“The mission of Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures is to connect celebrated authors with the community, elevate civic discourse, and inspire creativity and a passion for the literary arts. Our commitment to knowledge, learning, integrity, and artistic excellence guides and informs our work. We endeavor to inspire members of diverse communities by providing opportunities to experience authors who speak on issues that reflect our values such as justice, compassion, civic responsibility, acceptance, courage, and equity.”The Cape Vincent Arts Council and the Cape Vincent Community Library are collaborating to sponsor the Pittsburg Arts & Lectures Series. Join us September through May for “Ten Evenings,” a virtual series of “celebrated authors generously sharing their research and creative process in conversational lectures.” Recorded lectures will be screened free to the public at the Cape Vincent Library, with dates and times as follows.
Tues., September 19, 2023 2pm-4 pm · Encore Sat., September 23 1pm-3 pm at Cape Vincent Community Library · 157 N Real Street, Cape Vincent NY
Zadie Smith – “The Fraud”
Seven years since the publication of her last novel, Swing Time, award-winning writer of White Teeth and On Beauty makes her Ten Evenings debut with The Fraud.
Based on historical events, The Fraud is a dazzling novel about truth and fiction, Jamaica and Britain, fraudulence and authenticity, and the mystery of “other people.” Set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England, The Fraud explores issues of justice, slavery, abolitionism, and class, and highlights the disparities of who deserves to tell their story—and who deserves to be believed.
Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and Swing Time; as well as a novella, The Embassy of Cambodia; three collections of essays, Changing My Mind, Feel Free, and Intimations; a collection of short stories, Grand Union; and the play, The Wife of Willesden, adapted from Chaucer. She is the winner of the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, the Orange Prize for Fiction, and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism, among others.
Tues., October 3, 2023 2pm-4pm · Encore Sat., October 7 1pm-3pm at Cape Vincent Community Library · 157 N Real Street, Cape Vincent NY
Matthew Desmond – “Poverty, by America”
Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted, sociologist Matthew Desmond, urges his readers to move away from thinking about poverty as systemic, and instead recognize personal agency and individual privileges that perpetuate this abysmal cycle, in Poverty, by America.
This landmark book draws on history, research, and original reporting to show how affluent Americans knowingly and unknowingly keep poor people poor. Elegantly written and fiercely argued, this compassionate book gives us new ways of thinking about a morally urgent problem. It also helps us imagine solutions. Desmond builds a startlingly original and ambitious case for ending poverty. He calls on us all to become poverty abolitionists, engaged in a politics of collective belonging to usher in a new age of shared prosperity and, at last, true freedom.
Matthew Desmond is the Maurice P. During Professor of Sociology at Princeton University. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, he joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. He is the author of four books, including Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016), which won the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, and Carnegie Medal, and PEN / John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction.
Tues., October 24, 2023 2pm-4pm · Encore Sat., October 28 from 1-3 pm at Cape Vincent Community Library · 157 N Real Street, Cape Vincent NY
Mary Beard – “Emperor of Rome”
In Emperor of Rome, celebrated classicist Mary Beard does not ask her reader to follow and retain the careers of each individual emperor; she seeks to explore broader questions such as what it meant to be a Roman emperor and whether we could ever truly understand what it felt like to rule the expansive territory and interact with subjects who led very different kinds of lives.
In her newest book, Mary Beard shines her spotlight on the emperors who ruled the Roman empire, from Julius Caesar to Alexander Severus. She tracks down the emperor at home, at the races, on his travels, even on his way to heaven. She introduces his wives and lovers, rivals and slaves, court jesters and soldiers―and the ordinary people who pressed begging letters into his hands. Emperor of Rome goes directly to the heart of Roman fantasies about what it was to be Roman, offering an account of Roman history as it has never been presented before.
Mary Beard is a distinguished scholar of ancient Rome who shares her knowledge broadly on the BBC and in the classroom. She is the author of the best-selling The Fires of Vesuvius and the National Book Critics Circle Award–nominated Confronting the Classicsand SPQR. A regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, Beard has an uncanny ability to make classical studies, ancient Roman history, and ancient Roman life highly intriguing and relevant for current times.
