Winter–Spring 2018 Season at a Glance

18           Daisy Goodwin                                                                                                                         Artful Musings
Promotional Partner: KERA
First United Methodist Church
Go behind the scenes of the acclaimed PBS television series Victoria with creator-producer-screenwriter Daisy Goodwin. Season 2 premieres in the US on January 14. This popular drama about the woman who would define an era was inspired by Goodwin’s experience writing a national bestselling novel of the same name. Based on Queen Victoria’s diaries, Goodwin’s story of the stubborn teen turned queen overnight is impeccably researched, vividly imagined, and captivatingly written.

21           Matt de la Peña & Loren Long                                                                                       BooksmART
Award-winning author Matt de la Peña and author-illustrator Loren Long present a new classic: Love, a lyrical story about the bond that connects all humans. This heartfelt message paired with evocative illustrations will resonate with all ages. Matt de la Peña’s Last Stop on Market Street won the 2016 Newbery Medal and was both a Caldecott Honor Book and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book, as well as a New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2015. Loren Long, perhaps best known for his New York Times bestselling picture book series Otis, is also the illustrator of President Obama’s #1 New York Times bestselling picture book Of Thee I Sing.
3:45–4:45 p.m.: Illustration workshop (ages 6+) led by Loren Long and writing workshop (ages 10+) led by Matt de la Peña. Workshop tickets are $8 and are priced separately from the talk.

27           Selected Shorts                                                                                                                  
Promotional Partner: KERA
For Better and For Worse is an evening of funny and whimsical tales about marriage, filled with unexpected twists and turns. Host and reader Jane Kaczmarek is best known for her role as Lois on Malcolm in the Middle, for which she received seven Emmy nominations, as well as nominations for the Golden Globe and SAG Awards. Michael Cerveris is the Tony Award–winning Broadway star of Fun Home and Assassins, with film and television credits that include Fringe, Treme, The Good Wife, and Detours. Maria Tucci has appeared on Broadway in Mary Stuart, Night of the Iguana, The Little Foxes, and many others. Her film and television credits include To Die For and Law & Order. 

28            Ronald C. White, Jr., 4:00 p.m.                                                                              FREE Special Event
Co-sponsored by Arts & Letters Live and First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church of Dallas
Award-winning author and historian Ronald C. White captures the essence of the sixteenth commander-in-chief in A. Lincoln, a biography that delves deep into the writings of the president known for constant correspondence and a top hat full of notes. Through focusing on tangible written sources, White develops an understanding of the strong moral compass, intel­lectual curiosity, and comfort with ambiguity that defined Lincoln’s life. White will talk on “Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and the Religion of Lincoln.” A. Lincoln is a New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times bestseller.

30            Jhumpa Lahiri                                                                                                     Distinguished Writers
In conversation with author Ben Fountain 
Temple Emanu-El, Olan Sanctuary
In 2000 Jhumpa Lahiri received the Pulitzer Prize for her debut story collection Interpreter of Maladies, and was later awarded the 2017 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Her first novel, The Namesake, was a New York Times Notable Book and adapted as a film by director Mira Nair. The Clothing of Books (2017) is a short personal meditation on the art of the book jacket. To write In Other Words (2016), an autobiographical work that investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, Lahiri moved to Rome with her family seeking full immersion, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world. The New York Times Book Review calls it “gorgeous . . . the most unusual of self-portraits.” 


3              Jojo Moyes                                                                                                                           Special Event
New York Times bestselling author Jojo Moyes returns with Still Me, a continuation of the story of Louisa Clark, the bright, inquisitive, and well-loved heroine of Me Before You and After You. Me Before You was turned into the popular 2016 movie of the same name starring Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones). In Still Me, Louisa is thrown into New York high society, struggling to reconcile with loss, past relationships, and self-identity amidst the complications of her new surroundings. Moyes is a two-time winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award and her works have been translated into 43 languages.

7              Denise Kiernan                                                                                                              Artful Musings
Denise Kiernan’s The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home explores the drama and tragic struggles experienced by the famous Vanderbilt family inside the Biltmore House. This story that spans world wars, the Jazz Age, and the Depression features a captivating cast of real-life characters, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. Kiernan’s previous book The Girls of Atomic City was named a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and NPR bestseller. 

11            Paul Auster, 7:00 p.m.                                                                                           Distinguished Writers
Bestselling author Paul Auster’s newest novel, 4 3 2 1—a sweeping story of birthright and pos­sibility, of love and life—explores the four possible life paths of Archibald Isaac Ferguson. Each of the four Fergusons has different relation­ships, family fortunes, athletic skills, and intellectual passions, and all four fall under the spell of the magnificent Amy Schneiderman. Each Fergusons’ plea­sures and pains create an unforgettable tour de force that tenderly combines “what ifs” with the reality of growing up in New York in the 1950s and 60s. This acclaimed novel is a New York Times bestseller and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. 

