Left-Bank

Author Events

Liv Constantine with Oline Cogdill - Stranger in the Mirror

Wednesday, July 21, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes bestselling authors of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick The Last Mrs. Parrish
Liv Constantine,
who will discuss their new book, 
The Stranger in the Mirror,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on July 21st.
Constantine will be in conversation with Mystery Fiction Critic for the Sun Sentinel
Oline Cogdill.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a SIGNED copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
About Stranger in the Mirror

A diabolically twisty, psychologically unsettling novel about a woman with no recollection of her past from the authors of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Wife Stalker.

"Liv Constantine plants her flag squarely in land staked out by the likes of Lisa Gardner and Karin Slaughter."--Providence Journal

Addison's about to get married, but she's not looking forward to the big day. It's not her fiancé; he's a wonderful man. It's because Addison doesn't know who she really is. A few years ago, a kind driver found her bleeding next to a New Jersey highway and rescued her. While her physical wounds healed, Addison's memory never returned. She doesn't know her real name. Or how she ended up injured on the side of a road. Or why she can't shake the notion that she may have done something very, very bad . . .

In a posh home in the Boston suburbs, Julian tries to figure out what happened to his loving, caring wife, Cassandra, who disappeared without a trace two years ago. She would never have left him and their seven-year-old daughter Valentina of her own free will--or would she?

As these two lives intersect, The Stranger in the Mirror hooks readers with riveting drama, told with Liv Constantine's hallmark blend of glamour, tense psychological thrills, and jaw-dropping twists.

"Gripping! Equal parts character study and domestic thriller, THE STRANGER IN THE MIRROR makes for a perfect weekend read--a highly enjoyable page-turner where you race to the end, breathless to discover the shocking truth."-- Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

"I devoured this twisty, chilling, and hypnotic thriller in just two feverish sittings, desperate to guess what was going to happen next (but failing!) Told from shifting perspectives, THE STRANGER IN THE MIRROR is not only a propulsive, psychological suspense with heart-pounding twists, it's also a richly-drawn, riveting story about a woman with amnesia, frantic to recover her identity in a house-of-mirrors world where nothing is what it seems."-- May Cobb, author of The Hunting Wives

 

About our Speakers

Liv Constantine is the pen name of sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine. Together, they are the bestselling author of the Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick The Last Mrs. Parrish, The Last Time I Saw You, The Wife Stalker, and The Stranger in the Mirror. Their books have been praised by USA Today, The Sunday Times, People Magazine, and Good Morning America, among many others. Lynne and Valerie are national and international bestselling authors and their books have been translated into 27 languages, are available in 32 countries and are in development for television and film. Lynne lives in Milford, Connecticut; Valerie in Annapolis, Maryland.

Oline H. Cogdill reviews mystery fiction for Publishers Weekly, Shelf Awareness, Associated Press, Mystery Scene magazine, and the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale/Tribune Publishing Wire. She also blogs regularly at mysteryscenemag.com. She has received the 2013 Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America, the 1999 Ellen Nehr Award by the American Crime Writers League, and the 1997 Sun Sentinel’s Pettijohn Award. Oline is a judge for the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Los Angeles Times Book Prize in the mystery/thriller category.

 

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 7:00pm

Henry Schvey with Robert Duffy - Blue Song

Thursday, June 24, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes St. Louis author
Henry Schvey,
who will discuss his new biography of Tennessee Williams, 
Blue Song: St. Louis in the Life and Work of Tennessee Williams,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on June 24th.
Schvey will be in conversation with St. Louis' esteemed former journalist
Robert Duffy.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
About Blue Song: St. Louis in the Life and Work of Tennessee Williams
In 2011, the centennial of Tennessee Williams's birth, events were held around the world honoring America's greatest playwright. There were festivals, conferences, and exhibitions held in places closely associated with Williams's life and career--New Orleans held major celebrations, as did New York, Key West, and Provincetown. But absolutely nothing was done to celebrate Williams's life and extraordinary literary and theatrical career in the place that he lived in longest, and called home longer than any other--St. Louis, Missouri.

The question of this paradox lies at the heart of this book, an attempt not so much to correct the record about Williams's well-chronicled dislike of the city, but rather to reveal how the city was absolutely indispensable to his formation and development both as a person and artist. Unlike the prevailing scholarly narrative that suggests that Williams discovered himself artistically and sexually in the deep South and New Orleans, Blue Song reveals that Williams remained emotionally tethered to St. Louis for a host of reasons for the rest of his life.

