Author Events

SLCL Presents James Rollins

Thursday, January 6th, 7pm CST
St. Louis County Library Headquarters

St. Louis County Library, HEC Media, and Left Bank Books present  James Rollins, "The Starless Crown."

Internationally bestselling author of the Sigma Force adventure-thriller series, James Rollins now returns to his origins in speculative fiction. “The Starless Crown” launches a new epic fantasy series about the clash of might and magic and an unlikely fellowship of heroes. The story follows Nyx, a gifted student who foretells an apocalypse. Because of this, she’s  condemned to death, forced to flee into the wild and ally herself with a team of outcasts, each with  their own dark pasts and secret motives. On the run, hunted by enemies old and new, they must  learn to trust each other in order to survive in a world evolved in strange, beautiful, and deadly ways. 

A virtual component of this event will broadcast through this link: on Wednesday, January 12, 7:00 pm.



Books for signing will be available for purchase from Left Bank Books. Curbside pick-up, in-store pick-up, and shipping available.


Thursday, January 6, 2022 - 7:00pm

Kathryn Schulz with Helen Macdonald - Lost & Found

Friday, January 14, 1pm CT / 2pm ET
Private Online Event - Book Purchase Required

Rectangular image with head shot of author Kathryn Schulz on the left half, a pic of the cover of the book "Lost & Found" on the top right, and head shot of author Helen Macdonald on the lower rightLeft Bank Books welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker staff writer
Kathryn Schulz,
who will discuss her highly anticipated new book
Lost & Found,
for an online event at 1pm CT on January 14th.
Schulz will be in conversation with best-selling author
Helen Macdonald.
Purchase a copy of
from Left Bank Books to gain access to the event!
Signed bookplates will be available for copies of Lost & Found ordered through Left Bank Books.
You may purchase a copy of Lost & Found from Left Bank Books online or by phone. You must provide an email address to be invited to the private online event. You will receive an email with the link to join the private online event the DAY OF the event. Thank you for supporting Left Bank Books!
About Lost & Found
An enduring account of love and loss from one of the great writers of our time, The New Yorker's Kathryn Schulz, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

"An extraordinary gift of a book, a tender, searching meditation on love and loss and what it means to be human. I wept at it, laughed with it, was entirely fascinated by it. I emerged feeling as if the world around me had been made anew."--Helen Macdonald, author of H Is for Hawk and Vesper Flights

Eighteen months before Kathryn Schulz's beloved father died, she met the woman she would marry. In Lost & Found, she weaves the stories of those relationships into a brilliant exploration of how all our lives are shaped by loss and discovery--from the maddening disappearance of everyday objects to the sweeping devastations of war, pandemic, and natural disaster; from finding new planets to falling in love.

Three very different American families form the heart of Lost & Found the one that made Schulz's father, a charming, brilliant, absentminded Jewish refugee; the one that made her partner, an equally brilliant farmer's daughter and devout Christian; and the one she herself makes through marriage. But Schulz is also attentive to other, more universal kinds of conjunction: how private happiness can coexist with global catastrophe, how we get irritated with those we adore, how love and loss are themselves unavoidably inseparable. The resulting book is part memoir, part guidebook to living in a world that is simultaneously full of wonder and joy and wretchedness and suffering--a world that always demands both our gratitude and our grief.

A staff writer at The New Yorker and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Kathryn Schulz writes with curiosity, tenderness, erudition, and wit about our finite yet infinitely complicated lives. Crafted with the emotional clarity of C. S. Lewis and the intellectual force of Susan Sontag , Lost & Found is an uncommon book about common experiences.

