• Alexander McCall Smith in conversation with Joshilyn Jackson

    November 18, 2021 - 2:00pm

    Virtual - Zoom

    Prairie Lights is excited to host Alexander McCall Smith in conversation with Joshilyn Jackson  to celebrate the release of Smith's new book The Joy and Light Bus Company. The event is in partnership with Book Passage and The King's English Bookshop.

    The event will take place on Zoom webinar, November 18th at 12pmPT/ 2pm CST.

    Tickets include a hardcover copy of The Joy and Light Bus Company. You can receive your copy either in-store at Prairie Lights or by Media Mail Shipping after the event.

    Get your ticket here

    Kirkus Review says of The Joy and Light Bus Company, “Comfort-food reading, and never more welcome.”

    Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels and of a number of other series and stand-alone books. His works have been translated into more than forty languages and have been best sellers throughout the world. He lives in Scotland.

    New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of ten books, including Mother May IThe Almost Sisters, and Never Have I Ever. Her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages, and Jackson is also an award-winning audiobook narrator. She writes page-turners that revolve around women’s issues and faith and justice issues. Jackson lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her family. To learn more, visit

  • Ed Wasserman in conversation with Len Green

    November 17, 2021 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Ed Wasserman to celebrate the publication of his book As If By Design: How Creative Behaviors Really Evolve. He will be joined in conversation with Len Green.

    To join this virtual event, register here.

    Henry L. Roediger III, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Washington University in St. Louis, USA says of As If By Design, “What a remarkable book! The essential argument that principles of behavior underlie many creative innovations is well argued, with twenty-five case studies. Mental constructs, such as ‘genius,’ are not needed and only get in the way of understanding creativity.”

    Edward A. Wasserman is Professor of Psychology at the University of Iowa, USA, and has held visiting appointments in England, Russia, Japan, and France. He has published widely and received several prestigious awards in the areas of learning, memory, and cognition in people and animals.

    Len Green is a Professor of Psychological & Brain Sciences, and of Economics, at Washington University in St. Louis. 

  • Amor Towles in conversation with Erik Larson

    November 11, 2021 - 7:00pm

    Virtual Zoom

    Prairie Lights is excited to host Amor Towles in conversation with Erik Larsen to celebrate the release of Towles' new book The Lincoln Highway. The event is in partnership with Viking, Literati, The King's English Bookshop, and Tattered Cover.

    The event will take place on Zoom webinar, November 11th at 7pm CST.

    Tickets include a tip-in, signed hardcover copy of The Lincoln Highway. You can receive your copy either in-store at Prairie Lights or by Media Mail Shipping after the event.

    Get your ticket here

    Kirkus Review says of The Lincoln Highway, “Towles’ third novel is even more entertaining than his much-acclaimed A Gentleman in Moscow . . . A remarkable blend of sweetness and doom, [The Lincoln Highway] is packed with revelations about the American myth, the art of storytelling, and the unrelenting pull of history. An exhilarating ride through Americana.”

    AMOR TOWLES is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Rules of Civility and A Gentleman in Moscow. The two novels have collectively sold more than four million copies and have been translated into more than thirty languages. Towles lives in Manhattan with his wife and two children.

    ERIK LARSON is the author of six New York Times bestsellers, including Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, which hit no. 1 on the Times list soon after launch, and his newest book, The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz.

  • SJ Sindu in conversation with Tanaïs

    November 10, 2021 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with SJ Sindu to celebrate the release of her new book Blue-Skinned GodsShe will be joined in conversation by Tanaïs.

    To join this virtual event, register here. 

    Roxanne Gay says of the book, “SJ Sindu has written another brilliant novel in Blue-Skinned Gods. This time, she tells the story of a boy with blue skin who is trying to be the god everyone tells him he is . . . Here is a novel about the bonds between brothers, a deceptive tyrant and son, a mother who doesn’t know how to save herself or her child, a boy and how he yearns for his young loves, and so much more. The richness of this story will take hold of you and never let go.”

    SJ Sindu  is the author of the novel  Marriage of a Thousand Lies , which won the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, and was an ALA Stonewall Honor Book; as well as the hybrid fiction and nonfiction chapbook  I Once Met You But You Were Dead . She holds an MA in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Florida State University. Sindu teaches at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

    Tanaïs is the author of the forthcoming IN SENSORIUM: NOTES FOR MY PEOPLE  (HARPER COLLINS 2022), and the novel BRIGHT LINES, a finalist for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, Edmund White Debut Fiction Award and Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize. They are the founder of TANAÏS, a fragrance, beauty and design studio in New York City.

  • The Writer's Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five

    November 9, 2021 - 6:00pm

    Virtual Zoom

    Join the Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library on Tuesday, November 9th at 6pm Central Time/ 7pm Eastern Time) for a talk about the legendary Kurt Vonnegut, as author Tom Roston presents his new book, The Writer's Crusade: Kurt Vonnegut and the Many Lives of Slaughterhouse-Five.

    Roston will discuss The Writer's Crusade, and the role of trauma in war writing, with Iraq war veteran and novelist Matt Gallagher and author, and Vietnam war veteran and bestselling author Karl Marlantes.

