2017 Season at a Glance

JANUARY
14           Zadie Smith                                                                                                                    Distinguished Writers
In her first-ever event in Dallas, Zadie Smith will be in conversation with KERA’s Krys Boyd to discuss her newest novel, Swing Time. Two brown girls dream of being dancers, but only one has talent. It’s a close but complicated childhood friendship that ends abruptly, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten either. Swing Time is a story about friendship and music and stubborn roots, about how we are shaped by these things and how we can survive them. All tickets include a hardcover copy of Swing Time.

18           Geoff Dyer                                                                                                                         Artful Musings
Award-winning author Geoff Dyer and curator Gavin Delahunty celebrate the DMA’s recent acquisition of a work by iconic artist Walter De Maria; the event also includes a performance by percussionist Stockton Helbing of one of the artist’s rare musical compositions. Dyer will share insights about his pilgrimage to De Maria’s The Lightning Field in New Mexico, as well as his musings on travel, landscape, and the power of art, in his newest book, White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World. The New Yorker hails Dyer as “a restless polymath and an irresistibly funny storyteller.”

22           Levison Wood                                                                                                                   Special Event
In partnership with the Boshell Lecture Series
Promotional Partner: World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
In 2013, Levison Wood became the first person to walk the entire length of the Nile River. He traversed sandstorms, flash floods, and minefields, and trekked 1,700 miles along the Silk Road, the Line of Control, and the earthquake-ravaged lands of Nepal. Ranulph Fiennes has called his travels “[a]n immense feat of endurance, a magnificent journey and a great adventure.” At this event, he’ll discuss his adventures and his bestselling books, Walking the Nile (2015) and Walking the Himalayas (2016). Wood is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and International Fellow of the Explorers Club.

24           Emma Donoghue                                                                                                         Distinguished Writers
Emma Donoghue’s international bestseller Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and a finalist for the Man Booker and Orange prizes; she also wrote the film adaptation in 2015. Now Donoghue returns with another gripping masterpiece about a young Irish girl who is said to have survived without food for months and believes herself to be living on manna from heaven. The Wonder works beautifully on many levels—a tale of two strangers who transform each other’s lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a story of love pitted against evil. Booklist gave it a starred review, calling it “outstanding. . . . Exploring the nature of faith and trust with heartrending intensity.”

28           Selected Shorts
Promotional Partner: KERA        
Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose joins Joshua Malina (Scandal, The West Wing) and Michael Urie (Buyer & Cellar, Ugly Betty, Modern Family) for an evening of storytelling in celebration of the DMA’s exhibition Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail and the publication of Shaken & Stirred: Intoxicating Stories (Everyman’s Library). Stories featured include ones by authors Dorothy Parker, James Thurber, and Tom Barbash.

 

FEBRUARY
1              Dave Evans                                                                                                                         Wit & Wisdom
Dave Evans, a former tech exec at Apple and Electronic Arts, realized that his real mission in life was to help people find their purpose and passion. Today he teaches Life Design at Stanford University and is the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life. The book emphasizes that it’s never too late to design a life you love through innovation and creative problem-solving, and that the same principles used to create amazing technology can also be used to build a life filled with purpose and joy.

6              Texas Bound I: Fragments of Discovery                                                                 Texas Bound
Constance Gold Parry, who recently starred as Mrs. Hardcastle in the Shakespeare Dallas production of She Stoops to Conquer, will read stories from Dallas author Fabiana Elisa Martίnez’s new collection 12 Random Words. Born and raised in Fort Worth, Tony Award–winning actor Harriet Harris will read the masterfully suspenseful Pushcart Prize–winning short story “Sh’khol” by Colum McCann.

10           Simon Tolkien & Amor Towles                                                                              Distinguished Writers
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather J. R. R. Tolkien during World War I, Simon Tolkien delivers a perfectly rendered novel rife with class tension, period detail, and stirring action. No Man’s Land follows Adam Raine through his impoverished childhood, falling in love, and the outbreak of war that threatens to tear everything apart. Also steeped in early 20th-century history, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles features wealthy Count Alexander Rostov, who has been sentenced to house arrest in a Moscow hotel as punishment for writing a poem deemed incendiary by the Bolsheviks. But despite his confinement, the count lives an adventurous life.

