Season at a Glance 2021

Click the links below to reserve your tickets!

You can purchase tickets and watch event recordings at your convenience for two weeks after each event date, unless otherwise noted.

January 2021

VIRTUAL EVENT : Colum McCann
Tuesday, January 12, 7:00 p.m. CST
Rescheduled event from April 28, 2020
In conversation with Rabbi David Stern
 
National Book Award winner Colum McCann's most ambitious work to date, Apeirogon is a tour de force concerning friendship, love, loss, and belonging. Bassam Aramin is Palestinian. Rami Elhanan is Israeli. They inhabit a world of conflict that colors every aspect of their lives. Their worlds shift irreparably after their young daughters are killed- Abir by a rubber bullet and Smadar the victim of suicide bombers. When Bassam and Rami learn of each other's stories, they recognize the loss that connects them and attempt to use their grief as a weapon for peace.
 
Tuesday, January 19, 7:00 p.m. CST
Promotional partners: Break Bread, Break Borders and Cafe Momentum
Live virtual event
 
Black, White, and The Grey is a story about the trials and triumphs of a Black chef from Queens, New York, and a White media entrepreneur from Staten Island who built a relationship and a restaurant in the Deep South, hoping to bridge biases and get people talking about race, gender, class, and culture. In this dual memoir,Mashama Bailey and John O. Morisano describe how they went from tentative business partners to dear friends while turning a dilapidated, formerly segregated Greyhound bus station in Savannah, Georgia, into The Grey, now one of the most celebrated restaurants in the country.

In addition to a conversation with the authors, this event includes a cooking demonstration with Mashama Bailey (Chef's Table Season 6, Episode 1; Top Chef) and insights from DMA staff about thematically related works of art in the DMA’s collection. 

 
VIRTUAL EVENT : Charles Yu
Wednesday, January 27, 7:00 p.m. CST
In conversation with Dr. Dennis Kratz
In partnership with the Center for Asian Studies at The University of Texas at Dallas and the annual Anlin Ku Lecture
 

Winner of the 2020 National Book Award for fiction and soon to be a Hulu series, Interior Chinatown is an inventive and personal novel about race, pop culture, immigration, assimilation, and escaping the roles we are forced to play. The author of four novels, Charles Yu also writes for HBO's Westworld.

"One of the funniest books of the year. . . . A delicious, ambitious Hollywood satire." —The Washington Post

February 2021

VIRTUAL EVENT : Adam Grant
Wednesday, February 3, 7:00 p.m. CST
In conversation with Katie Couric
 
Organizational psychologist, TED speaker, and podcast host Adam Grant is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Originals and Give and Take. He is an expert at opening other people's minds–and our own. In our daily lives, we listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. Think Again examines the critical art of rethinking. With bold ideas and rigorous evidence, Grant investigates how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, bring nuance to charged conversations, and build communities of lifelong learners. 

"In an increasingly divided world, the lessons in this book are more important than ever."
—Bill and Melinda Gates 

 
VIRTUAL EVENT : Walter Mosley
Monday, February 8, 7:00 p.m. CST
In conversation with Kathleen Kent
Promotional partner : Wordspace  
Live virtual event
 
Mosley's infamous detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new mystery to solve on the sun-soaked streets of Southern California. Ezekiel "Easy" Porterhouse Rawlins is an unlicensed private investigator turned hard-boiled detective who is always willing to do what it takes to get things done in the racially charged, dark underbelly of Los Angeles. Set against the social and political upheaval of the late 1960s, Blood Grove is ultimately a story about survival, not only of the body but also of the soul.

One of America's most celebrated and beloved writers, Walter Mosley received the 2020 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. 

