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. The series is celebrating its 30th season in 2021.

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Upcoming Events

Format: 6/22/21

Virtual Event: Hilary Mantel 

Tuesday, June 8, 7:00 p.m. CDT
Pre-recorded event 
In conversation with Kate Mosse, bestselling author and Founder Director of the Women's Prize for Fiction
Promotional Partner: KERA 
Recording available through June 22


With The Mirror & the Light, Hilary 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: Cheryl Strayed

Monday, June 28, 7:00 p.m. CDT
In conversation with Joel Ferrell
Tiny Beautiful Things: From Page to Stage
In partnership with Dallas Theater Center
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar— from page to stage, coming this fall to Dallas Theater Center! This bestselling book from the author of Wild collects the best of The Rumpus's Dear Sugar advice columns plus never-before-published pieces. "Wise and compassionate" (The New York Times Book Review), brimming with humor and insight—and absolute honesty—this book is a balm for everything life throws our way. Cheryl Strayed will discuss her writing process and experience as “Sugar;” Joel Ferrell who directs the DTC production, will moderate the conversation and get audiences excited about the upcoming stage adaptation.
Become an Arts & Letters Live 30th Anniversary Season Supporter at the $1,000+ level and enjoy a VIP virtual meet and greet with Cheryl Strayed.

Virtual Event: Annette Gordon-Reed

Tuesday, June 15, 7:00 p.m. CDT
In conversation with Jonathan Holloway, President of Rutgers University
Opening remarks by Ms. Opal Lee, Social Impact Leader
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. 

Virtual Event: Kevin Kwan

Thursday, July 8, 7:00 p.m. CDT
Recording available through July 22
From the author of Crazy Rich Asians comes “another riveting tale of privilege, culture and romance” (CNN). Protagonist Lucie Tang Churchill finds herself torn between two men—and two very different lives. Moving between Capri, Manhattan, and East Hampton, and peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.
Kevin Kwan is the author of several novels, including Crazy Rich Asians, which became a blockbuster Hollywood film. In 2018 Kwan was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.  

"Deliciously modern . . . drama, diamonds, and satire galore.” —Vanity Fair 


Virtual Event: Yaa Gyasi

Tuesday, July 13, 7:00 p.m. CDT

Recording available through July 27

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasithe acclaimed author of Homegoing, is a “book of blazing brilliance” (The Washington Post)an intimate and deeply layered depiction of a Ghanaian family grappling with a series of challenges while living in Alabama. It is at once a profound story about race in America and an astonishingly intimate portrait of a young woman reckoning, both spiritually and intellectually, with a legacy of painful loss. Exquisitely written, Transcendent Kingdom is a novel about faith, science, religion, and love.  

Yaa Gyasi’s debut novel, Homegoing, won the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award for best first book, the PEN/Hemingway Award for a first book of fiction, the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” honors for 2016, and the American Book Award. She was born in Ghanaraised in Alabama, and now resides in Brooklyn.   


Virtual Event: Marie Benedict & Victoria Christopher Murray

Tuesday, July 20, 7:00 p.m. CDT

Recording available through August 3

The Personal Librarian tells the remarkable story of J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian, Belle da Costa Greene, the Black American woman who was forced to hide her true identity and pass as white in order to leave a lasting legacy. Belle is an extraordinary woman, famous for her intellect, style, and wit, but she must go to great lengths to preserve her carefully crafted white identity in the racist world in which she lives.  A meticulously researched historic novel about the hidden history of the Morgan Library, The Personal Librarian has been widely praised as virtually impossible to put down.  

“An untold story that is simply amazing. It’s timely and impactful.” —Brenda Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Follow Your Heart    



Virtual Event: Charlotte McCongahy

Wednesday, August 4, 7:00 p.m. CDT

Recording will be available through August 18

Australian author Charlotte McConaghy’s suspenseful, artfully rendered novels celebrate the beauty and resilience of humans and animals and their ability to adapt to a changing world.

Australian author Charlotte McCongahy’s instant bestseller Migrations features researcher Franny Stone who arrives in Greenland with the singular purpose of following the last Arctic terns in the world on what might be their final migration to Antarctica. When her history begins to unspool―a passionate love affair, an absent family, a devastating crime―it becomes clear that she is chasing more than just the birds.   

McCongahy’s Once There Were Wolves is a pulse-pounding novel about a biologist charged with reintroducing 14 wolves to the Scottish Highlands in order to rewild the landscape and bring the forest back to life. Fueled by her love of nature, McCongahy crafts a strong lead character in Inti Flynn, who grapples with the harm she has witnessed humans inflict on both the wild and on each other.  


Rescheduled: David Sedaris

Tuesday, April 26, 2022, 7:30 p.m.
Location: McFarlin Auditorium, Southern Methodist University
In partnership with KERA

All purchased tickets have been transferred to the NEW rescheduled 2022 date.


One of America’s pre-eminent 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 DayLet’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.


Rescheduled: Yotam Ottolenghi

Tuesday, May 3, 2022, 7:30 p.m.

Location: Eisemann Center, Hill Performance Hall 

In conversation with Chad Houser, Cafe Momentum Founder/CEO/Executive Chef 

All purchased tickets have been transferred to the NEW rescheduled 2022 date.

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.