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Author Events

Kristopher Jansma: The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards

Kristopher Jansma

Left Bank Books - Central West End 

As early as he can remember, the narrator of this remarkable novel has wanted to become a writer. From the jazz clubs of Manhattan to the villages of Sri Lanka, Kristopher Jansma's hopelessly unreliable--yet hopelessly earnest--narrator will be haunted by the success of his greatest friend and literary rival, the brilliant Julian McGann, and endlessly enamored with Evelyn, the green-eyed girl who got away. A profound exploration of the nature of truth and storytelling, this delightful picaresque tale heralds Jansma as a bold, new American voice.

Watch a book trailer for The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards here

Wine and beer available for purchase, provided by The Vino Gallery. 

Parking: Lot one block north and one block east; street parking (meters free after 7pm)

For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 - 7:00pm

Maryville Talks Books presents The Lacks Family: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Lacks Family

Maryville University Auditorium 

Maryville Talks Books presents members of the Lacks family - Veronica Spencer, Henrietta Lacks' great-granddaughter, and Kim Lacks, Henrietta Lacks' granddaughter - in an interview format and Q&A session at the Maryville University Auditorium.

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. Henrietta’s family did not learn of her “immortality” until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family—past and present—is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.

Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 7:00pm

Ian Rankin: Saints of the Shadow Bible

Ian Rankin

Left Bank Books - Downtown 

Rebus is back on the force, albeit with a demotion and a chip on his shoulder. A 30-year-old case is being reopened, and Rebus’s team from back then is suspected of foul play. With Malcolm Fox as the investigating officer, is the past and present about to collide in a shocking and murderous fashion? And does Rebus have anything to hide?

Parking: Lot at 10th and Olive; garage at 10th between Locust and Washington; street parking (meters free after 7pm)

For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014 - 2:00pm

Dave Barry: You Can Date Boys When You're Forty, and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About

Dave Barry

Maryville University Auditorium 

Ticket information: $30 admits one person and includes one copy of "You Can Date Boys When You're Forty." $35 admits two people, includes one copy of "You Can Date Boys When You're Forty," and $5 will be rebatable towards the purchase of another copy at the event. Purchase tickets at

Maryville Talks Books Presents:

In uproarious, brand-new pieces, the NYT Bestselling author tackles everything from family trips, bat mitzvah parties and dating (he's serious about that title: "When my daughter can legally commence dating--February 24, 2040--I intend to monitor her closely, even if I am deceased") to funeral instructions ("I would like my eulogy to be given by William Shatner"), the differences between male and female friendships, the deeper meaning of "Fifty Shades of Grey," and a father's ultimate sacrifice: accompanying his daughter to a Justin Bieber concert ("It turns out that the noise teenaged girls make to express happiness is the same noise they would make if their feet were being gnawed off by badgers").

"Despite years of medication, Dave Barry is still the funniest damn writer in the whole country. Let's hope he never grows up." --Carl Hiaasen

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 - 7:00pm

George Saunders: Tenth of December

George Saunders

Left Bank Books - Downtown 


One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet. This collection of stories includes "Home," a wryly whimsical account of a soldier's return from war; "Victory Lap," a tale about an inventive abduction attempt, and the title story, in which a suicidal cancer patient saves the life of a young misfit.

$15 admits one person and includes one paperback copy of Tenth of December. $20 admits two people, includes one paperback copy of Tenth of December, and $5 will be rebatable towards the purchase of another Saunders book at the event. Purchase tickets at

Parking: Lot at 10th and Olive; garage at 10th between Locust and Washington; street parking (meters free after 7pm)

For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Monday, January 13, 2014 - 7:00pm

Zeuler Lima: Lina Bo Bardi

Left Bank Books - Downtown 

Washington University Architect Zeuler Lima presents the first comprehensive study of Lina Bo Bardi, one of the most important architects working in Latin America in the 20th century. Lina Bo Bardi showcases Lima's extensive archival work in Italy in Brazil. The leading authority on Bo Bardi, Lima frames the architect's activities on two continents and in five cities.

Parking: Lot at 10th and Olive; garage at 10th between Locust and Washington; street parking (meters free after 7pm)

For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - 7:30pm

Ari Shavit: My Promised Land

Ari ShavitCongregation Shaare Emeth

Through revealing stories of significant events and of ordinary individuals - pioneers, immigrants, entrepreneurs, scientists, army generals, peaceniks, settlers, and Palestinians - Israeli journalist Shavit illuminates many of the pivotal moments of the Zionist century that led Israel to where it is today. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased here. Presented by the St. Louis Jewish Book Festival.

Thursday, December 12, 2013 - 7:30pm

Ishmael Beah: Radiance of Tomorrrow

Ishmael Beah

Maryville University Auditorium 

Left Bank Books and Maryville Talks Books present Ishmael Beah, author of A Long Way Gone, to discuss his first novel, Radiance of Tomorrow, an affecting, tender parable about postwar life in Sierra Leone. Benjamin and Bockarie, two longtime friends, return to their hometown, Imperi, after the civil war. As they search for a way to restore order, they're forced to reckon with the uncertainty of their past and future alike.

Read an interview with Ishmael Beah here

Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 7:00pm

Eric Lundgren: The Facades

Eric Lundgren

St. Louis Public Library - Carondelet Branch 

One night at the opera house of the once-great Midwestern city of Trude, now in ruin, the theater's most celebrated mezzo-soprano vanishes during rehearsal. When the police come up empty-handed, the star's husband must take up the quest on his own, descending into Trude's underworld and confronting the menacing and bizarre citizens of his hometown: rebellious librarians, shifty music critics, a copy called the Oracle, and the minster of an apocalyptic church.

Saturday, January 4, 2014 - 11:30am

Observable Readings: Sandra Beasley and Paul Legault

Sandra Beasley Paul Legault

Llywelyn's Pub 

Sandra Beasley is the author of the poetry collections I Was The Jukebox, winner of the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Theories of Falling, which won the 2007 New Issues Poetry Prize. Paul Legault holds an MFA from the University of Virginia. His poems have been published in The Awl, Denver Quarterly, and Washington Square, and his first book of poetry, The Madeleine Poems, was published in 2010.

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 7:30pm


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