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Author Events

Left Bank Books Presents: Ben Crump - Open Season

Tuesday, October 22, 7pm
The Grandel, 3610 Grandel Square

Left Bank Books presents the president of the National Bar Association and one of the most distinguished civil rights attorneys working today, Ben Crump, as he reflects on the landmark cases he has battled—including representing Trayvon Martin’s family—and offers a disturbing look at how the justice system is used to promote injustice in his memoir, Open Season.

ben crump, open season

Benjamin Crump firmly believes in the Constitution and its legal protections—that civil rights legislation covers all Americans, not just those privileged by race, wealth, or pedigree. A fierce and passionate advocate, he has devoted his career to fighting for justice for America’s marginalized. Open Season is his inspiring journey working on some of the most egregious cases that have shocked the nation, including those of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. 

Shaped by his first-hand experience handling civil litigation matters in state and federal courts throughout the country, Open Season reveals the often hidden and systemic injustices minorities face, and illuminates how discrimination in the courthouse devastates real families and communities. Chronicling some of his most memorable legal battles, this brilliant litigator shockingly makes clear how our system is devised for certain people to lose and others to win, and, using evidence and facts, exposes how it is legal to harm—with the intent to destroy—people of color. 

America must live up to its promise to protect the rights of its citizens equally, Crump maintains. Thoughtful, well-reasoned, and powerfully persuasive, Open Season details one man's life mission preserving the hard-won justice for all. 

Through a steadfast dedication to justice and service, renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump has established himself as one of the nation’s foremost lawyers and advocates for social justice. He has worked on some of the most high-profile cases in the U.S., representing the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and Stephon Clark, among others. He has been nationally recognized as the 2014 NNPA Newsmaker of the Year, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers, and Ebony Magazine Power 100 Most Influential African Americans. In 2016, he was designated as an Honorary Fellow by the University of Pennsylvania College of Law. He is the founder and principal owner of Ben Crump Law. 

Ticketing Information will be available soon! Purchase of Open Season from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line. Click here to pre-order your copy!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 7:00pm

Cyrus Grace Dunham - A Year Without a Name

Monday, October 21, 7pm
The Kranzberg Arts Studio, 501 N Grand

cyrus grace dunham, a year without a nameLeft Bank Books is pleased to welcome queer writer and activist Cyrus Grace Dunham, who will sign and discuss their debut memoir, A Year Without A Name.

For as long as they can remember, Cyrus Grace Dunham felt like a visitor in their own body. As a child named Grace, they mastered the art of behaving like a lovable little girl in public. In private, they posed in front of the mirror and lifted their chin up "like men in magazines," calling themselves "Jimmy." Their life was a series of imitations -- daughter, sister, teenage girl, young gay woman -- until their profound sense of alienation became intolerable. This is the story of their search for a new name. 

Writing with disarming emotional intensity in a voice uniquely theirs, our narrator begins as Grace and ends as Cyrus, chronicling a childhood in a family of artists with larger-than-life personalities, bouts of gender dysphoria, obsessive-compulsive disorder, debilitating anxiety, soaring romantic adventures, and the frightening and exhilarating process of gender transition, all the while exploring the complex relationships that lay our foundations, constrain us, and inform our capacity to love. 

Rather than looking back on their transition from a settled distance, Cyrus invites us into the process as it unfolds, honoring the messiness, confusion, self-doubt, terror and thrill of self-discovery. Signaling the arrival of a boldly original writer with a knock-out page presence, A Year Without a Name is a searching, lyrical memoir of transformation as well as a delicately observed portrait of youth.

Monday, October 21, 2019 - 7:00pm

Left Bank Books Presents: Heidi Aronson Kolk - Taking Possession

Tuesday, October 22, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books welcomes assistant professor in Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts and assistant vice provost of academic assessment at Washington University in St. Louis, Heidi Aronson Kolk, who will sign and discuss her book Taking Possession.

Heidi Anderson Kolk, Taking PossessionWest of downtown St. Louis sits an 1851 town house that bears no obvious relationship to the monumental architecture, trendy condominiums, and sports stadia of its surroundings. Originally the residence of a fur-trade tycoon and now the Campbell House Museum, the house has been subject to energetic preservation and heritage work for some 130 years.


