Maryville Talks Books brings acclaimed authors to St. Louis


ST. LOUIS – Maryville University’s signature author series, Maryville Talks Books, has a strong lineup this fall, featuring timely works about the killing of Osama bin Laden, the relationship between the Clintons and how it has influenced their lives in politics, and new insights into Thomas Jefferson and how he wielded power.

The campus community as a whole will spend time with Chitra Divakaruni’s novel, One Amazing Thing. In conjunction with Maryville Talks Books, the campus-wide Maryville Reads program encourages faculty, students and staff to read and discuss this work, looking more deeply at how understanding cultural differences between people also reveals the connections that unite.

Maryville Talks Books also features authors with ties to the region beginning with business leader William A. Donius speaking about his book, Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius, and St. Louis native Mark Bowden and St. Louis resident Eric Greitens providing insight on the U.S. military.

Admission to most of the on-campus events is free and open to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. The authors give a lecture, engage in a question-and-answer session and sign books, available for purchase courtesy of Left Bank Books at the events. The appearance by William H. Chafe is at the Schlafly Branch Library in the Central West End.  Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham about Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power is a ticketed event at Maryville, with details included below. Maryville Talks Books is co-sponsored by Maryville University, HEC-TV, St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 KWMU and Left Bank Books.

Here is a complete schedule:

Maryville Talks Books
Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012
William A. Donius – Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius
Maryville University Buder Family Student Commons, 7 p.m.

William Donius’ Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius demonstrates an approach for tapping into the right brain, the place where intuition and creativity exist. Thought Revolution involves a person asking questions and writing the response using first their dominant and then their non-dominant hand. Donius offers examples of many people who have gained valuable insights using these methods, as they move away from their usual way of thinking to unlock a more creative approach. Donius’ Thought Revolution reached No. 4 earlier this year on the New York Times Best Sellers List for Hardcover Advice and How-To Books. Before focusing on his writing and numerous community involvements, Donius worked for 30 years in the corporate world, including 20 years at St. Louis-based Pulaski Bank. He led Pulaski through an initial public offering in 1998 and worked for an additional 12 years as Chairman and CEO. More information:


Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012
Eric Greitens – The Warrior’s Heart
Maryville University Auditorium, 7 p.m.

St. Louisan Eric Greitens is a Navy SEAL, Rhodes Scholar and the CEO of The Mission Continues, an organization that encourages veterans to serve and lead in communities around the nation.
As a humanitarian, he helped aid workers heal orphaned children in Rwanda and lived in camps alongside Bosnian refugees. As a warrior, he excelled at the hardest military training in the world and teamed up with fellow SEALs to hunt al-Qaida terrorists in Iraq. In The Warrior’s Heart, Greitens brings his adventures to life for teens, sharing stories of friendship, struggle and hard-earned wisdom. His exciting journey takes readers across the world from his boyhood home in Missouri, to a factory in China, to the refugee camps in Rwanda, to the battlefield in Iraq. Through his service, he shows how we can all make a difference. More information:

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012
William H. Chafe – Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal
Schlafly Branch Library, 225 North Euclid in the Central West End, 7 p.m.

William H. Chafe brings the themes of his scholarship together in this book about the Clintons’ “co-presidency,” focusing on the Clintons as two people committed to race and gender equality. He argues that from the beginning, the personal chemistry between the Clintons definitively shaped their political careers.
Often tempestuous, their relationship has had as many lows as it did highs, but the trajectory of the Clintons’ political lives can only be understood through the prism of their personal relationship. Full of insights about health care and welfare reform, Bill and Hillary: The Politics of the Personal gives texture and depth to the Clintons’ lives, including the extent to which the Monica Lewinsky scandal allowed Hillary Clinton to become a politician in her own right and return to the consensus reformer she had been in college and law school.

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012
Chitra Divakaruni – One Amazing Thing
Maryville University Auditorium, 7 p.m.

In One Amazing Thing, an earthquake rips through an unnamed American city, trapping nine characters together in a consulate’s visa office. When the psychological and emotional stress seems nearly too much for them to bear, a young graduate student suggests they each tell a personal tale, “one amazing thing” from their lives, which they have never told anyone before. Chitra Divakaruni is the author of such finely wrought, best-selling novels as Sister of My Heart, The Palace of Illusions, and The Mistress of Spices. One Amazing Thing is a passionate look at survival – and about the reasons to survive. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz says, “Divakaruni is a brilliant storyteller; she illuminates the world with her artistry and shakes the reader with her love.”

Maryville has also selected One Amazing Thing for Maryville Reads, a program providing students, faculty and staff with a common book selection that community members read and discuss. More information:

Monday, Nov. 12, 2012
Mark Bowden – The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden
Maryville University Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Mark Bowden, the author of Black Hawk Down, has written The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden. Bowden’s narrative details the rapid evolution of war-fighting methods over the last decade, as American special forces and intelligence adapted to fight non-state enemies like Al-Qaida, and how they came together in May 2011 to kill the world’s most notorious terrorist.

Bowden, a St. Louis native, is highly acclaimed for his long-form narrative work, including reporting on U.S. special operations forces. A previous book, Black Hawk Down, detailed the actions of elite soldiers and their losses during a military raid in Somalia.

Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012
Jon Meacham – Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Maryville University Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of bestsellers American Lion and Franklin and Winston, provides an intimate portrait of Thomas Jefferson in this stunning biography, providing new insight into this American leader. Writer Walter Isaacson calls Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power, “a true triumph.” He says the book is “a fascinating look at how Jefferson wielded his driving desire for power and control.”

Tickets for the Meacham event available at