    You can get tickets for this virtual event here. 

    Tom Roston has worked as a journalist with The Nation and Vanity Fair, and was a senior editor at Premiere for more than a decade. His work has appeared in the New York TimesNew York magazine, LitHub, and more. He is the author of two previous books, I Lost It at the Video Store: A Filmmaker's Oral History of a Vanished Era and The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World. He lives in Brooklyn.

    Matt Gallagher is an Iraq war veteran and author of the novels Empire City, and Youngblood, as well as Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War. He holds an MFA in fiction from Columbia and has written for The New York TimesThe AtlanticEsquire, and The Paris Review. For many years, he taught NYU's Words After War writing workshop. He lives with his wife and son in Brooklyn. 

    Karl Marlantes graduated from Yale University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, before serving as a Marine in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Navy Cross, the Bronze Star, two Navy Commendation Medals for valor, two Purple Hearts, and ten air medals. He is the bestselling author of Matterhorn and What It Is Like to Go to War. He lives in rural Washington.

  • Pamela Paul in conversation with Ann Patchett

    November 3, 2021 - 6:00pm

    Parnassus Books Facebook Page

    Prairie Lights, in partnership with Parnassus Books, is excited to welcome Pamela Paul to celebrate her new book, 100 Things We've Lost to the Internet, in conversation with Ann Patchett.

    This is a virtual event which will take place on the Parnassus Books Facebook page Wednesday, November 3rd at 6:00pm CT.

    In one hundred glimpses of that pre-Internet world, Pamela Paul, editor of The New York Times Book Review, presents a captivating record, enlivened with illustrations, of the world before cyberspace—from voicemails to blind dates to punctuation to civility. There are the small losses: postcards, the blessings of an adolescence largely spared of documentation, the Rolodex, and the genuine surprises at high school reunions. But there are larger repercussions, too: weaker memories, the inability to entertain oneself, and the utter demolition of privacy.

    100 Things We’ve Lost to the Internet is at once an evocative swan song for a disappearing era and, perhaps, a guide to reclaiming just a little bit more of the world IRL.

    Pamela Paul is the editor of The New York Times Book Review and oversees book coverage at the Times, where she hosts the weekly Book Review podcast. Her previous books include My Life with Bob; How to Raise a Reader; By the Book; Parenting, Inc.; Pornified; The Starter Marriage and the Future of Matrimony; and Rectangle Time, a book for children. Prior to joining The New York Times, she was a contributor to Time and The Economist, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Vogue

    Ann Patchett is the author of eight novels, The Patron Saint of LiarsTaftThe Magician's AssistantBel CantoRunState of Wonder, Commonwealth, and The Dutch House. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer, Lucy Grealy, What now? an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College, and, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays.

  • Amy Butcher in conversation with Melissa Febos

    November 2, 2021 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a reading from Amy Butcher in conversation with Melissa Febos to celebrate the releases of her book Mothertrucker

    To join this virtual event, register here.

    Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild says of the book "Amy Butcher’s Mothertrucker is both an intimate portrait of an unforgettable woman and a powerful exploration of how the author finds her way to a more courageous life. There’s truth and beauty on every page of this gorgeous and gripping book.

    Amy Butcher is an award-winning essayist and author of the 2015 memoir Visiting Hours (Blue Rider Press / Penguin Random House, 2015) and additional work that has appeared in the New York Times, Granta, Harper’s, The Iowa Review, Lit Hub, Guernica, Brevity, and others. MOTHERTRUCKER is in development to be a major motion picture by Makeready Films, directed by the Primetime Emmy-winning creator of “Transparent” and “I Love Dick,” Joey Soloway, and starring Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Julianne Moore. Excerpts from MOTHERTRUCKER earned a 2020 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council, and Amy’s additional work has benefited from awards and grants from the Vermont Studio Center, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Stanley Awards for International Research, and the Olive B. O’Connor Fellowship in Creative Writing from Colgate University. She earned her MFA from the University of Iowa and presently serves as the director of creative writing and an associate professor of English at Ohio Wesleyan University. Amy teaches annually at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival and the Sitka Fine Arts Camp in Sitka, Alaska, and she lives in Ohio with her three rescue dogs, beautiful beasts.

    Melissa Febos is the author of the memoir Whip Smart and two essay collections: Abandon Me and Girlhood. The inaugural winner of the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary and the recipient of fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Bread Loaf, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The BAU Institute, Vermont Studio Center, The Barbara Deming Foundation, and others; her essays have appeared in The Paris Review, The Believer, McSweeney's Quarterly, Granta, Sewanee Review, Tin House, The Sun, and The New York Times. She is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.

  • Jessie Daniels in conversation with Lyz Lenz

    October 28, 2021 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for a reading and conversation with Jessie Daniels to celebrate the release of her book Nice White Ladies: The Truth about White Supremacy, Our Role in It, and How We Can Dismantle It. She will be joined in conversation by Lyz Lenz. 

    To join this virtual event, register here.

