Elliot Ackerman Dark at the Crossing

Elliot Ackerman

Fiction / Dark at the Crossing

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Elliot Ackerman is the author of the novels Waiting for Eden, Dark at the Crossing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Green on Blue. His writings have appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications, and his stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories and The Best American Travel Writing. He is both a former White House Fellow and Marine, and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He divides his time between New York City and Washington, D.C.

Appearing:

Thu., 4/25, 7:00 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

In Dark at the Crossing, Haris Abadi, an Arab American with a conflicted past, has finally found his purpose: he will cross into Syria and join the fight against Bashar al-Assad’s oppressive regime. But before he can get there, he is robbed and abandoned on the Turkish side of the border. He is picked up by a revolutionary turned refugee and his wife. As he grows closer to his rescuers, Haris must confront his own motivations and ask himself what kind of man—radical or idealist, hero or coward—he truly is.

Higgins Bond A Place for Turtles

Higgins Bond

Illustrator / A Place for Turtles

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Higgins Bond is an artist and illustrator of more than 40 books. A native of Little Rock, she has many honors, including the Ashley Bryan Award for outstanding contributions to children’s literature. She is the first African American woman to illustrate a stamp for the U.S. Postal Service. A member of the Society of Illustrators, her notable clients include the Bradford Exchange, the Franklin Mint, Anheuser-Busch, NBC Television, and Essence Magazine. Her latest book is a revised version of A Place for Turtles by Melissa Stewart.

Appearing:

Wed., 4/24, 5:30 p.m. | Hearne Fine Art
Thu.,4/25, All Day | Clinton Presidential Center
Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | Children’s Library

About the book:

This fact-filled, colorful book by Melissa Stewart features illustrations by Higgins Bond. In simple yet informative language, A Place for Turtles provides an intriguing look at the ecosystems that support turtles’ survival. Stewart also introduces readers to the ways human action or inaction can affect turtle populations, and offers a list of things they can do to help protect turtles in their own communities. Bond’s stunning, realistic paintings depict a variety of turtles and their environments.

Rick Bragg The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma's Table

Rick Bragg

Memoir / The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table

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Rick Bragg is the author of seven books, including the best-selling Ava’s Man and All Over but the Shoutin’. His newest book is The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table. He is also a regular contributor to Garden & Gun Magazine. He lives in Alabama.

Watch:

southernliving.com pbs.org

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 7:00 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table is a delectable, rollicking food memoir and cookbook that offers a loving tribute to a region, a vanishing history, a family, and, especially, his mother, Margaret Bragg. Included are seventy-four mouthwatering Bragg family recipes for classic Southern dishes passed down through generations.

Margaret Bragg does not own a single cookbook. She measures in “dabs” and “smidgens” and “tads” and “you know, hon, just some.” She cannot be pinned down on how long to bake corn bread (“about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the mysteries of your oven”). Her notion of farm-to-table is a flatbed truck. But she can tell you the secrets to perfect mashed potatoes, corn pudding, redeye gravy, pinto beans and hambone, stewed cabbage, short ribs, chicken and dressing, biscuits, and butter rolls. Many of her recipes, recorded here for the first time, pre-date the Civil War, handed down skillet by skillet, from one generation of Braggs to the next. In The Best Cook in the World, Rick Bragg finally preserves his heritage by telling the stories that framed his mother’s cooking and education, from childhood into old age—because good food always has a good story, and a recipe, writes Bragg, is a story like anything else.

Rhett Brinkley I Want To Stare At My Phone With You book cover

Rhett Brinkley

Fiction / I Want to Stare at My Phone

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Rhett Brinkley co-wrote and co-starred in Slumberland, a “Made in Arkansas” winner at the Little Rock Film Festival. He has participated in readings all over Little Rock, including Tales from the South and the Argenta Reading Series. His first book is I Want to Stare at My Phone with You.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | Allsopp & Chapple

About the book:

With a humorous twist, Brinkley’s I Want to Stare at My Phone with You is about the extraordinary tethers that bind ordinary lives. He proves that while we humans tumble without aim through an unfathomable array of cosmic circumstance, we do so together.

Kevin Brockmeier

Kevin Brockmeier

Fiction / The Ghost Variations

Kevin Brockmeier is the author of eight books, the most recent of which is A Few Seconds of Radiant Filmstrip: A Memoir of Seventh Grade. His next book, a collection of 100 short ghost stories, will likely be in print in time for the 2020 Festival. He teaches frequently at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and he lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he was raised.

Watch:

reading at Texas State University Writers on the Fly interview

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | UA Little Rock Downtown

About the book:

The Ghost Variations is a sequence of 100 very short stories, all of which address themselves to the idea of ghosts, ghostliness, or the afterlife. They turn their attention, by a hundred different methods, to a literary space where the reality of death shades over into the fantastic, or where fantasies of death erupt into reality, and from that space explore how mysterious, sad, strange, and comical it is to be alive – or, as it happens, not to be. The book is scheduled for publication in 2020.

Jericho Brown The Tradition

Jericho Brown

Poetry / The Tradition

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Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book of poetry, Please, won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best books of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. He is also the author of the collection The Tradition. His poems have appeared in Buzzfeed, the Nation, the New York Times, the New Yorker, the New Republic, TIME, the Pushcart Prize anthology, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry anthologies. He is associate professor and the director of the creative writing program at Emory University in Atlanta.

Watch:

TEDx Emory 2015 reading Hebrews 13

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

The Tradition details the normalization of evil and its history at the intersection of the past and the personal. Brown’s poetic concerns are both broad and intimate, and at their very core a distillation of the incredibly human: What is safety? Who is this nation? Where does freedom truly lie? Brown makes mythical pastorals to question the terrors to which we’ve become accustomed, and to celebrate how we survive…Poems of fatherhood, legacy, blackness, queerness, worship, and trauma are propelled into stunning clarity by Brown’s mastery, and his invention of the duplex &ndsash; a combination of the sonnet, the ghazal, and the blues – is a testament to his formal skill. The Tradition is a cutting and necessary collection, relentless in its quest for survival while reveling in a celebration of contradiction.

Rick Campbell Photo credit: Lynne Campbell Treason

Rick Campbell

Fiction / Treason

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Rick Campbell, a retired U.S. Navy Commander, spent more than twenty years on multiple submarine tours. On his last tour, he was one of the two men whose permission was required to launch the submarine’s nuclear warhead-tipped missiles. Campbell is the author of the novels Treason, The Trident Deception, Empire Rising, and Ice Station Nautilus, and lives with his family in the greater Washington, D.C. area.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | Darragh Center

About the book:

In Russia, the military is anxious to assert its military strength and regain its role as a superpower. The Russian president refuses to greenlight a bold plan to disable American strategic nuclear capability and retake Ukraine and the Baltic States, fearing the potential consequences of involving nuclear weapons. But the generals won’t have it and at the first opportunity, they overthrow the president in a military coup. Then they use a narrow window to initiate their bold plan – the Zolotov option – which will render all of America’s B2 bombers and ballistic missiles useless. Now, it’s game on. Without their primary weapons, the U.S. has to find a way to fight back on multiple fronts help retake control from the forces that are driving Europe into a continental war.

Andrés Cerpa Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy

Andrés Cerpa

Poetry / Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy

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Andrés Cerpa is the author of Bicycle in a Ransacked City: An Elegy. He is a recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and CantoMundo. Cerpa’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ploughshares, Poem-a-Day, the Kenyon Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, TriQuarterly, the Rumpus, Frontier Poetry, West Branch, Foundry Journal, Wildness, and elsewhere. He is the assistant poetry editor of Epiphany Magazine.

Listen:

reading At the Water

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | The Bookstore at Library Square

About the book:

“This brilliant book tells a hell-forged truth with angelic music, making devastating beauty from the elemental and agonized relation between father and son – at once a war and a loss and a tether, a home. Through the cruel truth there is love; even in the deepest pit there’s light. This nocturnal-hearted poet’s not likely looking for it but there it is, still falling all over his burning, metallic, ruinous discoveries. There it is: love and brutality mixed together in epic scenes. No judgment, no transcendence – no way out of the mire. Cerpa’s is a magnificent talent – a yawp made for this very moment, and a voice for the ages.” (Brenda Shaughnessy)

Charmaine Craig Miss Burma

Charmaine Craig

Fiction / Miss Burma

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Charmaine Craig studied literature at Harvard College, received her MFA from the University of California at Irvine, and serves as a faculty member in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside, where she particularly enjoys teaching literature, the art of the paragraph, and forms of narration. Her first novel, The Good Men, was a national bestseller translated into six languages. Formerly an actor in film and television, she grew up in Los Angeles, where she now resides with her husband, author Andrew Winer, and their daughters.

