Left-Bank

Author Events

LBB Presents ONLINE: Charlie Brennan - Only In St. Louis

Monday, November 30, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page

Left Bank Books welcomes St. Louis KMOX Radio's
Charlie Brennan,
who will discuss his new book, 
Only In St. Louis: The Most Incredible, Strange and Inspiring Tales,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on November 30.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

 

 

About Only In St. Louis

In Only in St. Louis!, Charlie Brennan shares the Gateway City’s most incredible, strange and inspiring stories:
   Wilt Chamberlain was traded in a St. Louis restaurant.
   Jesus Christ Superstar was first staged in St. Louis, not New York.
   An inebriated St. Louis Cardinals pitcher outdueled Randy Johnson.
   A St. Louis woman woke up when she heard an intruder…
   who turned out to be a national celebrity.
   J.S. Bach’s personal bibles are in St. Louis.
   The Air Force’s biggest weapon is made in St. Louis.
   John Lennon’s song “Imagine” has a St. Louis connection.
   General William Tecumseh Sherman could defeat the south but not City Hall.
   A man was attacked by a shark in downtown St. Louis.

"If you don’t like to laugh and you don’t like history OR St. Louis, then this is not the book for you. If you do then walk straight to the counter and buy it. I loved it and you will too.” –Joe Buck, Emmy Award-winning Fox Sports Announcer and 2020 recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Award

“I couldn’t stop reading Charlie Brennan’s Only In St. Louis. It’s a tell-all written in fast jabs, covering everything — and I mean everything — odd, funny, outrageous, scandalous, and interesting about St. Louis from the 1800s onward. The Mississippi ran backwards! JFK took a bag full of cash in a restroom. Queen Marie of Romania’s custom mattress was stuffffed so full of feathers it dumped her onto her St Louis hotel floor multiple times. She left to sleep in a train instead. ‘Only In St. Louis’ indeed.” –Ridley Pearson, bestselling co-author of Peter and the Starcatchers, author of 60 novels, and enshrined on the St. Louis Walk of Fame

About the Author

Charlie Brennan is co-author of Walking Historic Downtown St. Louis and Here's Where; A Guide to Illustrious St. Louis. He hosts The Charlie Brennan Show on KMOX, CBS Radio in St. Louis, and Donnybrook on PBS' KETC. He lives in St. Louis with his wife Beth and two children.

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 right here on this event page.

Monday, November 30, 2020 - 7:00pm

LBB Presents ONLINE: Roxane Gay and Okey Ndibe with Independent Publishers Caucus

Thursday, November 19, 6:00pm CT
Zoom Event - Registration Required

Roxane Gay and Okey Ndibe discuss their transformative debut novels and explore the concept of courage in a chaotic time.


Indie bookstores and indie presses partner to present this compelling conversation between two brilliant writers. Roxane Gay (Untamed State, Bad Feminist) and Okey Ndibe (Arrows of Rain, Foreign Gods, Inc.) discuss their transformative debut novels and explore the concept of courage amid chaos. This event will be moderated by Anderson Tepper, co-chair of the international committee of the Brooklyn Book Festival.

This is an Indie Playlist event, created to support your local independent bookstore! Please consider buying these two brilliant books from our wonderful bookstore partner Left Bank Books!

This event is also hosted by Independent Publishers Caucus, Grove Atlantic, and Soho Press.

Registration for this event is required.

 

An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is a powerful new literary voice whose short stories and essays have already earned her an enthusiastic audience. In An Untamed State, she delivers an assured debut about a woman kidnapped for ransom, her captivity as her father refuses to pay and her husband fights for her release over thirteen days, and her struggle to come to terms with the ordeal in its aftermath.

