Featured Events for front page

State of Emergency: Creating Change NOW - Tamika D. Mallory with Elder Kirsten John Foy, Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner (St. Louis, MO), Damon Lindelof, Kendrick Sampson, & Amanda Seales - Now Featuring Alicia Keys

Wednesday, May 26, 6pm CT
Private Online Event - TICKET PURCHASE required

State of Emergency: Creating Change NOW
Left Bank Books welcomes renowned activist and speaker
Tamika D. Mallory,
who will discuss her new book,
State of Emergency: How We Win in the Country We Built,
on May 26 at 6pm CT/7pm ET in a private online event. 
Mallory will participate in a virtual event and conversation with
Circuit Attorney for the City of St. Louis Kimberly M. Gardner, Damon Lindelof, &, newly added, Kendrick Sampson & Amanda Seales.
(DJ 'Shangela' Pierce is no longer able to join us.)
The conversation will be moderated by President and Founder of The Arc of Justice & host of The Justice Clapback's
Elder Kirsten John Foy.
This is an exclusive event that requires a TICKET PURCHASE that includes a copy of State of Emergency and a $5 donation to Until Freedom from Left Bank Books for admission.
The first 150 tickets will include a signed copy of State of Emergency!
About State of Emergency
"A masterful book...reaffirms the urgency of the current state of Black people in America and the power we all have to win transformative change." --Marc Lamont Hill, New York Times bestselling author

"Gives us the words and tools to fight for the justice our families deserve." --Tamika Palmer, mother of Breonna Taylor

"A powerful voice in consistently reminding us that we all have a stake in the fight for a just, fair, and equitable America." --Jada Pinkett Smith, actor, producer, entrepreneur

Social justice leader Tamika D. Mallory states her case for action in this searing indictment of America's historical, deadly, and continuing assault on Black and brown lives.

Drawn from a lifetime of frontline culture-shifting advocacy, organizing, and fighting for equal justice, State of Emergency makes Mallory's demand for change and shares the keys to effective activism both for those new to and long-committed to the defense of Black lives.

From Minneapolis to Louisville, to Portland, Kenosha, and Washington, DC, America's reckoning with its unmet promises on race and class is at a boiling point not seen since the 1960s. While conversations around pathways to progress take place on social media and cable TV, history tells us that meaningful change only comes with radical legislation and boots-on-the-ground activism. Here, Mallory shares her unique personal experience building coalitions, speaking truth to power, and winning over hearts and minds in the struggle for shared prosperity and safety.

Forward-looking, steeped in history, and rich with stories from life on the margins of American life, State of Emergency is a revelatory examination of the challenges we face, of the forces we must overcome, and a blueprint for all who maintain hope for social equity and a better tomorrow.

About our Speakers
Tamika D. Mallory is a trailblazing social justice leader, movement strategist, globally recognized civil rights activist, co-founder Until Freedom and the historic Women’s March, and author of STATE OF EMERGENCY. She served as the youngest ever Executive Director of the National Action Network. Her speech in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN--entitled "State of Emergency"--was dubbed “the speech of a generation” by ABC News. Mallory is an expert in the areas of gun violence prevention, criminal justice reform, and grassroots organizing.
Alicia Keys is a 15-time GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, musician, producer, accomplished actress, New York Times best-selling author, film/television and Broadway producer, entrepreneur, and a powerful force in the world of activism. Since the release of her monumental 2001 debut album, SONGS IN A MINOR, Keys has sold over 65 million records and built an unparalleled repertoire of hits and accomplishments. Alicia has become the #1 RIAA certified Female R&B artist of the millennium with 27.5 Million worldwide certified digital sales (US) and 20 Million Album Sales (US). Her seventh studio album ALICIA was released to rave reviews in September 2020 and earned Keys her 8th #1 album on the Billboard R&B Albums chart. The first single, “Show Me Love,” earned Keys a record-extending 11th #1 on the Billboard Adult R&B Songs airplay chart and was certified gold. Her follow-up platinum hit single, “Underdog,” went #1 on the overall iTunes chart and became the most added song at Top 40 radio in the US upon its release. Keys released her new book “More Myself: A Journey” in March  2020 via Flatiron Books, which debuted and spent multiple weeks on The New York Times Bestseller List. Alicia recently launched her lifestyle beauty brand, Keys Soulcare, which aims to go beyond skincare to truly care for the whole self; body, mind, and spirit.
Elder Kirsten John Foy, Minister of The Gospel of JESUS CHRIST | Family First | Civil & Human Rights Activist | Political Strategist | Commentator | Founder, Arc of Justice | Official Bio to Come.
Kimberly M. Gardner was elected Circuit Attorney in 2016 and assumed office on January 1, 2017. Gardner leads an office of 140 committed professionals who seek justice on the behalf of the residents of the City of St. Louis. Mrs. Gardner is a life-long resident of the City of St. Louis. Growing up in a high crime area of North St. Louis and her family’s 70-year funeral home business has exposed her to the devastation that violent crime has on far too many families. Her desire to strengthen the relationship between the community and law enforcement was an important motivator for her dedicating herself to becoming the city’s top prosecutor. Gardner is committed to engaging citizens throughout the community in a criminal justice system that promotes trust, accountability and transparency. Mrs. Gardner is working to expand the traditional role of the prosecutor and utilize a broader set of tools with law enforcement, community, judges and social service stakeholders to find innovative solutions to address violent, and serious crimes. She is also committed to finding opportunities to help at-risk young people become productive members of our community and avoid being drawn into the life of crime. Prior to becoming the first African American Circuit Attorney in the City of St. Louis, Mrs. Gardner served as an Assistant Circuit Attorney, and served two terms as a Missouri State Representative in the 77th District. Mrs. Gardner earned a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration from Harris Stowe State University, a Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University, and a Master of Science in Nursing from Saint Louis University.
Damon Lindelof was born in New Jersey to a schoolteacher and a banker. He was also born a writer, although it would take over 25 years to figure that out. In 2004 he partnered with J.J. Abrams to create LOST. No, they were not dead the whole time. Since Damon left the island, he has worked as a writer and producer on STAR TREK, PROMETHEUS, WORLD WAR Z and TOMORROWLAND. Returning to TV in 2014 Damon spent three seasons showrunning HBO’s critically-acclaimed THE LEFTOVERS, which he fiercely defends as “not as depressing as everyone says.” Most recently he wrapped up the HBO series WATCHMEN, which he fiercely defends as “not as confusing as everyone says.” Damon also wrote this bio.

