From the Director

April 7, 2014

Subscribe Now to Reserve Your Seat
for the 2014/15 Literary Evenings

Special Book Club Group Promotion With
Jodi Picoult’s New Book, Leaving Time

adairphotoOn behalf of the staff and board of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, I’m delighted to announce the 2014/15 season of Literary Evenings, Monday Night Lecture Series featuring these distinguished writers:

15 Brochure Cover
• James McBride, The Good Lord Bird, September 22, 2014
• Simon Winchester, The Men Who United The States, October 6, 2014
• Jodi Picoult, Leaving Time, October 20, 2014
• Elizabeth Gilbert, The Signature of All Things, November 3, 2014
• Andrew Roberts, Napoleon, November 17, 2014
• Richard Ford, Let Me Be Frank With You, December 8, 2014
• Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped, February 9, 2015
• Sheri Fink, Five Days At Memorial, March 2, 2015
• Dennis Lehane, World Gone By: A Novel, March 23, 2015
• Alexandra Fuller, New Memoir, untitled, April 13, 2015

For more information on each of these upcoming Literary Evenings, Continue reading

‘The Bend of the World’ tells a Pittsburgh coming-of-age story with humor and poignancy

Excerpt from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s review


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If 30 is the new 18, then The Bend of the World is a coming-of-age novel — that is, if young people these days ever grow up in Pittsburgh, especially with all the barista jobs available.Bend of the World

The young hero is Sewickley-born Peter Morrison, who turns 30 in the several months that it takes for him to realize “that without knowing what it was that I wanted, I wanted something worlds away from what I had.”

His journey to tentative adulthood, with the help of large doses of drugs, booze, run-ins with unhappy or dangerous people and flying saucers over Mount Washington, is the heart of novelist Jacob Bacharach’s disarming, intelligent and seriously funny debut.

…Read more on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s website

Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Names Stephanie Flom as New Executive Director

QuoteBlock200To Follow Executive Director
Jayne Adair, Retiring May 30, 2014

February 21, 2014, Pittsburgh, PA. – Stephanie Flom has been named the next executive director of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, Alice Mitinger, president of the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures board, announced today.   Flom will join the organization on May 19, 2014.

Stephanie Flom Photo“Stephanie has a wealth of experience in management, marketing, development and programming – all qualities that are absolutely essential in the role of leading Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, one of the country’s most notable literary arts organizations,” Mitinger said, adding “We are looking forward to working with Stephanie to further our mission of elevating the civic discourse by connecting world-class authors with our community.”

Since 2005, Flom has served as Executive Director of the Cooper-Siegel Community Library where she led its effort to raise $6 million to build a beautiful, state-of-the-art library in Fox Chapel, as well as to establish a branch library on Main Street in Sharpsburg.  Concurrently, she has served as the executive director of the Boyd Community Center in O’Hara Township.  Under her leadership, the Center … Continue reading

George Saunders: Dual Award Winner

We’re so glad to have had George Saunders as part of the Literary Evenings back in December, and we honored to hear that it was “the most memorable event he’s done in a while.”

We can now congratulate him for winning both the Folio Prize & the Story Prize only a week apart! From the Los Angeles Times article:

George Saunders‘ short story collection “Tenth of December” was named the winner of the first-ever Folio Prize in London on Monday. The prize is worth more than $65,000.

Lavinia Greenlaw, chairwoman of the judges, said: “George Saunders’ stories are both artful and profound. Darkly playful, they take us to the edge of some of the most difficult questions of our time and force us to consider what lies behind and beyond them. His subject is the human self under ordinary and extraordinary pressure. His worlds are heightened versions of our own, full of inexorable confrontations from which we are not easily released. Unflinching, delightful, adventurous, compassionate, he is a true original whose work is absolutely of the moment. We have no doubt that these stories will prove only more essential in years to come.”

The Folio Prize was founded to … Continue reading

Colum McCann: “And in telling stories we step into someone else’s shoes.”

From the One Book, One Community website, a note from author Colum McCann:

What an honour it is to be chosen as the Pittsburgh One Book, One Community book. I am deeply grateful and enthralled by the idea that a book can be shared in such a way. It’s as if we get a chance to sit by a giant fireside, together, gathered around, sharing a story that brings us elsewhere.

This is not a new notion of course – in my home country of Ireland we used to have the ancient tradition of the travelling “seanchai” who would gather whole communities together, sit by the fire and tell stories, sometimes for days on end. The tradition has been lost, but the instinct is always there.

Colum McCann - Photo by Brendan Bourke

Colum McCann – Photo by Brendan Bourke

This is the thing about stories: we are bound together not only by their present form, but their past too.

And in telling stories we step into someone else’s shoes.

One of the reasons we watch movies, or navigate the web, or thumb magazines, is the charm of being able to imagine ourselves … Continue reading

Press Release: 2014 One Book, One Community

From ACLA’s One Book, One Community webpage

Pittsburgh, PA (February 25, 2014) – The Allegheny County Library Association (ACLA) is excited to announce its 2014 One Book, One Community selection – TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann. Through the compelling personal stories of historical figures that share a common search for freedom, identity and peace, TransAtlantic explores the ties that bind McCann’s homeland, Ireland, with the United States. It is a novel that blurs the boundaries of the real and the imagined, the past and the present, and illustrates how our vast global community “grows somehow smaller and more wondrous with each passing year.”

This year’s One Book, One Community program launches on March 10th with two author events. Colum McCann will kick off the day with a live streamed discussion with students at Woodland Hills High School; community members can also tune in at local area libraries. Later that evening McCann will appear in a special Literary Evening hosted in partnership with Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures.

One Book, One Community will extend through the fall, with many opportunities to connect withTransAtlantic and its themes. Book club discussions will be held at libraries throughout Allegheny County, including a special discussion with Bound Together Book Club, a collaborative program between the Carnegie … Continue reading