Tues., November 14, 2023 2pm-4pm · Encore Sat., November 18 1pm-3pm at Cape Vincent Community Library · 157 N Real Street, Cape Vincent NY
Abraham Verghese – “The Covenant of Water”
New York Times bestselling author of Cutting for Stone and distinguished medical doctor Abraham Verghese returns to Pittsburgh with his highly anticipated second novel, The Covenant of Water.
Spanning the years 1900 to 1977, The Covenant of Water of follows three generations of a family that suffers a peculiar affliction: in every generation, at least one person dies by drowning—and in Kerala on the South Indian Coast, water is everywhere. A shimmering evocation of a bygone India and of the passage of time itself, The Covenant of Water is a hymn to progress in medicine and to human understanding, and a humbling testament to the difficulties undergone by past generations for the sake of those alive today. It is one of the most masterful literary novels published in recent years.
Abraham Verghese, MD, MACP, is Professor and Linda R. Meier and Joan F. Lane Provostial Professor, and Vice Chair for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at the School of Medicine at Stanford University. He is also a best-selling author and a physician with a reputation for his focus on healing in an era where technology often overwhelms the human side of medicine. His first book, My Own Country, about AIDS in rural Tennessee, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Cutting for Stone, his first novel, has sold over 1.5 million copies in the United States alone and remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years. He received the Heinz Award in 2014 and was awarded the National Humanities Medal, presented by President Barack Obama, in 2015.
Tues., December 12, 2023 2pm-4pm · Encore Sat., December 16 1pm-3pm at Cape Vincent Community Library · 157 N Real Street, Cape Vincent NY
Rebecca Makkai – “I Have Some Questions for You”
The author of four novels, including the National Book Award finalist The Great Believers, Rebecca Makkai delivers a mystery that links questions of selfhood and memory to the #MeToo movement.
In I Have Some Questions for You, Makkai has crafted her most irresistible novel yet: a stirring investigation into collective memory and a deeply felt examination of one woman’s reckoning with her past, with a transﬁxing mystery at its heart. Timely, hypnotic, and populated with a cast of unforgettable characters, I Have Some Questions for You is a compulsive page-turner and a literary triumph.
Rebecca Makkai is the author of the novels The Great Believers, The Hundred-Year House, and The Borrower, and the story collection Music for Wartime. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, The Great Believers received an American Library Association Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, among other honors, and was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2018 by The New York Times.
Tues., February 13, 2024 2pm-4pm · Encore Sat., February 17 1pm-3pm at Cape Vincent Community Library · 157 N Real Street, Cape Vincent NY
Jennifer Egan – “The Candy House”
Jennifer Egan revisits several characters from her 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning, genre bending novel A Visit from the Goon Squad. Longlisted for the 2023 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, The Candy House was included in the New York Times Top Ten Books of 2022, as well as Publisher’s Weekly Top Ten Works of Fiction published in 2022.
In the world of Egan’s spectacular imagination, there are “counters” who track and exploit desires and there are “eluders,” those who understand the price of taking a bite of the Candy House. Egan introduces these characters in an astonishing array of narrative styles—from omniscient to first person plural to a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter, and a chapter of tweets. Intellectually dazzling, The Candy House is also a moving testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for connection, family, privacy, and love.
Jennifer Egan is the author of six previous books of fiction: Manhattan Beach, winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction; A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Keep; the story collection Emerald City; Look at Me, a National Book Award Finalist; and The Invisible Circus. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, McSweeney’s, and The New York Times Magazine.
Tues., March 26, 2024 2pm-4pm · Encore Sat., March 30 1pm-3pm at Cape Vincent Community Library · 157 N Real Street, Cape Vincent NY
Tracy Kidder – “Rough Sleepers”
Pulitzer Prize winner Tracy Kidder spent five years following Dr. Jim O’Connell and his colleagues at the Boston Health Care for the Homeless for his latest book, Rough Sleepers.
