Oates, Gessen among authors in Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures series

April 12, 2018 GMT

The lineup for the 2018-19 Ten Evenings series, presented by Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures, features 10 writers, eight of whom are women. According to executive director Stephanie Flom, there was no concentrated effort to feature a predominately female lineup. But she did want to mirror the current zeitgeist.

“I believe the authors on the 2018-19 roster and their books are a reflection of our times and the issues before us,” Flom says. “It’s a pivotal moment in publishing — we’re seeing an array of important voices who represent the broader world we live in, including more books by women, by international and immigrant authors, by racially diverse authors, and by younger authors. The season mirrors this.”

Joyce Carol Oates, who is releasing a new novel, “Hazards of Time Travel,” in November, will open the season on Sept. 24. Other notable speakers include Dave Eggers, who last appeared in Pittsburgh in 2007, and Tayari Jones, whose critically acclaimed novel “An American Marriage” is an Oprah Winfrey Book Club 2.0 selection.

The complete lineup:

Sept. 24: Joyce Carol Oates

Oct. 8: Luis Alberto Urrea, author of the just released novel “The House of Broken Angels,” and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for “The Devil’s Highway,” his 2004 account of three men crossing the U.S.-Mexican border.

Oct. 22: Katherine Boo, author of “Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity,” winner of a National Book Award for Non-fiction.

Nov. 5: Masha Gessen, staff writer for the New Yorker and a fierce critic of Vladmir Putin. Gessen’s “The Future is History: How Totalitarianism Reclamied Russian,” won a National Book Award for Nonfiction in 2017.

Nov. 19: Before the success of “An American Marriage,” Tayari Jones was the recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and a NEA Fellowship.

Dec. 10: Dave Eggers will appear with Mokhtar Alkhanshali, the subject of his new book “The Monk of Mokah.” Alkhanshali, the founder of Port of Mokah coffee, escaped from his native Yemen during a conflict after a trip to engage Yemeni coffee growers.

Jan. 14, 2019: Jill Lepore, a historian whose books include “The Secret History of Wonder Woman” and “The Story of America: Essays on Origin.”

Feb. 18: Born in Boston as the daughter of Iranian father and Croatian mother, Ottessa Moshfegh has been heralded as important new voice in literature for her novel, “Eileen,” a literary thriller that was shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.

March 11: Valeria Luiselli has worked as a librettist for the New York City Ballet and teaches creative writing at Hofstra University. Her most recent novel is “The Story of My Teeth” is about an auctioneer who claims the teeth he sells belonged to famous figures including Plato and Virginia Woolf.

April 1: “Pachinko,” Min Jin Lee’s latest novel, was one of the best reviewed books of 2017, a generational saga about Korean immigrants, exiled from their home, trying to survive in 20th century Japan.

The Ten Evening Series is presented with support from the Drue Heinz Trust and in association with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. All programs are at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.

Subscription renewals are available May 1, new subscriptions on June 1, and single tickets go on sale July 5. Ticket $15 to $35; student tickets are available for $10 with student identification.

Details: 412-622-8866, pittsburghlectures.org

Rege Behe is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.