*13          Shawn Achor                                                                                                                         Wit & Wisdom
In the highly anticipated follow-up to his New York Times bestsellers The Happiness Advantage and Before Happiness, Shawn Achor reveals in his latest book that success and happiness are not competitive sports. Rather, they depend almost entirely on how well we connect with, relate to, and learn from each other. Big Potential: How Transforming the Pursuit of Success Raises Our Achievement, Happiness, and Well-Being illustrates how just as happiness is contagious, every dimension of human potential—performance, intelligence, creativity, leadership ability, and health—is influenced by those around us. A native Texan who spent twelve years at Harvard University, Achor has become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. His TED Talk is one of the most popular of all time, with over 13 million views, and his lecture airing on PBS has been seen by millions. 

21            Conspirare – Considering Matthew Shepard                                                        Artful Musings
Moody Performance Hall
Conspirare is a Grammy-winning and internationally recognized choir with a reputation for “expanding the boundaries of choral performance” (Wall Street Journal). In 1998 Matthew Shepard, a young gay student at the University of Wyoming, was kidnapped, beaten, tied to a fence, and left to die. Approaching the 20th anniversary of Shepard’s death, Conspirare’s Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson composed Considering Matthew Shepard, which earned a 2017 Grammy nomination and a standing ovation at Boston Symphony Hall, and features nearly 30 singers and a chamber ensemble. Johnson weaves together a wide variety of soulful and poetic texts in creating a performance that the Washington Post praised by saying, “[It] demonstrates music’s capacity to encompass, transform and transcend tragedy.” Audiences describe this work as “brilliant,” “innovative,” and “gripping.”  

26            Amy Bloom                                                                                                             Distinguished Writers
White Houses, a triumph of historical fiction from author Amy Bloom, tells the story of the unexpected affair be­tween Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena “Hick” Hickok, who meets the future first lady in 1932 while reporting on Franklin Roosevelt’s first presidential campaign. As their connection deepens into intimacy, “Hick” moves into the White House, where her status as “first friend” is an open secret, as are FDR’s own lovers. Additionally, “Hick” comes to know Franklin not only as a great president but as a complicated rival and an irresistible friend. Amy Bloom is a National Book Award final­ist, a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee, and author of the New York Times bestselling novels Away and Lucky Us


3              Texas Bound I                                                                                                                Texas Bound
Veteran Dallas Theater Center actor Chamblee Ferguson will kick off the evening with a humorous piece by Steve MartinSally Vahle, who recently appeared in the world premiere of Miller, Mississippi at the Dallas Theater Center, will read “Cleaning Your Gun” by Laurie Lynn Drummond. Kitchen Dog Theater company member Liza Marie Gonzalez will read “Everything Is Far from Here” by Cristina Henríquez, recently published in the New Yorker. The evening will also feature “Half of What Atlee Rouse Knows About Horses,” an award-winning story by Bret Anthony Johnston, the new Director of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin.
3:00–5:00 p.m.: Short story writing workshop led by author Bret Anthony Johnston, using works of art as inspiration for writing.

*6            Maria Shriver                                                                                                                 Wit & Wisdom
First Presbyterian Church of Dallas
Peabody and Emmy Award–winning journalist and producer Maria Shriver shares insight into the wisdom gleaned through her life’s journey in her latest book, I've Been Thinking . . .:Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life. In this moving and powerful book, Shriver shares tips on how to navigate the stress of everyday life. Hoda Kotb, co-anchor on The Today Show, says, “If you are feeling stuck, lost, or you just need a pick-me-up, this is the book for you. Shriver’s wisdom will fill you up.” Deepak Chopra praised the book as “thought-provoking, spirited, a deep and personal message to help one discover a meaningful and joyful life.” 

18            Elizabeth Kostova, 2:00 p.m.                                                                                 Thrills & Chills
Elizabeth Kostova’s The Historian was the first debut novel in US publishing history to land at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in its first week on sale; it has sold more than three million copies and been translated into 40 languages. Her new novel, The Shadow Land, follows a young American woman who travels to Sofia, Bulgaria, hoping to heal from the loss of her brother. Shortly after arriving, she discovers an urn filled with human ashes and sets out to find its owner, an endeavor that leads to uncovering the secrets of a talented musician who was shattered by oppression, and evolves into a meditation on the painful history of an entire country. Pulitzer Prize–winning author Richard Russo hails the novel as “thrilling.”

