Season at a Glance 2020

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September 2020

Thursday, September 10, 7:30 p.m.
In conversation with Krys Boyd of KERA
Erik Larson, master of narrative nonfiction, delivers The Splendid and the Vile, a compelling portrait of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz. Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.” Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports, Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year, transporting readers to a time of true leadership, when—in the face of unrelenting horror—Churchill’s eloquence, courage, and perseverance bound a country, and a family, together. Larson’s bestselling books include The Devil in the White City and In the Garden of Beasts.

VIRTUAL EVENT: Fredrik Backman
Wednesday, September 16, 4:00 p.m.
In conversation with Angela Haupt
Swedish author Fredrik Backman's whimsical, oddball humor and heart-rending turns resist the typical genre mold, yet with 12 million copies sold globally, his numerous works resonate widely. Anxious People involves a failed bank robber who takes hostage a disparate group of people at an open house. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers slowly begin opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths. The novel grapples with both mental health and parenting, as well as the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope—the things that save us, even in the most anxious times.

VIRTUAL EVENT: Barbara Kingsolver
A Distinguished Writers Event
Wednesday, September 23, 7:00 p.m.
Award-winning author Barbara Kingsolver (The Poisonwood Bible) will discuss and read from her new book of poetry, How to Fly (In Ten Thousand Easy Lessons), which has been in progress for a decade. This intimate new collection offers reflections on the complicated bonds of family and friendship, everyday acts of living, the natural world, and the redemptive nature of art and poetry, as well as death and transcendence.

October 2020

Thursday, October 1, 7:00 p.m.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Ken Follett comes the prequel to his epic The Pillars of the Earth. The Evening and the Morning is a thrilling and addictive new novel set in England at the dawn of a new era: the Middle Ages. In these turbulent times, three characters find their lives intertwined: a young boatbuilder whose home is raided by the Vikings, a Norman noblewoman who marries for love and follows her husband across the sea to a new land, and a monk who dreams of transforming his humble abbey into a center for learning. Each comes into dangerous conflict with a clever and ruthless bishop who will do anything to increase his wealth and power.

VIRTUAL EVENT: Claudia Rankine
Tuesday, October 6, 7:00 p.m.
Addressing the topic of whiteness and white supremacy through an array of essays, poems, and visuals in her new book Just Us: An American Conversation, award-winning poet and MacArthur Genius Claudia Rankine explores a series of real encounters with friends and strangers, each disrupting the false comfort of spaces where our public and private lives intersect. The author urges us to forge humane pathways through this moment of division.

Wednesday, October 21, 7:00 p.m.
In conversation with Jim Falk, President and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
Novelist and Pulitzer Prize finalist Laila Lalami uses her compelling narrative style to describe her own path to US citizenship alongside the larger history of American law and society in her new nonfiction work Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America. Drawing on her personal identity as "an immigrant, a woman, an Arab, and a Muslim," Lalami describes how becoming a US citizen does not necessarily mean becoming "an equal member of the American family." Join us for a wide-ranging conversation about Lalami's fiction and nonfiction works with the author who the Washington Post calls "one of our most important critics of the American character."

May 2021

Monday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.
Location: McFarlin Auditorium, Southern Methodist University
Promotional Partner: KERA
All purchased tickets have been transferred to the rescheduled date.
One of America’s preeminent humor writers, David Sedaris returns to Dallas for the eleventh consecutive year to read new and unpublished material. He is the master of satire and one of today’s most observant writers addressing the human condition. Beloved for his personal essays and short stories, Sedaris is the author of Me Talk Pretty One Day, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and Theft By Finding: Diaries (1977–2002), among many others. Calypso, his latest collection of essays, is a New York Times bestseller. Sedaris’s original audio pieces can often be heard on the public radio show This American Life.




All programs, participants, and venues are subject to change. All programs will take place virtually on the day they were launched, at 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. It is likely that more programs will be added and announced later on the website.

Tickets are nonrefundable.

Ticket prices vary. For tickets, visit or call 214-922-1818.

Several programs have pre-event tours of the DMA’s collection that relate thematically to the book featured. See individual event pages for full information about art-related tours and special dinners before Arts & Letters Live events.

* Denotes a program that requires a book to be purchased with ticket(s).


Arts & Letters Live is supported by Annual Season Supporters, the Kay Cattarulla Endowment for the Literary and Performing Arts, and the McGee Foundation Arts & Letters Live Endowment Fund at the Dallas Museum of Art. Additional major support provided by The Hersh Foundation. The Fairmont Hotel Dallas is the exclusive hotel partner for the 2020 Arts & Letters Live series. Promotional support provided by KERA.