15           Chris Bohjalian & Katie Kitamura                                                                             Thrills & Chills
New York Times bestselling author Chris Bohjalian returns with a suspenseful story about a family’s lies, loss, and buried desire. In his latest novel, Sleepwalker, wife and mother Annalee vanishes from her bed one night. The mystery surrounding her disappearance becomes increasingly complicated, conjuring the strange and mysterious world of parasomnia, a place somewhere between dreaming and wakefulness. Katie Kitamura‘s novel A Separation is a mesmerizing, psychologically taut story about secrecy, intimacy and infidelity, and the gulf that divides a marriage. Kitamura is being hailed as a major talent by Karl Ove Knausgaard and many other acclaimed authors; Rivka Galchen says “Kitamura combines the calm complexity of Joseph Conrad with the pacing and reveal of Patricia Highsmith.”  

25           Jessi Klein                                                                                                                           Wit & Wisdom
Promotional Partner: KERA
Jessi Klein is the Emmy and Peabody award–winning head writer and executive producer of Comedy Central’s critically acclaimed series Inside Amy Schumer. Growing up gawkish and a late bloomer, Jessi Klein never identified with the conventional standards of modern femininity. Instead she viewed herself as a tomboy who found her voice through comedy. In her outrageously funny and unapologetically candid breakout book, You’ll Grow Out of It, Klein compiles a perceptive collection of confessional essays that offer readers a relatable glimpse into exactly what it means to be a woman in today’s world.

26           Adam Gidwitz                                                                                                                   BooksmART
Adam Gidwitz, New York Times bestselling author of the Grimm trilogy, spent six years, including a year in Europe, researching his latest book, The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog. Their adventures take them through medieval France to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned. They’re taken captive by knights and save the land from a farting dragon, culminating in a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel. According to Kirkus Reviews, it is a “masterpiece of storytelling that is addictive and engrossing.”

 

MARCH
4              Texas Bound II: Fish Out of Water                                                                            Texas Bound
Octavio Solis, author and playwright whose plays have been produced across the country, will read his own work “The Cotton.” Luke Wilson (The Royal Tenenbaums, Bottle Rocket, and HBO TV series Enlightened) returns home to Dallas to read “Fish Story” by critically acclaimed author Rick Bass. Local theater and voice actress Lydia Mackay will read “The Marrying Kind” by Merrill Feitell, and film and TV star G. W. Bailey (Major Crimes, The Closer, M*A*S*H, and Police Academy films) will read “The Invasion of the Martians,” a story by Robert Coover published recently in the New Yorker. 

6              Chris Cleave & Jennifer Ryan                                                                                     New & Notable
Chris Cleave’s instant New York Times bestseller, Everyone Brave Is Forgiven, is an unforgettable novel about three lives entangled during World War II, and is inspired by the real-life love letters between Cleave's grandparents. People named it a Book of the Week and said it is told "with dazzling prose, sharp English wit, and compassion . . . a powerful portrait of war's effects on those who fight and those left behind." A historical novel based on Jennifer Ryan's grandomother's stories of World War II, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir follows the paths of five women as World War II forces them to defy their vicar’s stuffy edict to shutter the church’s choir in the absence of men and instead “carry on singing.”

8              George Saunders                                                                                                         Distinguished Writers
In his highly anticipated first novel, National Book Award nominee George Saunders delivers a captivating tale about death, grief, and the power of familial love. Set at the dawn of the Civil War, Lincoln in the Bardo begins with President Lincoln’s son, Willie, falling ill and ultimately being laid to rest. Saunders charts the events of that evening, in which Willie finds himself in purgatory (what is known in Tibetan culture as the bardo). Saunders received the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006.
All tickets include a hardcover copy of Lincoln in the Bardo. Tickets are sold either as One Ticket + One Book or Two Tickets + One Book.

