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Common Reading with Emily St. John Mandel

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

SMU Common Reading Public Lecture

Presenting Emily St. John Mandel, Author of Station Eleven

Time: 6 p.m.
Location: McFarlin Auditorium, SMU Campus

About the book: After a virulent flu sweeps the world and civilization collapses, a troupe of musicians and Shakespearean actors moves from camp to village in North America giving performances. The rise of a dangerous prophet, a rare graphic novel, and a carefully curated Museum of Civilization are only a few of the rich elements woven through this deeply inventive and mesmerizing novel that raises questions of what humanity longs for when nearly all seems lost.

One snowy night, a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor's early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as The Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the cross-hairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Sometimes terrifying, sometimes tender, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

About the author: Emily St. John Mandel was born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. She studied contemporary dance at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre and lived briefly in Montreal before relocating to New York. She is the author of four novels, most recently Station Eleven, which was a finalist for a National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the Arthur C. Clarke Award. A previous novel, The Singer's Gun, was the 2014 winner of the Prix Mystere de la Critique in France. Her short fiction and essays have been anthologized in numerous collections, including Best American Mystery Stories 2013. She is a staff writer for The Millions. She lives in New York City with her husband.

More about the author and book.

This event is co-sponsored by Friends of the SMU Libraries.

Read more about the SMU Common Reading program.

Homecoming Parade

Saturday, September 26

SMU Homecoming Parade

Time: 3 p.m.
Location: View parade route

Look for the Central University Libraries / Friends of the Libraries Homecoming Float!

More information about SMU Homecoming weekend

Wednesday, October 7

Go Set a Watchman

Time: 5:30 p.m. &emdash reception; 6 p.m. &emdash lecture
Location: Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom

Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero, a renowned To Kill a Mockingbird scholar, will host a discussion about author Harper Lee's controversial Go Set a Watchman.

Lady Bird Johnson Book Cover

Monday, October 19

Betty Caroli presents Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of the Marriage that Made a President

6 p.m. Author's Reception. Cost, $30 (includes signed book). RSVP Required
          Cash or check accepted at the door. Signed book included.
7 p.m. FREE Lecture and book signing. No RSVP required.

Location: Highland Park United Methodist Church, Wesley Hall (3300 Mockingbird Lane)

About the book: A fresh look at Lady Bird Johnson that upends her image as a plain Jane who was married for her money and mistreated by Lyndon. This Lady Bird worked quietly behind the scenes through every campaign, every illness, and a trying presidency as a key strategist, fundraiser, barnstormer, peacemaker, and indispensable therapist. Lady Bird grew up the daughter of a domineering father and a cultured but fragile mother. When a tall, pushy Texan named Lyndon showed up in her life, she knew what she wanted: to leave the rural Texas of her childhood and experience the world.  This highly gifted politician would take her away, and she would save him from his weaknesses.

Books will be available for purchase at this event.


This program is part of the Authors LIVE! series co-sponsored by Friends of the SMU Libraries, Highland Park United Methodist Church and the Friends of the Highland Park Library.

Sinatra: The Chairman

Thursday, October 29

James Kaplan presents Sinatra: The Chairman

6 p.m. Author's Reception. Cost, $30 (includes signed book). RSVP Required
          Cash or check accepted at the door. Signed book included.
7 p.m. FREE Lecture and book signing. No RSVP required.

Location: Highland Park United Methodist Church, Wesley Hall (3300 Mockingbird Lane)

About the book: Just in time for the centennial of his birth comes the definitive biography of the mature Frank Sinatra, beginning with his 1954 Oscar. Singer, actor, mogul, lover, and associate of the powerful and infamous, Kaplan goes behind the legend to give us the man himself in all his complexity. Frank's life post-Oscar was incredibly dense: in between recording albums and singles, he often shot four or five movies a year; did TV show and nightclub appearances; started his own label, Reprise; and juggled his considerable commercial ventures (movie production, the restaurant business, even prizefighter management) alongside his famous and sometimes notorious social activities and commitments. You won’t want to miss this one!

Books will be available for purchase at this event.


This program is part of the Authors LIVE! series co-sponsored by Friends of the SMU Libraries, Highland Park United Methodist Church and the Friends of the Highland Park Library.

Saturday, October 31

Family Weekend

Time: TBD (depending on game start time)
Location: Tent on the Boulevard

Co-sponsored by Friends of the SMU Libraries and Central University Libraries. Stop by our tent for complimentary snacks and beverages and a photo with Peruna!

Saint Mazie Book Cover

Monday, November 2

Jami Attenberg presents Saint Mazie

11 – 11:30 a.m. Author's Reception. Cost, $30 (includes signed book and lunch). RSVP required.
11:30 a.m. Complimentary light buffet. RSVP required.
12 p.m. FREE Lecture and book signing. RSVP not required.

LOCATION AND PARKING:
Hughes-Trigg Student Center (3140 Dyer Street, SMU Campus)
Parking is available for this event on Bishop Blvd.
Please park on the left side of the street. View parking map.

RSVP required for paid reception and complimentary lunch.
RSVP deadline: Friday, October 30.
If you wish to attend the lecture only, seating will begin at 11:55 am.

Books will be available for purchase at this event.

About the book: Meet Mazie Phillips: big-hearted and bawdy, she's the truth-telling proprietress of The Venice, the famed New York City movie theater. It's the Jazz Age, with romance and booze aplenty--even when Prohibition kicks in--and Mazie never turns down a night on the town. But her high spirits mask a childhood rooted in poverty, and her diary, always close at hand, holds her dearest secrets.

When the Great Depression hits, Mazie's life is on the brink of transformation. Addicts and bums roam the Bowery; homelessness is rampant. If Mazie won't help them, then who? When she opens the doors of The Venice to those in need, this ticket taking, fun-time girl becomes the beating heart of the Lower East Side, and in defining one neighborhood helps define the city.

Then, more than ninety years after Mazie began her diary, it's discovered by a documentarian in search of a good story. Who was Mazie Phillips, really? A chorus of voices from the past and present fill in some of the mysterious blanks of her adventurous life.

Inspired by the life of a woman who was profiled in Joseph Mitchell's classic Up in the Old Hotel, SAINT MAZIE is infused with Jami Attenberg's signature wit, bravery, and heart. Mazie's rise to "sainthood"--and her irrepressible spirit--is unforgettable.

More about the author and book.
Holiday Luncheon

Tuesday, December 1

Annual Holiday Luncheon

Speaker: To be announced

11:30 a.m. Royal Oaks Country Club (7915 Greenville Ave)
Topic: To be announced

Laura Wilson: That Day

Wednesday, December 2

Laura Wilson presents That Day: Pictures in the American West

Time: 5:30 reception followed by 6 pm lecture and book signing. View registration information.
Location: McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall, 3225 University (SMU Campus)

View campus maps and parking information.

About the book: That Day: Pictures in the American West is an arresting series of visual narratives about the late-twentieth- and early-twenty-first-century West, capturing the region’s sharp incongruities, conditions that make the region fascinating but also deeply confounding. Read more.

Books will be available for purchase at this event.


This program is co-sponsored by the Friends of the SMU Libraries and the Clements Center for Southwest Studies.