Mireille Duval Jameson is living a fairy tale. The strong-willed youngest daughter of one of Haiti's richest sons, she has an adoring husband, a precocious infant son, by all appearances a perfect life. The fairy tale ends one day when Mireille is kidnapped in broad daylight by a gang of heavily armed men, in front of her father's Port au Prince estate. Held captive by a man who calls himself The Commander, Mireille waits for her father to pay her ransom. As it becomes clear her father intends to resist the kidnappers, Mireille must endure the torments of a man who resents everything she represents.

An Untamed State is a novel of privilege in the face of crushing poverty, and of the lawless anger that corrupt governments produce. It is the story of a willful woman attempting to find her way back to the person she once was, and of how redemption is found in the most unexpected of places. An Untamed State establishes Roxane Gay as a writer of prodigious, arresting talent.

"From the astonishing first line to the final scene, An Untamed State is magical and dangerous. I could not put it down. Pay attention to Roxane Gay; she's here to stay."--Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow and Leaving Atlanta

" Haiti's] better scribes, among them Edwidge Danticat, Franketienne, Madison Smartt Bell, Lyonel Trouillot, and Marie Vieux Chavet, have produced some of the best literature in the world. . . . Add to their ranks Roxane Gay, a bright and shining star."--Kyle Minor, author of In the Devil's Territory, on Ayiti

Roxane Gay's writing has appeared in Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Oxford American, American Short Fiction, Virginia Quarterly Review, NOON, The New York Times Book Review, The Rumpus, Salon, The Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy culture blog, and many others including her Tumblr, roxanegay.tumblr.com. She is the co-editor of PANK and essays editor for The Rumpus. She teaches writing at Eastern Illinois University. She tweets at @rgay.

Arrows of Rain, by Okey Ndibe

In Nigerian novelist and journalist Okey Ndibe's powerful debut novel, living to tell the tale is not enough--you must also tell it. Twenty years after its original publication, and now with a new Foreword by the author, Arrows of Rain remains a vital exploration of the importance of story in opposition to corruption and the steep cost of speaking truth to power.

"A story that must be told never forgives silence."

In the country of Madia (based in part on Ndibe's native Nigeria) a young sex worker runs into the sea and drowns. The last man who spoke to her, the "madman" Bukuru, is asked to account for her last moments. When his testimony implicates the Madian armed forces, Bukuru is arrested and charged with her death. At the first day of trial, Bukuru, acting as his own attorney, counters these charges with allegations of his own, speaking not only of government complicity in a series of violent assaults and killings, but telling the court that the president of Madia himself is guilty of rape and murder. The incident is hushed up, and Bukuru is sent back to prison, where he will likely meet his end. But a young journalist manages to visit him, and together they journey through decades of history that illuminate Bukuru's life, and that of the entire nation.

A brave and powerful work of fiction, Arrows of Rain continues to resonate as a necessary morality tale and a brilliant dramatization of the complex factors behind the near-collapse of a nation from one of the most exciting novelists writing today.

"Smart and often deftly written, a parable of power and the humanity it strips away . . . Arrows of Rain remains a novel of resistance—if not political resistance, exactly, then resistance at the level of the soul." —David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times

"Ndibe is a gifted writer and an adept storyteller, who clearly exults in the telling." —Essence Magazine

Okey Ndibe first came to the US to act as founding editor of African Commentary, a magazine published by Chinua Achebe. He has taught at Brown University, Connecticut College, Simon's Rock College, Trinity College, and the University of Lagos (as a Fulbright scholar). He is the author of two novels, Arrows of Rain and Foreign Gods, Inc., and the memoir Never Look an American in the Eye, and his award-winning journalism has appeared in The New York TimesThe Guardian, and The Hartford Courant. Mr. Ndibe lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, with his wife, Sheri, and their three children.

Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 6:00pm

LBB Presents ONLINE: Claire Saffitz - Dessert Person

Thursday, November 19, 7:00pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page

Left Bank Books welcomes host of Bon Appétit's Gourmet Makes and Baking School
Claire Saffitz,
who will discuss her new cookbook, 
Dessert Person: Recipes and Guidance for Baking with Confidence,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on November 19.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 

 

About Dessert Person

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In her first cookbook, Bon Appétit and YouTube star of the show Gourmet Makes offers wisdom, problem-solving strategies, and more than 100 meticulously tested, creative, and inspiring recipes.

“There are no ‘just cooks’ out there, only bakers who haven't yet been converted. I am a dessert person, and we are all dessert people.”—Claire Saffitz

Claire Saffitz is a baking hero for a new generation. In Dessert Person, fans will find Claire’s signature spin on sweet and savory recipes like Babkallah (a babka-Challah mashup), Apple and Concord Grape Crumble Pie, Strawberry-Cornmeal Layer Cake, Crispy Mushroom Galette, and Malted Forever Brownies. She outlines the problems and solutions for each recipe—like what to do if your pie dough for Sour Cherry Pie cracks (patch it with dough or a quiche flour paste!)—as well as practical do’s and don’ts, skill level, prep and bake time, step-by-step photography, and foundational know-how. With her trademark warmth and superpower ability to explain anything baking related, Claire is ready to make everyone a dessert person.

“This is a wonderful book for experienced bakers—there are plenty of surprises and challenges—and an ideal one for beginners. Look at the Recipe Matrix, choose an easy recipe that doesn’t take much time, follow Claire’s directions, and chalk up your first win. If you’re not already a dessert person, Claire will make you one.”—Dorie Greenspan, author of Dorie’s Cookies and Everyday Dorie 

“Claire Saffitz is a skillful and imaginative baker with a knack for writing beautiful recipes. Her gorgeous book will unleash the inner dessert person in a novice and inspire those who know their way around a pastry kitchen. It certainly has a place on my shelf.”—Claudia Fleming, chef and author of The Last Course

About the Author

Claire Saffitz is the host of Bon Appétit's Gourmet Makes and Baking School, both on YouTube and iTunes, and contributes stories and recipes to the print magazine. After graduating from Harvard University, Saffitz received a master's degree in culinary history from McGill in Montreal and then studied pastry in Paris at École Grégoire Ferrandi. She lives in New York City.

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 right here on this event page.

Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 7:00pm

LBB & Missouri Abortion Fund Present ONLINE: Diana Greene Foster with Pamela Merritt & Dr. Erin King - The Turnaway Study

Wednesday, November 18, 7:00pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page

Left Bank Books and Missouri Abortion Fund welcome Director of Research at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)
Diana Greene Foster,
who will discuss her new book, 
The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—or Being Denied—an Abortion,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7:00pm CT on November 18.
Foster will be in conversation with Co-Founder and Co-Director of Reproaction
Pamela Merritt
and Executive Director of the Hope Clinic for Women
Dr. Erin King.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

 

About The Turnaway Study

A groundbreaking and illuminating look at the state of abortion access in America and the first long-term study of the consequences—emotional, physical, financial, professional, personal, and psychological—of receiving versus being denied an abortion on women’s lives.

What happens when a woman seeking an abortion is turned away? Diana Greene Foster, PhD, decided to find out. With a team of scientists—psychologists, epidemiologists, demographers, nursing scholars, and public health researchers—she set out to discover the effect of receiving versus being denied an abortion on women’s lives. Over the course of a ten-year investigation that began in 2007, she and her team followed a thousand women from more than twenty states, some of whom received their abortions, some of whom were turned away.

Now, for the first time, the results of this landmark study—the largest of its kind to examine women’s experiences with abortion and unwanted pregnancy in the United States—have been gathered together in one place. Here Foster presents the emotional, physical, and socioeconomic outcomes for women who received their abortion and those who were denied. She analyzes the impact on their mental and physical health, their careers, their romantic lives, their professional aspirations, and even their existing and future children—and finds that women who received an abortion were almost always better off than women who were denied one. Interwoven with these findings are ten riveting first-person narratives by women who share their candid stories.