    Kirkus Reviews calls the book, "An immensely readable examination of White women’s prominent role in the endurance of systematic racism... the author uses a wide array of examples of “nice white ladies” both on the right and the left… [she] also discusses the tragic suicide of her mother, who, despite relative privilege, was “taught to be nice above all else”—like many White women. Daniels, who has clearly done the work of examining herself first, concludes by offering constructive ways White women can undo the damage of their privileged status.” 

    Jessie Daniels is the author of White Lies and a Faculty Affiliate at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet, a research associate at the Oxford Internet Institute, and Professor at Hunter College and The Graduate Center, CUNY, in Sociology, Critical Social Psychology, and Africana Studies. Jessie is an internationally recognized expert on Internet manifestations of racism and her writing on race has appeared in the New York Times, NPR, Forbes, and Newsweek. She lives in New York City.

    Lyz Lenz has published work in the Huffington Post, The Washington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book God Land was published in 2019, through Indiana University Press. Her second book Belabored, was published in 2020 by Bold Type Books. Lyz’s essay “All the Angry Women” was also included in the anthology Not that Bad, edited by Roxane Gay.  Her third book, This American Ex Wife, will be published by Crown. Lyz received her MFA in creative writing from Lesley University. She lives in Iowa with her two kids and two dogs and one cat.  She writes a regular newsletter, Men Yell At Me, where she explores the intersection of politics and our bodies in red state America.

  • Vanessa Jimenez Gabb and Dot Devota

    October 27, 2021 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Please join us for readings from Vanessa Jimenez Gabb and Dot Devota to celebrate the release of their books Basic Needs and  PMS: A Journal in Verse

    To join this virtual event, register here.

    Daniel Borzutzky calls Basic Needs, "Powerful, elegant, lush, disorienting, philosophical, honest and cutting, full of life, clarity, energy, vulnerability and beauty. These are some of the terms that come to mind when I think of Vanessa Jimenez Gabb's vibrant new book. Here is a poetics of labor, history, brokenness, money, solidarity, ecology. Here is a book that thinks and loves deeply in order to survive the infinite collapse of the system."

    Vi Khi Nao says of PMS: A Journal in Verse, "Intimately peregrine and psychologically perennial, Dot Devota dotted our gaze with the broad brushstroke of her eloquent, casual cogitation. Her bold—brightly captivating poetry is an act of oppression against insomnia, suicide, abuser, victim blaming, writing, murder, rape, Alice Notley. Here her casual acute language finds the foreign country in the familiar. Each of her fluid, caged ache is a shard that impales the unveiled anguish of her very public contemplation, which is made private through the convex mirror of her interrogated resistance. PMS: A Journal in Verse is a cat—always so ready to defenestrate itself out of limousine of convulsion—only to tenderly tiptoe its paws back into the languishing intellectual rickshaw of her compassion. It is a superoriginal collection, born to deny inequity of its aggressive beauty."

    Vanessa Jimenez Gabb is the author of BASIC NEEDS (Rescue Press, 2021) and IMAGES FOR RADICAL POLITICS (Rescue Press, 2016). Of Columbian and Belizean descent, she is from and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

    Dot Devota  wrote  And The Girls Worried Terribly  (Noemi Press, 2013),  The Eternal Wall  (Book*hug, 2013), and  The Division of Labor  (Rescue Press, 2015). She often  writes about pre-sickness, sensations in the phenomenon of "falling ill," and post-viral, chronic and mysterious illness in individual, societal, and environmental body-scapes. Her  Wall Poems   are large-scale calligraphic installations/interventions that have exhibited nationally at museums in galleries.

  • Stephen Deusner in conversation with Annie Zaleski

    October 26, 2021 - 7:00pm

    Prairie Lights Virtual - Zoom

    Join us for a reading and conversation with author Stephen Deusner to celebrate the release of his book Where the Devil Don't Stay: Traveling the South with the Drive-By TruckersHe will be joined in conversation by music critic Annie Zaleski. 

    To join this virtual event, register here.

    Bob Mehr, author of the New York Times bestseller Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, says of the book, "The rare writer who understands the totality of the Southern experience, Stephen Deusner has created a masterwork. Exploring the forces that have shaped the music of the Drive-By Truckers, this book stands as a definitive band biography and insightful regional history, as well as an exploration and deconstruction of our most powerful American myths. ”

    Stephen Deusner is a freelance music journalist whose work appears in Pitchfork, Uncut, Stereogum, No Depression, and the Bluegrass Situation, among other publications. He has contributed longform liner notes to recent reissues by Pylon and the Glands.

    Annie Zaleski is an award-winning writer with profiles, interviews, and criticism in a variety of publications. Bylines include Rolling Stone, NPR Music, The Guardian, Salon, Time, Billboard, The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Los Angeles Times, Stereogum, Cleveland Plain Dealer, and Las Vegas Weekly. She also contributed liner notes to the 2016 reissue of R.E.M.’s Out of Time and Game Theory’s 2020 collection Across The Barrier Of Sound: PostScript. She released a 33 1/3 book on Duran Duran's Rio in May 2021 and is currently at work on Why the B-52s Matter for University of Texas Press.