"When Tennessee Williams was asked what brought him to New Orleans, he said 'St Louis'. In this eminently readable and exhaustively researched study, Henry Schvey deftly swivels the spotlight illuminating the work of Tennessee Williams from the freedom of New Orleans which is typically heralded as the source of his greatness and shines it boldly back into the prison of Tennessee's life in 'Saint Pollution' which enshrouded him with a darkness he was never able to escape. A notable contribution to the understanding of this great ever fascinating American playwright."-- John Guare, playwright and screenwriter, author of The House of Blue Leaves and Six Degrees of Separation

"Blue Song delves deeply and insightfully into St. Louis' complicated influence on Williams's life and work. A fantastic read."-- Carrie Houk, Executive Artistic Director, Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis

 

About our Speakers

Henry I. Schvey is Professor of Drama and Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis and the author of three books, including Oskar Kokoschka: The Painter as Playwright. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

Robert W. Duffy reported on arts and culture for St. Louis Public Radio. He had a 32-year career at the Post-Dispatch, then helped to found the St. Louis Beacon, which merged in January with St. Louis Public Radio. He has written about the visual arts, music, architecture and urban design throughout his career.

 

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 7:00pm

Laura McHugh with Julia Dahl - What's Done in Darkness

Tuesday, June 22, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes bestselling Missouri author
Laura McHugh,
who will discuss her new dark thriller, 
What's Done in Darkness,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on June 22nd.
McHugh will be in conversation with critically acclaimed author
Julia Dahl.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
About What's Done in Darkness
Abducted as a teenager, a woman must now confront her past and untangle the truth of what really happened to her in this dark thriller from the author of The Wolf Wants In.

"Laura McHugh expertly delivers a harrowing tale of a world where little is what it first appears to be."--Ron Rash, bestselling author of Serena
 
Seventeen-year-old Sarabeth has become increasingly rebellious since her parents found God and moved their family to a remote Arkansas farmstead where she's forced to wear long dresses, follow strict rules, and grow her hair down to her waist. She's all but given up on escaping the farm when a masked man appears one stifling summer morning and snatches her out of the cornfield.
 
A week after her abduction, she's found alongside a highway in a bloodstained dress--alive--but her family treats her like she's tainted, and there's little hope of finding her captor, who kept Sarabeth blindfolded in the dark the entire time, never uttering a word. One good thing arises from the horrific ordeal: a chance to leave the Ozarks and start a new life.
 
Five years later, Sarabeth is struggling to keep her past buried when investigator Nick Farrow calls. Convinced that her case is connected to the strikingly similar disappearance of another young girl, Farrow wants Sarabeth's help, and he'll do whatever it takes to get it, even if that means dragging her back to the last place she wants to go--the hills and hollers of home, to face her estranged family and all her deepest fears.
 
In this riveting new novel from Laura McHugh, blood ties and buried secrets draw a young woman back into the nightmare of her past to save a missing girl, unaware of what awaits her in the darkness.
 
"Laura McHugh is already on everyone's short list of crime writers to watch for, someone who just goes from strength to strength. What's Done in Darkness is timely, but more important, it's a deeply empathetic look at a community and place that are all too easy to stereotype. Compulsively, propulsively readable, it never loses sight of what's really at stake for its characters--or its readers. --Laura Lippman, bestselling author of Lady in the Lake
"It's hard to find a truly original thriller these days, one that's populated with unique characters and a plot that feels fresh. But with What's Done in Darkness, Laura McHugh has managed a new spin on the genre. From the suffocating isolation of a religious cult to the twisted loyalties of family, this page-turner takes readers on a journey into the dark heart of the Ozarks. A riveting, poignant, and propulsive read." --Amy Engel, bestselling author of The Familiar Dark
 

About our Speakers

Laura McHugh is the internationally bestselling author of The Weight of Blood, winner of an International Thriller Writers Award and a Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award for best first novel; Arrowood, an International Thriller Writers Award finalist for best novel; and The Wolf Wants In. McHugh lives in Missouri with her husband and their daughters.

Julia Dahl is the author of ConvictionRun You Down, and Invisible City, which was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, one of the Boston Globe's Best Books of 2014, and has been translated into eight languages. A former reporter for CBS News and the New York Post, she now teaches journalism at NYU.