As the debate about abortion rights intensifies, The Turnaway Study offers an in-depth examination of the real-world consequences for women of being denied abortions and provides evidence to refute the claim that abortion harms women. With brilliant synthesis and startling statistics—that thousands of American women are unable to access abortions; that 99% of women who receive an abortion do not regret it five years later—The Turnaway Study is a necessary and revelatory look at the impact of abortion access on people’s lives.

“If you read only one book about democracy, The Turnaway Study should be it. Why? Because without the power to make decisions about our own bodies, there is no democracy." —Gloria Steinem

“Dr. Diana Greene Foster brings what is too often missing from the public debate around abortion: science, data, and the real-life experiences of people from diverse backgrounds…This should be required reading for every judge, member of Congress, and candidate for office—as well as anyone who hopes to better understand this complex and important issue.” —Cecile Richards, cofounder of Supermajority, former president of Planned Parenthood, and author of Make Trouble

About the Speakers

Diana Greene Foster is a professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and director of research at Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH). An internationally recognized expert on women’s experiences with contraception and abortion, she is the principal investigator of the Turnaway Study. She has a bachelor’s of science from the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate from Princeton University. She lives with her husband and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Pamela Merritt is Co-Founder and Co-Director of Reproaction, a national organization that leads bold action to increase access to abortion and advance reproductive justice. Pamela was a 2017 Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Fellow at the Rockwood Leadership Institute, and she serves on the Board of Directors for the Guttmacher Institute and NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri. Her writing has been published in the Chicago Sun-Times, the Guardian, and Rolling Stone. Pamela lives in Southern Illinois, and enjoys St. Louis Blues hockey and spending time with her rescue dogs. Follow her on Twitter @SharkFu.

Erin King, MD is the Executive Director of the Hope Clinic for Women in Granite City, Illinois. Hope Clinic is an independent clinic that has been providing abortion care in the St. Louis region for over 40 years. Being in Illinois has become critical since 2019 while across the Mississippi River, just a few miles away, the state of Missouri has eliminated nearly all access to abortion. Providing abortion care has been central to Dr. King's career as a board certified obstetrician/gynecologist. Living in Missouri has solidified her commitment to reproductive healthcare advocacy.

About Missouri Abortion Fund

Our mission at Missouri Abortion Fund (MoAF) (formerly Gateway Women’s Access Fund) is to provide public education and support for people needing reproductive health services, primarily by providing financial assistance to Missouri residents who cannot afford the full cost of abortion care. MoAF works directly with clinics on behalf of the people we serve. When a clinic we work with sees a patient who needs assistance, MoAF is a potential funding source to which they turn for a portion of the cost. The clinic then bills us for the amount we commit to covering.

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 right here on this event page.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020 - 7:00pm

LBB Presents ONLINE: Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Andrew Krivak with Independent Publishers Caucus

Wednesday, November 11, 4:00pm CT
Zoom Event - Registration Required

Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil and novelist Andrew Krivak discuss their most recent books in a conversation centered around the environment.

 

Poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders, and novelist Andrew Krivak, author of The Bear, will discuss their work and our relationship to the natural world. Lauren LeBlanc, an independent writer and editor, will moderate the conversation.

This is an Indie Playlist event, created to support your local independent bookstore! Please consider buying these two brilliant books from our wonderful bookstore partner Left Bank Books!

This event is also hosted by Independent Publishers Caucus, Bellevue Literary Press, and Milkweed Editions.

Registration for this event is required.

 

World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments, by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction--a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.
As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted--no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape--she was able to turn to our world's fierce and funny creatures for guidance.
"What the peacock can do," she tells us, "is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life." The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world's gifts.
Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four collections of poems, including, most recently, Oceanic, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Other awards for her writing include fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Council, and MacDowell. Her writing appears in Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece and is professor of English and creative writing in the University of Mississippi's MFA program.