In Taking Possession, Heidi Aronson Kolk explores the complex and sometimes contradictory motivations for safeguarding the house as a site of public memory. Crafting narratives about the past that comforted business elites and white middle-class patrons, museum promoters assuaged concerns about the city’s most pressing problems, including racial and economic inequality, segregation and privatization, and the legacies of violence for which St. Louis has been known since Ferguson. Kolk’s case study illuminates the processes by which civic pride and cultural solidarity have been manufactured in a fragmented and turbulent city, showing how closely linked are acts of memory and forgetting, nostalgia and shame.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Taking Possession 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, October 22, 2019 - 7:00pm

Left Bank Books Presents: Antony John - The Other, Better Me

Tuesday, October 8, 7pm
Left Bank Books

antony john, other, better meLeft Bank Books welcomes local favorite and critically acclaimed author, Antony John, who will sign and discuss his new novel for middle readers, The Other, Better Me!

From the critically acclaimed author of Mascot comes this heartfelt novel, perfect for fans of John David Anderson and Cammie McGovern, about a girl searching for the meaning of family.

Lola and Momma have always been a team of two. It hasn’t always been easy for Lola, being one of the only kids she knows with just one parent around. And lately she’s been feeling incomplete, like there’s a part of herself that she can’t know until she knows her dad. But what will happen—to Lola, to Momma, to their team of two—if she finds him?

“Lola is a strong, grounded character who might be temporarily shaken by fears or unhappiness but finds her equilibrium with the help of her extended, intergenerational network of friends. Her involving first-person narrative reveals insecurities known to many young readers and offers insights into the meaning of family.” -ALA Booklist

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of The Other, Better Me from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line.
Click here to pre-order your copy!

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

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 7:00pm

2019 St. Louis Literary Award Ceremony - Edwidge Danticat

Thursday, October 24, 7pm
Sheldon Concert Hall, SLU

The Saint Louis University Library Associates have announced that the award-winning Haitian-American writer Edwidge Danticat, author of acclaimed books that include Breath, Eyes, MemoryKrik?Krak! and The Dew Breaker, is the winner of the 2019 Saint Louis Literary Award to be celebrated Thursday, October 24. Register here.

edwidge danticatFor the past fifty years, the Library Associates has conferred the St. Louis Literary Award on the most important writers of our time and celebrate the contributions of literature in enriching our lives.

Edwidge Danticat is the author of numerous books, including The Art of Death, a National Book Critics Circle finalist; Claire of the Sea Light, a New York Times Notable Book; Brother, I’m Dying, a National Book Critics Circle Award winner and National Book Award finalist; The Dew Breaker, a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and winner of the inaugural Story Prize; The Farming of Bones, an American Book Award winner; Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah’s Book Club selection; and Krik? Krak!, also a National Book Award finalist. A 2018 Neustadt International Prize for Literature winner and the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius Grant,” she has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, and elsewhere.

 Danticat, who has written a variety of fiction and non-fiction chronicling the lives of Haitian citizens, is a graduate of Brown University whose master’s thesis was released in 1994 as her debut novel Breath, Eyes, Memory and in 1998 was selected as an official book club pick by Oprah Winfrey.

 In addition to her books, Danticat has also been recognized for her 2010 essay collection, Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work. She is also the recipient of an American Book Award (1999), a National Book Critics Circle Award (2007) and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship (2009).

This event is presented by The Saint Louis University Library Associates, for more information visit lib.slu.edu/literaryaward or call 314-977-3100.

Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 7:00pm

River Styx Reading Series: Francesca Bell & J Ryan Stradal

Monday, October 21, 7:30pm
The High Low, 3301 Washington

River Styx cultivates the literary arts in St. Louis and beyond through its magazine and community programs.The River Styx Reading Series is their main recurring event during the fall, winter, and spring, in which they invite both local and national acclaimed writers to read their work for a St. Louis audience.

