Fall 2019 Season at a Glance

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5          Salman Rushdie in conversation with author Jaina Sanga

Internationally bestselling author Salman Rushdie delivers Quichotte, a dazzling Don Quixote for the modern age—a tour de force that is as much an homage to an immortal work of literature as it is to the quest for love and family. When Quichotte, a courtly, addled salesman, falls impossibly in love with a television star, he sets off with his imaginary son Sancho on a picaresque quest across America to prove himself worthy of her hand. A Booker Prize winner, Rushdie was knighted in 2007 for services to literature. 

11        A Moveable Feast Lunch Book Club – Salman Rushdie’s Quichotte

Join fellow book lovers for lunch and conversation in the DMA’s Cook Boardroom to delve more deeply into Salman Rushdie’s novel Quichotte, a dazzling Don Quixote for the modern age—a tour de force that is both an homage to Cervantes’s immortal work of literature and a quest for love and family. Conversation will be facilitated by Dr. Jaina Sanga, author and fellow of The Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, who wrote her dissertation on Rushdie.

17        Tracy Chevalier

New York Times bestselling author Tracy Chevalier’s A Single Thread offers an immersive, moving story of friendship, love, and a woman crafting her own life at the dawn of the Second World War. After the Great War claims her husband and her brother, Violet Speedwell is unable to reconcile herself to her fate as a “surplus woman” and moves to the town of Winchester, home to one of England’s grandest cathedrals. There, Violet enters into a society of broderers, women who embroider kneelers for the cathedral, and finds community and fulfillment in the work they create. As a new war appears on the horizon and threatens her independence, Violet must fight to put down roots. 

20        Jim Mattis in conversation with Jim Falk of World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth

In partnership with World Affairs Council and Dallas Baptist University

Call Sign Chaos is an inspiring account of General Jim Mattis's storied career, from wide-ranging leadership roles in three wars to ultimately commanding a quarter of a million troops across the Middle East. Mattis recounts his foundational experiences as a leader, extracting the lessons he has learned about the nature of warfighting and peacemaking, the importance of allies, and the strategic dilemmas now facing our nation. Call Sign Chaos illustrates how this retired Marine General and the 26th United States Secretary of Defense developed a unique leadership philosophy—one relevant to us all. 

21        Ben Folds in conversation with Ryan Taylor of Minnesota Opera

A celebrated singer-songwriter and the former frontman of the band Ben Folds Five, Ben Folds presents his first book and memoir, A Dream About Lightning Bugs: A Life of Music and Cheap Lessons, which reflects on his artistic coming of ageHe opens up about finding his voice as a musician, becoming a rock antihero, and hauling a baby grand piano on and off stage for every performance. In his inimitable voice, Folds digs deep into the life experiences that shaped him, imparting hard-earned wisdom about both art and life. 

23          Margaret Atwood in conversation with Krys Boyd of KERA

Margaret Atwood’s novel The Testaments, the brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, answers questions that have tantalized readers for decades. When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her—freedom, prison, or death. The Testaments picks up the story 15 years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead. “Dear Readers: Everything you’ve ever asked me about Gilead and its inner workings is the inspiration for this book. Well, almost everything! The other inspiration is the world we’ve been living in.” —Margaret Atwood 

30        Kristin Hannah in conversation with author Kathleen Kent

In her new novel The Great Alone, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah presents an unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience. In the near-isolated wilderness of Alaska, a desperate family seeks a new beginning, only to find that their harsh environment is less threatening than the erratic behavior found in human nature. Called “magical” and “authentic” by Kirkus Reviews, The Great Alone explores love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature. Hannah has authored more than 20 novels, including The Nightingale, which has been published in 43 languages and is currently in movie production at TriStar Pictures. 