Appearing:

Thu., 4/25, 7:00 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

Miss Burma, longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction—is based on the lives of her mother and grandparents, all born in Burma.

Anita Davis Photo credit: Rhett Peek What's Inside?: A Century of Women and Handbags, 1900–1999

Anita Davis

Nonfiction / What’s Inside?: A Century of Women and Handbags, 1900–1999

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Anita Davis, author of What’s Inside?: A Century of Women and Handbags, 1900–1999, is a native Arkansan and lifelong collector who loves outsider art, Gladys Knight, dream work, her two daughters, and learning about the mysteries of life. Her varied life experience includes owning a mail-order catalog called Pure and Simple in the 1980s and co-owning Vagabonds coffee house and vintage store in the 1990s. She has a talent for finding valuables (“They’re valuable to me!”) in unexpected places and has led the revitalization of Little Rock’s SoMa neighborhood, where ESSE Purse Museum & Store is located. What’s Inside? is an extension of her endeavor to explore concepts of art, history, and the feminine at ESSE – the only purse museum in the United States and one of only three in the world.

Watch:

The Collectors interview
Oxford American presents “SoLost” interview

Appearing:

Thu., 4/25, 6:00 p.m. | ESSE Purse Museum and Store

About the book:

Purses are much more than fashionable objects containing items women need to go about their daily business. Purses are personal, private places into which only the privileged dare put their hands, vessels that hold the essence of a woman’s individuality. What’s Inside? complements the permanent exhibition of ESSE Purse Museum & Store, offering intimate portraits of this most intimate accessory. Open the book and you’ll conjure the lives and habits of 20th-century American women through clutch-sized vignettes and gleaming minaudières of fashion. In these pages, discover evocative photographs of purses and their contents, enticing essays, vibrant artistic renderings, and illuminating historical fiction.

Night Angler

Geffrey Davis

Poetry / Night Angler

Geffrey Davis is the author of two full collections of poetry: Revising the Storm, winner of the A. Poulin Jr. Prize and a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, and Night Angler. He is also the author of the chapbook Begotten, coauthored with F. Douglas Brown. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Crazyhorse, Mississippi Review, New England Review, the New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, PBS NewsHour, Ploughshares, and elsewhere.

Watch:

reading at Cave Canem reading “From 35,000 Feet / Praise Aviophobia”

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

Davis’s second collection of poems reads as an evolving love letter and meditation on what it means to raise an American family. In poems that express a deep sense of gratitude and wonder, Davis delivers a heart-strong prayer that longs for home, for safety for black lives, and for the messy success of breaking through the trauma of growing up during the crack epidemic to create a new model of fatherhood. Filled with humor and tenderness, Night Angler sings its own version of a song called grace – sung with a heavy and hopeful mix of inherited notes and discovered chords.

Kathryn Davis Photo credit: Anne Davis The Silk Road

Kathryn Davis

Fiction / The Silk Road

Kathryn Davis is the author of eight novels, the most recent of which is The Silk Road. Her other books are Labrador, The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf, Hell: A Novel, The Walking Tour, Versailles, The Thin Place and Duplex. She has received a Kafka Prize for fiction by an American woman, both the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award and the Katherine Anne Porter Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Lannan Foundation Literary Award. She is the senior fiction writer on the faculty of the writing program at Washington University in St. Louis.

Read:

bookslut.com interview

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | UA Little Rock Downtown

About the book:

The Silk Road begins on a mat in yoga class, deep within a labyrinth on a settlement somewhere in the icy north, under the canny guidance of Jee Moon. When someone fails to rise from corpse pose, the Astronomer, the Archivist, the Botanist, the Keeper, the Topologist, the Geographer, the Iceman, and the Cook remember the paths that brought them there – paths on which they still seem to be traveling. Kathryn Davis’s sleight of hand brings the past, present, and future forward into brilliant coexistence; in an endlessly shifting landscape, her characters make their way through ruptures, grief, and apocalypse, from existence to nonexistence, from embodiment to pure spirit. The Silk Road is her most explicitly allegorical novel and also her most profound vehicle; supple and mesmerizing, the journey here is not undertaken by a single protagonist but by a community of separate souls – a family, a yoga class, a generation. Its revelations are ravishing and desolating.

Elizabeth Eckford Photo credit: Kirk Jordan book cover

Elizabeth Eckford

Illustrated Memoir / The Worst First Day: Bullied While Desegregating Central High

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Elizabeth Eckford, The Worst First Day: Bullied While Desegregating Central High, wrote her award-winning illustrated memoir to reach back with a message of encouragement and resilience for the next generation. The book was written 60 years after she desegregated Central High as a courageous member of the Little Rock Nine. Eckford has received numerous awards for her contributions to the civil rights movement, including an honorary doctorate from Knox College, the Champion of Justice Award from the Equal Justice Initiative, and the Congressional Gold Medal, our nation’s highest civilian award.

Watch & Read:

Reframing Anti-Bullying Education UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture interview BBC HARDtalk moonbeamawards.com kirkusreviews.com forewordreviews.com

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

The Worst First Day introduces the next generation to Elizabeth Eckford, the first member of the Little Rock Nine to face armed soldiers and incensed segregationists while attempting to desegregate Central High on Sept. 4, 1957. The multigenerational author team consisting of Eckford with co-authors Dr. Eurydice Stanley and Grace Stanley (and graphic artist Rachel Gibson) discusses compelling civil rights history against the backdrop of Eckford’s memories, providing applications to issues faced today. Eckford’s story promotes resilience, tenacity, and the importance of making one’s voice heard.

Liana Finck Passing for Human

Liana Finck

Graphic Memoir / Passing for Human

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Liana Finck‘s cartoons appear regularly in the New Yorker, and even more regularly on her Instagram feed. The graphic memoir Passing for Human is her second book. Finck is a recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a Six Points Fellowship for Emerging Jewish Artists. She has had artist residencies with the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and Tablet magazine. Her first book is A Bintel Brief.

Watch:

New Yorker Jewish Female Self-Identity Panel

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

Melancholy and funny, personal and surreal, Liana Finck’s Passing for Human is a profound exploration of identity by one of the most talented young comic artists working today. Part magical odyssey, part feminist creation myth, this memoir is, most of all, an extraordinary, moving meditation on what it means to be an artist and a woman grappling with the desire to pass for human.

Charles Forsman Photo credit: Melissa Mendes Hobo Mom

Charles Forsman

Graphic Novel / Hobo Mom

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Charles Forsman is a graduate of the Center for Cartoon Studies and a three-time Ignatz Award winner. His comic books include Hobo Mom, Revenger, Celebrated Summer, Slasher, I am Not Okay With This, and The End of the F**king World, which has been adapted into a Netflix original series. His newest serial is called AUTOMA. He lives in Western Massachusetts.

Watch:

trailer for It’s the End of the F*ing World The Frog Queen interview Imperius Rex interview

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

A transatlantic collaboration between Charles Sanford Forsman and Max de Radigués, Hobo Mom was drawn simultaneously by the two cartoonists. Their clean line styles fit together perfectly to tell the story of Tom, who lives a simple life with his pre-teen daughter, Sissy. When Sissy’s vagrant mother, Natasha, shows up on the doorstep of the family she abandoned years ago, she finds an upset husband (who is still deeply in love with her) and a little girl yearning for a mother. Can someone who covets independence settle down?

