Arts & Letters Live is a literary and performing arts series for all ages at the Dallas Museum of Art 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.
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Promotional Partner: World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth
Elliot Ackerman is a decorated veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, who earned a Silver Star, Purple Heart, and a Bronze Star for valor. His forthcoming debut novel, Green on Blue, will be published in February. Author Khaled Hosseini hailed it as “utterly absorbing. . . . [A] morally complex tale of revenge, loyalty, and brotherly love.” Inspired by Ackerman’s experiences embedded with tribal armies in Afghanistan, Green on Blue is told from the perspective of Aziz, an Afghan orphan recruited by a US-funded militia. Ben Fountain, award-winning author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, will share insights and moderate the conversation.
Peter Mendelsund, the associate art director at Alfred A. Knopf, published in tandem his first monograph of book jacket art, Cover, and his illustrated “exploration into the phenomenology of reading,” What We See When We Read. He has designed cover art for many famous books including The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Mendelsund’s books make passionate readers think about what we largely take for granted when absorbed in a book, and spark further thoughts about what the pleasurable experience of reading is all about.
The annual appearance of Selected Shorts is always eagerly anticipated! Tony Award winner James Naughton joins Emmy Award winner Mary Kay Place and Golden Globe nominee Jane Kaczmarek in an evening of stories by Louise Erdrich, Maile Meloy, and Kurt Vonnegut.
Gail Sheehy built her formidable career writing in-depth character profiles of political figures such as Bobby Kennedy, Margaret Thatcher, and Mikhail Gorbachev, and reporting on cultural events ranging from the sexual revolution, Cambodian refugees, and the emerging civil war in Northern Ireland. The author of 17 books, including the bestselling Passages, presents a mesmerizing account of the triumphs and struggles that shaped her own life in the memoir Daring: My Passages.
Author Rick Riordan has hailed author Peter Lerangis’ The Seven Wondersadventure series as a “high-octane mix of modern adventure and ancient secrets.” Lerangis is the author of more than 160 books, which have sold more than 5.5 million copies; he also wrote three of the bestselling 39 Clues books.
Rabih Alameddine’s novel An Unnecessary Woman is a 2014 National Book Award finalist; he is both an author and a painter. Colm Tóibín, a long-time friend of Rabih Alameddine, will moderate the on-stage conversation. An Irish novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright, critic, and poet, his books include The Master and Nora Webster. Undermain Theater is staging Tóibín’s play The Testament of Mary in March. Expect lively banter from this conversation about identity and whether it’s best conveyed through words or pictures.
The Dallas Museum of Art owns an engraved portrait of Jane Austen, made by her sister Cassandra, which will be on view for two days only – March 19 and 20. In Jo Baker’s acclaimed novel, Longbourn, the better known characters of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy from Austen’s iconic novel Pride and Prejudice take a back seat to the servants of the Bennet household who stoked the fireplaces and washed masses of clothing. Hailed by the New York Times as “delightfully audacious,” this fictionalized tale in the vein of Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey gives readers a sobering look at the underside of daily life circa 1812.
Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson has been captivating food lovers with his brilliant culinary interpretations for two decades, dazzling diners and critics alike. His acclaimed restaurants include Red Rooster Harlem and Ginny’s Supper Club, among others. He will share his personal story as told in his New York Times bestselling memoir Yes, Chefand his approach to cooking multicultural recipes for those nearest and dearest to him as featured in his new book Marcus Off Duty.
In partnership with the Boshell Family Lecture Series on Archaeology and the Crow Collection of Asian Art
Huan Hsu, a first-generation Chinese American and journalist, was raised in Salt Lake City. Armed with mere strands of a family legend, he returns to China to discover the fate of his great-great-grandfather’s vast and prized porcelain collection, buried in 1938 for safekeeping from the Japanese. The Porcelain Thief provides a personal glimpse into understanding the bloody, tragic and largely forgotten events that defined Chinese history in the 19th and 20th century.
International bestselling master of crime fiction Dennis Lehane shares insights into his new book World Gone By, set during World War II in Cuba and Florida. He explores the themes of crime, passion, and vengeance in this psychologically and morally engaging story that details the rise of the mob. Three of Lehane’s ten previous novels have been adapted into award-winning films: Mystic River, Shutter Island,and Gone, Baby, Gone. Lehane was a staff writer on the HBO series The Wire and is currently a writer/producer of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of DMA Partners and donors, the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Texas Commission on the Arts.