Growing up in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, Kendrick Sampson was surrounded by musicians and artists, and naturally gravitated to the arts. His work ethic, paired with a natural charismatic personality, took him from one project to the next, where he now plays Nathan on HBO’s Emmy nominated comedy series, “Insecure.”

Kendrick found his breakout role as Jesse on the hit CW series, “The Vampire Diaries.” In early 2014, he secured a series regular role on the Fox event series, Gracepoint alongside heavyweights Nick Nolte, Anna Gunn, Jacki Weaver and Michael Pena. In 2015, Kendrick joined the cast of the ABC hit series, How To Get Away with Murder as Caleb Hapstall and in 2017, Sampson recurred on the Showtime comedy “White Famous” as well as the CW hit series, "Supernatural" and “The Flash.”

The young star recently stared in Freeform’s feel good holiday film “Ghosting”, which shared a cautionary tale of texting while driving and coming together as a family. In the film, the holiday film tells the quirky and heart-warming story of Jess (Aisha Dee), who goes on the greatest first date of her life, but inadvertently “ghosts” Ben (Sampson) when she tragically dies in a car accident on the way home. Most recently, Kendrick stared in Channing Godfrey People’s MISS JUNETEENTH which explores the journey of Turquoise Jones, and the story of a dream deferred.

Kendrick uses his voice to empower marginalized communities and to shine light on issues of inequity. His activism is focused on racial justice, specifically intersectionality within criminal justice reform and uniting the oppressed Black, Brown & Indigenous communities. He is a proud supporter of the Standing Rock and Black Lives Matter movements, progressive political campaigns, and social justice education. A true advocate for change and community building, Sampson is in the third year of BLD PWR, an organization committed to taking action and how to do so in a healthy way. The ultimate goals are to build up the next wave of activists while providing resources and tools for equitable change on a grassroots level.

Amanda Seales is a comedian and creative visionary with a Master’s in African American studies from Columbia University. You know her as, “Tiffany DuBois” of HBO’s Insecure and her HBO stand up special, “I Be Knowin.” She is a former co-host on daytime talk show, “The Real,” host of NBCs “Bring the Funny,” and hosted the groundbreaking 2020 BET Awards. The creator/host of the hit live, and now virtual, music/comedy game show, “Smart Funny & Black,” she speaks truth to change via her wildly popular instagram, weekly podcast, “Small Doses,” and book by the same name, and recently launched her membership community app, “SFB Society” a social media space to fight the power while claiming your joy!  A Jedi Khaleesi with a patronus that’s a Black Panther with wings, she keeps audiences laughing, thinking, and living in their truth! 

