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Author Events

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Walter Johnson - The Broken Heart of America

Tuesday, April 14, 7pm
.ZACK, 3224 locust

walter johnson, the broken heart of americaFollowing recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event is POSTPONED. Please check back for updates. 

Left Bank Books welcomes award winning St. Louis native author, Walter Johnson, in conversation with Tef Poe discussing Johnson's new book on the racial dynamics intwined with American and St. Louis history, The Broken Heart of America

A searing portrait of the racial dynamics that lie inescapably at the heart of our nation, told through the turbulent history of the city of St. Louis. From Lewis and Clark’s 1804 expedition to the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, American history has been made in St. Louis. And as Walter Johnson shows in this searing book, the city exemplifies how imperialism, racism, and capitalism have persistently entwined to corrupt the nation’s past. St. Louis was a staging post for Indian removal and imperial expansion, and its wealth grew on the backs of its poor black residents, from slavery through redlining and urban renewal. But it was once also America’s most radical city, home to anti-capitalist immigrants, the Civil War’s first general emancipation, and the nation’s first general strike—a legacy of resistance that endures. A blistering history of a city’s rise and decline, The Broken Heart of America will forever change how we think about the United States.

"The thread that runs through this entire book is the historical relationship between US imperialism, Indian removal, and anti-Black racism. Although also a granular history of the city of St. Louis, The Broken Heart of America is a deep history of the United States' continental empire with St. Louis at the center of economic and military operations. This may be the most important book on US history you will read in your lifetime." -- Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, author of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States

Walter Johnson is Winthrop Professor of History and professor of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, and author of the critically acclaimed River of Dark Dreams and Soul by Soul, which won the Frederick Jackson Turner Award, the Avery O. Craven Award, and several other prestigious prizes. A Missouri native, he lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.tef poe

Tef Poe is an American-born rapper, author, educator, award-winning journalist, and social revolutionary from St. Louis, MO. He is one of the co-founders of the Hands Up United movement, founded in Ferguson after the killing of Michael Brown Jr. In 2017–2018, he was selected to be the Nasir Jones Hip Hop Fellow via Harvard University’s prestigious W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute. He is currently an Independent Scholar at Harvard University’s Charles Warren Center for American Studies. As a hip hop artist, he has performed on stages with the likes of Mos Def and Talib Kweli, Lupe Fiasco, Rick Ross, Bia, Dead Prez, TI, Macklemore, Harry Belafonte, Stevie Wonder, and more.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Ali Araghi - Immortals of Tehran

Thursday, April 9, 7pm
Left Bank Books

ali araghi, immortals of tehran

Following recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event is POSTPONED. Please check back for updates. 

Left Bank Books welcomes award winning Iranian author and St. Louis local, Ali Araghi, who will sign and discuss his debut novel, Immortals of Tehran.

Ahmad Torkash-Vand treasures his great-great-great-great grandfather’s every mesmerizing word. On the day of Ahmad’s father’s death, Ahmad listens closely as the seemingly immortal elder tells him the tale of a centuries-old family curse, and the boy’s own fated role in the story. Immortals of Tehran follows Ahmad and his family through the years as they struggle to hold themselves together through decades of famine, loss, and political turmoil in Iran. As the world transforms, Ahmad’s life and the lives of those around him converge and catch fire at the center of the Revolution. As his teenage daughter joins the increasingly dangerous crowds of men protesting in the streets, his best friend held in prison for years for his political leanings, and his wife returns to nursing school, Ahmad continues to put his faith in poetry and its ability to spark a light—its ability to change the world. Ali Araghi’s Immortals of Tehran explores the harsh realities of history while still conjuring the astonishment and charm of magical realism, resulting in a fascinating and stirring novel about the power of words and the revolutionary sparks of love, family, and poetry—set against the indifferent, relentless march of time.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Immortals of Tehran 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, April 9, 2020 - 7:00pm

CANCELLED: Jazz St. Louis with Ashley Kahn

Wednesday, April 8, 7pm
The Harold and Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz, 3536 Washington

ashley kahn, jazz stl

Following recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event has been CANCELLED.