Mark Freeman You Are Not a Rock: A Step-by-Step Guide to Better Mental Health (for Humans)

Mark Freeman

Nonfiction / You Are Not a Rock: A Step-by-Step Guide to Better Mental Health (for Humans)

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Mark Freeman planned to write novels, but after recovering from mental illness, he went the non-fiction route, writing You Are Not a Rock: A Step-by-Step Guide to Better Mental Health (for Humans) to fill gaps in our mental healthcare system. He wants everybody to start caring for their mental fitness so he can go back to writing about space unicorns.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 10:00 a.m. | Ron Robinson Theater
Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

Having struggled with serious mental illness for many years himself, Freeman has become a dedicated mental-health advocate and coach. He makes the case that instead of trying to feel less and avoid pain and stress, we need to build emotional fitness, especially our capacity for strength, balance and focus. With wit, compassion, and depth of experience and anecdotes, he shows that we can recover from many mental disorders, from mild to very serious, at all ages and stages of life, and even if other methods have failed. Freeman’s innovative approach makes use of a range of therapeutic techniques, mindfulness training, peer support, humor, and common sense.

Laurie Friedman Mallory McDonald, Super Sitter

Laurie Friedman

Fiction / Mallory McDonald, Super Sitter

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Laurie Friedman is the author of more than 50 critically acclaimed picture books, chapter books, and novels for young readers, with the bestselling Mallory McDonald chapter book series including Mallory McDonald, Super Sitter; The Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair teen journal-format series, including Can You Say Catastrophe?; and many rhyming picture books, including the Ruby Valentine series. A Pine Bluff native, she is a frequent speaker at conferences and schools across the country.

Appearing:

Thu., 4/25, all day | Museum of Discovery
Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | Youth Services, Main Library

About the book:

In Mallory McDonald, Super Sitter, Mallory’s new neighbors, the Goldmans, have twin five-year-old boys who need babysitters. Mrs. Goldman hires Mallory and her friend Chloe Jennifer to watch the boys while she works from home. Mallory can’t wait! The boys are adorable, so this job will be tons of fun…right?

Actually, the boys turn out to be a handful. Plus, Mallory has trouble balancing her babysitting duties with her schoolwork, friends, and preparation for an upcoming school poetry slam. Will she figure out how to prioritize the things that matter the most before her new career ruins her life?

In Can You Say Catastrophe? April Sinclair just wants what any normal thirteen-year-old would want: to disown her parents and obnoxious little sisters; to escape to summer camp ASAP with her two best friends, Billy and Brynn; and to make a good impression on Matt Parker, the new boy next door.

Alfred Gough Double Exposure

Alfred Gough

Fiction / Double Exposure

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Alfred Gough and Miles Millar are the creators of Smallville, the #1 show in the history of the CW network. They are currently the show runners of the AMC show Into the Badlands. Double Exposure is their first novel.

Watch:

Comic Con 2015 FICCI Frames 2016

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

David Toland, a decorated Korean War veteran, has done all he can to leave a life of combat behind. Now Director of Preservation for the Library of Congress’s National Film Archive, Toland has made it his mission to preserve what he loves most: the Golden Age of American cinema, moving pictures full of romance, adventure and American Dream. That is, until CIA Agent Lana Welles drops in unannounced with a film canister, smuggled over the Berlin Wall at great cost, that may prove WWII never really ended – it just went underground.

Toland reluctantly agrees to serve his country one last time and help recover the film for Welles and the CIA. But it seems not everyone is as eager as they are to dig up the past. The discovery awakens shadowy forces who will do anything to keep their findings a secret. In search of the truth, Toland and Welles find themselves pursued across the globe in a cat and mouse game with enormous, world-altering consequences.

Nita Gould Remembering Ella

Nita Gould

Nonfiction / Remembering Ella: A 1912 Murder and Mystery in the Arkansas Ozarks

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Nita Gould, author of Remembering Ella: A 1912 Murder and Mystery in the Arkansas Ozarks, is a student of Ozarks history and a preservation enthusiast. She nominated several Boone County, Arkansas, properties to the National Register of Historic Places, including her Barham ancestral home. Gould’s tenacious pursuit to create an authoritative account of the community, the crime, and the subsequent legal battle drew on the official case files, hundreds of newspaper accounts, and personal Barham family documents and spanned nearly fifteen years. She lives in Tulsa.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | Roberts Library, Room 124

About the book:

This story of the 1912 murder of eighteen-year-old Ella Barham, the author’s cousin, in the rural Arkansas Ozarks follows the 1913 trial, appeals, and hanging of her alleged killer in Harrison, Arkansas. The murder made national news and was followed by decades of dispute and speculation. Rich with social history, Remembering Ella opens a window into life in the rural Ozarks during the early 1900s and shows the effects of a horrendous crime upon a family and a small community. It explores the meaning of due process of law during a time of great transition in the justice system. Remembering Ella reveals the truth behind an event that has been a staple of local folklore for more than a century and still intrigues people from around the country.

Dorie Greenspan Everyday Dorie

Dorie Greenspan

Nonfiction / Everyday Dorie

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Dorie Greenspan, a columnist for the New York Times Magazine, was inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America and has won five James Beard Awards and two Cookbook of the Year Awards from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Her thirteen cookbooks include Everyday Dorie, Dorie’s Cookies and Baking Chez Moi, both New York Times bestsellers, Around My French Table and Baking: From My Home to Yours. She lives in New York City; Westbrook, Connecticut; and Paris.

Watch:

Food 52: Dinner with Dorie CBS This Morning

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater
Sun., 4/28, 1:30 p.m. | Eggshells Kitchen Co. Get Tickets » Sun., 4/28, 4:30 p.m. | Root Café

About the book:

To the hundreds of thousands who follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, Greenspan’s food is powerfully cookable—her recipes instant classics. In Everyday Dorie, she invites readers into her kitchen to savor the dishes that she makes all the time, from Miso-Glazed Salmon to Lemon Goop.

What makes a “Dorie recipe”? Each one has a small surprise that makes it special. Mustard and walnuts in the cheese puffs. Cherry tomatoes stuffed into red bell peppers and oven-charred. Cannellini beans in cod en papillote. The dishes are practical, made with common ingredients from the supermarket, farmers’ market, or pantry, like Sweet Chili Chicken Thighs, which is both weeknight simple and fine enough for company, and Eton Mess, a beautifully casual dessert of crumbled meringue, fruit, and whipped cream. They are easygoing, providing swaps and substitutions. They invite mixing and matching. Many can be served as dinner, or as a side dish, or as an appetizer, or hot, cold, or room temperature. And every single one is like a best friend in the kitchen, full of Dorie’s infectious love of cooking and her trademark hand-holding directions.

Brantley Hargrove The Man Who Caught the Storm

Brantley Hargrove

Nonfiction / The Man Who Caught the Storm

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Brantley Hargrove is a journalist who has written for Wired, Popular Mechanics, and Texas Monthly. In his reporting, he has explored the world of South American jewel thieves who terrorize diamond dealers in South Florida and has gone inside the effort to reverse-engineer supertornadoes using supercomputers. Chasing violent storms from the Great Plains down to the Texas coast, he encountered a land-falling Category 4 hurricane and one of the rarest tornadic events in recent memory: twin EF4 tornadoes that chewed through a small Nebraska farming village. He lives in Dallas with his wife, Renee, and their two cats. The Man Who Caught the Storm is his first book.

Watch:

The Life And Death Of A Storm-chaser

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 10:00 a.m. | The Bookstore at Library Square

About the book:

Hargrove delivers a masterful tale, chronicling the life of Tim Samaras in all its triumph and tragedy. He takes readers inside the thrill of the chase, the captivating science of tornadoes, and the remarkable character of a man who walked the line between life and death in pursuit of knowledge. Following the tradition of Into Thin Air and The Perfect Storm, Hargrove’s debut offers an unforgettable exploration of obsession and the extremes of the natural world.

Jeff Henderson If You Can See It You Can Be It

Jeff Henderson

Nonfiction / If You Can See It, You Can Be It: 12 Street-Smart Recipes for Success

From humble beginnings in South Central Los Angeles to time in prison for dealing drugs to a new life as an award-winning celebrity chef and best-selling author, Chef Jeff today serves as a popular and powerful voice for self-transformation. Henderson is the creator and star of the Food Network’s reality series The Chef Jeff Project, former host of Family Style with Chef Jeff, and the star of Flip My Food. His story has been featured on Oprah’s Life Class, Good Morning America, Today, CNN, ABC News, and The Steve Harvey Show and in major publications such as USA Today, People Magazine, and many others. A feature film by Sony Pictures based on his bestselling memoir Cooked is in the works. He resides in Las Vegas with his wife Stacy and their five children.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 12:00 p.m. | Children’s Library

About the book:

In his latest book, If You Can See It You Can Be It, Henderson reveals his hard-knock, yet transformative, life lessons to help others realize their potential, discover their hidden business aptitudes, make life-changing decisions, and gain a new foothold on the ladder to success.