You may purchase an EVENT TICKET from Left Bank Books online through the button above. You must provide an email address to be invited to the private online event. When you have purchased a ticket, you will receive an email event reminder a few days prior to the event. You will receive the actual email invite to join the private online event on the DAY OF the event.
International shipping is available! To inquire about pricing for international shipping, please email info@left-bank.com. 
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 6:00pm

Stephen Mack Jones - Dead of Winter

Thursday, May 6, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes award winning novelist and playwright
Stephen Mack Jones
who will discuss his new book, 
Dead of Winter (August Snow Novel #3)
on Facebook Live at 7pm CT on May 6.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order copies of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About Dead of Winter
A shadowy Detroit real estate billionaire. A ruthless fixer. A successful Mexicantown family business in their crosshairs. Gentrification has never been bloodier.
Authentico Foods Inc. has been a part of Detroit's Mexicantown for over thirty years, grown from a home kitchen business to a city-blocklong facility that supplies Mexican tortillas to restaurants throughout the Midwest.
Detroit ex-cop and Mexicantown native August Snow has been invited for a business meeting at Authentico Foods. Its owner, Ronaldo Ochoa, is dying, and is being blackmailed into selling the company to an anonymous entity. Worried about his employees, Ochoa wants August to buy it. August has no interest in running a tortilla empire, but he does want to know who's threatening his neighborhood. Quickly, his investigation takes a devastating turn and he and his loved ones find themselves ensnared in a dangerous net of ruthless billionaire developers. August Snow must fight not only for his life, but for the soul of Mexicantown itself.
"Bebop and Norteño, cool jazz and salsa, reading Dead of Winter was like listening to all the good music. This latest by Stephen Mack Jones is an astounding composition, an ode to a diverse city known for big engines and bigger hearts. Welcome back, August Snow!"
--Rachel Howzell Hall, author of And Now She's Gone
"August Snow is a terrific character; rough and tumble, undaunted and implacably tenacious, his wit so sharp it'll make you bleed. In Stephen Mack Jones's new book, Dead of Winter, Snow protects his neighborhood from rapacious one percenters, Mack Jones skillfully weaving relevance into a blue streak, bone-breaking story. Highly, highly recommended."
--Joe Ide, author of the IQ Series
"Like Walter Mosley and Joe Ide, Jones builds a raucous and endearing cast of characters from his inner-city setting, fusing neighborhood camaraderie with streetwise know-how and head-banging action. This is a fine thriller in the grand hard-boiled tradition, but it's also a sensitive, multifaceted portrait of race in America."
--Booklist, Starred Review
About the Speaker
Stephen Mack Jones is a published poet, an award-winning playwright, and a recipient of the prestigious Hammett Prize, Nero Award, and the Kresge Arts in Detroit Literary Fellowship. He was born in Lansing, Michigan, and currently lives in the suburbs of Detroit. Dead of Winter is his third novel.
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, May 6, 2021 - 7:00pm

Sylvester Brown Jr. with Amanda Doyle - White Castles with Jesus & Uncle Ray at the Used Tire Shop

Monday, May 10, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes St. Louis journalist, writer and author
Sylvester Brown Jr.,
who will discuss his new book, 
White Castles with Jesus & Uncle Ray at the Used Tire Shop: Selected Short Stories,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on May 10.
Sylvester will be in conversation with St. Louis author and journalist
Amanda Doyle.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!


About White Castles with Jesus & Uncle Ray at the Used Tire Shop

Inspired by the fictional writings of Langston Hughes, writer, author Sylvester Brown Jr. presents selected real and imagined short stories from his more than 30-year-career. Here, Sylvester sits with Jesus, converses with racism, listens to the wise oracles of a used tire shop, mourns the neighborhood dope man, and discovers the miracle of White Castles during the holidays.

Check out the St. Louis On the Air interview here.


About the Speakers

Sylvester Brown Jr. is the author of the book When We Listen: Recognizing the Potential of Urban Youth, the former publisher of Take Five Magazine, former columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and among the most respected writers and journalists in the St. Louis region. Brown has joined The St. Louis American as its inaugural Deaconess Fellow. The fellowship is funded by the Deaconess Foundation as part of its support for Black-led COVID-19 relief efforts.

Amanda E. Doyle is a writer and zealous St. Louis transplant. She's the author of several other books, including 100 Things to Do in Missouri Before You Die, St. Louis Sound: An Illustrated Timeline, Standing Up for Civil Rights in St. Louis, and To the Top! A Gateway Arch Story. She seeks out the city's singular charms with her husband and two children.