 

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 7:00pm

Clare Mackintosh with Sandie Jones - Hostage

Tuessday, June 22, 1pm CT
Private Online Event - Book Purchase Required

Left Bank Books welcomes bestselling suspense author
Clare Mackintosh,
who will discuss her new "explosively addictive thriller", 
Hostage,
on our Facebook Live Page at 1pm CT on June 22nd.
Mackintosh will be in conversation with author of
The Other Woman (a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club pick)
Sandie Jones.
This is an exclusive event that requires purchase of a SIGNED copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
About Hostage
Feels like a blockbuster movie.--Lisa Jewell, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone
You can save hundreds of lives. Or the one that matters most...
From New York Times bestselling author Clare Mackintosh comes a claustrophobic thriller set over 20 hours on-board the inaugural nonstop flight from London to Sydney.
Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems with her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination: The following instructions will save your daughter's life...
Someone needs Mina's assistance and knows exactly how to make her comply.
When one passenger is killed and then another, Mina knows she must act. But which lives does she save: Her passengers...or her own daughter and husband who are in grave distress back at home?
It's twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.
For fans of the locked-room mystery of One By One and the heart-stopping tension The Last FlightHostage is an explosively addictive thriller about one flight attendant and the agonizing decision that will change her life--and the lives of everyone on-board--forever.
 
Praise for Hostage:
"Surprising twists propel the story to an unexpected finale. Mackintosh has raised her game with this one." --Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
"Hypnotically good. Should be a hit, could be a classic..." --Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series
"Fiendishly clever." --Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before She Disappeared
"A propulsive read." --Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Wife
"A nail-biter of a thriller." --Shari Lapena, New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door

 

About our Speakers

Clare Mackintosh is the New York Times and #1 international bestselling author of I Let You Go, I See You, and Let Me Lie, translated into more than thirty-five languages and with more than two million copies sold worldwide. She is the founder of Chipping Norton Literary Festival and is the patron of the Silver Star Society, an Oxford-based charity that provides special care for mothers with medical complications during pregnancy at John Radcliffe Hospital. She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday TimesWoman's Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel and a Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club pick.

 

You may purchase a copy of Hostage from Left Bank Books online or by phone. You must provide an email address to be invited to the private online event. You will receive the actual email invite to join the private online event on the DAY OF the event.

 

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 1:00pm

Joshua Henkin with Rebecca Makkai - Morningside Heights

Monday, June 21, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes #1 Indie Next Pick for June
Joshua Henkin
who will discuss his celebrated new book
Morningside Heights
on Facebook Live at 7pm CT on June 21st.
Henkin will be in conversation with Pulitzer Prize & National Book Award Finalist
Rebecca Makkai
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order copies of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
About Morningside Heights
#1 Indie Next Pick for June
One of 2021's Most Highly Anticipated New Books --Newsweek
One of LitHub's Most Anticipated Books
 
When Ohio-born Pru Steiner arrives in New York in 1976, she follows in a long tradition of young people determined to take the city by storm. But when she falls in love with and marries Spence Robin, her hotshot young Shakespeare professor, her life takes a turn she couldn't have anticipated.
Thirty years later, something is wrong with Spence. The Great Man can't concentrate; he falls asleep reading The New York Review of Books. With their daughter, Sarah, away at medical school, Pru must struggle on her own to care for him. One day, feeling especially isolated, Pru meets a man, and the possibility of new romance blooms. Meanwhile, Spence's estranged son from his first marriage has come back into their lives. Arlo, a wealthy entrepreneur who invests in biotech, may be his father's last, best hope.
Morningside Heights is a sweeping and compassionate novel about a marriage surviving hardship. It's about the love between women and men, and children and parents; about the things we give up in the face of adversity; and about how to survive when life turns out differently from what we thought we signed up for.
 