Jazz St. Louis presents award-winning journalist and radio essayist, Ashley Kahn, who authored The House That 'Trane Built, and A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album.

The year 1959 was arguably the most creative year jazz had ever seen. As musicians began breaking away from BeBop and exploring new experimental forms, four albums were released that year that are now widely recognized as the most influential in history. Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, Dave Brubeck’s Time Out, Charles Mingus’s Mingus Ah Um, and Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz to Come, represented new directions in music that influenced the course of jazz in every aspect. Author, Ashley Kahn, returns to Jazz St. Louis to explore this influential year in jazz, followed by an all-star performance, led by bassist Bob DeBoo.


Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Cynthia Beebe - Boots in the Ashes

Wednesday, April 8, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Cynthia Beebe, Boots in the ashesFollowing recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event is POSTPONED. Please check back for updates. 

Left Bank Books welcomes  retired Senior Special Agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Cynthia Beebe, who will sign and dsicus her memoir about being one of the first women special agents for the ATF, Boots In The Ashes.

Boots in the Ashes is the memoir of Cynthia Beebe's groundbreaking career as one of the first women special agents for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, (ATF). A smart and independent girl growing up in suburban Chicago, she unexpectedly became one of the first women to hunt down violent criminals for the federal government.

As a special agent for 27 years, Beebe gives the reader first-hand knowledge of the human capacity for evil. She tells the story of how, as a young woman, she overcame many obstacles on her journey through the treacherous world of illegal guns, gangs, and bombs. She battled conflicts both on the streets and within ATF. But Beebe learned how to thrive in the ultra-masculine world of violent crime and those whose job it is to stop it.

Beebe tells her story through the lens of six major cases that read like crime fiction: four bombings, one arson fire and a massive roundup of the Hell's Angels on the West Coast. She also shares riveting never before revealed trial testimonies, including killers, bombers, arsonists, victims, witnesses and judges.

Cynthia Beebe is a retired Senior Special Agent with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). She spent 27 years investigating bombings, arson, murder, illegal firearms, gangs and other crimes. Her cases were chronicled in the New York Times, Chicago Tribune and Ladies Home Journal, and were covered on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and 48 Hours. She was the first woman to earn the coveted "Top Gun" award at the ATF Academy, where she later worked as an instructor. Beebe is a member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators, the International Association of Arson Investigators and Women in Federal Law Enforcement. She has a B.A. in English Literature and a Master's Degree in Journalism, both from Northwestern University, which she attended on an athletic scholarship. Since her retirement she has appeared as an expert commentator on law enforcement issues for WGN radio and television. She lives with her son in a suburb of Chicago.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Boots in the Ashes 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, April 8, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Sidney Thompson - Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves

Monday, March 30, 7pm
Left Bank Books

sidney thompson, follow the angels, follow the dovesFollowing recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event is POSTPONED.

Join Left Bank Books for award winning author, Sidney Thompson, as he signs and discusses his new book, Follow The Angels, Follow The Doves, about the famous Wild West lawman, Bass Reeves.

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is an origin story in the true American tradition. Before Bass Reeves could stake his claim as the most successful nineteenth century American lawman, arresting more outlaws than any other deputy during his thirty two year career as a deputy U.S. marshal in some of the most dangerous regions of the Wild West, he was a slave. After a childhood picking cotton, he became an expert marksman under his master’s tutelage, winning shooting contests throughout the region. His skill had serious implications, however, as the Civil War broke out. Reeves was given to his master’s mercurial, sadistic, Moby Dick quoting son in the hopes that Reeves would keep him safe in battle. The ensuing humiliation, love, heroics, war, mind games, and fear solidified Reeves’s determination to gain his freedom and drew him one step further on his fated path to an illustrious career.

Follow the Angels, Follow the Doves is an important historical work that places Reeves in the pantheon of American heroes and a thrilling historical novel that narrates a great man’s exploits amid the near mythic world of the nineteenth century frontier.