Monday, May 10, 2021 - 7:00pm

Andrew Feiler with Lauren Tate Baeza - A Better Life for Their Children

Tuesday, May 4, 5:30pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes award-winning photographer
Andrew Feiler,
who will discuss his new book, 
A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools That Changed America,
on our Facebook Live Page at 5:30pm CT on May 4.
Feiler will be in conversation with the Curator of African Art at High Museum of Art in Atlanta
Lauren Tate Baeza.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools That Changed America

A Sarah Mills Hodge Fund publication

Born to Jewish immigrants, Julius Rosenwald rose to lead Sears, Roebuck & Company and turn it into the world's largest retailer. Born into slavery, Booker T. Washington became the founding principal of Tuskegee Institute. In 1912 the two men launched an ambitious program to partner with black communities across the segregated South to build public schools for African American children. This watershed moment in the history of philanthropy--one of the earliest collaborations between Jews and African Americans--drove dramatic improvement in African American educational attainment and fostered the generation who became the leaders and foot soldiers of the civil rights movement.

Of the original 4,978 Rosenwald schools built between 1917 and 1937 across fifteen southern and border states, only about 500 survive. While some have been repurposed and a handful remain active schools, many remain unrestored and at risk of collapse. To tell this story visually, Andrew Feiler drove more than twenty-five thousand miles, photographed 105 schools, and interviewed dozens of former students, teachers, preservationists, and community leaders in all fifteen of the program states.

A Better Life for their Children includes eighty-five duotone images that capture interiors and exteriors, schools restored and yet-to-be restored, and portraits of people with unique, compelling connections to these schools. Brief narratives written by Feiler accompany each photograph, telling the stories of Rosenwald schools' connections to the Trail of Tears, the Great Migration, the Tuskegee Airmen, Brown v. Board of Education, embezzlement, murder, and more.

Beyond the photographic documentation, A Better Life for Their Children includes essays from three prominent voices. Congressman John Lewis, who attended a Rosenwald school in Alabama, provides an introduction; preservationist Jeanne Cyriaque has penned a history of the Rosenwald program; and Brent Leggs, director of African American Cultural Heritage at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has written a plea for preservation that serves as an afterword.

"Andrew Feiler's photographs and stories bring us into the heart of the passion for education in black communities: the passion of teachers who taught multiple grades and dozens of students in a single classroom; the passion of parents and neighbors who helped to raise the money to build our schools and then each year continued to reach deep to purchase school supplies; the passion of students like me who craved learning, worked hard, and read as many books as we could put our hands on." --Congressman John Lewis

"Andrew Feiler's photographs preserve an essential civil rights history with the inspiring story of the Rosenwald schools. And this history continued through the descendants of the schools and their creators, including the late John Lewis, Medgar Evers, and Maya Angelou. At a time when racial inequity in education remains a scourge, Feiler's book provides context and hope."--Jill Savitt, President and CEO, National Center for Civil and Human Rights


About the Speakers

Andrew Feiler, a fifth-generation Georgian, is an award-winning photographer whose work has been featured in museums, galleries, and magazines and is in a number of private collections. His photography is focused on the contemporary complexities of the American South. More of his photography can be seen at andrewfeiler.com.

Lauren Tate Baeza joined the High Museum of Art in November 2020 as the Fred and Rita Richman Curator of African Art. Baeza oversees the African art collection of more than one thousand objects, including extraordinary examples of masks and sculpture, exceptionally fine textiles, beadwork, metalwork, and ceramics. The collection’s holdings reflect the continent’s deep, rich history, as well as contemporary innovations. 

An Atlanta native, Baeza is a curator and Africanist with a background in international aid organizations and museums. As a scholar, she has researched African political and economic phenomena through the lens of cultural geography, specifically examining the spatial history of food culture and artistic practices within the continent and across the Atlantic.

Prior to joining the High, Baeza served as director of exhibitions at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights from 2018 to 2020. During her tenure there, Baeza maintained the Center’s two ongoing installations in its American Civil Rights Movement and Global Human Rights Movement galleries and organized sixteen temporary exhibitions and installations, including Fragments, a collaboration with celebrated designer Paula Scher, featuring passages from Dr. King’s handwritten speeches and letters.

Concurrent with her position at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Baeza also curated the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection, featuring approximately ten thousand items, and managed the James Allen and John Littlefield Collection. Previously, she served as executive director of the APEX Museum in Atlanta, which interprets, presents, and celebrates Black history.

In addition to her curatorial and museum work, Baeza led and consulted with environmental and community development initiatives in Kenya and Uganda. She has also lectured and taught seminars at the Nafasi Academy in Tanzania, the University of California, Los Angeles, Georgia State University, and California State University and published articles with ART PAPERS and the Institute for Food and Development Policy (Food First). In 2018, Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine selected her as a “Women of Excellence.”

Baeza holds a Master of Arts in African studies from the University of California, Los Angeles; a Bachelor of Arts in Africana studies with a cultural studies concentration from California State University, Northridge; and a certification in curatorial studies from Sotheby’s Institute of Art.