The powerful story of an inspiring doctor who made a difference, by helping to create a program to care for Boston’s homeless community. Kidder explores how a small but dedicated group of people have changed countless lives by facing one of American society’s difficult problems, instead of looking away.
Tracy Kidder is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and many other literary prizes. His books include The Soul of a New Machine, House, Among Schoolchildren, Old Friends, Home Town, Mountains Beyond Mountains, My Detachment, Strength in What Remains, and (with Richard Todd) Good Prose. He is a graduate of Harvard University and studied at the University of Iowa.
Dr. Jim O’Connell serves as the President of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His work is the subject of Tracy Kidder’s Rough Sleepers. Dr. O’Connell received his medical degree from Harvard University in 1982 and completed residency in Internal Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Tues., April 9, 2024 2pm-4pm · Encore Sat., April 13 1pm-3pm at Cape Vincent Community Library · 157 N Real Street, Cape Vincent NY
Hernan Diaz – “Trust”
An unparalleled novel about money, power, intimacy, and perception. At once an immersive story and a brilliant literary puzzle, Trust engages the reader in a quest for the truth while confronting the deceptions that often live at the heart of personal relationships, the reality-warping force of capital, and the ease with which power can manipulate facts.
In a 2017 interview with Joel Pinckney for The Paris Review, Diaz remarks, “To me, one of the most fascinating formal problems in literature is point of view, because taken to its ultimate limit, I think it’s also an ethical problem, since it’s related to power….how much about your characters do you know? How far into situations or people can you see? Is it right, just to solve a narrative problem or achieve an effect, to break the laws you had set for yourself?” His Pulitzer-winning Trust is comprised of four distinct sections with four points of view – playing with the trust between reader and narrator.
Hernan Diaz is the author of two novels that have been translated into more than twenty languages. His first novel, In the Distance, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Trust was named a New York Times Top Ten Books Of 2022; Washington Post Top Ten Books Of 2022; Barack Obama’s Favorite Books Of 2022; longlisted For The 2022 Booker Prize; and winner of the 2022 Kirkus Prize.
Tues., April 30 2024 2pm-4pm · Encore Sat., May 4 1pm-3pm at Cape Vincent Community Library · 157 N Real Street, Cape Vincent NY
Ed Young – “An Immense World”
As humans, we experience the world around us from our own fixed perspectives. Have you ever considered what a human looks like to an elephant? Or how the world around you might sound if you were a bird?
The earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every kind of animal, including humans, is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of our immense world. Funny, rigorous, and suffused with the joy of discovery, An Immense World takes us on what Marcel Proust called “the only true voyage . . . not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes.
”Ed Yong is a Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer on the staff of The Atlantic, where he also won the George Polk Award for science reporting, among other honors. His first book, I Contain Multitudes, was a New York Times bestseller and won numerous awards. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Wired, The New York Times, Scientific American, and more.
Tues., May 14, 2024 2pm-4pm · Encore Sat., May 18 1pm-3pm at Cape Vincent Community Library · 157 N Real Street, Cape Vincent NY
Jesmyn Ward – “Let Us Descend”
Winner of two National Book Awards for Fiction, Jesmyn Ward’s latest novel Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching.
Let Us Descend is a reimagining of American slavery, as beautifully rendered as it is heart-wrenching. Searching, harrowing, and replete with transcendent love, the novel is a journey from the rice fields of the Carolinas to the slave markets of New Orleans and into the fearsome heart of a Louisiana sugar plantation. This miracle of a novel inscribes Black American grief and joy into the very land—the rich but unforgiving forests, swamps, and rivers of the American South.
Jesmyn Ward is the historic winner—first woman and first Black American—of two National Book Awards for Fiction for Sing, Unburied, Sing (2017) and Salvage the Bones(2011). She is also the author of Where the Line Bleeds and Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the Chicago TribuneHeartland Prize and the Media for a Just Society Award.