 Sidney Thompson holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Arkansas and a Ph.D. in American literature/African-American narratives from the University of North Texas. He is the author of You/Wee: Poems from a Father (2018) and Sideshow, winner of Foreword Magazine’s Silver Award for Short Story Collection of the Year (2006). His fiction, twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, has appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies, such as Atticus Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Cleaver Magazine, The Cortland Review, Grey Sparrow Journal, Prick of the Spindle, R.kv.r.y. Quarterly Literary Journal, The Southern Review, Stories from the Blue Moon Café (Volumes 1 & 2), storySouth, Writing Texas, and Waxwing Literary Journal. He grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and now teaches creative writing and African-American literature at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Follow The Angels, Follow The Doves 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.

Monday, March 30, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Malaika B Horne - Mother Wit

Monday, March 16, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Following recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event has been POSTPONED. You can order an autographed copy of the book below. If you would like a copy personalized, specify in the comments in check-out to whom you want the personalization addressed.

Left Bank Books presents local journalist, academic writer, and author, Malaika B Horne, who will sign and discuss her new book, Mother Wit.

malaika b horne, mother wit"This book describes in a vivid and poignant manner the remarkable ability of a mid-twentieth century Black woman--living under conditions of Apartheid as practiced in the United States--to overcome harsh and even grotesque societal obstacles, and succeed in rearing six children. That each of them went on to excel in their chosen fields is worthy of serious contemplation. In addition, the reader is provided insight and illumination on still taboo topics such as "colorism" and intra-group violence that engender and nourish self-hate among many in the African American Community. Moreover, the author's penchant for candor is coupled with a constructive theme of hope and faith in the future."

--William M Harvey, PhD, psychologist

Malaika Horne is founding director of the Executive Leadership Consortium at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She is an academic writer, book author and journalist, writing extensively on topics from politics, health, social causes to women’s issues. Dr. Horne serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education. She is currently a contributing writer for the on-line publication, Arts Today.  Recently, she authored the book:  Mother Wit:  Exalting Motherhood while Honoring a Great Mother. She founded and chaired the Chancellor’s Cultural Diversity Initiative at UMSL from 2004 to 2011. She created a student radio show, The University World View, a diversity program interviewing cultural diversity specialists. Now, she has a podcast with the same name as the radio show. Prior to her work in academia, she was managing director of Narcotics Service Council, at the time, one of the largest private non-profit agencies of its kind in the state. She is a board member of several non-profits in the area. Her hobbies are travel, reading, fashion, health and fitness and becoming proficient in Spanish.  She is married to Prince A. Wells, III, professor of music, SIUE.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Mother Wit 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.

Monday, March 16, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: LBB Presents: Neal Bascomb - Faster

Tuesday, March 31, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Following recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event has been POSTPONED.

Left Bank Books presents award winning author and St. Louis Native, Neal Bascomb, who will sign and discuss his new book Faster: How a Jewish Driver, an American Heiress, and a Legendary Car Beat Hitler's Best.

neal bascomb, fasterThey were the unlikeliest of heroes. Rene Dreyfus, a former top driver on the international racecar circuit, had been banned from the best European teams—and fastest cars—by the mid-1930s because of his Jewish heritage. Charles Weiffenbach, head of the down-on-its-luck automaker Delahaye, was desperately trying to save his company as the world teetered toward the brink. And Lucy Schell, the adventurous daughter of an American multi-millionaire, yearned to reclaim the glory of her rally-driving days.

As Nazi Germany launched its campaign of racial terror and pushed the world toward war, these three misfits banded together to challenge Hitler’s dominance at the apex of motorsport: the Grand Prix. Their quest for redemption culminated in a remarkable race that is still talked about in racing circles to this day—but which, soon after it ended, Hitler attempted to completely erase from history.

Bringing to life this glamorous era and the sport that defined it, Faster chronicles one of the most inspiring, death-defying upsets of all time: a symbolic blow against the Nazis during history’s darkest hour.