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, May 4, 2021 - 5:30pm

An Afternoon with Peter Wohlleben with Dr. Jane Goodall - Heartbeat of Trees

Sunday, May 16, 12pm CT
Private Online Event - $5 Event Ticket or Book purchase required

Join the renowned
Dr. Jane Goodall
and New York Times bestselling author
Peter Wohlleben
for an uplifting conversation about the natural world, in celebration of Wohlleben’s new book
The Heartbeat of Trees.
Moderated by Donna Seaman. 
Left Bank Books joins Books & Books and bookstores across the country for this exclusive conversation and book launch. 
This is an exclusive event that requires purchase of 
purchase of a $5 event ticket
from Left Bank Books for admission.
Only 50 signed copies of The Heartbeat of Trees are available, so purchase your copy early!

We will send you a link and unique password to access the event ahead of the event.


About The Heartbeat of Trees


The New York Times bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees returns to his and his readers’ favorite subject—trees—in this powerful, timely new book.

Drawing on new scientific discoveries, The Heartbeat of Trees reveals the profound interactions humans can have with nature, exploring the language of the forest, the consciousness of plants, and the eroding boundary between flora and fauna. Wohlleben shares how to see, feel, smell, hear, and even taste your journey into the woods. 

Above all, he reveals a wondrous cosmos where humans are a part of nature, and where conservation is not just about saving trees—it’s about saving ourselves, too. 


"As Peter Wohlleben reminds us in The Heartbeat of Trees, trees are the vocabulary of nature as forests are the brainbank of a living planet. This was the codex of the ancient world, and it must be the fine focus of our future."
-- Dr. Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author of To Speak for the Trees and The Global Forest

"Astonishment after astonishment--that is the great gift of The Heartbeat of Trees. It is both a celebration of the wonders of trees, and a howl of outrage at how recklessly we profane them."
--Kathleen Dean Moore, author of Earth's Wild Music

"Human beings are desperate to not feel alone in the universe. We are not. We are surrounded by an ongoing conversation that we can sense, if, as Peter Wohlleben so movingly prescribes, we listen to the heartbeat of all life."
--Richard Louv, author of Our Wild Calling and Last Child in the Woods

"Peter Wohlleben knows the battle that lies before us: forging a closer relationship with nature before we destroy it. In The Heartbeat of Trees he takes us deep into the global forest to show us how."
--Jim Robbins, author of The Man Who Planted Trees


About the Speakers

Peter Wohlleben spent over twenty years working for the forestry commission in Germany before leaving to put his ideas of ecology into practice. He now runs an environmentally-friendly woodland in Germany, where he is working toward the return of primeval forests. 

He is the author of numberous books about the natural world including the New York Times bestseller The Hidden Life of Trees, The Inner Lives of Animals, and The Secret Wisdom of Nature, which together make up his bestselling "The Mysteries of Nature" Series. He has also written numerous books for children including Can You Hear the Trees Talking? and Peter and the Tree Children.


Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace began her landmark study of chimpanzee behavior in July 1960 in what is now Tanzania. Her work at Gombe Stream would become the foundation of future primatological research and redefine the relationship between humans and animals. 

In 1977, Dr. Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which continues the Gombe research and is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. The Institute is widely recognized for innovative, community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian youth program.

Dr. Goodall founded Roots & Shoots with a group of Tanzanian students in 1991.Today, Roots & Shoots is active in more than 60 countries and since its inception has greatly impacted participants of all ages in over 100 countries. All of whom take action to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment.

For the past 30 years, Dr. Goodall has been speaking about the threats facing chimpanzees, other environmental crises, and her reasons for hope that humankind will solve the problems it has imposed on the earth.

Dr. Goodall’s honors include the French Legion of Honor, the Medal of Tanzania, and Japan’s prestigious Kyoto Prize. In 2002, Dr. Goodall was appointed to serve as a United Nations Messenger of Peace and in 2003, she was named a Dame of the British Empire.


Moderator Donna Seaman is Editor for Adult Books for Booklist. She is also a member of the Content Leadership Team for the American Writers Museum, and a recipient of the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award and the Louis Shores Award for excellence in book reviewing. Her author interviews are collected in Writers on the Air: Conversations about Books, and she is the author of Identity Unknown: Rediscovering Seven American Women Artists.


You may purchase a copy of The Heartbeat of Trees from Left Bank Books online or by phone. If you opt to only purchase the $5 event ticket, you may do so online.  Either way, you must provide an email address to be invited to the private online event. If you have purchased the book or event ticket from Left Bank, you will receive an email event REMINDER a few days prior to the event. You will receive the actual email invite with the LINK to join the private online event on the DAY OF the event.