"An unfolding astonishment to read." --Alison Bechdel, author of The Secret to Human Strength and Fun Home

"Kathryn Schulz has created a masterpiece of metaphysical insight, at once richly lyrical and piercingly specific." --Andrew Solomon, author of The Noonday Demon and Far from the Tree

Lost & Found is the most daring of books: a memoir by a happy person. Deeply felt and exquisitely written, it's an absorbing exploration of love and loss--not to mention meteorites, Dante, and bears. The prodigiously talented Kathryn Schulz has written about her life in a way that will change yours." --Andy Borowitz, of "The Borowitz Report"

Lost & Found is a deeply moving, richly illuminating exploration of loss and bliss. Schulz is never anything but the very best company, speaking nuanced truths from and about the deepest reaches of the heart." --Leslie Jamison, author of Make It Scream, Make It Burn

"Kathryn Schulz has a singular way of turning a familiar idea around and around until it becomes cosmic, geological, wondrous. In Lost & Found she turns a memoir of love and death into an exploration of the way chance becomes fate and grief intertwines with gratitude. To read her is to be quietly amazed at hidden depths and histories--as if you were to discover a map of a continent written in the palm of your hand." --Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror



Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Being Wrong. She won a National Magazine Award and a Pulitzer Prize for "The Really Big One," her article about seismic risk in the Pacific Northwest. Lost & Found grew out of "Losing Streak," a New Yorker story that was anthologized in The Best American Essays. Her work has also appeared in The Best American Science and Nature Writing, The Best American Travel Writing, and The Best American Food Writing. A native of Ohio, she lives with her family on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

HELEN MACDONALD is a writer, poet, illustrator and naturalist, and an affiliated research scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. She is the author of the bestselling H Is for Hawk, as well as a cultural history of falcons, titled Falcon, and three collections of poetry, including Shaler's Fish. Macdonald was a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge, has worked as a professional falconer, and has assisted with the management of raptor research and conservation projects across Eurasia. She now writes for the New York Times Magazine.


You may purchase a copy of Lost & Found from Left Bank Books online or by phone. You must provide an email address to be invited to the private online event. You will receive an email with the link to join the private online event the DAY OF the event. Thank you for supporting Left Bank Books!

Friday, January 14, 2022 - 1:00pm

Candace O'Connor - Climbing the Ladder, Chasing the Dream

Wednesday, January 26, 6pm CT
Livestreaming to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page
Rectangular image with headshot of author Candace O'Connor on the left half and a picture of the cover of the book "Climbing the Ladder, Chasing the Dream" on the rightLeft Bank Books presents St. Louis author
Candace O'Connor: Now Online
Climbing the Ladder, Chasing the Dream: The History of Homer G. Phillips Hospital
Wednesday, January 26th at 6pm Central.
O'Connor with be in conversation with
Dr. Will Ross & Dr. Eva Frazer.
Livestreaming online on Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page.

Candace will come in to the store following the arrival of the books to sign and personalize copies that are available for order now through Left Bank Books. Please leave any personalization notes in your order comments.


Nothing about Homer G. Phillips Hospital came easily. Built to serve St. Louis's rapidly expanding African-American population, the grand new hospital opened its doors in 1937, toward the end of the Great Depression. "Homer G.," as many called it, joined a burgeoning group of black hospitals amid a national period of institutional segregation and strong racial prejudice nationwide.

When the beautiful, up-to-date hospital opened, it attracted more black residents than any other such program in the United States. Patients also flocked to the hospital, as did nursing students who found there excellent training, ready employment, and a boost into the middle class. For decades, the hospital thrived; by the 1950s, three-quarters of African-American babies in St. Louis were born at Homer G.

But the 1960s and 1970s brought less need for all-black hospitals, as faculty, residents, and patients were increasingly welcome in the many newly integrated institutions. Ever-tightening city budgets meant less money for the hospital, and in 1979, despite protests from the African-American community, HGPH closed. Years later, the venerated, long-vacant building came to life again as the Homer G. Phillips Senior Living Community.

Candace O'Connor draws upon contemporary newspaper articles, institutional records, and dozens of interviews with former staff members to create the first, full history of the Homer G. Phillips Hospital. She also brings new facts and insights into the life and mysterious murder (still an unsolved case) of the hospital's namesake, a pioneering Black attorney and civil rights activist who led the effort to build the sorely needed medical facility in the Ville neighborhood.


Candace O'Connor is a freelance journalist and the author of 14 books, including histories of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Central West End, as well as A Song of Faith and Hope: The Life of Frankie Muse Freeman. She also wrote and co-produced a PBS documentary, Oh Freedom After While: The Missouri Sharecropper Protest of 1939, which won a regional Emmy award. She lives in St. Louis with her husband.