H.K. Hummel Short-Form Creative Writing

H.K. Hummel

Nonfiction / Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology

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H.K. Hummel is a poet, writer, and assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She is the author of Short-Form Creative Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, Boytreebird, and Handmade Boats. Lessons in Breathing Underwater, her first full-length poetry collection, is forthcoming. She received a fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council and an Emerging Writer-in-Residence fellowship from the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers’ Centre, and her work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net.

Watch:

Lullaby in Blue

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | The Bookstore at Library Square

About the book:

Short-Form Creative Writing is a complete introduction to the art and craft of extremely compressed works of imaginative literature. Hummel and co-author Stephanie Lenox introduce both traditional and innovative approaches to the short form and demonstrate how it possesses structure, logic, and coherence while simultaneously resisting expectations. With discussion questions, writing prompts, flash interviews, and illustrated key concepts, the book covers prose poetry, flash fiction, micro memoir, lyric essay, cross-genre/hybrid writing, and more.

Mitchell S. Jackson Photo credit: John Ricard Survival Math

Mitchell S. Jackson

Nonfiction / Survival Math

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Mitchell S. Jackson‘s debut novel, The Residue Years, received wide critical praise and won a Whiting Award and the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence and was a finalist for the Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN / Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and the Hurston / Wright Legacy Award. Jackson’s honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, PEN America, TED, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Center for Fiction. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Paris Review, the Guardian, Tin House, and elsewhere. He is a clinical associate professor of writing in Liberal Studies at New York University. His new work is Survival Math.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 10:00 a.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

In a thrillingly alive, candid new work, award-winning author Jackson takes us inside the drug-ravaged neighborhood and struggling family of his youth, while examining the cultural forces – large and small – that led him and his family to this place. With a poet’s gifted ear, a novelist’s sense of narrative, and a journalist’s unsentimental eye, Jackson candidly explores his tumultuous youth in the other America. Survival Math takes its name from the calculations the author and his family made to keep safe – to stay alive – in their community, a small black neighborhood in Portland, Oregon blighted by drugs, violence, poverty, and governmental neglect. Survival Math is both a personal reckoning and a vital addition to the national conversation about race. Mitchell explores the Portland of his childhood, tracing the ways in which his family managed their lives in and around drugs, prostitution, gangs, and imprisonment as members of a tiny black population in one of the country’s whitest cities. He discusses sex work and serial killers, gangs and guns, near-death experiences, composite fathers, the concept of “hustle,” and the destructive power of drugs and addiction on family.

Cherisse Jones-Branch Arkansas Women: Their Lives and Times

Cherisse Jones-Branch

Nonfiction / Arkansas Women: Their Lives and Times

Cherisse Jones-Branch is the James and Wanda Lee Vaughn Endowed Professor of History at Arkansas State University. She is the author of Crossing the Line: Women and Interracial Activism in South Carolina during and after World War II and the co-editor of Arkansas Women: Their Lives and Times. She is currently completing a book on rural black women’s activism in Arkansas.

Watch:

Arkansas State University spotlight

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | Roberts Library, Room 124

About the book:

Diverse in nature, Arkansas Women contains stories about women on the Arkansas frontier, including the narratives of indigenous women and their interactions with European men and of bondwomen of African descent who were forcibly moved from the seaboard South to labor on cotton plantations. There are also essays about twentieth-century women who were agents of change in their communities, such as Hilda Kahlert Cornish and the Arkansas birth control movement, Adolphine Fletcher Terry’s antisegregationist social activism, and Sue Cowan Morris’s Little Rock classroom teachers’ salary equalization suit. Collectively, these inspirational essays work to acknowledge women’s accomplishments and to further discussions about their contributions to Arkansas’s rich cultural heritage.

Lillian Li Photo credit: Margarita Corporan Number One Chinese Restaurant

Lillian Li

Fiction / Number One Chinese Restaurant

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Lillian Li is the author of the novel Number One Chinese Restaurant. Her work has been published in Guernica, Granta, Glimmer Train, Bon Appetit, and Jezebel. Originally from the D.C. metro area, she lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | Allsopp & Chapple

About the book:

The Beijing Duck House in Rockville, Maryland, is not only a beloved go-to setting for hunger pangs and celebrations, it is its own world, inhabited by waiters and kitchen staff who have been fighting, loving, and aging within its walls for decades. When disaster strikes, this working family’s controlled chaos is set loose, forcing each character to confront the conflicts that fast-paced restaurant life has kept at bay.

Marina Lostetter Noumenon Infinity

Marina Lostetter

Fiction / Noumenon Infinity

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Marina Lostetter thinks the open skies and dense forests of the Pacific Northwest are ideal for growing speculative-fiction authors. Originally from Oregon, she now resides in Arkansas with her spouse, Alex. In her spare time she enjoys globetrotting, board games, and all things art-related. Her original short fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and Shimmer Magazine. In addition to her debut novel, Noumenon, and its sequel, Noumenon Infinity, she has written tie-in materials for the game Star Citizen and for the Aliens franchise.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | UA Little Rock Downtown

About the book:

Travel to the remotest reaches of deep space in this wondrous follow-up to the acclaimed Noumenon—a tale of exploration, adventure, science, and humanity with the sweep and intelligence of the works of Arthur C. Clarke, Neal Stephenson, and Octavia Butler.

Generations ago, Convoy Seven and I.C.C. left Earth on a mission that would take them far beyond the solar system. Launched by the Planet United Consortium, a global group formed to pursue cooperative Earth-wide interests in deep space, nine ships headed into the unknown to explore a distant star called LQ Pyx.

Eons later, the convoy has returned to LQ Pyx to begin work on the Web, the alien megastructure that covers the star. Is it a Dyson Sphere, designed to power a civilization as everyone believes—or something far more sinister?

Arkady Martine A Memory Called Empire

Arkady Martine

Fiction / A Memory Called Empire

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Arkady Martine is a speculative fiction writer and, as Dr. AnnaLinden Weller, a historian of the Byzantine Empire and a city planner. Under both names she writes about border politics, rhetoric, propaganda, and the edges of the world. Arkady grew up in New York City and, after some time in Turkey, Canada, and Sweden, lives in Baltimore with her wife, the author Vivian Shaw.

Listen:

Learning About Narratology

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | UA Little Rock Downtown

About the book:

Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident – or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court. Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion – all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret – one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life – or rescue it from annihilation.

Carla Killough McClafferty Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington's Mount Vernon

Carla Killough McClafferty

Nonfiction / Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington’s Mount Vernon

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Carla Killough McClafferty is the award-winning author of many nonfiction books for young readers, including Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment; and The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon; and (her latest) Buried Lives: The Enslaved People of George Washington’s Mount Vernon.

Watch & Read:

Buried Lives: Oney Judge meets Miss Langdon Buried Lives: details about the escape of Oney Judge holidayhouse.com mountvernon.org

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | Youth Services, Main Library

About the book:

When he was eleven years old, George Washington inherited ten human beings. His own life has been well chronicled, but the lives of the people he owned – the people who supported his plantation and were buried in unmarked graves there – have not. Using fascinating primary source material and photographs of historical artifacts, Buried Lives sheds light on the lives of several people George Washington owned; the property laws of the day that complicated his decision to free them; and the Cemetery Survey, an archeological dig that is shaping understanding of Mount Vernon’s enslaved.