"Faster is a full-throttle reminder of the power of heroes to inspire us in dark times. Neal Bascomb has brought to life a gripping, expertly researched tale of an unlikely band of dreamers who risked everything to challenge evil."
--Mitchell Zuckoff, New York Times best-selling author of Lost in Shangri-La and 13 Hours

"Sport, politics, and human passion collide in this sizzling ride of a book. Bringing the excitement of motor racing to life on a page is no easy task but Bascomb succeeds hugely. Rene Dreyfus's victory over the Nazis is a victory for us all."
--A.J. Baime, New York Times best-selling author of Go Like Hell and The Accidental President  

Neal Bascomb is the award-winning and New York Times best-selling author of The Winter Fortress, Hunting Eichmann, The Perfect Mile, among others. 

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Faster 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, March 31, 2020 - 7:00pm

LBB Presents: An Evening with Cara Black & Scott Phillips

Tuesday, May 12, 7pm
Kranzberg Arts Center Studio, 501 N Grand

Left Bank Books presents an evening with the New York Times bestselling author of the Aimée Leduc series, Cara Black, with award-winning and bestselling author, Scott Phillips!
cara black, three hours in parisKate Rees, a young American markswoman, has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris with a dangerous assignment: assassinate the Führer. Wrecked by grief after a Luftwaffe bombing killed her husband and infant daughter, she is armed with a rifle, a vendetta, and a fierce resolve. But other than rushed and rudimentary instruction, she has no formal spy training. Thrust into the red-hot center of the war, a country girl from rural Oregon finds herself holding the fate of the world in her hands. When Kate misses her mark and the plan unravels, Kate is on the run for her life--all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up.

Cara Black is the author of nineteen books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series. She has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, and her books have been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and son and visits Paris frequently. Cara Black, doyenne of the Parisian crime novel, is at her best as she brings Occupation-era France to vivid life in this gripping story about one young woman with the temerity--and drive--to take on Hitler himself. 

scott phillips, that left turn at albuquerqueThat Left Turn at Albuquerque is written with hard-knock sensibility and wicked humor, great for lovers of Better Call Saul and Pulp Fiction. It features Douglas Rigby, a bankrupt attorney-at-law who has just sunk his last $200,000—a clandestine “loan” from his last remaining client, former bigshot TV exec Glenn Haskill—into a cocaine deal gone wrong. Desperate to get back on top, he formulates an art forgery scheme involving one of Glenn’s priceless paintings, but for Rigby to pull this one off he’ll need to negotiate a whole cast of players with their own agendas, including his wife, his girlfriend, an embittered art forger, Glenn’s resentful nurse, and the man’s money-hungry nephew. One misstep, and it all falls apart.

Scott Phillips is 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 into a major motion picture of the same name starring John Cusack and Billy Bob Thornton. Scott is also the recipient of the California Book Award, and was a finalist for the Edgar Award, the Hammett Prize, and the CWA Gold Dagger Award. Scott is a true master of the genre, as lauded by fellow authors such as Blake Crouch, Reed Farrel Coleman, and Ace Atkins (their blurbs below!), so this novel marking his return is something extra special.


Tuesday, May 12, 2020 - 7:00pm

NOW ONLINE: Sarah Kendzior - Hiding in Plain Sight

Tuesday, April 7, 7pm
Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton

Following recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this in-person event is CANCELLED. However! Sarah is offering live signing and personalization available with special orders. Details will be announced on Sarah's Twitter.

Left Bank Books presents New York Times bestselling author Sarah Kendzior. and her new bitingly honest examination of the erosion of American liberty and the calculated rise to power of Donald Trump, Hiding in Plain Sight. Sarah Kendzior will be in conversation with St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum.

sarah kendzior, hiding in plain sightThe rise of Donald Trump may have shocked Americans, but it should not have surprised them. His anti-democratic movement is the culmination of a decades-long breakdown of U.S. institutions. The same blindness to U.S. decline – particularly the loss of economic stability for the majority of the population and opportunity-hoarding by the few – is reflected in an unwillingness to accept that authoritarianism can indeed thrive in the so-called “home of the free”.