Sunday, May 16, 2021 - 12:00pm

G'Ra Asim with Jabari Asim - Boyz n the Void

Wednesday, May 5, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes writer, musician, and St. Louis native
G'Ra Asim,
who will discuss his new book, 
Boyz n the Void: a mixtape to my brother,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on May 5.
Asim will be in conversation with his father author and professor
Jabari Asim.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

About Boyz n the Void

Writing to his brother, G'Ra Asim reflects on building his own identity while navigating Blackness, masculinity, and young adulthood--all through wry social commentary and music/pop culture critique

How does one approach Blackness, masculinity, otherness, and the perils of young adulthood? For G'Ra Asim, punk music offers an outlet to express himself freely. As his younger brother, Gyasi, grapples with finding his footing in the world, G'Ra gifts him with a survival guide for tackling the sometimes treacherous cultural terrain particular to being young, Black, brainy, and weird in the form of a mixtape.

Boyz n the Void: a mixtape to my brother blends music and cultural criticism and personal essay to explore race, gender, class, and sexuality as they pertain to punk rock and straight edge culture. Using totemic punk rock songs on a mixtape to anchor each chapter, the book documents an intergenerational conversation between a Millennial in his 30s and his Generation Z teenage brother. Author, punk musician, and straight edge kid, G'Ra Asim weaves together memoir and cultural commentary, diving into the depths of everything from theory to comic strips, to poetry to pizza commercials to mapping the predicament of the Black creative intellectual.

With each chapter dedicated to a particular song and placed within the context of a fraternal bond, Asim presents his brother with a roadmap to self-actualization in the form of a Doc Martened foot to the behind and a sweaty, circle-pit-side-armed hug.

"Like any great mixtape, Asim's compilation is the most personalized of gifts. Layered, deeply revealing, it's a rhythmic journey through the indices, subgenres, and touchstones that encapsulate the refinement of an increasingly rare gem--Black singularity. Written with love, erudition, and the utmost respect, Boyz n the Void is a genuine keepsake." --Paul Beatty, author of The Sellout, winner of the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award

Boyz n the Void is a critical ethnography of growing up Black and punk in the aughts. Asim strikes a balance between total immersion in the scene and the intimacy of a letter sent between brothers. Boyz n the Void manages to be ambitious, scholarly, and cool all at once--a testament to its necessity and authenticity. Boyz n the Void is essential reading for Black weirdos, punks of all ages, and those invested in impeccably rendered American history." --Cyrée Jarelle Johnson, author of Slingshot, winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award in Gay Poetry

"In this wise, funny, and heartfelt meditation on the vagaries of post-conventional identity, G'Ra Asim writes that to be a successful Black artist you 'must not only untether yourself from essentialized notions of Blackness but create with such fluency as to move your audience to jettison the same constraints.' Boyz n the Void is many things--an impassioned paean to high-stakes cultural invention, a brutally honest excavation of the twenty-first-century color line, and a work of brotherly love--but it also marks the emergence of an important Black artist." --Chris Lehmann, editor of The New Republic

"G'Ra Asim's Boyz n the Void is full of dopamine hits and heartbreak. You don't want to stop listening, even when it aches. It becomes part of you. These essays are rigorous and tender and funny all at once, charged with humor that doesn't deflect from difficult honesty so much as it takes you deeper into the maze of truth. Asim is attentive to small acts of intimacy and solidarity and vulnerability--a punk kid parting the curtain of his mushroom haircut, or learning to love the sweat and leather of a mosh pit--even as he dissects and illuminates, with searing, razor-sharp brushstrokes, the daily brutalities and hidden curriculums of structural racism. I'd gladly read anything by 'Ra the Exhorter--for his brilliance, his wit, his heart, and his electric illuminations of those forces of love and rebellion that might be able to remake our broken world." --Leslie JamisonNew York Times best-selling author of The Empathy Exams


About the Speakers

G'Ra Asim, a writer and musician, is an assistant professor of nonfiction writing at Ithaca College. He holds an MFA in nonfiction from Columbia University and a BA in writing, literature and publishing from Emerson 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 Slate, Salon, Guernica, The 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.

Jabari Asim is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Creative Arts and the author of seven books for adults-including We Can't Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival-and ten books for children. His poems are included in several anthologies, including Furious Flower: African American Poetry from the Black Arts Movement to the Present; Beyond the Frontier: African American Poetry for the 21st Century; and Role Call: A Generational Anthology of Social & Political Black Literature & Art. After more than a decade at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The Washington Post, he now directs the MFA program at Emerson College.