"In the sheer pleasure of reading Joshua Henkin's new novel--of following its swift narrative movements, getting to know its all-too-human characters, inhabiting its detail-perfect settings, its relentlessly accurate portrayals-- of marriage and parenthood and siblinghood--we can almost forget, for moments on end, that its subject is one of the most painful imaginable: the loss of a self, of a marriage, of a shared life. But the real magic of Morningside Heights is the way it lifts us up, reminding us that ordinary people undertake extraordinary acts of survival every day." --Julie Orringer

"Reading Morningside Heights is an emotional experience. How much can befall a marriage, and what extraordinary demands must sometimes be met for loved ones to endure. But it is a delightful read as well, because the people here are such thoroughly engaging company. So much that happens in this book is unexpected that it reads at the pace of a suspense novel, but its greatest achievement is to make us feel that we are in the presence of real people, living out their joys and sorrows and making their way in the real world." --Sigrid Nunez

Henkin brilliantly conveys the complexities of a New York City family in this humane, compulsively readable tale . . . In 2006, Shakespeare scholar Spence Robin, 57, is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, and his wife, Pru Steiner, is forced to return his book advance . . . [Henkin] shows how Spence was a wunderkind in Columbia's English department, making the tragedy of his illness particularly poignant . . . Equally well handled is Pru's transformation from wife and lover to caretaker--wrenching changes that Henkin conveys without dissolving into sentimentality or cliché, but rather leaving readers with a kernel of hope. This is a stunning achievement. --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"What does it really mean: in sickness and in health, till death do us part? Morningside Heights knows the answer. In this tender, wise, and unflinching novel, Joshua Henkin traces the bittersweet arc of a lifelong love, with all its joy and pain." --Tom Perrotta

"You know a novel is good when the thought of leaving the world it creates and the people who live there fills you with sadness and a profound sense of loss. Joshua Henkin's Morningside Heights is just such a novel." --Richard Russo

Staff Pick! "I love complex characters in a well done family drama! This book does complexity and makes it look so undaunting. As we jump between characters and time, the journey we are taken on as readers is so beautiful and captivating. I was truly invested in this book and each of the characters lives. Such a gem!" — From Shane

 

About our Speakers

Joshua Henkin is the author of the novels Swimming Across the Hudson (a Los Angeles Times Notable Book), Matrimony (a New York Times Notable Book), and The World Without You (winner of the 2012 Edward Lewis Wallant Award for American Jewish Fiction and a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Book Award). He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and directs the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.

Rebecca Makkai is the author of The BorrowerThe Hundred-Year House, which won the Novel of the Year Award from the Chicago Writers Association, and Music for Wartime. Her work has appeared in The Best American Short StoriesHarper's, and Tin House, among others. She lives outside Chicago with her husband and two daughters.

Monday, June 21, 2021 - 7:00pm

Curtis Sittenfeld - Rodham

Thursday, June 17, 5:30pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes NY Times Bestselling author (& former St. Louisan)
Curtis Sittenfeld
who will celebrate the paperback release of her new book
Rodham
on Facebook Live at 5:30pm CT on June 17th.
Sittenfeld will be in conversation with Left Bank Books Event Coordinator
Shane Mullen.
Grab a Happy Hour beverage and join us on our Facebook Live Page and order SIGNED copies of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
About Rodham
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From the author of American Wife and Eligible . . . He proposed. She said no. And it changed her life forever.

"A deviously clever what if."--O: The Oprah Magazine

"Immersive, escapist."--Good Morning America
"Ingenious."--The New York Times

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New Yorker - NPR - The Washington Post Marie Claire Cosmopolitan (UK) - Town & Country New York Post

In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise: Life magazine has covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she's attending Yale Law School, and she's on the forefront of student activism and the women's rights movement. And then she meets Bill Clinton. A handsome, charismatic southerner and fellow law student, Bill is already planning his political career. In each other, the two find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced.

In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, and he proposed several times; although she said no more than once, as we all know, she eventually accepted and became Hillary Clinton.

But in Curtis Sittenfeld's powerfully imagined tour-de-force of fiction, Hillary takes a different road. Feeling doubt about the prospective marriage, she endures their devastating breakup and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail--one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that involves crossing paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the tradeoffs all of us must make in building a life.

Brilliantly weaving a riveting fictional tale into actual historical events, Curtis Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute and witty story for our times. In exploring the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still run mostly by men, Rodham is a singular and unforgettable novel.

"Startlingly good . . . Sittenfeld is one of my favorite writers." --Kate Atkinson, author of Big Sky

"Rodham is a provocative, bitingly funny re-imagining of what a woman's life could be if she didn't need to compromise her own ambitions in support of her partner's. Sittenfeld has written a nuanced, astute portrait of one of modern history's most contentious figures, and never shies away from either the thornier aspects of her character, or those of our society." --Refinery29

"Rodham is the ultimate what-could-have-been story." --HelloGiggles

 

About our Speakers

Curtis Sittenfeld is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Prep, The Man of My Dreams, American Wife, Sisterland, and Eligible, and the story collection You Think It, I'll Say It, which have been translated into thirty languages. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post Magazine, Esquire, and The Best American Short Stories, of which she was the 2020 guest editor. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Time, and Vanity Fair, and on public radio's This American Life.