19            Texas Bound II                                                                                                               Texas Bound
Theater, television, and film actor Ashley Wood kicks off the evening with a piece by Colum McCann, “What Baseball Does to the Soul.” Jeffrey Schmidt, Artistic Director of Theater Three in Dallas, will read “Stranger on the Bridge” by Julia Heaberlin and “Ash” by Thomas Adams. Tony Award-winning Broadway, film, and TV star Julie White will read “Leaving Cloud Drive” by Marjorie Kemper. Audience favorite G. W. Bailey, perhaps best known for his roles as Sergeant Rizzo in M*A*S*H, Lieutenant Harris in The Police Academy films, and, most recently, Detective Provenza on TNT’s Major Crimes, will read “West of Nowhere” by Harry Hunsicker. 

28            William Middleton                                                                                                        Artful Musings
William Middleton’s Double Vision: The Unerring Eye of Art World Avatars Dominique and John de Menil is the first biography about the influential couple known as “The Medici of Modern Art.” The Menils cre­ated an oasis of culture in their Philip Johnson–designed house, hosting everyone from Marlene Dietrich and Renée Magritte to Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns. In Houston they built the Menil Collection, the Rothko Chapel, the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, and the Cy Twombly Gallery, and provided underwriting for the Contemporary Arts Museum. With unprecedented access to private family archives and personal interviews, Middleton has crafted a vivid behind-the-scenes look at the famous couple who shaped Texas culture and the 20th-century art world through civil rights support, art patronage, and public gallery innovations. 


*6            Lidia Bastianich                                                                                       
                      Special Event
Promotional Partner: KERA
First United Methodist Church
Bestselling cookbook author, Emmy Award–winning television personality, and successful restaurateur Lidia Bastianich discusses her heartwarming memoir My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family, and Food. Raised in Pula, a formerly Italian city turned Yugoslavian under Tito’s Communist regime, her family is ultimately forced to flee to Trieste, Italy, where they spend two years in a refugee camp before moving to the United States—a hugely formative experience in Lidia’s life. Told with her hallmark warmth and gusto, this memoir details her close-knit family and her passion for food, which ultimately leads to multiple restaurants, many cookbooks, and 20 years on public television as the host of her own cooking show, Lidia’s Kitchen

8              Luis Alberto Urrea & Francisco Cantú, 2:30 p.m.                                      Distinguished Writers
This event will pair two powerful authors exploring the border both in fact and fiction. In The Line Becomes a River, Francisco Cantú, a former US Border Patrol guard, makes urgent and personal the violence our border wreaks on both sides of the line. Cantú is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and 2017 Whiting Award, and is a former Fulbright fellow. Luis Alberto Urrea’s novel The House of Broken Angels is the definitive Mexican-American immigrant story of a beloved and ailing patriarch, Miguel Angel De La Cruz, who summons his entire clan for one last birthday party. Teeming with brilliance and humor, Urrea’s indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border. 

23            Danielle Allen                                                                                                         Distinguished Writers
Co-sponsored by the William P. Clements Department of History, SMU
Promotional Partner: World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
Danielle Allen was award­ed a 2002 MacArthur Fellowship for her ability to combine “the classicist’s careful attention to texts and language with the political theorist’s sophisticated and informed engagement.” Featured on the front page of the New York Times, Allen’s Our Declaration reinterprets the promise of American democracy through our founding text, combining a personal account of teaching the Declaration line by line with a vivid evocation of the colonial world. Bestselling author Andrew Solomon praises Allen’s 2017 memoir, Cuz: The Life and Times of Michael A., saying, “In this narrative of freedom and incarceration, education and disadvantage, rehabilitation and punishment, Danielle Allen paints an unforgettable portrait of a cousin she loved. The pacing is brisk and novelistic, but the message is large and clear: we need urgently to reform the system through which we process juveniles who commit crime, because the cur­rent system perpetuates the very injustices it was designed to address.”

30            David Sedaris                                                                                                                 Wit & Wisdom
McFarlin Auditorium, Southern Methodist University
Beloved satirist David Sedaris returns for his ninth consecutive year with Arts & Letters Live to share new and unpublished essays, imparting his incisive social critiques and sharing his sardonic wit with devoted fans. Hailed as the “rock star of writers,” Sedaris has become one of America’s preeminent humor writers, with bestselling books such as Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays including Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, and Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.  


