardinal fan. Encounter places and people we all know and love—from Sportsmans Park to the famous “Go Crazy Folks” Ozzie Smith—in this delightful, illustrated tour of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 7:00pm

David Collins: Accidental Activists

Monday, September 18, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books welcomes author David Collins, who will sign and discuss his new book, Accidental Activists: Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and Their Fight for Marriage Equality in Texas, with Post-Dispatch reporter Doug Moore!

In early 2013 same-sex marriage was legal in only ten states and the District of Columbia. That year the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor appeared to open the door to marriage equality. In Texas, Mark Phariss and Vic Holmes, together for sixteen years and deeply in love, wondered why no one had stepped across the threshold to challenge their state's 2005 constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. Accidental Activists is the deeply moving story of two men who struggled to achieve the dignity of which Justice Anthony Kennedy spoke in a series of Supreme Court decisions on same-sex marriage that recognized the essential humanity of gay and lesbian people.

“This is the best book on the hugely important topic of gay marriage that I have encountered."
—George Hodgman, Bettyville

Doug Moore has been a reporter with the Post-Dispatch since 2000 His current beat is diversity and demographics, which includes covering issues involving race, gay rights, refugee resettlement and immigration reform. He was the recipient of the 2010 Terry Hughes Award, given annually by the St. Louis Newspaper Guild to a reporter who champions the underdog and brings attention to populations that would not otherwise have a voice. He has also won writing awards from the Missouri Press Association (2015), the Missouri Associated Press Media Editors (2015), the Missouri Press Foundation (2014), and has twive been a finalist for a Great Plains Journalism Award (2017).



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

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

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 7:00pm

Dan Jones: The Templars

Tuesday, September 26, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Dan Jones, The Templars, Left Bank BooksLeft Bank Books welcomes bestselling author and historical consultant Dan Jones, who will sign and discuss his new book, The Templars: The Rise and Spectacular Fall of God's Holy Warriors!

Jerusalem 1119. A small group of knights seeking a purpose in the violent aftermath of the First Crusade decides to set up a new order. These are the first Knights of Templar, a band of elite warriors prepared to give their lives to protect Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. Their legend has inspired fervent speculation ever since. But who were they really and what actually happened? In this groundbreaking narrative history, the bestselling author of The Plantagenets tells the true story of the Templars for the first time in a generation, drawing on extensive original sources to build a gripping account of these Christian holy warriors whose heroism and depravity have so often been shrouded in myth.

“With engaging liveliness and not even a penknife to grind, Jones chronicles the Templars’ actual record of great military achievement, fiduciary responsibility, exceptional faithfulness, and lasting  cultural significance.” —Booklist 

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

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 - 7:00pm

River Styx: Morgan Parker & Aliki Barnstone

Monday, September 18, 7:30pm
Contemporary Art Museum

Aliki Barnstone, Morgan Parker, River Styx, Left Bank BooksRiver Styx’s beloved reading series opens its 43rd season with Aliki Barnstone and Morgan Parker on September 18th at 7:30 p.m. at the Contemporary Art Museum, located at 3750 Washington Boulevard. Admission is $5 for the general public and $4 for students and seniors. 

Aliki Barnstone, the current Missouri Poet Laureate, is author of eight books of poetry, most recently, Dwelling (Sheep Meadow, 2016) and Bright Body (White Pine, 2011). She is a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Missouri.

Morgan Parker is the author of  poetry collections There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé (Tin House Books, 2017) and Other People’s Comfort Keeps Me Up At Night (Switchback Books, 2015), which was selected for the 2013 Gatewood Prize and as a finalist for the Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber Award. In 2017, she received a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship.


This event is presented by River Styx. To find out more about River Styx at CAM, visit

Monday, September 18, 2017 - 7:30pm

100 Boots Poetry Series: Wendy Xu & Rickey Laurentiis

Friday, September 22, 7pm
Pulitzer Arts Foundation

100 Boots, Wendy Xu, Rickey Laurentiis, Left Bank BooksIn the second season of the 100 Boots Poetry Series, co-organized by poet, curator, and former director of fort gondo, Jessica Baran, and St. Louis-based poet and educator, Ted Mathys, the Pulitzer continues its collaboration which presents readings by a range of emerging, mid-career, and established poets from St. Louis and across the United States. This season will open with poets Wendy Xu and Rickey Laurentiis.

Born in China, poet Wendy Xu was raised in New York and Iowa. She attended the University of Iowa, where she earned a BA, and she completed graduate studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Xu’s collection You Are Not Dead (2013) was profiled as one of the year’s best debuts by Poets & Writers Magazine; her second collection of poetry is Phrasis (2017). She is also the author of the chapbooks I Was Not Even Born (2013, coauthored with Nick Sturm) and The Hero Poems (2011). Her poetry was featured in The Best American Poetry 2013, and selected for a Patricia Goedicke Prize in Poetry by D.A. Powell.