14           Mohsin Hamid & Shanthi Sekaran                                                                           New & Notable
Promotional Partner: World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
Having lived in New York, London, and Pakistan, Booker Prize winner Mohsin Hamid is no stranger to leaving his home to create a new life in a new city. In his fifth and most exhilarating book yet, Exit West, Hamid follows a passionate love affair between an unlikely duo who leave their homeland to escape escalating violence there. Similarly, Shanthi Sekaran’s Lucky Boy gives voice to two young women whose fates are bound together through the love of a child, and deals with themes of displacement and building lives in a new country.

16           James Crawford                                                                                                               Artful Musings
James Crawford’s Fallen Glory: The Lives and Deaths of History’s Greatest Buildings delves into the biographies of 21 of the world’s most fascinating lost and ruined buildings, from the dawn of civilization to the cyber era. A unique guide to a world of vanished architecture, the book profiles such iconic structures as the Tower of Babel, the Bastille, and the Berlin Wall, illustrating how the lives of these structures represent the love and betrayal, catastrophe and hope, of each time period.

21           Paul Watson                                                                                                                      Thrills & Chills
Promotional Partner: World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
Pulitzer Prize–winning author and photojournalist Paul Watson sheds light on a story intricately linked with the broken mast in the DMA’s signature painting The Icebergs by Frederic Edwin Church. Ice Ghosts weaves together the epic story of the Lost Franklin Expedition of 1845—whose two ships and crew of 129 were lost to the Arctic ice—with the modern tale of the scientists, divers, and local Inuit behind the incredible discovery of the flagship’s wreck in 2014.
6:15 and 6:45 p.m.: Join Sue Canterbury, The Pauline Gill Sullivan Associate Curator of American Art, for a talk in the galleries focused on Church’s The Icebergs. Space is limited.

24           Adam Haslett                                                                                                                Distinguished Writers
Imagine Me Gone, Adam Haslett’s latest novel, is a fiercely intimate story of a family facing the ultimate question: how far will we go to save the people we love the most? A 2016 Kirkus Prize finalist and National Book Award Longlist selection, Imagine Me Gone examines the impact of mental illness on a family, as told from the perspective of five different intricately rendered characters. Haslett is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Yale Law School, and recipient of the Berlin Prize. His short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here was a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist.

 

APRIL
4              Erin and Philip C. Stead                                                                             BooksmART on First Tuesday
The dynamic duo Erin and Philip Stead live and work side by side creating heartwarming stories such as A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal. Erin’s forthcoming book Tony returns to themes of friendship and loyalty with the late poet Ed Galing’s tale of a boy and his horse. Philip’s latest, Samson in the Snow, highlights the power of simple acts of kindness to bring hope and light to even the coldest world. Their talk is at 11:30 a.m. and is designed for families and children as well as the young-at-heart.
3:30–4:30 p.m.  Illustration workshop (ages 6 and older) led by Erin and Philip Stead

11           Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney                                                                                            New & Notable
The Nest is Sweeney’s debut novel that garnered a seven-figure advance and spent more than 12 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. It dissects the juicy dynamics of the Plumb family, composed of four adult siblings and a distant mother who holds the purse strings to their inheritance. When the oldest sibling, Leo, maims a teenage girl in a drunk-driving crash, the mother uses money from “The Nest” to pay for the girl’s medical needs and to keep her quiet. Resentment mounts as each sibling crafts his or her way to get Leo to repay the money he owes them. Sweeney is currently writing the screenplay for the film adaptation.

18           Stephen Tobolowsky                                                                                                     Wit & Wisdom
In My Adventures with God, Stephen Tobolowsky shares a funny, introspective collection of short stories about love, triumph, and catastrophe, all told through the lens of his evolving relationship with the mystery that is God. Filtered through his signature sharp wit, he also provides a structure from which to evaluate our own lives and relationship with a higher power. Tobolowsky has appeared in more than 100 movies and more than 200 television shows, notably Mississippi Burning, Groundhog Day, Glee, The Goldbergs, and Silicon Valley.