The Bear, by Andrew Krivak

From National Book Award in Fiction finalist Andrew Krivak comes a gorgeous fable of Earth's last two human inhabitants, and a girl's journey home

In an Edenic future, a girl and her father live close to the land in the shadow of a lone mountain. They possess a few remnants of civilization: some books, a pane of glass, a set of flint and steel, a comb. The father teaches the girl how to fish and hunt, the secrets of the seasons and the stars. He is preparing her for an adulthood in harmony with nature, for they are the last of humankind. But when the girl finds herself alone in an unknown landscape, it is a bear that will lead her back home through a vast wilderness that offers the greatest lessons of all, if she can only learn to listen.

A cautionary tale of human fragility, of love and loss, The Bear is a stunning tribute to the beauty of nature's dominion.

Andrew Krivak is the author of two previous novels: The Signal Flame, a Chautauqua Prize finalist, and The Sojourn, a National Book Award finalist and winner of both the Chautauqua Prize and Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He lives with his wife and three children in Somerville, Massachusetts, and Jaffrey, New Hampshire, in the shadow of Mount Monadnock, which inspired much of the landscape in The Bear.

 

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 4:00pm

LBB Presents ONLINE: Peggy Panosh & Susie Arons - Billions of Besties

Tuesday, November 10, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page

Left Bank Books welcomes marketing expert and illustrator
Peggy Panosh
and strategic communications adviser
Susie Arons,
who will discuss their new book, 
Billions of Besties: A Celebration of Fascinating and Simply Exceptional Friendships,
on Facebook Live at 7pm CT on November 10.
Panosh and Arons will be in conversation with St. Louis' former Classic 107.3 Station Manager
 Jim Connett.
Join us on our Facebook Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

 

About Billions of Besties

This beautifully illustrated and joyful tribute celebrates famous friendships (both real and fictional) and proves that there is no relationship more important than friendship.

Our best friends are our soulmates. They understand us when no one else does, lift us up, and bring out the best in us. It’s a relationship based on a bond that can’t always be described, but is always magical.

Billions of Besties shines a light on some of the most engaging, funny, inspiring, and sometimes unexpected sets of friends. In this gorgeous and playfully illustrated volume, creators and besties Peggy and Susie highlight more than 100 besties, both real and fictional, from all walks of life. From the comedic powerhouse of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, to the unexpected camaraderie between RGB and Antonin Scalia, the glamourous friendship between Anna Wintour and Roger Federer, or the fictional ride-or-die bond between Thelma and Louise, this book is a timeless salute to friendship in all its forms.

Uplifting and charming, Billions of Besties celebrates the power and vitality of friendship—from bromances to work wives—reminding us that when we have each other’s backs, we have the power to change the world.

“Full of gorgeous illustrations and odes to friendships both real and fictional, Billions of Besties by Peggy Panosh and Susie Arons is a celebration of the power of friendship. The book features 100 entries covering the bonds between Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, and more. Pick up a copy for yourself, and go ahead and grab one for your bestie, too, because this beautiful book will make a great gift.”—POPSUGAR

About the Authors

Peggy Panosh has carved a unique dual career path as both a highly respected marketing expert + illustrator. With more than 30 years in media and entertainment, Peggy has worked with some of the most prolific celebrities, namely Oprah, and world-renowned events from the Grammys to the Super Bowl, creating memorable moments for audiences all along the way. As a passionate traveler, having explored more than 70 countries, Peggy’s love for creating art was ignited during one of her many global adventures. Her illustrations capture the heart and spirit of the people, places, and moments that touch her soul. In fact, if you look very closely at her drawings, you will find a teeny little heart in each one. Peggy’s illustrations have been seen on CBS Sunday Morning, and she was a featured artist at Soho House’s Ludlow House in New York City. She splits her time between Brooklyn, New York, and Madison, Wisconsin. More of her work can be seen at peggypanosh.com