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

Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - 6:00pm

Isabel Allende - Violeta

Saturday, January 29, 6pm CT / 7pm ET
Private Online Event - Book Purchase Required

A rectangular image with a headshot of author Isabel Allende on the left half and a picture of the cover of the book "Violeta" on the right halfLeft Bank Books and Books & Books/Miami Book Fair + indie bookstore partners
welcome author of twenty-six bestselling and critically acclaimed books
Isabel Allende,
who will discuss her new book
on January 29th at 6pm CT / 7pm ET in a
private virtual event.
This is an exclusive event that requires purchase of a copy of
Violeta or Violeta (Spanish Edition)

from Left Bank Books for admission.
Limited pre-signed quantities of Violeta (English Edition) in hardcover are available with your order.
Allende will be in conversation with TBA!

About Violeta

This sweeping novel from the New York Times bestselling author of A Long Petal of the Sea tells the epic story of Violeta Del Valle, a woman whose life spans one hundred years and bears witness to the greatest upheavals of the twentieth century.

Violeta comes into the world on a stormy day in 1920, the first girl in a family with five boisterous sons. From the start, her life is marked by extraordinary events, for the ripples of the Great War are still being felt, even as the Spanish flu arrives on the shores of her South American homeland almost at the moment of her birth.

Through her father's prescience, the family will come through that crisis unscathed, only to face a new one as the Great Depression transforms the genteel city life she has known. Her family loses everything and is forced to retreat to a wild and beautiful but remote part of the country. There, she will come of age, and her first suitor will come calling.

She tells her story in the form of a letter to someone she loves above all others, recounting times of devastating heartbreak and passionate affairs, poverty and wealth, terrible loss and immense joy. Her life is shaped by some of the most important events of history: the fight for women's rights, the rise and fall of tyrants, and ultimately not one, but two pandemics.

Through the eyes of a woman whose unforgettable passion, determination, and sense of humor carry her through a lifetime of upheaval, Isabel Allende once more brings us an epic that is both fiercely inspiring and deeply emotional.


La épica y emocionante historia de una mujer cuya vida abarca los momentos históricos más relevantes del siglo XX.

Desde 1920 -con la llamada «gripe española»- hasta la pandemia de 2020, la vida de Violeta será mucho más que la historia de un siglo.

Violeta viene al mundo un tormentoso día de 1920, siendo la primera niña de una familia de cinco bulliciosos hermanos. Desde el principio su vida estará marcada por acontecimientos extraordinarios, pues todavía se sienten las ondas expansivas de la Gran Guerra cuando la gripe española llega a las orillas de su país sudamericano natal, casi en el momento exacto de su nacimiento.

Gracias a la clarividencia del padre, la familia saldrá indemne de esta crisis para darse de bruces con una nueva, cuando la Gran Depresión altera la elegante vida urbana que Violeta ha conocido hasta ahora. Su familia lo perderá todo y se verá obligada a retirarse a una región salvaje y remota del país. Allí Violeta alcanzará la mayoría de edad y tendrá su primer pretendiente...

En una carta dirigida a una persona a la que ama por encima de todas las demás, Violeta rememora devastadores desengaños amorosos y romances apasionados, momentos de pobreza y también de prosperidad, pérdidas terribles e inmensas alegrías. Moldearán su vida algunos de los grandes sucesos de la historia: la lucha por los derechos de la mujer, el auge y caída de tiranos y, en última instancia, no una, sino dos pandemias.

Vista con los ojos de una mujer poseedora de una pasión, una determinación y un sentido del humor inolvidables que la sostienen a lo largo de una vida turbulenta, Isabel Allende nos regala, una vez más, una historia épica furiosamente inspiradora y profundamente emotiva.


About our Speakers

Isabel Allende won worldwide acclaim in 1982 with the publication of her first novel, The House of the Spirits. Since then, she has authored twenty-six bestselling and critically acclaimed books, which have been translated into more than forty-two languages. In addition to her work as a writer, Allende devotes much of her time to human rights causes. In 1996, following the death of her daughter, Paula Frias, she established a charitable foundation in her honor, which has awarded grants to more than one hundred nonprofits worldwide on behalf of women and girls. In 2014, President Barack Obama awarded Allende the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, and in 2018 she received the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. She has also received PEN Center USA's Lifetime Achievement Award. Raised in Chile, she now lives in California.

