Arts & Letters Live

Arts & Letters Live is a literary and performing arts series for all ages that features award-winning authors and performers of regional, national, and international acclaim. The series is recognized for its creative multidisciplinary programming—combining literature with visual arts, music, and film—and for commissioning new work from musicians, dancers, and poets, inspired by works of art in the Museum's collection and special exhibitions.

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Upcoming Events

Format: 9/19/18

Sarah Bird

Thursday, September 20, 7:30 p.m.

Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen shines light on a nearly forgotten figure in history. Cathy Williams was born and lived as a slave—until the Union army destroyed the only world she's known. Separated from her family, she makes the impossible decision to disguise herself as a man and fight with the legendary Buffalo Soldiers. Sarah Bird is the author of ten novels, including The Gap YearAbove the East China Sea, and The Yokota Officers Club.


Doris Kearns Goodwin

Wednesday, September 26, 7:30 p.m.

Bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin's new book Leadership in Turbulent Times is a culmination of five decades of work in presidential history. She combines her signature storytelling with essential lessons from four of our nation's presidents: Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Goodwin wrote the Pulitzer Prize–winning No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor and the Home Front in World War II, and earned the Lincoln Prize for the runaway bestseller Team of Rivals, the basis for Steven Spielberg's award-winning film Lincoln.


Lou Berney & Andre Dubus III

Sunday, October 7, 4:00 p.m.

Set in the wake of JFK's assassination, November Road is a poignant and evocative crime novel from the Edgar Award–winning Lou Berney that centers on a desperate cat-and-mouse chase across 1960s America. Gone So Long, acclaimed writer Andre Dubus III's first novel in a decade, is the story of a fractured family, a horrible crime, its tragic consequences, and the possibility of forgiveness and redemption.


Caroline Fraser

Sunday, October 14, 3:00 p.m.

Caroline Fraser's Pulitzer Prize-winning historical biography Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder masterfully fills in the gaps of what has previously been known about Wilder's life. Fraser draws on unpublished manuscripts, letters, diaries, and land and financial records to chronicle Wilder's story of relentless struggle, rootlessness, and poverty, as well as her tumultuous relationship with her journalist daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Wilder's real life was much harder than what she portrayed in the Little House on the Prairie series, and her success remains one of the most astonishing rags-to-riches episodes in American letters.


Fatima Farheen Mirza & Tommy Orange

Monday, October 29, 7:30 p.m.

Fatima Farheen Mirza's debut novel A Place for Us is a deeply moving story of love, identity, and belonging. As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the secrets and betrayals that caused their close-knit family to fracture. Tommy Orange's bestselling debut novel There There is the story of 12 unforgettable Urban Indians living in Oakland, California, who converge and collide on one fateful day. As we learn why each person is attending the Big Oakland Powwow, momentum builds toward a shocking conclusion that changes everything.


Jesmyn Ward

Thursday, November 1, 7:30 p.m.

MacArthur Genius and two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward has been hailed as the standout writer of her generation, proving her "fearless and toughly lyrical" voice in novels, memoir, and nonfiction. Ward's stories are largely set on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, where she grew up and still lives. With Sing, Unburied, Sing, which earned her a second National Book Award in 2017, Ward explores the bonds of a family tested by racism and poverty.


Elaine Pagels

Sunday, November 11, 2:30 p.m.

When renowned religion scholar, National Book Award winner, and New York Times bestselling author Elaine Pagels was dealing with unimaginable loss—the death of her young son, followed a year later by the shocking loss of her husband—questions on the persistence and nature of belief and why religion matters took on a new urgency. In Why Religion?: A Personal Story, Pagels weaves together a personal story with the work that she loves, illuminating how religious traditions have shaped how we understand ourselves; how we relate to one another; and, most importantly, how to get through the most difficult challenges we face.


SOLD OUT: Ina Garten

Wednesday, November 14, 7:30 p.m.

Ina Garten shares her natural approach to food, entertaining tips, stories, and maybe even some recipes. The Emmy Award-winning host of the Barefoot Contessa television show on Food Network and New York Times bestselling author will be joined on stage by a local moderator. Garten delivers a charming insider’s view of her hit TV show; an in-depth exploration of her latest book, Cook Like a Pro, to be released in fall 2018; and the pleasures of good food, cooked with love and passion, plus she will engage the audience with an interactive Q&A.


David Grann

Monday, November 19, 7:30 p.m.

From New York Times bestselling author David Grann, The White Darkness is the powerful, true story of Henry Worsley, a devoted husband, father, and British special forces officer who idolized Ernest Sheckleton, the 19th-century polar explorer. In 2015, at age 55, Worsley embarked on his most perilous quest: to walk across Antarctica alone. David Grann is the author of The Lost City of Z and the National Book Award Finalist Killers of the Flower Moon.


Mark Lamster in Conversation with Rick Brettell

Tuesday, November 27, 7:30 p.m.

When architect Philip Johnson died in 2005 at the age of 98, he was one of the most recognizable and influential figures on the American cultural landscape. Johnson introduced European modernism to America through the sleek glass-and-steel structures that now dominate our cities, but he was also a man of deep paradoxes. The Man in the Glass House lifts the veil on Johnson's controversial and endlessly contradictory life to tell the story of a charming yet deeply flawed man. Mark Lamster is the architectural critic for the Dallas Morning News and a professor in the architecture school at the University of Texas at Arlington.