Shane Mullen is the events coordinator for Left Bank Books in St. Louis.

 

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Thursday, June 17, 2021 - 5:30pm

LBB Virtual Celebrity Storytime: Beth Bacon - Book No One Wants to Read

Tuesday, June 15th, 11am CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books is excited to present another Virtual Celebrity Storytime!
We welcome author and illustrator
Beth Bacon
as a new to St. Louis author!
Bacon will read aloud and talk about how she made her new picture book, 
The Book No One Wants to Read,  
on Facebook Live at 11am CT on June 15th.
Join us on our Facebook Page and order a copy of 
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
About The Book No One Wants to Read

The Book No One Wants to Read is a highly visual full-color chapter book that uses humor, interactivity, and meta-storytelling to help even the most reluctant reader breeze through reading time, feel successful at reading, and even laugh! You'll read a book . . . without really reading!

A lonely book makes a deal with its reader: You keep turning my pages, and I'll make it FUN!"

If you think reading is boring, then you can pretend to read this book! All you have to do is sit here and turn the pages. Everyone will think you're reading. Are you ready? Let's get started...

The ability to read by third grade is critical to a child's success in school and beyond. But learning to read can be frustrating. The Book No One Wants to Read by Beth Bacon validates the experience of reluctant readers and rewards them with laughter.

 

"Originally self-published in 2017, this companion to I Hate Reading features a range of colorful, interactive content guided by a fourth-wall-breaking narrator. Bacon takes on the fast-talking voice of the book itself: "If you think reading is boring, try sitting around all day facing the wall, cover closed, doing a whole lot of nothing," the book complains. On the next page, an image of a light bulb offers, "Hey, / I might/ have an idea/ that helps us/ both," inviting emerging readers in on a ruse: pretending to read. The book proceeds to cajole readers to turn (and sometimes shake, scratch, or smack) pages, participate in multipage jokes, and peer at optical illusions. Bold graphic design and bright monochrome backgrounds ensure that the book holds plenty of visual appeal. While encouraging page-turning is prioritized over a cohesive narrative, this tome is well designed to engage reluctant young readers." --Publisher's Weekly

 

About our Speaker

Beth Bacon writes funny books for intermediate reluctant readers. She earned an MFA in writing for children from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She also has a degree in communications from NYU and a degree in literature from Harvard. She previously worked with Apple on communications and marketing, as well as in elementary school education.

 

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 11:00am

Ly Tran with Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai - House of Sticks

Monday, June 14, 8pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes debut memoirist
Ly Tran
who will discuss her new book
House of Sticks
on Facebook Live at 8pm CT on June 14th.
Ly Tran will be in conversation with highly acclaimed author
Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order copies of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
About House of Sticks
An intimate, beautifully written coming-of-age memoir recounting a young girls journey from war-torn Vietnam to Ridgewood, Queens, and her struggle to find her voice amid clashing cultural expectations.

Ly Tran is just a toddler in 1993 when she and her family immigrate from a small town along the Mekong river in Vietnam to a two-bedroom railroad apartment in Queens. Ly's father, a former lieutenant in the South Vietnamese army, spent nearly a decade as a POW, and their resettlement is made possible through a humanitarian program run by the US government. Soon after they arrive, Ly joins her parents and three older brothers sewing ties and cummerbunds piece-meal on their living room floor to make ends meet.

As they navigate this new landscape, Ly finds herself torn between two worlds. She knows she must honor her parents' Buddhist faith and contribute to the family livelihood, working long hours at home and eventually as a manicurist alongside her mother at a nail salon in Brownsville, Brooklyn, that her parents take over. But at school, Ly feels the mounting pressure to blend in.

A growing inability to see the blackboard presents new challenges, especially when her father forbids her from getting glasses, calling her diagnosis of poor vision a government conspiracy. His frightening temper and paranoia leave an indelible mark on Ly's sense of self. Who is she outside of everything her family expects of her?

Told in a spare, evocative voice that, with flashes of humor, weaves together her family's immigration experience with her own fraught and courageous coming of age, House of Sticks is a timely and powerful portrait of one girl's struggle to reckon with her heritage and forge her own path.