Isabel Allende nació en 1942, en Perú, pasó la primera infancia en Chile y vivió en varios lugares en su adolescencia y juventud. Después del golpe militar de 1973 en Chile se exilió en Venezuela y a partir de 1987 vive como inmigrante en California. Se define como «eterna extranjera».


Inició su carrera literaria en el periodismo, en Chile y en Venezuela. En 1982 su primera novela, La casa de los espíritus, se convirtió en uno de los títulos míticos de la literatura latinoamericana. A ella le siguieron otros muchos, todos los cuales han sido éxitos internacionales. Su obra ha sido traducida a cuarenta idiomas y ha vendido más de setenta millones de ejemplares, siendo la escritora más vendida en lengua española. Ha recibido más de sesenta premios internacionales, entre ellos el Premio Nacional de Literatura de Chile en 2010, el Premio Hans Christian Andersen en Dinamarca, en 2012, por su trilogía «Memorias del Águila y del Jaguar» y la Medalla de la Libertad en los Estados Unidos, la más alta distinción civil, en 2014. En 2018, Isabel Allende se convirtió en la primera escritora en lengua española premiada con la medalla de honor del National Book Award, en los Estados Unidos por su gran aporte al mundo de las letras.


You may purchase a copy of Violeta or Violeta (Spanish Edition) 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 a few days prior to the event with instructions on how to join the Zoom Webinar. You will receive another email with the link to join the private online event the DAY OF the event.

Saturday, January 29, 2022 - 6:00pm

Kirkwood Public Library Presents Nghi Vo

Wednesday, January 19th, 6pm CST
Virtual Event streaming to YouTube
Left Bank Books with Kirkwood Public Library and St. Louis Community College Libraries Present
Nghi Vo

Nghi Vo will be streaming live with KPL podcast hosts Ryan & Jigisha to do a reading & talk about her book The Chosen & the Beautiful. A live Q&A will follow. Co-sponsored by St. Louis Community College Libraries, this event will be streamed live on YouTube, or you can attend at the library and watch it live in our meeting room. Submit your questions ahead of time for the opportunity to hear your question asked that night! 

Registration is recommended to receive updates about meeting changes. Use this form to register.

Books are available for sale at Left Bank Books online or in the store.


An Instant National Bestseller!
An Indie Next Pick!

A Most Anticipated in 2021 Pick for Oprah Magazine USA Today Buzzfeed Greatist BookPage PopSugar Bustle The Nerd Daily Goodreads Literary Hub Ms. Magazine Library Journal Culturess Book Riot Parade Magazine Kirkus The Week Book Bub OverDrive The Portalist Publishers Weekly

A Best of Summer Pick for TIME Magazine CNN Book Riot The Daily Beast Lambda Literary The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Goodreads Bustle Veranda Magazine The Week Bookish St. Louis Post-Dispatch Den of Geek LGBTQ Reads Pittsburgh City Paper Bookstr Tatler HK

" A vibrant and queer reinvention of F. Scott Fitzgerald's jazz age classic. . . . I was captivated from the first sentence. " --NPR

" A sumptuous, decadent read. " --The New York Times

"Vo has crafted a retelling that, in many ways, surpasses the original. " --Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Immigrant. Socialite. Magician.

Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society--she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She's also queer and Asian, a Vietnamese adoptee treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her.

But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how.

Nghi Vo's debut novel, The Chosen and the Beautiful, reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice.


Nghi Vo is the author of the novels Siren Queen and The Chosen and the Beautiful, as well as the acclaimed novellas When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain and The Empress of Salt and Fortune, a Hugo, Locus, and Ignyte Award finalist and the winner of the Crawford Award. Born in Illinois, she now lives on the shores of Lake Michigan. She believes in the ritual of lipstick, the power of stories, and the right to change your mind.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022 - 6:00pm