Susie Arons is a strategic communications adviser, working with some of the most recognized names in entertainment, lifestyle, and media. She has honed her writing skills penning billions of messages throughout her 30-plus-year career; some people might say she has also been a professional bestie to some of the besties in the business, including Netflix, HBO, Color Force, Marlo Thomas, The Defiant Ones, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, A24, Refinery29, Child Mind Institute, The Hunger Games, Amazon Studios, BMW, Focus Features, Starz, AMC Networks, West of Memphis, Apple Music, Jimmy Iovine, Sundance TV, Jonah Hill, The Orchard, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and the Tribeca Film Festival. Inspired every day by her colleagues or poolside with her treasured circle of friends and family, Susie learned early to lead with her heart, be smart, and always keep the joy.

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 right here on this event page.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 - 7:00pm

LBB Presents ONLINE: George Saunders - Swim in the Pond in the Rain

Wednesday, January 20, 7:00pm CT
Private Online Event - Book Purchase Required

Left Bank Books welcomes award-winning author
George Saunders,
who will discuss his new book, 
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life,
on January 20, 2021 at 7pm CT in a private online event. 
 
George Saunders will be in conversation with bestselling author Mary Karr!!!
 
This is an exclusive event that requires purchase of a SIGNED copy
from Left Bank Books for admission.

 

 

About A Swim in a Pond in the Rain

From the New York Times bestselling, Booker Prize–winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December comes a literary master class on what makes great stories work and what they can tell us about ourselves—and our world today.

For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times.

In his introduction, Saunders writes, “We’re going to enter seven fastidiously constructed scale models of the world, made for a specific purpose that our time maybe doesn’t fully endorse but that these writers accepted implicitly as the aim of art—namely, to ask the big questions, questions like, How are we supposed to be living down here? What were we put here to accomplish? What should we value? What is truth, anyway, and how might we recognize it?” He approaches the stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. The process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is a technical craft, but also a way of training oneself to see the world with new openness and curiosity.

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.

About the Author

George Saunders is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the Man Booker Prize; Congratulations, by the wayTenth of December, a finalist for the National Book Award; The Braindead Megaphone; and the critically acclaimed short story collections CivilWarLand in Bad DeclinePastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

Mary Karr is the author of three award-winning, bestselling memoirs: The Liars' ClubCherry, and Lit, as well as The Art of Memoir, also a New York Times bestseller. She received Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships for poetry and is the Peck Professor of Literature at Syracuse University.

You may purchase a SIGNED copy of A Swim in a Pond in the Rain from Left Bank Books online or by phone. You must provide an email address to be invited to the private online event. If you have purchased the book from Left Bank, you will receive an email event reminder a few days prior to the event. You will receive the actual email invite to join the private online event on the DAY OF the event.

**This is limited to attendees in the US due to international rights**

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 - 7:00pm

LBB Presents ONLINE: Gustavus Stadler with Robin Wheeler - Woody Guthrie

Thursday, November 5, 7:00pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page

Left Bank Books welcomes music scholar
Gustavus Stadler,
who will discuss his new book, 
Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7:00pm CT on November 5.
Stadler will be in conversation with St. Louis-based writer
Robin Wheeler.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

 

About Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life

Dismantles the Woody Guthrie we have been taught—the rough-and-ready ramblin’ man—to reveal an artist who discovered how intimacy is crucial for political struggle

Woody Guthrie is often mythologized as the classic American “ramblin’ man,” a real-life Steinbeckian folk hero who fought for working-class interests and inspired Bob Dylan. Biographers and fans frame him as a foe of fascism and focus on his politically charged folk songs. What’s left unexamined is how the bulk of Guthrie’s work—most of which is unpublished or little known—delves into the importance of intimacy in his personal and political life. Featuring an insert with personal photos of Guthrie’s family and previously unknown paintings, Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life is a fresh and contemporary analysis of the overlapping influences of sexuality, politics, and disability on the art and mind of an American folk icon.