25           Tom Vanderbilt                                                                                                                  Wit & Wisdom
If you’ve ever wondered how Netflix recommends movies, why we venerate artists who were controversial or ignored during their lifetimes, or why books often see a sudden decline in Amazon ratings after they win a major prize, Tom Vanderbilt has the answers. His newest book dives into the subject of why we like the things we like and what our preferences reveal about us. In You May Also Like: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice, Vanderbilt navigates psychology, marketing, and neuroscience to explore the elusive beast of taste.
6:30 p.m.: Join DMA staff for playful conversations in the galleries, exploring your own reactions to various works of art.

28           David Sedaris                                                                                                                    Wit & Wisdom
Promotional Partner: KERA and AT&T Performing Arts Center
Winspear Opera House
David Sedaris returns for his eighth consecutive year with Arts & Letters Live to read new and unpublished material. A bestselling author, essayist, and widely popular speaker whose hallmark is his wry wit and distinctive voice, Sedaris relishes the opportunity to share his stories with the audience and experience their reaction. Sedaris’s books include Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. 

29           Eric Litwin                                                                                                           Dallas Book Festival, FREE
Chant, sing, move creatively, and laugh with guitar strumming #1 New York Times bestselling children’s author Eric Litwin, who will share his new book The Nuts: Keep Rolling! Litwin is the author of the first four Pete the Cat books. His books have sold more than 8.5 million copies, been translated into 13 languages, and won 18 literacy awards, including a Theodor Geisel Seuss Honor Award.

29           Kristen Radtke                                                                                                  Dallas Book Festival, FREE
Inspired by her encounters with unexpected loss, Kristen Radtke’s graphic memoir Imagine Wanting Only This takes readers on a journey across forsaken landscapes around the globe. In her search to discover the forgotten, Radtke uncovers much more than physical locations—she uncovers the touching stories of the people who once inhabited these now deserted places. Author Tom Hart describes this book as “riveting and glorious. A book of sorrow filtered through intellect. In Kristen Radtke’s hands, nonfiction becomes poetry.”

 

MAY
3              Happy Hour! A celebration of songs about cocktails                                       Artful Musings
6:15–7:00 p.m. Pre-performance talk/Q&A and cocktails with David Wondrich, one of the world’s foremost authorities on cocktails and their history, and author of the book Imbibe!, which won a James Beard Award. Tickets are $20 (sold separately from the performance) and include the talk and the cost of one cocktail. Space is limited.
7:30 p.m. Happy Hour! performance: The DMA’s exhibition Shaken, Stirred, Styled: The Art of the Cocktail packs just the punch required for five acclaimed musicians to create an adventurous concoction of rhythm, music, and text, to be enjoyed responsibly for one night only. Songs will range from Mozart, Offenbach, and Verdi to Cole Porter and Joni Mitchell. This marks the ninth collaboration of Arts & Letters Live with artistic programmer Ryan Taylor, whose creative process combines art, music, and literary excerpts.

7              Scott Westerfeld                                                                                                             BooksmART
Dallas native and author of the worldwide bestselling Uglies series and the Locus Award–winning Leviathan series, and co-author of the Zeroes trilogy, Scott Westerfeld releases the first volume of an original graphic series novel, The Spill Zone. After a disastrous event destroyed the city of Poughkeepsie, life within its borders was never the same. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers await anyone who enters the Spill Zone. For one intrepid explorer, Addison Merrick, the threat of death was no deterrent in her quest to uncover what happened the night her parents were killed. She ventures illegally into the Spill Zone to photograph it and uncover its dark secrets.

8              Sandra Cisneros                                                                                                           Distinguished Writers
Award-winning author Sandra Cisneros, perhaps best known for her novel The House on Mango Street, will discuss her most recent book, A House of My Own: Stories from My Life, a richly illustrated compilation of true stories and nonfiction pieces that, taken together, form a jigsaw autobiography—an intimate album of a beloved literary legend. It spans three decades, draws inspiration from her hometown of Chicago and current residence in Mexico, and shares her artistic and intellectual influences. The Los Angeles Times calls it “dazzling . . . part artist statement, part declaration of independence.” Cisneros has received National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Lannan Literary Award, the American Book Award, and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2016, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts.