John Darnielle - Devil House

Tuesday, February 8, 7pm CT
In person at Ethical Society of St. Louis
9001 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63117
Ticket for in person event - Admit One (includes one copy of the book) or Admit Two (includes one copy of the book)
Ticket for virtual event (includes one copy of the book)
A rectangular image with the left half a headshot of author John Darnielle and the right half a picture of the cover of "Devil House"Left Bank Books Presents New York Times bestselling author and Mountain Goats' singer/songwriter
John Darnielle: In Person & Online
Devil House
Tuesday, February 8th at 7pm Central
In person at Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63117,
and livestreaming online.
Darnielle will be in conversation with author and musician G'Ra Asim.
Purchase Admit One in person event ticket here!
Purchase Admit Two in person event ticket here!
Purchase virtual event ticket here!
Tickets include a signed copy of John Darnielle's Devil House!
Books will be pre-signed. Due to COVID, there will not be a meet & greet after the event.

Signed copies of the book will be available following the event on February 9th for pick up or mail out. In person ticket holders will receive their book at the event.

**Proof of vaccination and mask will be required for entry to the in person event.** Guests will need to bring a photo ID AND either their physical vaccination card or a photo of their vaccination card. Your ticket is a will-call ticket and check in will be by photo ID at the event.

If you are unable to attend the in person or virtual event, you can still purchase a signed copy of the book that will be available for pick up or mail out following the event.


From John Darnielle, the New York Times bestselling author and the singer-songwriter of the Mountain Goats, comes an epic, gripping novel about murder, truth, and the dangers of storytelling.

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That's what his mother always told him. Years later, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success--and a movie adaptation--to his name, along with a series of subsequent less notable efforts. But now he is being offered the chance for the big break: to move into the house where a pair of briefly notorious murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected teens during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Chandler finds himself in Milpitas, California, a small town whose name rings a bell--his closest childhood friend lived there, once upon a time. He begins his research with diligence and enthusiasm, but soon the story leads him into a puzzle he never expected--back into his own work and what it means, back to the very core of what he does and who he is.

Devil House is John Darnielle's most ambitious work yet, a book that blurs the line between fact and fiction, that combines daring formal experimentation with a spellbinding tale of crime, writing, memory, and artistic obsession.


"Darnielle has an affection for the dark side of pop culture and the way fans of supposedly gloom-and-doom genres like heavy metal and horror are more sophisticated than they get credit for. So this smart, twisty novel about true-crime books and the 1980s "Satanic panic" is a fine fit for him and his best so far...An impressively meta work that delivers the pleasures of true-crime while skewering it." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"This masterwork of suspense is as careful with its sharp takes as it is with the bread crumbs it slowly drops on the way to its stunning end. It operates perfectly on many levels, resulting in a must-read for true crime addicts and experimental fiction fans alike."-- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review


John Darnielle's first novel, Wolf in White Van, was a New York Times bestseller, National Book Award nominee, and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction, and widely hailed as one of the best novels of the year. He is the writer, composer, guitarist, and vocalist for the band the Mountain Goats. He lives in Durham, North Carolina, with his wife and sons.

G'Ra Asim, a writer and musician, is an assistant professor of nonfiction writing at Ithaca College. He has served as writing director at the African American Policy Forum and as graduate teaching fellow in Columbia's Undergraduate Writing Program. His work has appeared in SlateSalonGuernicaThe Baffler, and The New Republic. When not writing prose or teaching, he sings, plays bass and writes lyrics for NYC DIY pop punk band babygotbacktalk, who were named one of AfroPunk's "Top 8 Punkest Bands on the Planet Right Now."

Tuesday, February 8, 2022 - 7:00pm

Jabari Asim with G'Ra Asim - Yonder

Thursday, January 20, 6pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page
Left Bank Books welcomes writer, multidisciplinary artist, and St. Louis native
Jabari Asim,
who will discuss his highly anticipated new book
Asim will be in conversation with his son and author
G'Ra Asim.
Join us on our Facebook or YouTube Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
This event will now be virtual only.

About Yonder

The Water Dancer meets The Prophets in this spare, gripping, and beautifully rendered novel exploring love and friendship among a group of enslaved Black strivers in the mid-19th century.

They call themselves the Stolen. Their owners call them captives. They are taught their captors' tongues and their beliefs but they have a language and rituals all their own.

