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Author Events

Facebook Live Event: LBB Presents: Michael Signer - Cry Havoc

Thursday, March 26, 7pm
Live on Facebook! 

This event is now live on Facebook! Click the link. Like our page. Get notified when the event goes live!

Left Bank Books presents the former mayor of Charlottesville, Michael Signer, who delivers a vivid, first-person chronicle of the terror and mayhem of the August 2017 "Unite the Right" event, and shows how issues of extremism are affecting not just one city but the nation itself in his new book, Cry Havoc.

michael signer, Cry HavocThe deadly invasion of Charlottesville, Virginia, by white nationalist militias in August 2017 is a microcosm of the challenges facing American democracy today. In his first-person account of one of recent American history's most polarizing events, Michael Signer, then Charlottesville's mayor, both tells the story of what really happened and draws out its larger significance.

Signer's gripping, strikingly candid "you are there" narrative sets the events on the ground-the lead-up to August's "Unite the Right" rally, the days of the weekend itself, the aftermath-in the larger context of a country struggling to find its way in a disruptive new era. He confronts some of the most challenging questions of our moment, namely how can we:

  • Reconcile free speech with the need for public order?
  • Maintain the values of pragmatism, compromise, even simple civility, in a time of intensification of extremes on the right and the left?
  • Address systemic racism through our public spaces and memorials?
  • Provide accountability after a crisis?

While Signer shows how easily our communities can be taken hostage by forces intent on destroying democratic norms and institutions, he concludes with a stirring call for optimism, revealing how the tragic events of Charlottesville are also bolstering American democracy from within.

Michael Signer served as Mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, from 2016 to 2018. He has been profiled by CNN, The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The Guardian and has been interviewed by Meet the Press, Face the Nation, the Rachel Maddow Show, and NPR’s Morning Edition. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from U.C., Berkeley, where he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow; a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law; and a B.A. in politics, magna cum laude, from Princeton University. He is also the author of two books, Demagogue: The Fight to Save Democracy from Its Worst Enemies and Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Fathers. He lives in Charlottesville with his wife and twin boys.

Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 7:00pm

POSTPONED: Left Bank Books Presents: Rob Larson - Bit Tyrants

Tuesday, March 24, 7pm
Left Bank Books

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

Left Bank Books presents author Rob Larson who will sign and discuss his new critique on the Big Five of the tech world, Bit Tyrants.

rob larson, bit tyrantsFor all their famed disruption of the economy, Big Tech’s secret sauce turns out to be Capitalism’s standard issue blend of exploitation and corporate maleficence.

If the stories they tell about themselves are to be believed, all of the tech giants—Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and Amazon—were built from the ground up through hard work, a few good ideas, and the entrepreneurial daring to seize an opportunity when it presented itself.

With searing wit and blistering commentary Bit Tyrants provides an urgent corrective to this froth of board room marketing copy that is so often passed off as analysis. For fans of corporate fairy-tales there are no shortage of official histories that celebrate the innovative genius of Steve Jobs, liberal commentators who fall over themselves to laude Bill Gates's selfless philanthropy, or politicians who will tell us to listen to Mark Zuckerberg for advice on how to protect our democracy from foreign influence.

In this highly unauthorized account of the Big Five's origins, Rob Larson sets the record straight, and in the process shreds every focus-grouped bromide about corporate benevolence he could get his hands on. Those readers unwilling to smile and nod as every day we become more dependent on our phones and apps to do our chores, our jobs, and our socializing can take heart as Larson provides us with maps to all the shallow graves, skeleton filled closets, and invective laced emails Big Tech left behind on its ascent to power. His withering analysis will help readers crack the code of the economic dynamics that allowed these companies to become near-monopolies very early on, and, with a little bit of luck, his calls for digital socialism might just inspire a viral movement for online revolution.

Rob Larson is Professor of Economics at Tacoma Community College and author of Capitalism vs. Freedom and Bleakonomics. He writes for a number of venues including Current Affairs, Dollars & Sense and Jacobin.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Bit Tyrants 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 24, 2020 - 7:00pm

CANCELLED: 100 Boots Poetry Series Presents: Nathaniel Mackey & Natalie Shapero

Friday, March 20, 7pm
Pulitzer Arts Foundation, 3716 Washington

100 Boots, Mackey, ShaperoThis event has been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Please check back at a later date for rescheduling.

This series presents readings and performances by a range of emerging, mid-career, and established writers from St. Louis and across the United States. 100 Boots is organized by Ted Mathys, poet and educator at St. Louis University. At each program, a selection of the writers’s books are for sale courtesy of Left Bank Books. The first event of the season features readings by poets Tracie Morris and Faisal Mohyuddin. We encourage visitors to arrive early due to limited seating.