"On the landscape of nail salons and her family's sweat shop, Ly Tran paints the songs of her courage, dreams, and her fight for sanity and humanity. This is the story of a magnificent lotus who rises up from a pond of mud - the mud of poverty, racism, inherited trauma, depression - with the power and radiance of her storytelling. This is a book that demands us to look beyond just the name of each and every war refugee. This is a book that gives us light."-- Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, PhD, bestselling author of The Mountains Sing

"I guarantee that you will never see the nail salon technician in the same way after reading Ly Tran's memoir. House of Sticks is a powerful report from the trenches of the immigrant experience and what it really means to become an American. It's Tran's story, but it's also the story of this country--and in this day and age we would do well not to forget that."--Saïd Sayrafiezadeh, author of When Skateboards Will be Free and Brief Encounters With the Enemy

House of Sticks is a book that will assault and warm your heart at the same time--a classic immigrant tale, told from the perspective of a Vietnamese child who settled with her family in New York City in the early '90s with little to no knowledge about life in America... But it is also much more: a coming of age story, A New York hustle, a battle with a father who not only maintains an ironclad sense of filial duty, but also, fueled by his paranoia, exercises irrational control over things like vision correction. (In another elegant examination of absence, the book recounts what a fundamental challenge it is to move through the world without basic ability to see.)"-- Vogue, Best Books to Read 2021

"A moving recount of how Tran and her family immigrated from a small town in Vietnam to a two-bedroom railroad apartment in Queens, and how she forged her path in a new culture."-- Marie Claire, 20 New Books by Asian Authors to Get Excited About

 

About our Speakers

Ly Tran graduated from Columbia University in 2014 with a degree in Creative Writing and Linguistics. She has received fellowships from MacDowell, Art Omi, and Yaddo. House of Sticks is her first book.

Born into the Việt Nam War in 1973, Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai grew up witnessing the war's devastation and its aftermath. She worked as a street seller and rice farmer before winning a scholarship to attend university in Australia. She is the author of eight books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in Vietnamese, and her writing has been translated and published in more than fifteen countries. She has been honored with some of the top literary awards of Vietnam, including the Poetry of the Year 2010 Award from the Hanoi Writers Association. Her debut novel and first book in English, The Mountains Sing, was awarded a Lannan Literary Awards Fellowship for contribution to peace and reconciliation and the BookBrowse Best Debut Award for 2020. It was named a best book of 2020 by more than ten media establishments, including NPR. Quế Mai has a PhD in creative writing from Lancaster University.

 

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

 

Monday, June 14, 2021 - 8:00pm

Sujata Massey - Bombay Prince

Sunday, June 6, 1pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes Agatha, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark Award winning author
Sujata Massey
who will discuss her new book in the Perveen Mistry series
Bombay Prince
on Facebook Live at 1pm CT on June 6.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order copies of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
 
 
 
About Bombay Prince
 

Bombay's first female lawyer, Perveen Mistry, is compelled to bring justice to the family of a murdered female Parsi student just as Bombay's streets erupt in riots to protest British colonial rule. Sujata Massey is back with this third installment to the Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning series set in 1920s Bombay.

November 1921. Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and future ruler of India, is arriving in Bombay to begin a fourmonth tour. The Indian subcontinent is chafing under British rule, and Bombay solicitor Perveen Mistry isn't surprised when local unrest over the royal arrival spirals into riots. But she's horrified by the death of Freny Cuttingmaster, an eighteen-year-old female Parsi student, who falls from a second-floor gallery just as the prince's grand procession is passing by her college.

Freny had come for a legal consultation just days before her death, and what she confided makes Perveen suspicious that her death was not an accident. Feeling guilty for failing to have helped Freny in life, Perveen steps forward to assist Freny's family in the fraught dealings of the coroner's inquest. When Freny's death appears suspicious, Perveen knows she can't rest until she sees justice done. But Bombay is erupting: as armed British secret service march the streets, rioters attack anyone with perceived British connections and desperate shopkeepers destroy their own wares so they will not be targets of racial violence. Can Perveen help a suffering family when her own is in danger?