Patrick McGilligan Photo credit: Daniel Alfonzo Funny Man

Patrick McGilligan

Nonfiction / Funny Man

Patrick McGilligan is the author of Funny Man, the New York Times Notable Books George Cukor: A Double Life, and Fritz Lang: The Nature of the Beast. His biography Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness and Light was nominated for an Edgar Award and won the prize for the best foreign book translated into French by the national association of French film critics. Young Orson: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times biography of the year. His other works include the life stories of directors Nicholas Ray, Robert Altman and Oscar Micheaux, and actors James CAgney, Jack Nicholson, and Clint Eastwood. He edited the acclaimed five-volume Backstory series of interviews with Hollywood screenwriters and (with Paul Buhle) the definitive Tender Comrades: A Backstory of the Hollywood Blacklist. His books about film have been translated into ten foreign languages. He lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Watch:

Milwaukee PBS interview

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

Oscar, Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award–winner Mel Brooks was behind (and sometimes in front of the camera too) some of the most influential comedy hits of our time, including The 2,000 Year Old Man, Get Smart, The Producers, Blazing Saddles, and Young Frankenstein…His lifelong crusade to transform himself into a brand name of popular humor is at the center of master biographer McGilligan’s Funny Man. In this exhaustively researched and wonderfully novelistic look at Brooks’ personal and professional life, McGilligan lays bare the strengths and drawbacks that shaped Brooks’ psychology, his willpower, his persona, and his comedy.

Erin McGraw Joy and 52 Other Very Short Stories

Erin McGraw

Fiction / Joy and 52 Other Very Short Stories

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Erin McGraw is the author of seven books of fiction, most recently Joy and 52 Other Very Short Stories. Her work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, the Southern Review, American Short Fiction, and many other journals. Retired from teaching, she lives in Tennessee with her husband, the poet Andrew Hudgins.

Watch:

Offbeat Characters reading at Sewanee Writers Conference

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | Christ Episcopal Church

About the book:

In these very short stories, narrators step out of themselves to explain their lives to us, sometimes defensively, sometimes regretfully, other times deceitfully. Voices include those of the impulsive first-time murderer, the depressed pet sitter, the assistant of Patsy Cline, the anxiety-riddled new mother, the aged rock-and-roller, the girlfriend of your husband – human beings often (incredibly) unaware of the turning points staring them in the face. Crossing time, states, class, and religions, McGraw’s stories are on the edge, causing you to wince even as you laugh.

Crystal C. Mercer A Love Story Waiting to Happen

Crystal C. Mercer

Poetry / A Love Story Waiting to Happen

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Crystal C. Mercer, author of A Love Story Waiting to Happen, is just, as they say, a little girl from Little Rock. An all around Afro-Creative, Mercer is a textile artist, actor, activist, poet, and author. She is founder and creative director of Columbus Creative Arts + Activism, and designer and lead merchant of SAFI FABric MARKET. She fuses arts and activism by using theatre and textiles to tell social justice narratives, through merchandising and storytelling, with an emphasis on uplifting voices of color. A dedicated public servant, a woman of many creative talents, and the daughter of legendary late civil rights lawyer Christopher C. Mercer Jr., she honors the legacy of her father by using theatre arts as a tool for empowerment, education, and social justice.

Watch & Read:

author bio video reading “Carried Away” Columbus Creative

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | UA Little Rock Downtown

About the book:

A Love Story Waiting to Happen is a rhythmic movement of poetry that unapologetically explores love, grief, mourning, freedom, sex, and courtships. With a concoction of phrasing poetry and prose, C. C. Mercer engages her heart and her intellect, molding herself to express stories that are both universal in nature and indicative of her journey in love…Ebb. Flow. Disruption. Chaos. Calm. Good. Bad. Ugly. Lovely.

Miles Millar Double Exposure

Miles Millar

Fiction / Double Exposure

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Miles Millar and Alfred Gough are the creators of Smallville, the #1 show in the history of the CW network. They are currently the show runners of the AMC show Into the Badlands. Double Exposure is their first novel.

Watch:

Comic Con 2015 FICCI Frames 2016

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

David Toland, a decorated Korean War veteran, has done all he can to leave a life of combat behind. Now Director of Preservation for the Library of Congress’s National Film Archive, Toland has made it his mission to preserve what he loves most: the Golden Age of American cinema, moving pictures full of romance, adventure and American Dream. That is, until CIA Agent Lana Welles drops in unannounced with a film canister, smuggled over the Berlin Wall at great cost, that may prove WWII never really ended – it just went underground.

Toland reluctantly agrees to serve his country one last time and help recover the film for Welles and the CIA. But it seems not everyone is as eager as they are to dig up the past. The discovery awakens shadowy forces who will do anything to keep their findings a secret. In search of the truth, Toland and Welles find themselves pursued across the globe in a cat and mouse game with enormous, world-altering consequences.

Andre Millard Equipping James Bond

André Millard

Nonfiction / Equipping James Bond

André Millard teaches history at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, where he was director of the American Studies program for many years. His research is focused on the relationship between technology and culture. His books include America on Record: A History of Recorded Sound, The Electric Guitar, and Beatlemania. He read Ian Fleming’s novels as a teenager in London in the 1960s and has been fascinated with the character of James Bond ever since.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

The popularity of the 007 franchise depends on a seductive formula of sex, violence, and snobbery. Much of its appeal, too, lies in its gadgets: slick, somewhat improbable technological devices that give everyone’s favorite secret agent the edge over his adversaries.

In Equipping James Bond, Millard chronicles a hundred-year history of espionage technology through the lens of Ian Fleming’s infamous character and his ingenious spyware. Beginning with the creation of MI6, the British secret service, Millard traces the development of espionage technology from the advanced weaponry of the nineteenth century to the evolving threat of computer hacking and surveillance. Arguing that the gadgets in the books and films articulate the leading edge of technological awareness at the time, Millard describes how Bond goes from protecting 1950s England from criminal activity to saving a world threatened by nuclear bombs, poison gas, and attacks from space.

Elizabeth Minchilli The Italian Table: Creating Festive Meals for Family and Friends

Elizabeth Minchilli

Nonfiction / The Italian Table: Creating Festive Meals for Family and Friends

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Elizabeth Minchilli is the author of nine books on the joys of Italian life, including her newest, The Italian Table: Creating Festive Meals for Family and Friends. She has written for more than 40 magazines, and today shares her passion for Italy through her blog, best-selling apps for iTunes and Android, and her food tours in Italy. Other books include Eating My Way Through Italy, which recounts her journeys around Italy, following her appetite, and Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City, based on her popular blog Elizabeth Minchilli in Rome. She lives with her husband, Domenico Minchilli, an architect who restores and builds homes in Italy and around the world, in a rooftop apartment in Rome and in a farmhouse in Umbria.

Watch:

Home & Family interview

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater
Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | Eggshells Kitchen Co. Get tickets » Sun., 4/27, 4:30 p.m. | Root Café

About the book:

The Italian Table delivers both parts of the fantasy and reality of Italian meals as they would be eaten on location. Combining menus and recipes with visual experience and inspiration – as well as insight into the traditions of the food and celebrations – it serves as a practical resource that gives home cooks and hosts step-by-step guidance on how to re-create these fabulous meals at their own tables.

Menus and recipes include: Eating in the Market in Florence with Coward’s Spaghetti, Pappa al Pomodoro, and Apple Cake; A Sunday Lunch in Emilia-Romagna with Ricotta and Swiss Chard Tortelli, Vegetable Pie, and Stuffed Pork Roast; and A Table by the Sea in Positano with Mozzarella on Grilled Lemon Leaves, Squid and Walnut Salad, and Jackie O’s Spaghetti. With a resources section for Italian ingredients; headnotes brimming with interesting history, recipe shortcuts, and serving suggestions; and menu introductions detailing what to drink, how to set the table, and how to time the preparation and the party itself, this is an essential guide for home cooks and those who love to entertain.

Bonnie Montgomery, Forever Photo credit: Michelle Waggoner

Bonnie Montgomery

Music / Forever

Bonnie Montgomery was brought up listening to the music that flowed trough her family’s Arkansas music store. She spent her childhood heavily steeped in Ozark bluegrass, Texas swing, and Delta blues, as well as gospel and rock and roll. All of this served to give her a folk/bluegrass/country perspective that’s both traditional and timeless. With Forever, her second full-length album (inspired by Willie Nelson’s Phases and Stages), the silver-voiced songstress once again delves into classic country sounds and storytelling. “It’s a concept album,” Montgovery says. “The songs are about life on the road, loss, and the mysticism of West Texas.”