Rickey Laurentiis is the author of Boy with Thorn, selected by Terrance Hayes for the 2014 Cave Canem Poetry Prize (University of Pittsburgh Press). He is recipient of a 2014 fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Italy, a 2013 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2012 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship.

This event is presented by the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. For more information, please visit

Friday, September 22, 2017 - 7:00pm

Gail Lukasik: White Like Her

Thursday, November 16, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Gail Lukasik, White Like Her, Left Bank BooksLeft Bank Books welcomes award-winning author and poet Gail Lukasik, who will sign and discuss her new book, White Like Her: My Family's Story of Race and Racial Passing!

White Like Her is the story of Gail Lukasik’s mother’s “passing,” Gail’s struggle with the shame of her mother’s choice, and her subsequent journey of self-discovery and redemption. In the historical context of the Jim Crow South, Gail explores her mother’s decision to pass, how she hid her secret even from her own husband, and the price she paid for choosing whiteness. Haunted by her mother’s fear and shame, Gail embarks on a quest to uncover her mother’s racial lineage, tracing her family back to eighteenth-century colonial Louisiana. In coming to terms with her decision to publicly out her mother, Gail changed how she looks at race and heritage.

“Important in helping us understand America’s complex racial history . . . Adds to the ongoing conversation about race and racial identity in America because it looks at the ramifications of institutionalized racialism and racial passing through one family’s story.” —Kenyatta D. Berry, host of PBS’s Genealogy Roadshow

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

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

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 7:00pm

Launch Party for Mary Jo Bang: A Doll for Throwing

Thursday, August 31, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Mary Jo Bang, A Doll for Throwing, Left Bank BooksLeft Bank Books presents the Launch Party for A Doll for Throwing, the new collection from award-winning poet and Washington University professor Mary Jo Bang! Refreshments will be served.

A Doll for Throwing takes it title from Bauhaus artist Alma Siedhoff-Buscher's Wurfpuppe, a flexible and durable woven doll that, if thrown, would land with grace. A ventriloquist is also said to “throw” her voice into a doll that rests on the knee. Mary Jo Bang’s prose poems in this fascinating book create a speaker who had been a part of the Bauhaus school in Germany a century ago and who had also seen the school’s collapse when it was shut by the Nazis in 1933. Since this speaker is not a person but only a construct, she is also equally alive in the present, and gives voice to the conditions of both time periods: nostalgia, xenophobia, and political extremism.

“Bang’s impeccable collection reads as a ‘circular mirror of the social order,’ reflecting the historicity of our current moment with wit, subtlety, and grace.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)


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

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

Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 7:00pm

SOLD OUT: Al Franken: Al Franken, Giant of the Senate

Saturday, August 12, 7pm
Ethical Society of St. Louis


Left Bank Books welcomes author, comedian, and Senator Al Franken, who will sign and discuss his new memoir, Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, with freelance writer and author Daniel Durchholz!

From Senator Al Franken—#1 bestselling author and beloved SNL alum—comes the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and then discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that. In this candid personal memoir, the honorable gentleman from Minnesota takes his army of loyal fans along with him from Saturday Night Live to the campaign trail, inside the halls of Congress, and behind the scenes of some of the most dramatic and/or hilarious moments of his new career in politics. Has Al Franken become a true Giant of the Senate? Franken asks readers to decide for themselves.

"In this excellent, insightful memoir, comedian turned senator Franken . . . tells the story of his remarkable life & times with a sense of humor that is always irreverent and often self-deprecating." —Publishers Weekly

Daniel Durchholz is a freelance writer, editor, and author of several books on music, including Rock and Roll Myths: The True Stories Behind the Most Infamous Legends and Neil Young: Long May You Run - the Illustrated History. He has written for Rolling Stone, Billboard, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and many other publications, appeared as a regular contributor to radio stations KMOX and KTRS, and taught classes at Webster University and elsewhere. 

Ticket Information:

– A $35 ticket admits ONE person and includes ONE hardcover copy of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate.

Signing Gudelines:

– UPDATED: Senator Franken will sign all copies of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate purchased from Left Bank Books, as well as copies of his prevous books. Senator Franken WILL NOT be personalizing books at this event. Left Bank Books will have additional copies of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate, as well as a selection of his previous books, available for purchase at the event.
– Senator Franken is unable to pose for photos. You may take candid photos from the signing line, and of Senator Franken signing your book, but no guests will be allowed behind the signing table to pose.   

Please Note: Those who purchase a ticket and do not attend the event much pick up their copy of Al Franken, Giant of the Senate or contact Left Bank Books to arrange for shipping within 60 days of the event.

Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 7:00pm