Part biography, part cultural history of the Left, Woody Guthrie offers a stunning revelation about America’s quintessential folk legend, who serves as a guiding light for leftist movements today. In his close relationship with dancer Marjorie Mazia, Guthrie discovered a restorative way of thinking about the body, which provided a salve for the trauma of his childhood and the slowly debilitating effects of Huntington’s disease. Rejecting bodily shame and embracing the power of sexuality, he came to believe that intimacy was the linchpin for political struggle. By closely connecting to others, society could combat the customary emotional states of capitalist cultures: loneliness and isolation. Using intimacy as one’s weapon, Guthrie believed we could fight fascism’s seductive call.

Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life adds powerfully to our understanding of a man who never shied from blending the personal with the political.” The Progressive Magazine

“Gustavus Stadler helps Woody Guthrie down from his pedestal as dust bowl icon and helps us to see him as the three-dimensional character he really was.” —Billy Bragg, musician and activist

About the Speakers

Gustavus Stadler is the author of Woody Guthrie: An Intimate Life (Beacon Press Books, 2020) and Troubling Minds (U of Minnesota Press, 2006). His writing on music, literature, and politics has appeared in Public BooksAl Jazeeraavidly.comSocial Text and many other venues. He teaches in the English Department at Haverford College and lives in the Philadelphia area.

Robin Wheeler is a St. Louis-based writer. She has been a regular contributor to the Riverfront Times, St. Louis Magazine, Sauce, Eleven, and KDHX.org. Her work appears in the anthologies Knives and InkThe St. Louis Anthology, and Woody Guthrie Poets, 2019. She's currently working on a memoir of her year chasing Woody Guthrie. You can find her rejected writings at robindwheeler.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 right here on this event page.

Thursday, November 5, 2020 - 7:00pm

SLCL Presents Michael Cannell

Thursday, November 19, 7pm
Facebook.com/hectv

St. Louis County Library, Left Bank Books, and HEC-Media Presents Michael Cannell

Video premiere: November 19, 7:00 p.m. on Facebook.com/hectv

Michael Cannell, "A Brotherhood Betrayed: The Man Behind the Rise and Fall of Murder, Inc."

Bestselling author Michael Cannell presents a riveting true-crime history of 1940’s mafia. In the fall of 1941, a momentous trial was underway that threatened to end the careers and lives of New York’s most brutal mob kingpins. The lead witness, Abe Reles, had been a trusted executioner for Murder, Inc., the enforcement arm of a coast-to-coast mob network. Reles’  story--from street punk to murder chieftain to stool pigeon, ending with his fateful death on a Coney Island rooftop--resurrects a time when crime became organized crime: a world of money and power, depravity and corruption.

Signed copies of the book are available from Left Bank Books. Curbside pickup and shipping available. 

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

Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 7:00pm

SLCL Presents Jan Greenberg

Monday, November 16, 7pm
Facebook.com/hectv

St. Louis County Library, Left Bank Books, and HEC-Media Presents Jan Greenberg

Video premiere: November 16, 7:00 p.m. on Facebook.com/hectv

Jan Greenberg, "World of Glass: The Art of Dale Chihuly"

St. Louis writer Jan Greenberg presents the first children’s book about world-renowned glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. 

His crew calls him Maestro. Thousands of fans call him a magician. Over the past five decades, Chihuly has created some of the most innovative and popular works of art in museums and gardens around the world. Jan Greenberg met Chihuly in his studio for exclusive interviews discussing his early life, his passion for glassblowing, and his dazzling works. Lavishly illustrated with Chihuly’s art and family photographs, this book discusses Chilhuly’s workshop and his glassblowing technique.

Signed copies of the book are available from Left Bank Books. Curbside pickup and shipping available.

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

Monday, November 16, 2020 - 7:00pm

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