4              Marcia Gay Harden                                                                                                          Special Event
In her new book The Seasons of My Mother: A Memoir of Love, Family, and Flowers, one of America’s most revered actresses takes on her most important role to date: gatekeeper of memories. This poetic and inspiring memoir is a beautifully rendered portrait of two lives—Marcia’s own, and that of her mother, Beverly, a proper Dallas lady and an accomplished practitioner of ikebana, the art of Japanese floral arrangement, who now struggles with Alzheimer’s disease. Harden will talk about the different seasons of her mother’s life, all the while weaving in the story of her own journey from precocious young girl to budding artist to award-winning actress. “A fiercely loving and tender tribute to Marcia Gay Harden’s mother, remembering for her and for us what Alzheimer’s has stolen, filling those darkened holes with compassion, acceptance, beauty, and love. I savored every page and didn’t want it to end.” —Lisa Genova, New York Times–bestselling author of Still Alice and Every Note Played
6:30 p.m.: Pre-event tour of works of art in the DMA’s collection focused on mothers and flowers. Tour tickets are limited and are first-come, first-served for ticket holders that evening.

6              Naomi Shihab Nye, 3:30 p.m.                                                                                Artful Musings
Naomi Shihab Nye describes herself as a “wandering poet.” Born to a Palestinian-American father and an American mother, she grew up in St. Louis, Jerusalem, and San Antonio. Drawing on her family heritage, the cultural diversity of her home in Texas, and her experiences traveling the world leading writing workshops for all ages, Nye uses her writing to attest to our shared humanity. She is the author and/or editor of more than 30 volumes; her work has been presented on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion and on two PBS specials. Nye is a Lannan Fellow and a Guggenheim Fellow, and has received numerous awards for her poetry and children’s literature. At this event, she will debut a new poem inspired by a work of art in the DMA’s collection and juxtapose art in the collection with a live reading of her poetry.
1:30–3:00 p.m.: Poetry workshop for ages 12+. Workshop tickets are $20 tickets are priced separately from the talk.

17            Noah Charney                                                                                                                Artful Musings
International bestselling author and art histo­rian Noah Charney has been hailed as “the Sherlock Holmes of art theft” and is famous for his dynamic exploration of art crime. His new book The Museum of Lost Art explores the world’s most important lost treasures through an illus­trated guide to art that has been destroyed, stolen, and vandalized. In constant demand as a lecturer, Charney gave a sold-out talk at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, for his previous book The Art of Forgery, which was an Amazon #1 bestseller. Charney’s first novel, The Art Thief, was a bestseller in five countries and translated into 17 languages. He often appears as a presenter and guest expert on National Geographic and NPR. 

22            Michael Ondaatje                                                                                                 Distinguished Writers
In conversation with author Bret Anthony Johnston

First Presbyterian Church of Dallas
In a narrative as mysterious as memory itself, Michael Ondaatje tells a vivid, thrilling story of violence and love, intrigue and desire, in his new novel Warlight. In London immediately following World War II, 14-year-old Nathaniel and his sister, Rachel, find themselves parentless and in the care of an enigmatic figure named The Moth, who they suspect might be a criminal. A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all he didn’t know or understand at that time, and it is this journey—through reality, recollection, and imagination—that is told in this magnificent novel. Among Ondaatje’s many recognitions, his novel The English Patient won the Booker Prize and was adapted into a multi-award-winning Oscar movie.

30            Caroline Weber                                                                                                             Artful Musings
Acclaimed author, French literature professor, and fashion historian, Dr. Caroline Weber returns to French high society with Proust’s Duchess: How Three Celebrated Women Captured the Imagination of Fin de Siècle Paris. The book features three wealthy but unhappily married paragons of Parisian nobility, elegance, and style, who captured the attention of Marcel Proust and were the inspiration for his supreme fictional character, the Duchesse de Guermantes. Through masked balls, court visits, and nights at the opera, Weber escorts her reader into the daily lives of these women celebrated as living legends. Back by popular demand, Weber appeared at Arts & Letters Live years ago for her book Queen of Fashion: What Marie Antoinette Wore to the Revolution.


20            Clemantine Wamariya                                                                                           Wit & Wisdom

Human rights advocate Clemantine Wamariya captures the personal aftershocks of war, displacement, and survival in her powerful memoir The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After. At age 6, Clemantine and her 15-year-old sister, Claire, were two of the millions of people who fled Rwanda in 1994 while over 800,000 people were murdered. She recounts with breathtaking clarity both the kindness and the cruelty she and Claire encountered while wandering through seven African countries for six years searching for safety and shelter. Upon receiving asylum in the United States in 2000, Clemantine and her sister worked to build new lives amidst fresh difficulties, but their lives took dramatically different paths. Wamariya holds a BA from Yale University in Comparative Literature. A powerful public speaker, Wamariya now uses stories drawn from her experiences to catalyze change and create community; she has spoken at the United Nations, TEDxYale, and the US Depart­ment of Homeland Security Human Rights Law Conference. 


Ticket prices vary. View details online at
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 2018 Arts & Letters Live series. Promotional support provided by KERA. Exclusive magazine sponsor is Magazine.