Francesca Bell was raised in Washington and Idaho and settled as an adult in California. She co-translated Shatha Abu Hnaish's book of poems, A Love That Hovers Like a Bedeviling Mosquito(Dar Fadaat, 2017), and Red Hen Press will publish her first collection, Bright Stain, in 2019. She is the events coordinator for the Marin Poetry Center and her poems have appear inELLENew Ohio ReviewNorth American ReviewPoetry NorthwestPrairie SchoonerRattleTar River Poetry, and Zone 3. She won the 2014 Neil Postman Award for Metaphor from Rattle. Her translations, from Arabic and German, appear in Berkeley Poetry ReviewBlue Lyra ReviewCircumference | Poetry in Translation,Four by Two, and The Massachusetts Review. She did not complete middle school, high school, or college and holds no degrees.

J Ryan Stradal grew up in the Midwest, in the southern Minnesota town of Hastings, and graduated from Northwestern University. His second novel, The Lager Queen of Minnesota, will be published by Viking / Pamela Dorman Books in July 2019. His first novel, Kitchens of the Great Midwest, was published by Viking / Pamela Dorman Books on July 28th, 2015, and reached the New York Times Hardcover Best Seller list at #19 on its third week of release. In April 2016, the American Booksellers Association voted Kitchensthe Indies Choice Book of the Year Award – Adult Debut Winner. In July 2016, the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association awarded it the 2016 Midwest Booksellers Choice Award for the year's top fiction book, and in October 2016, the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association also named Kitchens the year's top novel. He lives and works in Los Angeles County, California.

Readings start at 7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of the month. $5 general admission. $4 students and seniors. This event is presented by River Styx. For more information, please visit riverstyx.org.

Monday, October 21, 2019 - 7:30pm

Angela Denker - Red State Christians: Understanding the Voters Who Elected Donald Trump

Sunday, October 27, 3pm
The Workshop, 3965 Park Ave fl 2

Angela Denker, Red State ChristiansVeteran journalist, Angela Denker criss-crosses the U.S. to provide thoughtful and thought-provoking examinations of the Christian voters who support Trump and their very real reasons for doing so.

Donald Trump, a thrice-married, no-need-of-forgiveness, blustery billionaire who rarely goes to church, won more Evangelical Christian votes than any candidate in history on his way to winning the 2016 US presidential election. Veteran journalist Angela Denker set out to uncover why, traveling the United States for a year, meeting the people who support Trump, and listening to their rationale.

In Red State Christians, readers will get an honest look at the Christians who gave the presidency to the unlikeliest candidate of all time. From booming, wealthy Orange County megachurches to libertarian farmers in Missouri to a church in Florida where the pastors carry guns to an Evangelical Arab American church in Houston to conservative Catholics on the East Coast--the picture she paints of them is enlightening, at times disturbing, but always empathetic. A must-read for those hoping to truly understand how Donald Trump became president.

Angela Denker is a Lutheran pastor and veteran journalist. She's written for many publications, including Sports IllustratedThe Washington Post, and Sojourners.

Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 3:00pm

Left Bank Books Presents: Kekla Magoon - Light It Up

Thursday, October 24, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Kekla Magoon, light it upLeft Bank Books welcomes award winning author of How It Went Down, Kekla Magoon, who will signe and discuss her newest book Light It Up.

Kekla Magoon's newest YA novel, Light It Up, begins when a white police officer shoots an unarmed, 13-year-old black girl, igniting controversy, grief, and rage in the community. Characters in this multiple-viewpoint novel grapple with the many layers of this tragedy—bias, violence, loss, protest, a sense of helplessness in the face of racism—much like teens today must grapple with these issues in the real world. Light It Up is a stand-alone companion to Kekla's Coretta Scott King Honor award-winning novel How It Went Down.

Kekla Magoon is the author of several books for young adults, including 37 Things I Love, the Coretta Scott King Honor/John Steptoe Award-winning The Rock and the River, and the Coretta Scott King Honor book How It Went Down. She has also contributed to the anthology Dear Heartbreak: YA Authors and Teens on the Dark Side of Love. She lives in Vermont. keklamagoon.com

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Light It Up 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.

Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 7:00pm

Left Bank Books Presents: Kevin Huizenga - The River at Night

Wednesday, October 9, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Left Bank Books is proud to welcome creator of Glenn Ganges and River Front Times cartoonist, Kevin Huizenga, who will sign and discuss his ne book, The River at Night.

Kevin Huizenga, The River at NightIn The River at Night, Kevin Huizenga delves deep into consciousness. What begins as a simple, distracted conversation between husband and wife, Glenn and Wendy Ganges—him reading a library book and her working on her computer—becomes an exploration of being and the passage of time. As they head to bed, Wendy exhausted by a fussy editor and Glenn energized by his reading and no small amount of caffeine, the story begins to fracture. 

The River at Night flashes back, first to satirize the dot-com boom of the late 1990s and then to examine the camaraderie of playing first-person shooter video games with work colleagues. Huizenga shifts focus to suggest ways to fall asleep as Glenn ponders what the passage of time feels like to geologists or productivity gurus. The story explores the simple pleasures of a marriage, like lying awake in bed next to a slumbering lover, along with the less cherished moments of disappointment or inadvertent betrayal of trust. Huizenga uses the cartoon medium like a symphony, establishing rhythms and introducing themes that he returns to, adding and subtracting events and thoughts, stretching and compressing time. A walk to the library becomes a meditation on how we understand time, as Huizenga shows the breadth of the comics medium in surprising ways. The River at Night is a modern formalist masterpiece as empathetic, inventive, and funny as anything ever written.

“Wow! I was not prepared for this: The River at Night is a surprising, beautifully rendered, mind-expanding, heartwarming exploration of what it means to be human, to have thoughts, to lie in bed all night after guzzling too much coffee, to follow your thoughts on a journey that maps the universe and makes light of the electrical activity of a brilliant mind. Kevin Huizenga is a kind of dreamer who gets us to think, to love what's in our heads, to love what's in his. Everybody will dig this book!”—Matthew Klam, author of Who is Rich?

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of The River at Night 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.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019 - 7:00pm

Left Bank Books Presents: Meaghan Winter - All Politics is Local

Tuesday, October 1, 7pm
Ethical Society, 9001 Clayton Rd

meaghan winter, all politics is localLeft Bank Books presents journalist Meaghan Winter who will sign and discuss her new book All Politics Is Local.

Democrats have largely ceded control of state governments to the GOP, allowing them to rig our political system and undermine democracy itself. Now, we must do the work to repair it. After the 2016 election, Republicans had their largest majority in the states since 1928, controlling legislative chambers in thirty-two states and governor offices in thirty-three. They also held both chambers of the Congress and the presidency despite losing the popular vote. What happened?  Meaghan Winter argues that the Democratic Party and left-leaning political establishment have spent the past several decades betting it all on the very risky and increasingly foolhardy strategy of abandoning the states to focus on federal races. For the American public, the fallout has been catastrophic. At the behest of their corporate patrons, Republican lawmakers have diminished employee protections and healthcare access and thwarted action on climate change. Abortion rights, gun reform, and voting rights are also imperiled. In states across the country, progressive activists and candidates are fighting massive Republican power. Taking us to three key battlegrounds--in Missouri, Florida, and Colorado--Winter reveals that robust state and local politics are the lifeblood of democracy and the only lasting building block of political power.

Meaghan Winter is a freelance journalist who has written features for New York, Bloomberg Businessweek, Cosmopolitan, Slate, and Fusion. She has reported long-form projects in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. Since 2012, Winter has been a regular contributor to New York's The Cut. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she was a Dean's Fellow. She has taught writing at Columbia, The New School and The City University of New York. Winter was a finalist for a 2016 National Magazine Award in public interest writing, and her work is included in the 2016 edition of The Best Magazine Writing. She lives in Brooklyn.

"The fight for control of state governments is the biggest sleeper issue in American politics right now and that story is told brilliantly in Meaghan Winter's new book. From extreme abortion bans to undermining gun control to gutting unions, Winter compellingly shows how democracy is being subverted in the states, and how Democrats and progressives can fight back."—---Ari Berman, senior reporter at Mother Jones and author of Give Us the Ballot

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

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 - 7:00pm

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