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, May 5, 2021 - 7:00pm

James Erwin & Vicki Berger Erwin - Notorious Missouri

Tuesday, May 4, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes local St. Louis authors 
James Erwin and Vicki Berger Erwin,
who will discuss their new book of local history, 
Notorious Missouri: 200 Years of Historic Crimes.
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on May 4.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About Notorious Missouri
From the duel on Bloody Island to the Missouri Miracle kidnapping and recovery of Shawn Hornbeck, Missouri has seen its share of notorious crimes. It was home to the first western gunfight on the town square between Wild Bill Hickok and Dave Tutt. The three trials of the alleged murderer of Colonel Thomas Swope, the founder of Kansas City's Swope Park, enveloped the state. Residents also saw the killings within a few blocks of each other that inspired the songs Stagger Lee and Frankie and Johnny. Vicki Berger Erwin and James W. Erwin explore crimes, criminals and victims from the violent history of the last two hundred years in the Show Me State.
About the Speakers
Vicki Berger Erwin has been in the publishing industry for more than thirty years in various capacities, including sales, book distribution and as the owner of a bookstore in St. Charles, Missouri. She has is the author of thirty books in varied genres: picture books, middle-grade mysteries and novels, local histories and true crime.
James W. Erwin practiced law in St. Louis for thirty-seven years. He is the author of five books of local history. This is their second book together. They live in Kirkwood, Missouri.
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, May 4, 2021 - 7:00pm

Martha Gershun & John D Lantos with Jeff Bishop - Kidney to Share

Tuesday, May 18, 5:30pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

 Left Bank Books welcomes Missouri authors
Martha Gershun & John D. Lantos,
who will discuss their new compelling book, 
Kidney to Share
on our Facebook Live Page at 5:30pm CT on May 18th.
Gershun & Lantos will be in conversation with professor, social philosopher, and physician at Saint Louis University, Jeff Bishop.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a SIGNED copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
About Kidney to Share

In Kidney to Share, Martha Gershun tells the story of her decision to donate a kidney to a stranger. She takes readers through the complex process by which such donors are vetted to ensure that they are physically and psychologically fit to take the risk of a major operation. John D. Lantos, a physician and bioethicist, places Gershun's story in the larger context of the history of kidney transplantation and the ethical controversies that surround living donors. Together, they help readers understand the discoveries that made transplantation relatively safe and effective as well as the legal, ethical, and economic policies that make it feasible.

Gershun and Lantos explore the steps involved in recovering and allocating organs. They analyze the differences that arise depending on whether the organ comes from a living donor or one who has died. They observe the expertise--and the shortcomings--of doctors, nurses, and other professionals and describe the burdens that we place on people who are willing to donate. In this raw and vivid book, Gershun and Lantos ask us to consider just how far society should go in using one person's healthy body parts in order to save another person.

Kidney to Share provides an account of organ donation that is both personal and analytical. The combination of perspectives leads to a profound and compelling exploration of a largely opaque practice. Gershun and Lantos pull back the curtain to offer readers a more transparent view of the fascinating world of organ donation.

“Reading this lively book is like eavesdropping on an honest exchange between erudite friends. The insight of the authors into how our collective ambivalence about living organ donors is enacted in the medical maze they must navigate is revelatory.”—Katie Watson, author of Scarlet A

Kidney to Share is a remarkably fascinating work—a mix of personal narrative and medi- cal history that brilliantly teases out the most scientific and ethical complexities of modern medicine. This book, with its overlapping voices and contributions to a medically suspenseful organ transplant story, is at once intimate, educational, clear-eyed, heartfelt, and profoundly moving.”—Perri Klass, author of A Good Time to Be Born


About the Speakers

Martha Gershun is the former Executive Director of Jackson County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). She is author of Care & Custody, and her work has appeared in The Kansas City StarThe New York Times MagazineKveller, and The Radcliffe Quarterly. Follow her on Twitter @mgershun.

John D. Lantos, MD, is Director of the Bioethics Center at Children's Mercy Hospital and Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine. His books include Do We Still Need DoctorsNeonatal Bioethics, and Controversial Bodies. He is Associate Editor of American Journal of BioethicsPerspectives in Biology and Medicine, and Current Problems in Pediatrics and Adolescent Health Care. Follow him on Twitter @johnlantos.

Jeffrey Bishop holds the Tenet Endowed Chair in Bioethics and also Professor of Philosophy at Saint Louis University. He also served as the Director of the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics from 2010-2018 at SLU. He is the author of The Anticipatory Corpse: Medicine, Power, and the Care of the Dying and just completed work on another book, Chasing After Virtue: Neuroscience, Economics, and the Biopolitics of Morality. His scholarly work explores the historical, political, and philosophical conditions that shape modern medical and scientific theories and practices.