Appearing:

Fri., 4/26, 10:30 p.m. | Four Quarter Bar ($5 tickets at the door)
Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | The Bookstore at Library Square

Classically trained and ready to bring her own distinct sound to the world, Montgomery released her first two EP’s (Cruel and Joy ) before debuting her first full-length, self-titled album. She traveled the U.S. and Europe on a tour for the album, sharing the stage with big-name artists such as Shovels and Rope, Hayes Carll, Chris Stapleton, and Sturgill Simpson. In 2016, Montgomery was named the Ameripolitan Outlaw Female of the Year and she premiered her critically acclaimed modern folk opera Billy Blythe (written about the childhood of Arkansas native Bill Clinton) by Opera Ithaca in New York.

Roman Muradov On Doing Nothing

Roman Muradov

Nonfiction / On Doing Nothing

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Roman Muradov is an award-winning author and illustrator living in San Francisco. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, the Paris Review, Vogue, and Lucky Peach, among others. His books include On Doing Nothing, Vanishing Act, (In A Sense) Lost & Found, Jacob Bladders and the State of the Art, and the End of A Fence, as well as the French collection Aujourd’hui Demain Hier. He has designed books for Penguin Random House, including the Penguin Classics Centennial Editions of James Joyce’s Dubliners and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He also has a couple of medals from the Society of Illustrators, and an imaginary dog named Barchibald.

Watch:

Skillshare interview Adobe Creative Cloud Live Illustration

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | Roberts Library, Room 124

About the book:

In an age of obsessive productivity and stress, On Doing Nothing is an illustrated ode to idleness inviting readers to explore the pleasures and possibilities of slowing down. Beloved author and illustrator Muradov weaves together the words and stories of artists, writers, philosophers, and eccentrics who have pursued inspiration by doing less. He reveals that doing nothing is both easily achievable and absolutely essential to leading an enjoyable and creative life. Cultivating idleness can be as simple as taking a long walk without a destination or embracing chance in the creative process. Peppered with playful illustrations, this handsome volume is a refreshing and thought-provoking read.

Chigozie Obioma An Orchestra of Minorities

Chigozie Obioma

Fiction / An Orchestra of Minorities

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Chigozie Obioma was born in Akure, Nigeria. His debut novel, The Fishermen, won the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Award for Fiction, the NAACP Image Awards for Debut Literary Work, and the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction (Los Angeles Times Book Prizes); and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize, among others. Obioma was named one of Foreign Policy‘s 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages and adapted for the stage. He is an assistant professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. His new book is An Orchestra of Minorities.

Watch:

Louisiana Channel interview reading from “The Fisherman”

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

This is a heart-breaking story about a Nigerian poultry farmer who sacrifices everything to win the woman he loves, by Man Booker Finalist and author of The Fishermen, Chigozie Obioma. Set on the outskirts of Umuahia, Nigeria and narrated by a chi, or guardian spirit, An Orchestra of Minorities tells the story of Chinonso, a young poultry farmer whose soul is ignited when he sees a woman attempting to jump from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his prized chickens into the water below to express the severity of such a fall. The woman, Ndali, is stopped her in her tracks.

Bonded by this night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. But Ndali is from a wealthy family and struggles to imagine a future near a chicken coop. When her family objects to the union because he is uneducated, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a college in Cyprus. But when he arrives he discovers there is no place at the school for him, and that he has been utterly duped by the young Nigerian who has made the arrangements. Penniless, homeless, and furious at a world which continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further away from his dream, from Ndali and the farm he called home.

Emily X. R. Pan The Astonishing Color of After

Emily X. R. Pan

Fiction / The Astonishing Color of After

Emily X. R. Pan currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, but was originally born in the Midwest to immigrant parents from Taiwan. She received her MFA in fiction from the NYU Creative Writing Program, where she was a Goldwater Fellow. She is the founding editor-in-chief of Bodega Magazine, and was an Artist-in-Residence at Djerassi. The Astonishing Color of After is her first novel.

Watch:

Tales of a Ravenous Reader interview

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | Level 4, Main Library

About the book:

An instant New York Times bestseller, this stunning, heartbreaking novel about grief, love, and family is perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng.

Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Alternating between reality and magic, past and present, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a luminous debut novel about finding oneself through family history, art, bravery, and love.

Mary Laura Philpott I Miss You When I Blink

Mary Laura Philpott

Memoir / I Miss You When I Blink

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Mary Laura Philpott is the author of the memoir-in-essays I Miss You When I Blink. Her writing has been featured in print or online by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, McSweeney’s, the Paris Review, and other publications. She’s the founding editor of Musing, the online publication of Parnassus Books, as well as an Emmy-winning cohost of the show A Word on Words on Nashville Public Television. She also wrote and illustrated the humor book Penguins with People Problems, a quirky look at the embarrassments of being human. Philpott lives in Nashville with her family.

Watch:

The 5 Second Book Challenge

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 11:30 a.m. | Roberts Library, Room 124

About the book:

Acclaimed essayist and bookseller Philpott presents a charmingly relatable and wise book about what happened after she checked off all the boxes on her successful life’s to-do list and realized she might need to reinvent the list—and herself…

In this memoir-in-essays full of spot-on observations about home, work, and creative life, Philpott takes on the conflicting pressures of modern adulthood with wit and heart. She offers up her own stories to show that identity crises don’t happen just once or only at midlife; reassures us that small, recurring personal re-inventions are both normal and necessary; and advises that if you’re going to faint, you should get low to the ground first. Most of all, Philpott shows that when you stop feeling satisfied with your life, you don’t have to burn it all down and set off on a transcontinental hike (unless you want to, of course). You can call upon your many selves to figure out who you are, who you’re not, and where you belong. Who among us isn’t trying to do that?

Ian S. Port The Birth of Loud

Ian S. Port

Nonfiction / The Birth of Loud

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Ian S. Port is an award-winning writer and music critic whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Village Voice, the Threepenny Review, and the Believer. He is also the former music editor of the San Francisco Weekly. A California native and lifelong guitar player, he now lives in New York with his wife, Lindsay. The Birth of Loud is his first book.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | UA Little Rock Downtown

About the book:

The Birth of Loud is a riveting saga in the history of rock ‘n’ roll: the decades-long rivalry between the two men who innovated the electric guitar’s amplified sound – Leo Fender and Les Paul – and their intense competition to convince rock stars like the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton to play the instruments they built.

In the years after World War II, music was evolving from big-band jazz into the primordial elements of rock ’n’ roll – and these louder styles demanded revolutionary instruments. When Fender’s tiny firm marketed the first solid-body electric guitar, the Esquire, musicians immediately saw its appeal. Not to be out-maneuvered, Gibson, the largest guitar manufacturer, raced to build a competitive product. The company designed an “axe” that would make Fender’s Esquire look cheap and convinced Paul – whose endorsement Fender had sought – to put his name on it. Thus, was born the guitar world’s most heated rivalry: Gibson versus Fender, Les versus Leo.

Nancy Pruitt Winston the Pony Goes to a Party

Nancy Pruitt

Fiction / Winston the Pony Goes to a Party

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Nancy Pruitt is a writer and photographer who lives on a very small farm in Arkansas. She enjoys being a wife, mom, and grandmother. Her first two children’s books are Winston the Pony Goes to a Party and Milly the Fill. Pruitt loves her barnyard full of critters who keep her laughing and learning about life. Their stories are the ones she loves to tell.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 10:00 a.m. | Children’s Library

About the book:

Winston is a little rescue pony who came to live with the Pruitts on a snowy January day. It did not take long for him to turn the farm upside down and find his way into the hearts of the family. His big personality and barnyard antics led to the first book, Winston the Pony Goes to a Party.

Ruben Quesada Revelations

Ruben Quesada

Poetry / Revelations

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Ruben Quesada, author of Revelations, also wrote Next Extinct Mammal and Exiled from the Throne of Night: Selected Translations of Luis Cernuda. He is currently editing of a volume of essays by contemporary Latinx poets on poetry, Latino Poetics. A gifted writer, editor, and translator with more than a decade of practical experience and training, Quesada serves on the faculty of Northwestern University, the School of the Art Institute, and Columbia College Chicago, where he teaches Latinx literatures, literary translation, editing, and poetry writing. Quesada is the founder of the Latinx Writers Caucus, which meets annually at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference and serves to connect and advocate Latinx and Latin American poets and writers from around the world.

