Season at a Glance 2021

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January 2021

Tuesday, January 12, 7:00 p.m.
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.
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. 

Wednesday, January 27, 7:00 p.m.
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

Wednesday, February 3, 7:00 p.m.
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.
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.
In conversation with Sarah Bird
Promotial 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.   
Tuesday, February 16, 11:45 a.m.
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. 
Saturday, February 20, 7:00 p.m.
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-winning Joe Morton (Rowan/Eli Pope in Scandal), Tony Award-winning Anika Noni Rose (Hulu’s Little Fires Everywhere), and Atandwa Kani (Black Panther) 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. 
In conversation with Lois Kim, Executive Director of Texas Book Festival
Wednesday, February 24, 7:00 p.m.
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 

March 2021

Wednesday, March 3, 7:00 p.m.
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?  
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.” 

May 2021

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.
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. 


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.

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.