1          Casey Gerald

In partnership with the William P. Clements Department of History, SMU

In his memoir There Will Be No Miracles Here, Casey Gerald takes the arc of a classic rags-to-riches tale and stands the American Dream narrative on its head. A uniquely visionary witness whose life has spanned seemingly unbridgeable divides, Gerald reflects on his experiences in Dallas, Yale, Washington, and beyond. He illustrates how the world crushes those who live at its margins, how the elite perpetuate the salvation stories that keep others from rising, and most painfully, how his own ascension is part of the scheme. There Will Be No Miracles Here was named a “Best Book of 2018” by NPR and the New York Times, and was a PBS Newshour-New York Times Book Club Pick.  

6          Ann Patchett

Anne Patchett’s much anticipated novel The Dutch House is a poignant and compelling exploration of the indelible bond between two siblings who grapple with questions of inheritance, love, and forgiveness. Set over the course of five decades, Danny and Maeve Conroy struggle to overcome the loss of their mother, who abandons the family to help the poor, and the subsequent remarriage of their real-estate mogul father to a materialistic younger woman. Patchett has won numerous prizes, including the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize for Fiction, and was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time in 2012

11        A Moveable Feast Lunch Book Club – Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments

Join fellow book lovers for lunch and conversation in the DMA’s Cook Boardroom to delve more deeply into Margaret Atwood’s new novel The Testaments, the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale. Conversation will be facilitated by Dr. Randi Tanglen, Associate Professor of English, Director of the Gender Studies program, and Director of the Robert and Joyce Johnson Center for Faculty Development and Excellence in Teaching at Austin College.

12        Kate DiCamillo

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kate DiCamillo returns to the world of Raymie Nightengale in her new book Beverly, Right Here. In a touching, funny, and fearless conclusion to her Three Rancheros series, Beverly, Right Here tells the story of a tough-talking runaway, tenderhearted Beverly Tapinski, a character who will break your heart and put it back together again. Her books’ themes of hope and belief amid impossible circumstances and their messages of shared humanity and connectedness have resonated with readers of all ages around the world, with almost 30 million books in print worldwide. DiCamillo is a National Book Award finalist and two-time Newbery Medalist, and was named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

14        Benjamin Moser in conversation with author Ben Fountain

In Sontag: Her Life and Work, Ben Moser delves into the life of one of the most emblematic voices of the 20th century: Susan Sontag—novelist, activist, essayist, playwright, filmmaker, and one of the most influential critics of her generation. Sontag left a legacy of writing—on art and politics, feminism and homosexuality, celebrity and style, and more. Drawing from the writer’s restricted archives and interviews with those who have remained silent on her until now (including Annie Leibovitz), Sontag crafts a definitive portrait of the writer and explores the insecurity behind her formidable public face. Moser was a finalist for the National Book Critics’ Circle award and a recipient of the 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship.

16        Pico Iyer

Pico Iyer’s memoir Autumn Light: Season of Fire and Farewells is a moving meditation on impermanence, mortality, and grief that explores Japanese history and culture. Drawn back to Japan by the sudden death of his father-in-law, Iyer grapples with the question we all have to live with: how to hold on to the things we love, even though we know that we—and they—are dying. An acclaimed travel writer and essayist for Time since 1982, Iyer has written two novels and eight works of nonfiction, and has contributed to the New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, the New Yorker, and more than 200 other publications.

22        Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys is an internationally acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction. The New York Times Book Review hailed her as a “champion of the interstitial people so often ignored—whole populations lost in the cracks of history.” Her newest novel, The Fountains of Silence, is an epic, heart-wrenching story about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence, inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain. When Dallas high-society teen Daniel Matheson and his family arrive in Madrid, photography—and fate—introduce him to Ana, whose family's obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War. While his father conducts business with Franco, Daniel makes it his mission to bring to light the atrocities the world has ignored.