Watch & Read:

reading “After Oprah” Wikipedia Poetry Foundation Academy of American Poets

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | The Bookstore at Library Square

About the book:

“In the resplendent Revelations, Ruben Quesada grants us a voice that feels both current and ancient. Continuous in its current of devotion, rich in its understanding of the ways we survive both beauty and difficulty, the soft-edged sharpness and sensuality of these poems feel seamlessly at home alongside several of Quesada’s elegant translations of the incomparable Luis Cernuda. ‘Already the jacarandas have started to push their tongues against the window,’ and we as readers are invited to inhabit that space between outside and in—where the best poetry conveys us.” (Khadijah Queen, author of I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On)

Luis Fernando Restrepo One Hundred Years of Solitude

Luis Fernando Restrepo

Criticism / One Hundred Years of Solitude

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Luis Fernando Restrepo is a professor of Spanish and the director of comparative literature and cultural studies at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. A specialist in colonial Latin America, literature and human rights, and Colombian literature, he has been a Fulbright Scholar and a visiting professor at the Universidad Javeriana, Universidad de Antioquia, Universidad Eafit, and Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Appearing:

Sun., 4/28, 1:00 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s book was chosen by the 2018 Festivalgoers as the 2019 Classic in Context. One of the twentieth century’s most beloved and acclaimed novels, One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the story of the rise and fall, birth and death of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the Buendia family. Inventive, amusing, magnetic, sad, and alive with unforgettable men and women – brimming with truth, compassion, and a lyrical magic that strikes the soul – this novel is a masterpiece in the art of fiction.

Joe David Rice Arkansas Backstories, Volume Two

Joe David Rice

Nonfiction / Arkansas Backstories, Volume Two

Joe David Rice was born in Paragould and reared in Jonesboro. At one time, he owned Arkansas’s second-longest cave and was a partner in a canoe-outfitting business on the Buffalo National River. He served as Arkansas’s tourism director for three decades, working under five governors.

Watch:

Clinton School of Public Service lecture

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | Roberts Library, Room 124

About the book:

Like its companion book, this second volume of Arkansas Backstories will amaze even the most serious students of the state with surprising insights. How many people know, for example, that the Nielsen rating system has a direct connection to the state, as does Tony Bennett’s signature song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”? Such tidbits are among the unexpected elements that make the Natural State so tantalizing. Written in an informal, conversational style and nicely illustrated, Arkansas Backstories, Volume Two, will be a wonderful addition to the libraries of Arkansans, expats, and anyone else interested in one of America’s most fascinating states.

Julie Rieger The Ghost Photographer

Julie Rieger

Memoir / The Ghost Photographer: A Hollywood Executive’s True Story of Discovering the Real World of Make-Believe

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Julie Rieger is the president, chief data strategist, and head of media at 20th Century Fox, responsible for marketing such notable films as Avatar, Deadpool, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Book Thief, and she is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. An Oklahoma native, she now resides in Los Angeles with her wife, dogs, and ever-expanding group of ghostly friends. Her inspirational memoir is The Ghost Photographer: A Hollywood Executive’s True Story of Discovering the Real World of Make-Believe.

Watch:

CBS News interview HER interview

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 10:00 a.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

As a senior executive at one of the world’s largest movie studios, Rieger spent her days marketing the imaginary stories of ghosts, faeries, superheroes, aliens, and more fantastical creatures. But after the devastating loss of her mother, the world of make-believe became reality when Rieger captured her first ghost in a photograph and blew open a door to the Other Side. The Ghost Photographer chronicles Rieger’s wild ride down the spiritual rabbit hole. After a series of unexpected, mind-blowing, and sometimes frightening encounters with the spirit realm, she was forced to face this strange awakening, flying in the face of scientific dogma and her own die-hard skepticism. Told with uncensored Southern wit and guidance, The Ghost Photographer recounts the story of a Hollywood film executive who journeys through the cosmic wilderness and, against all odds, discovers psychic superpowers that radically transform her life.

Randi M. Romo Othered

Randi M. Romo

Poetry / Othered

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Randi M. Romo has a voice that reaches into multiple segments of who we are as humans with an emphasis on queer. As a Mexican-American, Southerner (¿cómo se llama, y’all?), former farmworker, organizer/activist, queer, female, parent, grandparent, working class, elder, and survivor, she has walked among and between many communities. In this multiplicity of identities, she has had a unique catbird seat from which to observe. Although, more often than not, she has literally been in the midst of it all. Her work has been featured in several publications, including Sinister Wisdom, G.R.I.T.S. – Girls Raised in the South: An Anthology of Southern Queer Womyn’s Voices and Their Allies, and Common Lives, Lesbian Lives. Her short stories have been featured on the Tales From the South radio show and podcast. Her first book, the poetry collection Othered, has been named a top ten title for 2018 by the Over the Rainbow Booklist Committee of the American Library Association’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table.

Watch:

reading “Circus Act” TMI Project

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 1:00 p.m. | UA Little Rock Downtown

About the book:

“There is no better landing place for our grief, our love, and our hopes for a better tomorrow than poems. They vibrate with an urgency that defies the dead and enlivens the future. But Othered is more than a collection of poetry; it is proof positive that becoming one’s true self is still the most revolutionary act that any human being can undertake. Randi M. Romo shows us how it’s done—with courage, great care, and community.” (James LeCesne, Co-Founder of the Trevor Project)

Maurice Carlos Ruffin Photo credit: Clare Welsh We Cast a Shadow

Maurice Carlos Ruffin

Fiction / We Cast a Shadow

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Maurice Carlos Ruffin, author of We Cast a Shadow, is a recipient of an Iowa Review Award in fiction. His work has appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, AGNI, and The Kenyon Review. A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a graduate of the University of New Orleans Creative Writing Workshop and a member of the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance.

Watch:

New Orleans interview reading “The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You”

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

You can be beautiful, even more beautiful than before.” This is the seductive promise of Dr. Nzinga’s clinic, where anyone can get their lips thinned, their skin bleached, and their noses narrowed. A complete demelanization will liberate you from the confines of being born in a black body – if you can afford it. In this near-future Southern city plagued by fenced-in ghettos and police violence, more and more residents are turning to this experimental medical procedure. Like any father, our narrator just wants the best for his son, Nigel, a biracial boy whose black birthmark is getting bigger by the day. The darker Nigel becomes, the more frightened his father feels. But how far will he go to protect his son? And will he destroy his family in the process?

Vaughn Scribner Inn Civility: Urban Taverns and Early American Civil Society

Vaughn Scribner

Nonfiction / Inn Civility: Urban Taverns and Early American Civil Society

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Vaughn Scribner is an assistant professor of history at the University of Central Arkansas. His research investigates early American history in a global context, specifically striving to understand how early modern Britons sought to define (and redefine) their positions in the empire. In addition to his new book, Inn Civility: Urban Taverns and Early American Civil Society, other publications range from an investigation of how colonists used mineral springs to transform the natural environment to an analysis of how eighteenth-century Europeans’ investigations of merpeople reveal the science of wonder. He lives in Conway, Arkansas, with his wife, Kristen, and his 19-pound orange tabby cat, “D.”

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | Allsopp & Chapple

About the book:

Inn Civility: Urban Taverns and Early American Civil Society analyzes early Americans’ mercurial attempts at realizing a “civil society” through the lens of the urban tavern.

Charles J. Shields The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel

Charles J. Shields

Nonfiction / The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel

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Charles J. Shields, author of The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel, is also the author of Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, which was a New York Times bestseller, a Literary Guild Selection, and a Book-of-the-Month Club Alternate. His young adult biography of Harper Lee, I Am Scout, was chosen as an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, and a Junior Literary Guild Selection. Shields also published And So It Goes: Kurt Vonnegut, A Life, which was a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year.