“A new Easy Rawlins novel is always big news in crime-fiction circles, and this fifteenth entry in the series does not disappoint.” —Booklist  

 
VIRTUAL EVENT : Kristin Hannah
Wednesday, February 10, 7:00 p.m. CST
In conversation with Sarah Bird
Promotional partner : Heritage Farmstead Museum
 
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes an epic novel of love, heroism, and hope amidst the Great Depression. Set in Texas during the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, The Four Winds depicts an indomitable woman who must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. It is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream.
 
Kristin Hannah is the author of more than 20 novels, including the international blockbuster The Nightingale, which sold more than 2 million copies and was voted a best book of the year by Amazon, Buzzfeed, and the Wall Street Journal.   
 
Saturday, February 27, 7:00 p.m. CST
In partnership with KERA
 
Selected Shorts returns to Arts & Letters Live with a tribute to Toni Morrison whose fierce, poetic visions articulated deep truths about the nature of racial injustice in America. Hosted by award-winning author Yaa Gyasi (Homegoing, Transcendent Kingdom), actors will include Emmy Award winner Joe Morton (Rowan/Eli Pope in Scandal), Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose (Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere), two-time Obie Award–winning actor and playwright Charlayne Woodard (Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Hair), and Brandon J. Dirden (All the Way), who will come together to honor the extraordinary life and legacy of this Nobel Prize winner with performances from her novels, essays, and short stories. 
 

March 2021

Tuesday, March 2, 11:45 a.m. CST
 
Join other book lovers for stimulating lunchtime conversation about Colum McCann’s latest work, Apeirogon, an epic novel rooted in a real-life friendship borne of loss. Two fathers, one Palestinian and one Israeli, connect through shared grief that they marshal into a weapon for peace. Crossing centuries and continents through art, history, and politics, it is a tale both heartbreaking and hopeful. The group discussion will be facilitated by Rabbi David Stern, Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, and Imam Dr. Omar Suleiman, an American Muslim scholar and theologically driven activist for human rights. Author Colum McCann will make a brief guest appearance. 
 
VIRTUAL EVENT : Anne Lamott
Wednesday, March 3, 7:00 p.m. CST
 
From bestselling author Anne Lamott comes Dusk, Night, Dawn, an inspiring guide to restoring hope and joy while grappling with the thorny issues of life. How can we cope as bad news piles up and we stumble through dark times that seem increasingly bleak? We begin, she says, by accepting our flaws and embracing our humanity. Drawing from her own experiences, Lamott shows us the intimate and human ways we can adopt to move through life’s dark places and toward the light of hope that still burns ahead for all of us. Full of the honesty, humor, and humanity that have made Lamott beloved by millions of readers, Dusk, Night, Dawn is thoughtful and comic, warm and wise.
 
VIRTUAL EVENT : Kazuo Ishiguro
Sunday, March 7, 5:00 p.m.
In conversation with Jim Shepard
In partnership with Inprint Literary Series of Houston
 
Hailed by the New York Times as “an original and remarkable genius” and by the Independent as “a master storyteller,” Kazuo Ishiguro won the Nobel Prize for Literature and the Booker Prize. His novels The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go, both made into acclaimed films, have each sold more than two million copies. At this event, he will discuss his new novel Klara and the Sun, about an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational skills, who closely watches the behavior of the humans she can see from her place in a department store, hoping one day to be chosen by one. Ultimately, this novel explores one of life’s fundamental questions: what does it mean to love?  
 
Monday, March 22, 7:00 p.m. CST
In conversation with Lois Kim, Executive Director of Texas Book Festival
 
Lily King’s Writers & Lovers follows Casey—a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist—in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions is challenged in ways that push her to the brink. Chang-rae Lee’s My Year Abroad tells an exuberant and entertaining story about a young American life transformed by an unusual Asian adventure—and about the human capacities for pleasure, pain, and connection.    

“Who is a greater novelist than Chang-rae Lee today?” —The Los Angeles Times 

Writers & Lovers is exactly the book we need now. Witty and heartfelt. . . . I could not stop reading.” —Judy Blume 

 
Sunday, March 28, 2:00 p.m.
In partnership with SMU Literary Festival
 
Join us for a free event in partnership with the SMU Literary Festival featuring two singular, critically acclaimed authors, Hala Alyan and Patricia Lockwood, talking about their latest works.
 