As Americans struggle to reconcile the gulf between a flagrant aspiring autocrat and the democratic precepts they had been told were sacred and immutable, the inherent fragility of American democracy has been revealed. Hiding in Plain Sight exposes this continual loss of freedom, the rise of consolidated corruption, and the secrets behind a burgeoning autocratic United States that have been hiding in plain sight for decades. In Kendzior’s signature and celebrated style, she expertly outlines Trump’s meteoric rise from the 1980s until today, interlinking key moments of his life with the degradation of the American political system and the continual erosion of our civil liberties by foreign powers.

Kendzior also offers a never-before-seen look at her personal life and her lifelong tendency to be in the wrong place at the wrong time – living in New York through 9/11 and in St. Louis during the Ferguson uprising, and researching media and authoritarianism when Trump emerged using the same tactics as the post-Soviet dictatorships she had long studied. Hiding in Plain Sight is about confronting injustice – an often agonizing process, but an honest and necessary one – as the only way that offers the possibility of ending it.

Sarah Kendzior is best known for her reporting on St. Louis and the 2016 election, her academic research on authoritarian states, and her New York Times bestselling debut The View from Flyover Country. She is an op-ed columnist for the Globe and Mail and was named one of Foreign Policy's “100 people you should be following on Twitter to make sense of global events.” Her reporting has been featured in Politico, The AtlanticFast CompanyThe New York Times, and more. She lives in St. Louis.

Jason Rosenbaum is St. Louis Public Radio’s political correspondent. Since becoming a professional journalist in 2006, Rosenbaum has extensively covered local, state and federal politics for an array of publications — including the Columbia Daily Tribune, the St. Louis Beacon and Missouri Lawyers Media. Rosenbaum has filed more than 35 feature stories for shows like Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace. And he’s extensively reported on the aftermath of Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson and the fall of Eric Greitens from the Missouri governorship. Rosenbaum is an adjunct instructor at Washington University in St. Louis, where he teaches a class on radio news reporting and podcasting. He resides in Richmond Heights with his wife and two sons.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2020 - 7:00pm

LBB Presents: John Launius - The Life and Times of Missouri's Charles Parsons

Wednesday, March 4, 7pm
Left Bank Books

John Launius, Life and Times of Missouri's Charles ParsonsLeft Bank Books welcomes St. Louis local tech executive, John Launius, who will sign and discuss his new book focused on a St. Louis historical figure, The Life and Times of Missouri's Charles Parsons.

Charles Parsons is one of St. Louis's and the nation's most influential yet little-known figures. He was instrumental to the Union cause as a Civil War quartermaster and advisor to generals, politicians and presidents alike. As a world-traveling art connoisseur, he helped found the first art museum west of the Mississippi, to which he donated his remarkable collection of American, European and Asian art. To this day, his philanthropic work and dedication to education live on in some of the country's grandest institutions. Author John Launius tells the full story for the first time, from business failures in a riverside boomtown to national renown.

John Launius is a media and technology executive based in St. Louis, Missouri. He has provided leadership across governmental and educational sectors and has worked in all forms of media during his career. As a designated "Show Me Missouri" Historical Speaker, representing the Missouri Humanities Council and the Missouri State Historical Society, he enjoys research, writing and lecturing about nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. As a public speaker, he enjoys discussing leadership, management and other business-related topics. He is a Hillman Scholar mentor and has engaged with nonprofits and charitable organizations focused on improving the quality of life for others. With thirty-eight years of martial arts training, he holds numerous black belts in several martial art styles. He has a BA from Webster University and studied at Washington University in St. Louis, DePaul University's Goodman School of Theatre and The Second City in Chicago.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of The Life and Times of Missouri's Charles Parsons 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, March 4, 2020 - 7:00pm


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