In a world that would be allegorical if it weren't saturated in harsh truths, Cato and William meet at Placid Hall, a plantation in an unspecified part of the American South. Subject to the whims of their tyrannical and eccentric captor, Cannonball Greene, they never know what harm may befall them: inhumane physical toil in the plantation's quarry by day, a beating by night, or the sale of a loved one at any moment. It's that cruel practice--the wanton destruction of love, the belief that Black people aren't even capable of loving--that hurts the most.

It hurts the reserved and stubborn William, who finds himself falling for Margaret, a small but mighty woman with self-possession beyond her years. And it hurts Cato, whose first love, Iris, was sold off with no forewarning. He now finds solace in his hearty band of friends, including William, who is like a brother; Margaret; Little Zander; and Milton, a gifted artist. There is also Pandora, with thick braids and long limbs, whose beauty calls to him.

Their relationships begin to fray when a visiting minister with a mysterious past starts to fill their heads with ideas about independence. He tells them that with freedom comes the right to choose the small things--when to dine, when to begin and end work--as well as the big things, such as whom and how to love. Do they follow the preacher and pursue the unknown? Confined in a landscape marked by deceit and uncertainty, who can they trust?

In an elegant work of monumental imagination that will reorient how we think of the legacy of America's shameful past, Jabari Asim presents a beautiful, powerful, and elegiac novel that examines intimacy and longing in the quarters while asking a vital question: What would happen if an enslaved person risked everything for love?


"Exceptional. A splendid addition to the library of fiction on American slavery, which--given the centuries it existed--is not as large as it could be. Skillfully wielding a number of literary tools, including a grand way with language, Asim reveals the slaves' everyday world away from the lash and brutality: the loves, the laughter, the age-old tussles with life. Yonder builds a permanent place in a reader's mind. Asim is to be applauded." --Edward P. Jones, author of The Known World

"Jabari Asim's masterful Yonder has no doubt set our Ancestors to dancing and rejoicing. A compelling and dazzling storyteller, Asim beautifully captures the depth of their bonds, intellect, and unwavering commitment to each other, honoring the fullness of their humanity against the backdrop of enslavement. This novel made me shout, cry, laugh, and, most of all, believe." --Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

"The magic of Yonder is the hope and love and devotion that shine from its pages despite the darkness and brutality that surround its loving, beloved characters. Asim's story is utterly absorbing. His people have wings; let them transport you." --Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

"Brilliant! A fresh telling of a story we think we already know, Yonder is wholly engrossing and expertly executed. With beautiful language laced with raw honesty, Jabari Asim has written a novel that I know will forever impact the way I think of the merciless nature of slavery and the enduring power of love." --Sadeqa Johnson, internationally bestselling author of Yellow Wife


About our Speakers

Jabari Asim is a writer and multidisciplinary artist. He directs the MFA program in creative writing at Emerson College, where he is also the Elma Lewis Distinguished Fellow in Social Justice. His nonfiction books include The N Word: Who Can Say It, Who Shouldn't, and WhyWhat Obama Means: For Our Culture, Our Politics, Our FutureNot Guilty: Twelve Black Men Speak Out on Law, Justice, and Life; and We Can't Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival. His books for children include Whose Toes Are Those? and Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis. His works of fiction include A Taste of Honey and Only the Strong.

G'Ra Asim, a writer and musician, is an assistant professor of nonfiction writing at Ithaca College. He has served as writing director at the African American Policy Forum and as graduate teaching fellow in Columbia's Undergraduate Writing Program. His work has appeared in SlateSalonGuernicaThe Baffler, and The New Republic. When not writing prose or teaching, he sings, plays bass and writes lyrics for NYC DIY pop punk band babygotbacktalk, who were named one of AfroPunk's "Top 8 Punkest Bands on the Planet Right Now."


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

Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 6:00pm

Thrity Umrigar with Rebecca Makkai - Honor

Tuesday, January 18, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books, Anderson's Bookshop, and Magers & Quinn welcome best-selling and critically acclaimed author
Thrity Umrigar,
who will discuss her highly anticipated new book
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on January 18th.
Umrigar will be in conversation with best-selling author
Rebecca Makkai.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
Signed bookplates will be available for copies of Honor ordered through Left Bank Books.
About Honor
In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.

Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena--a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man--Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one's own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita's own past. While Meena's fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.

In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.

"Honor is an utterly engrossing novel about two very different women whose lives converge after an unspeakable act of violence in India. With insight and compassion, Thrity Umrigar writes masterfully about the complexities of hatred and love, estrangement and belonging, oppression and privilege, about holding on and letting go. A powerful, important, unforgettable book." --Cheryl Strayed, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wild

"Honor is a novel of profound depths--cultural, personal, romantic, spiritual. It's also a story of tremendous grace, both in the understanding it shows its characters and in the ways they navigate a brutal but stunning life." --Rebecca Makkai, Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Great Believers

"Propulsive . . . Umrigar offers readers a broad understanding of the complicated issues at play in contemporary India." --Publishers Weekly

"Full-bodied and insightful, Honor is both a page-turning account of a horrific family drama and a meditation on the complexities of love--both personal and national." --Shelf Awareness


About our Speakers

Thrity Umrigar is the bestselling author of eight novels, including The Space Between Us, which was a finalist for the PEN/Beyond Margins Award, as well as a memoir and three picture books. Her books have been translated into several languages and published in more than fifteen countries. She is the winner of a Lambda Literary Award and a Seth Rosenberg Award and is Distinguished Professor of English at Case Western Reserve University. A recipient of the Nieman Fellowship to Harvard, she has contributed to the Boston Globe, the Washington Post, the New York Times and Huffington Post.

Rebecca Makkai is the Chicago-based author of the novels The Great BelieversThe Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, as well as the short story collection Music for WartimeThe Great Believers was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and received the ALA Carnegie Medal and the LA Times Book Prize, among other honors. Makkai is on the MFA faculties of Sierra Nevada College and Northwestern University, and she is Artistic Director of StoryStudio Chicago.


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

Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 7:00pm

Webster Film Series - Drive My Car - A Film by Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Left Bank Books and The Webster Film Series Presents

A Film by Ryusuke Hamaguchi "Drive My Car"

Based on the story by Haruki Murakami.


Purchase either Murakami T: The T-Shirts I Love or Men Without Women at Left Bank Books and show your receipt at the Webster University Film Series to receive TWO FREE ADMISSIONS to any screening of Drive My Car!


Drive My Car

Sneak preview December 23 at 7:00 p.m., regular engagement January 6-9 at 7:00 p.m.

Additional shows have been added January 13-16 at 7:00 p.m! 

(Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2021, Japan, 180 minutes)

Based on the short story of the same name by beloved Japanese author Haruki Murakami, rising talent Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s newest film, Drive My Car, finds a beloved theatre director, Yusuke Kafuku, deep in mourning at the sudden loss of his wife as he prepares a production of

Uncle Vanya for an upcoming festival. With an attentiveness to procedure and a knack for subtle characterization, Hamaguchi brings us along through casting and rehearsals, all the while Kafuku slowly bonds with his driver, Misaki, who is charged with ferrying the director around town in his treasured Saab. Cinematic storytelling at its finest, Drive My Car will appeal to fans of the 2019 Webster Film Series hit Burning—also adapted from a Murakami short story—and has been snatching up prizes everywhere it plays, from Best Screenplay at Cannes to being Japan’s submission to the Academy for this year’s Best International Film category at the Oscars.

In Japanese with English subtitles.


Sponsored by Left Bank Books and Japan America Society of St. Louis.

Thursday, December 23 at 7:00pm

More dates through January 9, 2022

Winifred Moore Auditorium
470 E. Lockwood Ave., St. Louis, MO 63119


Thursday, January 6, 2022 - 7:00pm

Kal Penn - You Can't Be Serious

Monday, December 13, 7pm CT
In person at Brennan's Work & Leisure
3015 Locust St, St. Louis, MO 63103
Ticket for in person event - Admit One (includes one copy of the book) or Admit Two (includes one copy of the book)
Ticket for virtual event (includes one copy of the book)
Kal Penn: In Person & Online
You Can't Be Serious
Monday, December 13th at 7pm Central
In person at Brennan's Work & Leisure, 3015 Locust St, St. Louis, MO 63103,
and livestreaming online.
Purchase Admit One in person event ticket here!
Purchase Admit Two in person event ticket here!
Tickets include a signed copy of Kal Penn's You Can't Be Serious!
Books will be pre-signed. Due to COVID, there will not be a meet & greet after the event.


