Maryville Talks Books

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Maryville Talks Books

Buy the BookPresented by Maryville University and Left Bank Books


Maryville Talks Books features lectures by noted authors. Admission is free and open to the public unless otherwise indicated. Seating is first-come, first-served.

For more information, contact Chris Hollenbeck; 314.529.6854.

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Kwame AlexanderKwame Alexander

1 p.m., Sunday, April 24
Maryville University Auditorium

Presentation followed by book signing.

This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required.  

Kwame Alexander, poet, educator, and writer, has authored 21 books, including his novel, The Crossover, recipient of the 2015 Newbery Medal for the Most Distinguished Contribution to American Literature for Children.

Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/
can’t nobody cop you…

In Alexander’s latest novel, Booked, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as 12-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read. This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match.

Alexander’s other works include the award-winning children’s picture book, Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band, recently optioned as a children’s television show, and the Junior Library Selection, He Said She Said, a young adult novel. The founder of two organizations, Book-in-a-Day and LEAP for Ghana, he regularly travels the world as a literacy advocate and expert.

Curtis SittenfeldCurtis Sittenfeld

7 p.m., Monday, May 2
The Improv Shop
510 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63115

Presentation followed by book signing.

This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested.

The Washington Post calls Curtis Sittenfeld a “master storyteller.” In her latest book, Sittenfeld presents a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A bold literary experiment, Eligible is a brilliant, playful, and delicious saga for the twenty-first century.

Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible both honors and updates Austen’s beloved tale. Tackling gender, class, courtship, and family, Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.

Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of the novels PrepThe Man of My DreamsAmerican Wife, and Sisterland, which have been translated into 25 languages. Her nonfiction has been published widely, including in The New York TimesThe AtlanticTime, and Glamour, and broadcast on public radio’s This American Life. A native of Cincinnati, she currently lives with her family in St. Louis.

Nathaniel Philbrick
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution

Nat Philbrick credit Ellen Warner

7 p.m., Friday, June 3
Ethical Society of St. Louis
9001 Clayton Rd., St. Louis, MO 63117

Presentation followed by book signing; proof of purchase of Valiant Ambition from Left Bank Books will be required to enter the signing line at the event.

This event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested.

Philbrick is the New York Times bestselling author of Mayflower – finalist for both the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in History and the Los Angeles Times Book Awardand In The Heart of the Sea, a National Book Award winner for nonfiction and soon to be a major motion picture. His latest novel, Valiant Ambition, is an account of the middle years of the American Revolution and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold.

The focus of Valiant Ambition is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of George Washington and Benedict Arnold. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.


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Author Visits

* Videos of these authors can be seen in the Emmy-nominated and award-winning HEC-TV series, Maryville Talks Books: One on One.

Maryville Talks Books is also available on iTunes.


Robert Reich * 10.7.15
Geraldine Brooks 10.29.15
Sam Weller * 11.10.15


Judy Blume * 6.19.15
Erik Larson * 4.9.15
Blaine Harden * 3.31.15
George Hodgman 3.16.15
Julian E. Zelizer * 2.24.15
Andy Cohen * 11.25.14
Patricia Cornwell * 11.15.14
Reza Aslan * 9.18.14
Piper Kerman * 9.10.14


Mark Epstein, MD * 8.4.14
Jean Kwok * 6.27.14
Garrison Keillor 6.15.14
Daniel James Brown * 5.28.14
Austin Kleon * 4.24.14
Ishmael Beah 3.6.14
Dave Barry * 3.18.14
Lacks Family (The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Rebecca Skloot) 11.23.13
Ann Patchett 11.14.13
Jared Diamond * 11.12.13
Sue Grafton * 9.18.13


Khaled Hosseini * 5.30.13
Michael Pollan * 5.9.13
Elizabeth Strout * 4.12.13
Daniel H. Pink * 3.6.13
Lisa Gardner * 2.10.13
David Von Drehle * 1.18.13
Jon Meacham * 12.5.12
Mark Bowden * 11.12.12
Chitra Divakaruni * 11.1.12
William H. Chafe 10.17.12
Eric Greitens * 10.16.12
Bill Donius * 9.12.12
Buzz Bissinger * 6.11.12
Douglas Brinkley 6.4.12


Frank Deford * 5.30.12
Senator Bill Bradley * 5.11.12
Vanessa Williams and Helen Williams 5.10.12
Alexander McCall Smith * 4.16.12
Lisa See * 3.12.12
Luis Urrea
* 1.17.12
Howard Markel * 11.18.11
Charlene Bry 10.18.11
Stacy Schiff * 9.16.11
Daniel H. Wilson * 6.13.11


Justin Cronin * 5.31.11
Sister Madonna Buder, ’52 * 5.26.11
Helen Simonson * 4.14.11
Wes Moore * 2.17.11
Michele Norris 11.17.10
Ron Chernow 10.28.10
Steven Johnson 10.15.10
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri 6.14.10


Anna Quindlen 5.6.10
Daniel Pink * 1.21.10
John Grogan 10.22.09
Ken Robinson 1.15.09