Nathaniel Mackey is the author of books of poetry, fiction, and criticism, editor of the Literary Jounal Hambone, and radio show host. His collection, Splay Anthem, won the 2006 National Book Award for Poetry. He is also on the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets, and is Professor of Literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Natalie Shapero has worked as a civil rights lawyer and is currently Professor of the Practice of Poetry at Tufts University and an Editor at Large of the Kenyon Review. Her first poetry collection No Object was published by Saturnalia in 2013, and her writing has appeared in The Believer, The New Republic, Poetry, and The Progressive. She lives in Massachusetts.

This event is presented by the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. To learn more, visit pulitzerarts.org.

Friday, March 20, 2020 - 7:00pm

CANCELLED: LBB Presents: Craig Fehrman - Author in Chief

Thursday, March 26, 7pm
Left Bank Books

craig fehrman, author in chiefFollowing recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event has been CANCELLED.

Left Bank Books presents journalist and historian, Craig Fehrman, and his groundbreaking work of history, Author in Chief, the story of America’s presidents and their books. 

 From the titles lost to history, like the book of naval history Teddy Roosevelt wrote on his honeymoon, to the books we know and love - from Kennedy's Profiles in Courage, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book he didn't actually write, to Obama's Dreams from My Father, which was almost never published after he took too long to deliver the manuscript - Fehrman uncovers countless fresh insights about the presidents through their literary works.

Deep in the archives of presidential libraries, Fehrman has found documents that even the librarians haven't touched yet. From a secret memo that the editor of Profiles in Courage wrote to Kennedy, urging him to accept the services of a ghostwriter, to correspondence from Jefferson contradicting the widely-held opinion that he was against publishing his Notes on the State of Virginia, Fehrman's finds will transform our understanding of the presidents as writers.

Craig Fehrman is a journalist and historian who’s written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The New Republic, and Slate, among others. He has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He lives in Indiana with his wife and children.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Author In Chief 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, March 26, 2020 - 7:00pm

NOW ONLINE: LBB Presents: TaraShea Nesbit - Beheld

Thursday, March 19, 7pm
Left Bank Books' Facebook Page

Considering recommendations from the CDC, TaraShea will be in conversation with Left Bank Books' Shane Mullen in a Facebook Live discussion of her new book "Beheld." Join us for this interactive conversation and order a copy of your book from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
https://www.left-bank.com/book/9781635573220

Left Bank Books presents best-selling and award winning author, TaraShea Nesbit, who will sign and discuss her historical fiction novel, Beheld, about the first killing in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

tarashea nesbit, beheldIt begins with a killing. Ten years after the Mayflower struck shore on rocky, unfamiliar soil, Plymouth is not the land its residents had imagined. Seemingly established on a dream of religious freedom, the town is led by fervent Puritans who prevent the Anglican residents from worshipping as they choose. The Billingtons—Anglicans, outsiders, and rebels—have just about had enough, and that’s when a stranger arrives.

 With gripping, immersive details and beautiful prose, TaraShea Nesbit reframes the story of the pilgrims in the voices of two women of very different status and means. She evokes a vivid, ominous Plymouth, populated by famous and unknown characters alike, each with conflicting desires and questionable behavior. Suspenseful and literary, Beheld is about a murder and a trial; but it’s also about the motivations—personal and political—that cause people to act in unsavory ways.

 Whose stories get told over time, who gets believed—and subsequently, who gets punished? Beheld is an intimate, personal portrait of love, motherhood, and friendship, and an exploration of what people lose and whet they struggle to maintain.

TaraShea Nesbit is the author of The Wives of Los Alamos, which was a national bestseller, a finalist for the PEN/Bingham Prize, and a New York Times Book Review “Editors’ Choice,” and the winner of two New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. She earned a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Denver. She is an assistant professor at Miami University and lives in Oxford, OH with her family.

Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 7:00pm

CANCELLED: River Styx Reading Series Presents: Jenny Molberg, Carl Phillips, & Martin Riker

Monday, March 16, 7pm
High Low, 3301 Washington

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

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

Jenny Molberg is the author of Marvels of the Invisible (winner of the Berkshire Prize) and Refusal: Poems. She coedited the Unsung Masters Series collection Adelaide Crapsey: On the Life & Work of an American Master. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Ploughshares, Gulf Coast, The Missouri Review, Poetry International, Boulevard, Copper Nickel, The Adroit Journal, Best New Poets, and other publications. She is the recipient of a 2019-2020 Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as scholarships and fellowships from the Sewanee Writers Conference, the C.D. Wright Conference, and Vermont Studio Center. Molberg holds an MFA from American University and a PhD from the University of North Texas. She currently teaches at the University of Central Missouri, where she directs Pleiades Press and edits Pleiades: Literature in Context

Carl Phillips, referred to as “one of America’s most original, influential, and productive of lyric poets,” is the author of a dozen books of poetry and two works of criticism. He was born in Everett, Washington in 1959, and his family moved frequently around the United States. He earned a BA from Harvard, an MAT from the University of Massachusetts, and an MA in creative writing from Boston University. Before teaching English at the university level, he taught Latin at several high schools. He is Professor of English at Washington University in St. Louis, where he also teaches creative writing. Phillips was elected a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2006, and since 2011 he has served as the judge for the Yale Series of Younger Poets.