Alyan’s novel The Arsonists’ City follows a family teeming with internal tensions over bitter jealousies, shame, and abandoned passions set against the backdrop of Beirut, a city smoldering with the legacy of political and religious conflict. Lockwood’s urgent, genre-defying novel No One Is Talking About This follows a woman lurching from social media stardom into a mysterious, at times absurdist, void full of existential threats she terms “the portal.” Both works offer fresh insights into the power and fragility of human connection in our present moment, befitting the SMU Literary Festival’s 2021 theme: “Turbulence.” 

April 2021

VIRTUAL EVENT : Texas Bound
PRE-RECORDED VIRTUAL EVENT
A recording will be available until April 30
 
Get up close and personal with Texas Bound veteran and Academy Award winner Marcia Gay Harden, who gives a masterful performance of "Women & Horses (1976)," a powerful story by New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Wetmore. Matthew McConaughey makes his inaugural Texas Bound debut with a hilarious reading of an excerpt from "Outlaw Logic," from his recent memoir Greenlights. Dallas actors Maryam Baig, Kenya Flippin, and Chris Ramirez join the star-studded lineup reading stories from Dallas authors Jenny Bhatt and LaToya Watkins, as well as Austin-based writer Dagoberto Gilb. 

"Compelling stories and compassionate acting, all literally from the heart of Texas." —Southern Living  

 
Monday, April 19, 7:00 p.m. CST
In conversation with author Mira Jacob
 
Two highly anticipated novels about women defying past and present expectations to experience what it truly means to be free.
 
Gabriela Garcia's Of Women and Salt  traces a lineage of women from 19th-century Cuba to present-day Miami and Mexico, addressing issues of addiction, displacement, and the legacy of trauma. In present-day Miami, Jeanette, daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, is battling addiction. Determined to learn more about her family history, she travels to Cuba to visit her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt.
 
Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States, Kaitlyn Greenidge’s new novel Libertie  follows a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn who yearns for a life different than that of her physician mother. Libertie, drawn more to music than science, feels stifled by her mother’s choices and strives to forge her own path. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal, she accepts, only to discover that she must fight for her freedom. 
 
VIRTUAL EVENT : Abi Daré and Andrea Lee
Tuesday, April 27, 7:00 p.m. CST
In conversation with Jaina Sanga
Promotional Partner: World Affairs Council
 
Two award-winning novelists with riveting stories set in Nigeria and Madagascar, cultures featured in the DMA’s exhibition Moth to Cloth: Silk in Africa
 
Abi Daré's celebrated novel The Girl with the Louding Voice is the unforgettable, inspiring story of Adunni, a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so that she can find her “louding voice” and speak up for herself. An instant New York Times bestseller and a Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick, this story exemplifies how one courageous young woman’s spirited determination to find joy and hope in even the most difficult circumstances can inspire us all to reach for our dreams and maybe even change the world.

From National Book Award–nominated writer Andrea Lee, Red Island House is an evocative novel about loyalty, identity, and heritage that follows two decades in the marriage between an African American professor and her wealthy Italian husband. Shay is surprised when her husband, Senna, decides to build a spectacular house on an idyllic beach in the tropical island nation of Madagascar. As she becomes the somewhat reluctant mistress of a sprawling household, she finds herself caught between her privileged American upbringing and education, and her connection to the continent of her ancestors.

May 2021

RESCHEDULED LIVE EVENT : David Sedaris
Monday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.
McFarlin Auditorium, Southern Methodist University
In partnership with 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.
 
