Monday, February 24, 7pm
Left Bank Books
Left 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.