"The Bombay Prince is the third delightful installment of Sujata Massey's mystery series set in 1920s India. Heroine Perveen is much more than a sari-clad Miss Marple: she's Bombay's first female lawyer as well as a keenly intelligent sleuth, a trail-blazing woman balancing the weight of family tradition with her own dreams. Perveen's investigation into the mysterious death of a young university student coincides with the imperial visit of the future Edward VIII, and the resulting trail of breadcrumbs through royal receptions, street riots, squalid jails, and lavish hotels makes for a deliciously satisfying read!"--Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Rose Code

"Exceptional . . . Massey has never been better at pairing her redoubtable and impressive lead with a challenging murder to unravel." --Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"Graceful prose and mastery of period detail . . . [ The Bombay Prince] propels a rich story of female empowerment during a pivotal era." --Kirkus Reviews

 

About our Speakers

Sujata Massey was born in England to parents from India and Germany, grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a features reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun before becoming a full-time novelist. The first Perveen Mistry novel, The Widows of Malabar Hill, was an international bestseller and won the Agatha, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark Awards. Visit her website at sujatamassey.com.

 

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Sunday, June 6, 2021 - 1:00pm

Rupert Thomson with Scott Phillips - Barcelona Dreaming

Thursday, June 3, 1pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes highly acclaimed author
Rupert Thomson
who will discuss his new book, 
Barcelona Dreaming
on Facebook Live at 1pm CT on June 3.
Thomson will be in conversation with St. Louis bestselling author
Scott Phillips.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order copies of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
 
About Barcelona Dreaming
 
Set on the eve of the financial crash of 2008, this evocative novel is made up of three stories linked by time and place, and also by the moving, unexpected interactions of a rich cast of characters.
 
Barcelona Dreaming is narrated, in turn, by an English woman who runs a gift shop, an alcoholic jazz pianist, and a translator tormented by unrequited love, all of whose lives will be changed forever. Underpinning the novel, and casting a long shadow, is a crime committed against a young Moroccan immigrant.
 
Exploring themes of addiction, racism, celebrity, immigration, and self-delusion, and fueled by a longing for the unattainable and a nostalgia for what is about to be lost, Barcelona Dreaming is a love letter to one of the world's most beautiful cities and a powerful and poignant fable for our uncertain times.
 
"[A] shimmering triptych...With seamless prose, Thomson affords an intimate glimpse into the three protagonists' hearts and minds...Descriptive flourishes, meanwhile, produce a consistent stream of wonderfully odd details...Thomson gracefully ties together themes of longing, love, and the inequities caused by age and race. The result is memorable and moving." -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 
"[Thomson] writes with a cleareyed compassion and never forces moments; everything in the novel feels organic. [He] inhabits the voices of his characters perfectly...[a] trip to Barcelona well worth taking...powerful." -- Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
"I don't know how Rupert Thomson does it. Each novel he writes is a new vision of a new world; he's the least predictable, the most surprising of writers. Barcelona Dreaming is set in that city, and it seems as if Thomson knows every corner of it, and every kind of human being who might live there. My astonishment is only surpassed by my admiration." --Philip Pullman, author of the bestselling His Dark Materials trilogy
 
"The three stories in Barcelona Dreaming are connected by ingeniously created threads, but also by a tone that is ironic, observant, alert to the complexity of the characters' motives and desires. The book is set in the modern city of Barcelona, its atmosphere invoked with intimate knowledge and a matchless sense of place." --Colm TóibínNew York Times bestselling author of Brooklyn and The Master
 
"Elegant and electrifying. Thomson's prose is sparse, yet so highly charged that I couldn't stop reading. I love all his novels--but this one is my new favorite." --Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature

 

About our Speakers

Rupert Thomson is the author of twelve highly acclaimed novels, including Katherine CarlyleSecrecyThe Insult, which was short-listed for the Guardian Fiction Prize and selected by David Bowie as one of his 100 Must-Read Books of All Time; The Book of Revelation, which was made into a feature film by Ana Kokkinos; and Death of a Murderer, which was short-listed for the Costa Novel of the Year Award. His memoir, This Party's Got to Stop, was named Writers' Guild Non-Fiction Book of the Year. He lives in London.

Scott Phillips is a screenwriter, photographer and the author of seven novels and numerous short stories. His bestselling debut novel, The Ice Harvest, was a New York Times Notable Book and was adapted as a major motion picture starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton. He won the California Book Award and was a finalist for the Edgar Award, the Hammett Prize, and the CWA Gold Dagger Award. Scott was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, and lived for many years in France. He now lives with his wife and daughter in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

 

Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 1:00pm

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