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, May 18, 2021 - 5:30pm

P. Djèlí Clark with Ann Leckie - A Master of Djinn

Thursday, May 13, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes award-winning author
P. Djèlí Clark,
who will discuss his new novel, 
A Master of Djinn,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on May 13.
Clark will be in conversation with award winning author
Ann Leckie.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a SIGNED copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

About A Master of Djinn

Nebula, Locus, and Alex Award-winner P. Djèlí Clark returns to his popular alternate Cairo universe for his fantasy novel debut, A Master of Djinn

Cairo, 1912: Though Fatma el-Sha'arawi is the youngest woman working for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities, she's certainly not a rookie, especially after preventing the destruction of the universe last summer.

So when someone murders a secret brotherhood dedicated to one of the most famous men in history, al-Jahiz, Agent Fatma is called onto the case. Al-Jahiz transformed the world forty years ago when he opened up the veil between the magical and mundane realms, before vanishing into the unknown. This murderer claims to be al-Jahiz, returned to condemn the modern age for its social oppressions. His dangerous magical abilities instigate unrest in the streets of Cairo that threaten to spill over onto the global stage.

Alongside her Ministry colleagues and a familiar person from her past, Agent Fatma must unravel the mystery behind this imposter to restore peace to the city--or face the possibility he could be exactly who he seems...

A Master of Djinn is poised to launch P. Djèlí Clark's SFF career to new heights as the highly-anticipated debut readers are clamoring for.


About the Speakers

Born in New York and raised mostly in Houston, P. DJÈLÍ CLARK spent the formative years of his life in the homeland of his parents, Trinidad and Tobago. P. Djèlí Clark is the author of the novellas The Black God's Drums, winner of a 2019 Alex Award from the American Library Association; The Haunting of Tram Car 015; and A Dead Djinn in Cairo. His short story "The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington" (Fireside Fiction) has earned him both a Nebula and Locus award. He is loosely associated with the quarterly FIYAH: A Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction and an infrequent reviewer at Strange Horizons. He currently resides in New England and ruminates on issues of diversity in speculative fiction.

Ann Leckie is the author of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, and British Science Fiction Award-winning novel Ancillary Justice. She has worked as a waitress, a receptionist, a rodman on a land-surveying crew, and a recording engineer. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.

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, May 13, 2021 - 7:00pm

Marisa Silver with Charlie Brennan - The Mysteries

Tuesday, May 11, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books welcomes bestselling author
Marisa Silver,
who will discuss her new novel set in St. Louis, 
The Mysteries,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on May 11th.
Silver will be in conversation with St. Louis KMOX Radio's and author of Only in St. Louis
Charlie Brennan.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

About The Mysteries

From the New York Times bestselling author of Mary Coin, a masterful, intimate story of two young girls, joined in an unlikely friendship, whose lives are shattered in a single, unthinkable moment.

Miggy Brenneman is a wild and reckless seven-year-old with a fierce imagination, hellbent on pushing against the limits of childhood. Ellen is polite, cautious, and drawn to her friend's bright flame. While the adults around them adjust to unstable times and fractured relationships, the girls respond with increasingly dangerous play. When tragedy strikes, all the novel's characters grapple with questions of fate and individual responsibility, none more so than Miggy, who must make sense of a swiftly disappearing past and a radically transformed future.

Written with searing clarity and surpassing tenderness, The Mysteries limns the painful ambiguities of adulthood and the intense perceptions of an indelibly drawn child to offer a profound exploration of how all of us, at every stage, must reckon with life's abundant and unsolvable mysteries.

"Marisa Silver's vividly alive and wondrously precise THE MYSTERIES stirringly explores marriage, friendship, betrayal and a shattering moment of loss that offers grace and salvation. At its pulsing heart center is the delightful and ungovernable Miggie. A heroine and novel I won't soon forget." -- Maria Semple, New York Times Bestselling author of WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE and TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT

"The central question of this richly layered novel asks how well we can truly know another person. The characters here came to life for me and I felt in my bones their loneliness, their sorrow, along with their moments of generosity, their joy. I will think about them and root for them for a long time." --Mary Beth Keane, New York Times bestselling author of ASK AGAIN, YES

"Marisa Silver uses language as she would a sharp needle: to stitch, and to puncture, in her examination of people who are as vivid and anxious as the tragic souls of Richard Yates." -- Rachel Kushner, New York Times Bestselling author of THE MARS ROOM

"This exquisite gem of a novel digs deep into the longings of the human heart. Funny, compassionate, sorrowful, and tender, The Mysteries is an insightful and emotionally astute exploration of how love can both heal and fail us. I couldn't put it down, and I will be thinking about these characters for a very long time." -- Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, New York Times Bestselling author of THE NEST


About the Speakers

Marisa Silver is the author of six previous works of fiction, including the novels Mary Coin, a New York Times Bestseller, and Little Nothing, a New York Times Editor's Choice. Her short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker and been included in The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Silver has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the New York Public Library's Cullman Center. She teaches at the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and lives in Los Angeles.

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


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

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 7:00pm


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