Watch & Read:

C-SPAN “After Words” interview Wikipedia

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 10:00 a.m. | The Bookstore at Library Square

About the book:

When Stoner was published in 1965, the novel sold only a couple of thousand copies before disappearing with hardly a trace. Yet John Williams’s quietly powerful tale of a Midwestern college professor, William Stoner, whose life becomes a parable of solitude and anguish eventually found an admiring audience in America and especially in Europe. The New York Times called Stoner “a perfect novel,” and a host of writers and critics, including Colum McCann, Julian Barnes, Bret Easton Ellis, Ian McEwan, Emma Straub, Ruth Rendell, C. P. Snow, and Irving Howe, praised its artistry. The New Yorker deemed it “a masterly portrait of a truly virtuous and dedicated man.” The Man Who Wrote the Perfect Novel traces the life of Stoner’s author, John Williams. Acclaimed biographer Shields follows the whole arc of Williams’s life, which in many ways paralleled that of his titular character, from their shared working-class backgrounds to their undistinguished careers in the halls of academia. Shields vividly recounts Williams’s development as an author, whose other works include the novels Butcher’s Crossing and Augustus (for the latter, Williams shared the 1972 National Book Award). Shields also reveals the astonishing afterlife of Stoner, which garnered new fans with each American reissue, and then became a bestseller all over Europe after Dutch publisher Lebowski brought out a translation in 2013. Since then, Stoner has been published in twenty-one countries and has sold over a million copies.

Adam Smith Long Walk to Valhalla

Adam Smith

Graphic Novel / Long Walk to Valhalla

Adam Smith wrote Long Walk to Valhalla (nominated for Eisner and Harvey awards) for Archaia Comics. He also co-created and wrote LoveRunRiot for Stella Comics. He was featured in DC’s New Talent Showcase and has written various Labyrinth shorts. He is currently writing Beneath the Dark Crystal for the Jim Henson Company and Archaia Comics. He lives and works in Kansas City, Missouri.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

Mixing magical realism and family drama, Long Walk to Valhalla is a Southern fairy tale about what it means to come home.

Eurydice Stanley book cover

Eurydice Stanley

Illustrated Memoir / The Worst First Day: Bullied While Desegregating Central High

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Eurydice Stanley, co-author of The Worst First Day: Bullied While Desegregating Central High, is an author, international speaker, and 28-year U.S. Army veteran. The book she co-authored with Elizabeth Eckford won the 2018 Moonbeam Multicultural Non-Fiction Gold Children’s Book Award. She strives to produce writing that inspires, enlightens, and empowers. Stanley lives in Florida with her muses, children Grace and Christian.

Read:

Facebook: The Worst First Day kirkusreviews.com forewordreviews.com

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

The Worst First Day introduces the next generation to Elizabeth Eckford, the first member of the Little Rock Nine to face armed soldiers and incensed segregationists while attempting to desegregate Central High on Sept. 4, 1957. The multigenerational author team consisting of Eckford with co-authors Dr. Eurydice Stanley and Grace Stanley (and graphic artist Rachel Gibson) discusses compelling civil rights history against the backdrop of Eckford’s memories, providing applications to issues faced today. Eckford’s story promotes resilience, tenacity, and the importance of making one’s voice heard.

Grace Stanley book cover

Grace Stanley

Illustrated Memoir / The Worst First Day: Bullied While Desegregating Central High

Grace Stanley, a gifted high school sophomore and co-author of the book The Worst First Day: Bullied While Desegregating Central High, has received numerous awards for her writing and historical research, advancing for three years in a row to the state finals of National History Day. She enjoys reading, loves acting, and hopes to become a neonatologist.

Read:

worstfirstday.com

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

The Worst First Day introduces the next generation to Elizabeth Eckford, the first member of the Little Rock Nine to face armed soldiers and incensed segregationists while attempting to desegregate Central High on Sept. 4, 1957. The multigenerational author team consisting of Eckford with co-authors Dr. Eurydice Stanley and Grace Stanley (and graphic artist Rachel Gibson) discusses compelling civil rights history against the backdrop of Eckford’s memories, providing applications to issues faced today. Eckford’s story promotes resilience, tenacity, and the importance of making one’s voice heard.

Pitchaya Sudbanthad Photo credit: Suewon Lee Bangkok Wakes to Rain

Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Fiction / Bangkok Wakes to Rain

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Pitchaya Sudbanthad‘s debut novel is Bangkok Wakes to Rain. He has received fellowships in fiction writing from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony, and currently splits time between Bangkok and Brooklyn.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | Ron Robinson Theater

About the book:

Sudbanthad bends the rules of the traditional novel as he creates and continually re-shapes with daring imagination the story of one house – and the many characters who pass through it – in Thailand’s capital city. Bangkok Wakes to Rain is a boldly inventive first novel that masterfully blends history, fable, and the futuristic to bring into striking relief a place at once steeped in age-old customs and constantly on the front lines of political, environmental, and cultural change. The novel features brutal protests and mystical beings; catastrophic floods and soaring cityscapes; survival stories, family stories, and love stories. Sudbanthad effortlessly transports readers to the boisterous streets of nineteenth-century Siam to the political unrest of modern-day Bangkok and beyond, then back again.

Barkley Thompson In the Midst of the City: The Gospel and God's Politics

Barkley Thompson

Nonfiction / In the Midst of the City: The Gospel and God’s Politics

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Barkley Thompson serves as the dean of historic Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Houston. He has published essays in numerous magazines and is the author of two books, Elements of Grace and In the Midst of the City: The Gospel and God’s Politics. Thompson also preaches and teaches around the country and serves on interfaith panels with leaders from other religious traditions. He holds degrees from Hendrix College, the University of Chicago, and the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, on whose board of trustees he serves.

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 2:30 p.m. | St. Mark’s Episcopal Church

About the book:

Faith communities are often politically involved, but what shape should such involvement take? In the Midst of the City: The Gospel and God’s Politics argues that the Gospel is never partisan, and that Christian people must immerse themselves in the Gospel as a prelude to determining their social and political commitments.

Esme Weijun Wang The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays

Esmé Weijun Wang

Nonfiction / The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays

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Esmé Weijun Wang is the author of The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays and the novel The Border of Paradise. She received a 2018 Whiting Award, was named by Granta as one of the “Best of Young American Novelists,” and is the recipient of the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize. Born in the Midwest to Taiwanese parents, she lives in San Francisco.

Watch:

Granta Magazine interview

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | Darragh Center, Main Library

About the book:

In The Collected Schizophrenias, Wang details her journey toward a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder and provides insight into a condition long misunderstood. Exhaustively researched and deeply moving, The Collected Schizophrenias is an essay collection of undeniable power.

Erin Wood Women Make Arkansas: Conversations with 50 Creatives

Erin Wood

Nonfiction / Women Make Arkansas: Conversations with 50 Creatives

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Erin Wood is editor of Women Make Arkansas: Conversations with 50 Creatives and editor of and contributor to Scars: An Anthology. Her work has appeared in Catapult, The Rumpus, Ms. Magazine’s blog, Psychology Today, Entropy, The Woven Tale Press, and elsewhere, and has been a notable in The Best American Essays. She received the Miracle Monocle Editors’ Award for Emerging Writers. She owns and runs Et Alia Press in Little Rock.

Read:

woodwritingandediting.com

Appearing:

Sat., 4/27, 4:00 p.m. | Roberts Library, Room 124

About the book:

Meet fifty Arkansas women of diverse and dynamic pursuits who refuse to be bound by category, including the Arkansas Poet Laureate, a kombucha brewer, a fire performer, a film production designer, a hatter, a drag queen, an aspiring time traveler, the state’s first certified chocolatier, and a ceramicist who has made more than one hundred thousand blades of porcelain grass. Together, these women bravely reveal how they quiet the negative voices (whether from critics’ mouths or inside their own heads), channel their intuition, and work hard as hell to bear out their visions. As you consider your own expressive potential, let the failures, victories, and wisdom of these bold creatives open you to infinite possibilities and help you step into your own creative freedom.

Other Presenters and Participants

Levi Agee, Isaac Alexander, Arkansas Arts Center, Joshua Asante, Christine Bonsib, Dazz and Brie, DOT, Heifer Village Urban Farm, Tanesha Forrest, Stewart Fuell, Brian & Terri Kinder, Carmen Langston, Mario Monterosso, Mike Mueller, George Mumford, Mary Mumford, Craig O’Neill, Deborah Troillett, Gregory Wagnon

Maker’s Alley

Bangup Betty, Matthew Castellano of Gallery 360, Control, Crying Weasel Vintage, Dower (Jack Lloyd), Electric Ghost, Luna Tick Designs, MilkDadd, Sean Sapp, and more.