24        John Grisham in conversation with author and lawyer Talmage Boston

The Guardians, #1 New York Times bestselling author John Grisham’s latest legal thriller, delivers pulse-pounding suspense coupled with some of his most inventive twists and turns yet. In a small Florida town, a young lawyer named Keith Russo was murdered as he worked late one night. With no clues, no witnesses, and no real suspects, the police wrongfully convict Quincy Miller, a young black man and former client. Lawyer-minister Cullen Post sets out to clear Miller’s name, ending up with more than he bargained for. A portion of ticket sales for this event will go to The Innocence Project, which aims to exonerate the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and reform the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. 


4          Lori Gottlieb in conversation with author Sarah Hepola 

Psychotherapist, advice columnist, and New York Timesbestselling author Lori Gottlieb’s new book Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is a thought-provoking look behind the scenes of her life as a therapist—where her patients are looking for answers, and so is she. Gottlieb invites us into her world as both clinician and patient, offering a disarmingly funny and illuminating account of our own mysterious lives and our power to transform them. Lori Gottlieb appears as a frequent expert on mental health in media such as The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, CNN, and NPR. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone is in development for a television series with Eva Longoria and ABC.

6          A Moveable Feast Lunch Book Club – Pico Iyer’s Autumn Light: A Season of Fire and Farewells

Join fellow book lovers for lunch and conversation in the DMA’s Cook Boardroom to delve more deeply into Pico Iyer’s memoir Autumn Light: A Season of Fire and Farewells, a moving meditation on impermanence, mortality, and grief that also explores Japanese history and culture. Iyer grapples with the question we all have to live with: how to hold on to the things we love, even though we know that we—and they—are dying. Conversation will be facilitated by Amy Lewis Hofland, Executive Director of the Crow Museum of Asian Art of the University of Texas at Dallas.

11       Tim O’Brien 

After becoming a father at the age of 58, National Book Award–winning novelist Tim O’Brien realized that when his two young sons would begin to know him, they would know an old man. He resolved to give them what he wished his own father had given him—a few scraps of paper signed “Love, Dad.” For the next 15 years, the author talked to his sons on paper, as if they were adults, imagining what they might want to hear from a father who was no longer among the living. The result is Dad’s Maybe Book, in which O’Brien shares wisdom from a life in letters, lessons learned in wartime, and the challenges, humor, and rewards of raising two sons.

18        Samantha Power

In partnership with World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth 

In her new memoir The Education of an Idealist, Pulitzer Prize winner Samantha Power traces her distinctly American journey from Irish immigrant to human rights activist to US Ambassador to the United Nations. Heralded by President Barack Obama as one of America’s “foremost thinkers on foreign policy,” Power reminds us how the United States can lead, and why there is always something each of us can do to advance the cause of human dignity. This memoir is a humorous, stirring, and unforgettable account of the world-changing power of idealism and one person’s fierce determination to make a difference. 


5          Peggy Wallace Kennedy & Donna Wilhelm in conversation with Krys Boyd of KERA

Peggy Wallace Kennedy, seen as the “symbol of racial reconciliation” (Washington Post), is the daughter of one of America’s most virulent segregationists, former governor of Alabama and presidential candidate George Wallace, who ultimately renounced his views at the end of his life. Wallace Kennedy’s powerful memoir The Broken Road is both timely and timeless and speaks to change, atonement, activism, and racial healing. A Life of My Own follows Donna Wilhelm’s path from a lonely child in an immigrant boarding house to corporate wife and mother, to middle-aged divorcee, and finally to her reinvention as a philanthropist, arts advocate, and humanitarian. This evocative memoir reveals her unique upbringing, diverse work history, family challenges, and journey of personal growth with unbridled honesty and will inspire others to take ownership of their stories.


Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, August 6, for DMA Members and on Thursday, August 8, for the public.

For tickets, visit DMA.org/ALL or call 214-922-1818.

All programs and participants are subject to change. It is likely that more programs will be added and announced later on the website.

Tickets are nonrefundable.


Ticket prices vary. View details online at DMA.org/all.
All programs will take place in the DMA’s Horchow Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

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.

* Denotes a program that requires a book to be purchased with ticket(s)

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 2019 Arts & Letters Live series. Promotional support provided by KERA.