VIRTUAL EVENT : Pip Williams
Tuesday, May 18, 7:00 p.m. CST 
In conversation with author Simon Winchester
 
Set during the height of the women's suffrage movement and with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams is a novel about the magic of growing up in a world of words. At its heart is the story of Esme, a young woman who has grown up in the “Scriptorium,” where her father and a team of dedicated lexicographers work to select words for the first Oxford English Dictionary. Esme takes it upon herself to collect and preserve words that have been neglected or discarded by the male lexicographers who are shaping the English language.
 
Inspired by actual events, Williams delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to create a delightful, lyrical, and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words and the power of language to shape the world.
 
VIRTUAL EVENT : Daniel James Brown
Tuesday, May 25, 7:00 p.m. CST 
In partnership with World Affairs Council
 
Daniel James Brown, New York Times bestselling author of The Boys in the Boat, once again reveals himself to be a master of narrative nonfiction with his latest historical page-turner. Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in WWII is a heartbreaking and eye-opening account of four Japanese American families whose sons volunteered for the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, deploying to the frontlines of Europe while their immigrant parents were forced to shutter businesses, surrender their homes, and submit to life in concentration camps on US soil. Based on Brown's extensive interviews with the families of the protagonists, as well as on deep archival research, Facing the Mountain is a gripping World War II saga of patriotism and courage during one of the darkest moments in American history.  

June 2021

VIRTUAL EVENT : Hilary Mantel
Tuesday, June 8, 2021, 7:00 p.m.  
Pre-recorded event  
Promotional Partner: KERA
 
With The Mirror & the LightHilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with her peerless, Booker Prize-winning novels, Wolf Hall  and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision.  Eagerly awaited and eight years in the making, The Mirror & the Light completes Cromwell’s journey from self-made man to one of the most feared and influential figures of his time.
 
Hilary Mantel’s works have sold over 5 million copies worldwide and been translated into 35 languages.
 
The Mirror & the Light marks a triumphant end to a spellbinding story." —NPR 
 
VIRTUAL EVENT : Annette Gordon-Reed
Tuesday, June 15, 7:00 p.m. CST
Opening remarks by Opal Lee
In conversation with Jonathan Holloway, President of Rutgers University
In partnership with World Affairs Council

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a National Book Award, and a MacArthur fellowship, among many other honors, Annette Gordon-Reed is considered one of the nation’s preeminent historians.  

Although stories of cowboys, ranchers, and oilmen have long dominated the lore of the Lone Star State, Annette Gordon-Reed—acclaimed historian and Texas native and the descendant of enslaved people—forges a new and profoundly truthful narrative of her home state with her latest work On Juneteenth. Combining personal anecdotes with American history, Gordon-Reed shows how, from the earliest presence of Black people in Texas to the day in Galveston on June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of legalized slavery in the state, African Americans played an integral role in the Texas story. 

October 2021

 
RESCHEDULED LIVE EVENT: Yotam Ottolenghi
Monday, October 4, 7:30 p.m.
Eisemann Center, Hill Performance Hall 
In conversation with Chad Houser, Cafe Momentum Founder/CEO/Executive Chef
 
For renowned chef and New York Times–bestselling cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi, food is about more than what we eat. It is about joy, pleasure, and surprise. It is about a sense of place, home, and community. In his latest cookbook, Flavor, this international culinary influencer reveals how flavor is created and amplified through more than 100 innovative, delicious plant-based recipes; he also oversees the photography himself. His revolutionary approach to vegetable cooking showcases low-effort, high-impact dishes designed for the relaxed cook. Based in London, Ottolenghi spends much of his time creating and testing recipes for his weekly column in the Guardian and his monthly column in the New York Times. Six London restaurants, nine bestselling cookbooks, and millions of devotees of the “Ottolenghi effect” have transformed the Israeli-British chef into the leader of a culinary juggernaut. 
 

TICKET INFORMATION

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 DMA.org/all 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.

Arts & Letters Live's 30th Anniversary Season Kickoff and virtual programs presented by PNC. 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 2021 Arts & Letters Live series. Promotional support provided by KERA.