Signed copies of the book will be available following the event on December 13th for pick up or mail out. In person ticket holders will receive their book at the event.

**Proof of vaccination and mask will be required for entry to the in person event.** Guests will need to bring a photo ID AND either their physical vaccination card or a photo of their vaccination card.

If you are unable to attend the in person or virtual event, you can still purchase a signed copy of the book that will be available for pick up or mail out following the event.


The star of the Harold and Kumar franchise, House, and Designated Survivor recounts why he rejected the advice of his aunties and guidance counselors and, instead of becoming a doctor or "something practical," embarked on a surprising journey that has included confronting racism in Hollywood, meeting his future husband, and working in the Obama administration, in this entertaining and refreshingly candid memoir.

You Can't Be Serious is a series of funny, consequential, awkward, and ridiculous stories from Kal Penn's idiosyncratic life. It's about being the grandson of Gandhian freedom fighters, and the son of immigrant parents: people who came to this country with very little and went very far--and whose vision of the American dream probably never included their son sliding off an oiled-up naked woman in the raunchy Ryan Reynolds movie Van Wilder...or getting a phone call from Air Force One as Kal flew with the country's first Black president.

With intelligence, humor, and charm on every page, Kal reflects on the most exasperating and rewarding moments from his journey so far. He pulls back the curtain on the nuances of opportunity and racism in the entertainment industry and recounts how he built allies, found encouragement, and dealt with early reminders that he might never fit in. He describes his initially unpromising first date with his now-fiancé Josh, involving an 18-pack of Coors Light and an afternoon of watching NASCAR. And of course, he reveals how, after a decade and a half of fighting for and enjoying successes in Hollywood, he made the terrifying but rewarding decision to take a sabbatical from a fulfilling acting career for an opportunity to serve his country as an Obama White House aide.

Above all, You Can't Be Serious shows that everyone can have more than one life story. Kal demonstrates by example that no matter who you are and where you come from, you have many more choices than those presented to you. It's a story about struggle, triumph, and learning how to keep your head up. And okay, yes, it's also about how he accidentally (and very stupidly) accepted an invitation to take the entire White House Office of Public Engagement to a strip club--because, let's be honest, that's the kind of stuff you really want to hear about.


"It's crazy to me that a groundbreaking actor like Kal Penn is also so funny, humble, and down-to-earth. His life is fascinating and his book is wonderful."
MINDY KALING, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Why Not Me?Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), and Nothing Like I Imagined (Except for Sometimes)

"Kal Penn's journey is insightful, funny, and instructive for anyone who's ever grappled with how they fit into the American dream."
RONAN FARROWNew York Times bestselling author of Catch and Kill and War on Peace

"Kal Penn is an American treasure. Which means that this book is essentially a treasure map. And the words inside the book are gems. And probably some of the words are also a skeleton with a bejeweled crown and an eye patch that has cobwebs all in between the skeleton fingers that are clutching all the gems because the treasure was so shiny and valuable that the skeleton happily perished while being buried with them. THAT'S how good this book is!"


Kal Penn has played leading roles in some of the world's most-watched television shows, including How I Met Your Mother24Designated SurvivorHouse, and more. He currently stars on the Disney Junior animated series Mira, Royal Detective. He was also the cocreator and star of the NBC/Universal comedy Sunnyside, and host, cocreator, and executive producer of a six-episode series in October 2020 for Disney's Freeform Channel called Kal Penn Approves This Message, aimed at entertaining and informing young voters. On the big screen, Kal has starred in movies that have collectively grossed more than a billion dollars, including the Harold and Kumar franchise, National Lampoon's Van WilderSuperman ReturnsThe Namesake, and many other critically acclaimed blockbuster titles. He has also served as an adjunct lecturer in sociology and film studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and in sociology and political science at the University of California, Los Angeles. Kal has worked at the very highest levels of politics, as an Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, where he was President Obama's Liaison to Young Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, and the Arts communities in America. He was born and raised in New Jersey.


Monday, December 13, 2021 - 7:00pm


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