Martin Riker grew up in Central Pennsylvania. He worked as a musician for most of his twenties, in nonprofit literary publishing for most of his thirties, and has spent the first half of his forties teaching in the English department at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2010, he and his wife Danielle Dutton co-founded the feminist press Dorothy, a Publishing Project (dorothyproject.com). His fiction and criticism have appeared in publications including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, London Review of Books, The Baffler, and Conjunctions. Samuel Johnson's Eternal Return is his first novel.


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

Monday, March 16, 2020 - 7:00pm

CANCELLED: SLPL Presents: Lisa M. Corrigan - Black Feelings

Thursday, March 12, 7pm
St. Louis Public Library - Central Branch, 1301 Olive

lisa corrigan, black feelingsDue to concerns about the Coronavirus, this event is cancelled.

Lisa M. Corrigan, author of Black Feelings: Race and Affect in the Long Sixties, will lecture and sign books at the Central Library auditorium.

In the 1969 issue of Negro Digest, a young Black Arts Movement poet then-named Ameer (Amiri) Baraka published “We Are Our Feeling: The Black Aesthetic.” Baraka’s emphasis on the importance of feelings in black selfhood expressed a touchstone for how the black liberation movement grappled with emotions in response to the politics and racial violence of the era.

In her latest book, award-winning author Lisa M. Corrigan suggests that Black Power provided a significant repository for negative feelings, largely black pessimism, to resist the constant physical violence against black activists and the psychological strain of political disappointment. Corrigan asserts the emergence of Black Power as a discourse of black emotional invention in opposition to Kennedy-era white hope. As integration became the prevailing discourse of racial liberalism shaping mid-century discursive structures, so too, did racial feelings mold the biopolitical order of postmodern life in America.

By examining the discourses produced by Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, Huey Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and other Black Power icons who were marshaling black feelings in the service of black political action, Corrigan traces how black liberation activists mobilized new emotional repertoires.

Dr. Lisa M. Corrigan (Ph.D. University of Maryland) is an Associate Professor of Communication, Director of the Gender Studies Program, and Affiliate Faculty in both African & African American Studies and Latin American Studies at the University of Arkansas. She is author of Prison Power: How Prison Influenced the Movement for Black Liberation and Black Feelings: Race and Affect in the Long Sixties, both published by University Press of Mississippi. Her writings and reviews have also appeared in the Quarterly Journal of Speech, Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Advances in the History of Rhetoric, Women & Language, Communication Quarterly, The National Journal of Urban Education and Practice, The Journal of Post-Colonial Writing, Intertexts, Review of Communication, the Southern Journal of Communication, the Journal of American Studies, and QED: A Journal in Queer Worldmaking. She is also a contributor to the Indivisible Guide and regularly leads political trainings and workshops in Arkansas and around the country. She also co-hosts a podcast with Laura Weiderhaft called "Lean Back: Critical Feminist Conversations", which was named the top podcast in Arkansas and one of the top thirty-five podcasts in the country by Paste magazine. It can be found on iTunes, Google Play, and your preferred podcast platform.

Doors to the auditorium will open at 6:30 pm and the event will begin at 7 pm. Books will be for sale courtesy of Left Bank Books in the lobby. This event is free and open to the public, no purchase is necessary to attend, no reservations required. Seating is first come-first served.

For More information contact the St Louis Public Library at (314) 241-2288.

Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 7:00pm

Jeff Fleischer - Votes of Confidence: A Young Person's Guide to American Elections, 2nd Ed.

Sunday, March 8, 2pm
Left Bank Books

jeff fleischer, votes of confidenceLeft Bank Books presents jouranlist and author, Jeff Fleischer, who will be discussing his book Votes of Confidence, 2nd Edition: A Young Person's Guide to American Elections, which gives an in-depth introduction to the electoral college, the history of debates, political parties, how to get involved even if you’re not old enough to vote, and more. Jeff will be in conversation with Gabe Fleisher from Wake Up to Politics.