15           Holger Hoock & Nathaniel Philbrick                                                                       New & Notable
Holger Hoock’s Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth reveals the less glamorous side of our nation’s inception with accounts of mass murder, disease, and rape. Rather than gloss over the gritty details that disrupt our sense of national pride, Hoock begs his readers to consider what has been written out of history. In Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, Nathaniel Philbrick unfolds the tragic relationship between two key figures in the founding of a nation and exposes the complex conflicts that forced Americans to question the real threat to their liberties.
6:30 p.m. Learn more about the cultural perception and symbolism of the Revolutionary War through works in the American art collection with Emily Schiller, Digital Collections Content Coordinator, DMA.

23           Margo Jefferson & Damon Tweedy                                                                      Distinguished Writers
Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson will discuss her book Negroland: A Memoir, a contemplation of being born into upper-crust black Chicago to a physician father and socialite mother. Negroland was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography and a New York Times Notable book. For many years Jefferson was a theater and book critic for Newsweek and the New York Times. Vanity Fair says, “Jefferson is a national treasure and her memoir should be required reading across the country.” At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac, Negroland is a landmark work on privilege, discrimination, and the fallacy of post-racial America. Damon Tweedy’s New York Times bestselling memoir, Black Man in a White Coat, is a powerful, moving, and empathic book examining the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. Tweedy is a graduate of Duke Medical School and Yale Law School; he is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center and staff physician at the Durham VA Medical Center. Anne Bothwell from KERA will moderate a conversation with both authors onstage. “In ways wholly individual but similarly intricate, Margo Jefferson, Dr. Damon Tweedy, and Ta-Nehisi Coates examine the impact of race on our expectations and experiences. And in doing so, they challenge us to as well.” —TIME

 

JUNE
10           Kwame Alexander                                                                                                          BooksmART
Poet, educator, and New York Times bestselling author Kwame Alexander kicks off summer reading with his latest book, The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life. A strategy guide written with middle grade readers in mind but motivational for all ages, The Playbook “rules” contain wisdom from inspiring role models such as Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, Lebron James, and more. The author of 21 books, Alexander received the 2015 Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor for his book The Crossover.

13           Jonathan Safran Foer                                                                                                 Distinguished Writers
Bestselling and award-winning author Jonathan Safran Foer returns with Here I Am, a book about a family who, prompted by a catastrophic earthquake in the Middle East, is compelled to evaluate their current situation living in the United States. With his distinct ability to impel readers toward self-reflection, Foer asks us to contemplate how we fuse our various roles in society to build an identity that is uniquely our own. Foer’s previous novels include Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and the nonfiction book Eating Animals.

20           Chuck Klosterman                                                                                                           Wit & Wisdom
Chuck Klosterman’s recent book But What If We’re Wrong: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past speculates on the likelihood that many universally accepted cultural and scientific beliefs will someday seem absurd. The answers to his straightforward questions are interwoven with Klosterman’s iconic humor and nontraditional analysis and include insights from a variety of creative thinkers—George Saunders, David Byrne, Jonathan Lethem, and Neil deGrasse Tyson, among others. Klosterman will also discuss his forthcoming book, Chuck Klosterman X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century, which is composed of articles and essays from the past decade, including keystone pieces about Breaking Bad, Taylor Swift, Tom Brady, and many more cultural figures. He is the bestselling author of seven nonfiction books including the cult classic Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs.

 

JULY
18           Terry Tempest Williams                                                                                               Artful Musings
In her first-ever Dallas appearance, Terry Tempest Williams, naturalist and author of the environmental classic Refuge and Finding Beauty in a Broken World, discusses her latest book, The Hour of the Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks. Williams examines what the parks mean to us and what we mean to them. “Our national parks are breathing spaces, in a time when we’re all holding our breath,” she says. Part memoir, part natural history, and part social critique, The Hour of the Land is a meditation on why wild lands matter to the soul of America.

 

ALL PROGRAMS AND PARTICIPANTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.
Unless otherwise noted, programs take place in the Horchow Auditorium at the Dallas Museum of Art. For more details, visit DMA.org/all. 

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 2016-2017 Arts & Letters Live series. Promotional support provided by KERA. Exclusive magazine sponser is Texas Monthly. In-kind support provided by Einstein Printing.