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 28th season in 2019.

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Upcoming Events

Format: 12/13/18

Elaine Pagels

Sunday, January 6, 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.

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Dave Eggers & Mokhtar Alkhanshali

Friday, January, 11, 7:30 p.m.

In partnership with World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

Bestselling author Dave Eggers delivers a “gripping, triumphant adventure” (Los Angeles Times) with The Monk of Mokha, the incredible true story of Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a young Yemeni American man, raised in San Francisco, who dreams of resurrecting the ancient art of Yemeni coffee. Mokhtar leaves San Francisco and travels deep into his ancestral homeland to tour terraced farms and meet beleaguered but determined farmers. When war engulfs the country and Saudi bombs rain down, Alkhanshali has to find a way out of Yemen without sacrificing his dreams or abandoning his people. Dave Eggers is the author of The Circle, Heroes of the Frontier, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Pulitzer Prize finalist), and What Is the What (National Book Critics Circle Award finalist). 

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Brad Meltzer

Tuesday, January 15, 7:30 p.m.

In The First Conspiracy: The Secret Plot Against George Washington and the Birth of American Counterintelligence, author Brad Meltzer brings to light the story of the secret, deadly plot to assassinate the first President of the United States during the tumultuous days leading up to July 4, 1776. The book not only reveals how hard the battle was for the first commander-in-chief and how close America was to losing the Revolutionary War, but also illuminates the origins of America’s counterintelligence movement, which led to the modern CIA. Former President George H. W. Bush calls it “a wonderful book about leadership and it shows why George Washington and his moral lessons are just as vital today.”

 

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A Moveable Feast Book Club: Lauren Groff's "Fates and Furies"

Thursday, January 17, 11:45 a.m. -1:00 p.m.

Join fellow bibliophiles for lunch in the DMA’s Founders Room as you enjoy thoughtful dialogue about Lauren Groff’s award-winning novel Fates and Furies. Library Journal “highly recommends” Groff’s complex depiction of marriage, creativity, and power, saying, “Like a classic tragedy, Groff’s novel offers high drama, hubris, and epic love, complete with Greek chorus–like asides. A singular and compelling literary read, populated with extraordinary characters.” Dr. Jaina Sanga, author, literary scholar, and Fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities, will facilitate the conversation and lead the group discussion.

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Lauren Groff & Tessa Hadley

Sunday, January 27, 3:00 p.m.

At this event, two masters of the art of the novel and short stories will discuss their creative process and common themes in their work. Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies is a New York Times–bestselling novel about love, art, power, and perception—a portrait of a creative partnership between a young, glamorous couple, madly in love and destined for greatness. Although their marriage is the envy of their friends, through riveting twists we learn that the key to its success relies on keeping secrets. Fates and Furies was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Prize, and the Kirkus Prize.

In British author Tessa Hadley’s latest novel, Late in the Day, the 30-year bond between a quartet of close friends comes unglued when one of them dies unexpectedly; old entanglements and grievances rise from the past, and love and sorrow give way to anger and bitterness. In exploring the complex webs at the center of our most intimate relationships, the Washington Post says Hadley “crystallizes the atmosphere of ordinary life in prose somehow miraculous and natural.”

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Selected Shorts: "All in the Family"

Saturday, February 2, 7:30 p.m.

Promotional Partner: KERA

All in the Family is an evening of humorous and poignant stories illuminating the intricacies of family dynamics. Melora Hardin is recognized worldwide as Jan Levinson from NBC’s The Office. She can currently be seen in the hit series The Bold Type and on Amazon’s Transparent in her Emmy-nominated role as Tammy Cashman. Nate Corddry has been featured in recurring television roles on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Harry’s Law, and Mom. Additional credits include The Daily Show, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, 30 Rock, and many more. Kaneza Schaal has worked on stage with Elevator Repair Service, The Wooster Group, and New York City Opera, performing at venues including Centre Pompidou, Royal Lyceum Theater Edinburgh, and MoMA. On camera, she has worked with Kathryn Bigelow, Marya Cohn, Josephine Decker, and the Law & Order team.

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Dani Shapiro

Monday, February 4, 7:30 p.m.

In the spring of 2016, through DNA analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. In one moment, her entire history crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness, and secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It highlights Shapiro’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, which had been scrupulously hidden from her for more than 50 years, during which time she wrote brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history.

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Ida O'Keeffe

Monday, February 11, 7:30 p.m.

Immerse yourself in the life and art of Ida O’Keeffe in conjunction with the DMA’s exhibition Ida O’Keeffe: Escaping Georgia’s Shadow. Sue Canterbury, The Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art at the DMA, will give insights from her years of research tracking down Ida’s series of lighthouse paintings. Actors will bring to life the complex relationships between Ida O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, and Georgia O’Keeffe, weaving together primary sources and letters with art, drawings, and photographs that reveal the enjoyment Ida and Georgia took in each other’s company prior to their estrangement in the early 1930s, as well as Stieglitz’s fascination with Ida. Quin Mathews’ short original film about the artist will also be shown at this event.

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A Moveable Feast Book Club: Jessie Burton's "The Miniaturist"

Thursday, February 21, 11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Join fellow book lovers for lunch in the DMA’s Founders Room and enjoy engaging dialogue about Jessie Burton’s novel The Miniaturist, which premiered as a three-part series on PBS Masterpiece. Set in 17th-century Amsterdam—a city ruled by glittering wealth and oppressive religion—The Miniaturist is a story steeped in atmosphere, suspense, betrayal, and retribution. Dr. Jaina Sanga, author, literary scholar, and Fellow of the Dallas Institute of Humanities, will facilitate the conversation and lead the group discussion.

 

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Reyna Grande & Valeria Luiselli

Monday, February 25, 7:30 p.m.

Reyna Grande’s memoir A Dream Called Home is an inspiring account of her quest to find her place in America as a first generation Latina university student and aspiring writer determined to build a new life for her family. At 9 years old, Grande walked across the US-Mexico border in search of her parents, who left her behind years ago in pursuit of a better life. By daring to pursue her dreams of an education and a writing career, Grande builds the one thing she has always longed for: a home that would endure.

 

Valeria Luiselli’s novel Lost Children Archive humanizes the pressing and polarizing issue of immigration. As a family travels across America on a summer road trip, there is news on the radio about an “immigration crisis”: thousands of kids trying to cross the border into the United States, but getting detained—or lost in the desert along the way. As they drive, we sense that the family is on the brink of a crisis of its own. This powerful novel takes us deep into the lives of one remarkable family as it probes the nature of justice and equality today.

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