Every two years, media coverage of American elections turns into a horse-race story about who's leading the polls and who said what when. Votes for Confidence gives young adult readers clear explanations about how our election process actually works, why it matters, and how they can become involved. Using real-world examples and anecdotes, this book provides readers with thorough, nonpartisan explanations about primaries, the electoral college, checks and balances, polls, fundraising, and more. Updated with statistics and details from the 2018 elections, the revised second edition will prepare the next generation of voters for what is sure to be a fascinating 2020 election cycle.

Jeff Fleischer is a Chicago-based journalist and author, who has written for Mother Jones, the Sydney Morning Herald, National Geographic Traveler, Mental Floss, and Chicago Magazine.

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Votes of Confidence 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.

Sunday, March 8, 2020 - 2:00pm

CANCELLED: LBB Presents: Laurell K. Hamilton, William McCaskey, Patricia Briggs, Sharon Shinn, and M.C. Sumner - Fantastic Hope

Monday, April 6, 7pm
.ZACK, 3224 Locust

laurell k hamilton, patricia briggs, sharon shinn, mark sumner, william mccaskey fantastic hopeFollowing recommendations from the CDC, we regret that this event is canceled. MetroTix will be reaching out to all ticket buyers instructing them to respond for a refund or to donate the ticket.

Join Left Bank books and #1 New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton and co-editor William McCaskey in conversation with #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs, and local authors Sharon Shinn and M.C. Sumner about the anthology Fantastic Hope.

Purchase Tickets Here!

A collection of sixteen sci-fi and fantasy stories edited by #1 New York Times bestselling author Laurell K. Hamilton and debut author William McCaskey. A girl who will go to any lengths to save her newborn brother. A woman who is stuck in a continuous loop, reliving her life after being murdered over and over again by the same man. Martyrs who make the ultimate sacrifice for humanity. In this anthology, sixteen authors have weaved together brand-new stories that speak to the darkness and despair that life brings but, above all, the hope that shimmers within it. Laurell K. Hamilton and William McCaskey are joined by Kevin J. Anderson, Griffin Barber, Patricia Briggs, Larry Correia, Kacey Ezell, Monalisa Foster, Robert E. Hampson, John G. Hartness, Jonathan Maberry, L. E. Modesitt Jr., Sharon Shinn, M.C. Sumner, Patrick Tracy, and Michael Z. Williamson.

All who purchase a full-price ticket to the event will receive a copy of FANTASTIC HOPE. Each copy of FANTASTIC HOPE will be pre-signed by Laurell K. Hamilton. At the event William McCaskey, Patricia Briggs, Sharon Shinn, and M.C. Sumner will sign books and take photos with readers. Laurell will also have a photo line and meet and greet readers.

Purchase Tickets Here!

Monday, April 6, 2020 - 7:00pm

LBB Presents: Vicki Berger Erwin & James Erwin - Steamboat Disasters of the Lower Missouri River

Monday, February 24, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Vicki Berger Erwin, James Erwin, Steamboat Disasters of the Lower Missouri RiverLeft Bank Books presents local Kirkwood authors Vicki Berger Erwin and James Erwin, who will discuss snd sign their first book written together, Steamboat Disasters of the Lower Missouri River.

During the nineteenth century, more than three hundred boats met their end in the steamboat graveyard that was the Lower Missouri River, from Omaha to its mouth. Although derided as little more than an “orderly pile of kindling,” steamboats were, in fact, technological marvels superbly adapted to the river’s conditions. Their light superstructure and long, wide, flat hulls powered by high-pressure engines drew so little water that they could cruise on “a heavy dew” even when fully loaded. But these same characteristics made them susceptible to fires, explosions and snags—tree trunks ripped from the banks, hiding under the water’s surface. Authors Vicki and James Erwin detail the perils that steamboats, their passengers and crews faced on every voyage.

Vicki Berger Erwin has had 29 books published – middle-grade mysteries, local history and true crime. Her recent works include Different Days, a novel about a young girl whose German-American parents were interned in Hawaii after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Slaying in South St. Louis: Justice Denied for Nancy Zanone, the story of the murder of a young mother and how it changed Missouri’s juvenile criminal law (co-authored with son Bryan), and Mexico, an illustrated history of her hometown.

James Erwin attended law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia after service in the Army. Jim was an attorney in St. Louis for 38 years, concentrating in business litigation. He argued his first appeal in the United States Supreme Court in 1979, launching a career in appellate practice. He sneaked in the time to write three books on the Civil War – Guerrillas in Civil War Missouri, Guerrilla Hunters in Civil War Missouri, and Homefront in Civil War Missouri. He wrote St. Charles: A Brief History, published just before the city’s 250th birthday. 

This event is free and open to the public, but proof of purchase of Steamboat Disasters of the Lower Missouri River 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, February 24, 2020 - 7:00pm

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