Download complete 2022 Festival Program or Schedule at a Glance below.

October 20, 10 - 11am, Thursday
Charly Palmer @ the Clinton Presidential Center

Charly Palmer

Charly Palmer @ the Clinton Presidential Center

Charly Palmer, The Legend of Gravity  (In-Person) The acclaimed author/illustrator will appear for a, in session open to the first 250 students to register.

REGISTER HERE

Sponsored in part by Clinton Presidential Center, Hearne Fine Art/Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing, Little Rock Central High School Tiger Foundation.

Clinton Presidential Center, 10-11am  

October 20, 12 - 1pm, Thursday
Oliver Jeffers: 15 Years of Picturing Books - Gallery Talk

Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers: 15 Years of Picturing Books - Gallery Talk

Watch this prerecorded video about the exhibition which opens on this day and runs through Dec. 29. The exhibition is part of the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature and was also featured at the Orlando Museum of Art.

Sponsored by John & Robyn Horn Foundation, the Windgate Foundation, The Rodger S. & Barbara Ann Kline Foundation. 

Noon-1pm, virtual

For information regarding free book giveaways in conjunction with the exhibition, please contact childrenscurbside@cals.org

October 21, 12 - 1pm, Friday
Chris Pavone

Chris Pavone

Chris Pavone

Tautly wound and expertly crafted, Two Nights in Lisbon is a riveting thriller about a woman under pressure, and how far she will go when everything is on the line. “I defy anyone to read the first twenty pages of this breakneck novel, then try to put it down for five minutes….This is smart suspense at its very best.”—bestselling author John Grisham.

Sponsored by WordsWorth Books.

Ron Robinson Theater, Noon to 1 p.m.

October 22, 10 - 11am, Saturday

Eli Cranor + Marcie Rendon

Don’t Know Tough is a novel about a high school football player with an explosively troubled home life, the idealistic coach who thinks he can save him, and the murder that threatens to tear their Arkansas town apart on the eve of the playoffs.

Set in 1970s Minnesota, Sinister Graves features the return of Cash Blackbear in a thrilling, poignant mystery. Nineteen-year-old Cash must uncover the truth about a woman’s body that floats into town in the spring floodwaters and the small, unmarked graves beside a pastor’s family plot in a church graveyard.

Eli Cranor sponsored in part by Boyette Strategic Advisors

Ron Robinson Theater, 10-11 a.m.

October 22, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Saturday

Kimberla Lawson Roby + Claudia Gray

Sister Friends Forever is an emotional novel that follows four lifelong friends—Serena (single), Michelle (engaged), Kenya (married), and Lynette (divorced)—as each faces a crisis in family, love, and forgiveness, finding that they need their friendship more than ever.

In The Murder of Mr. Wickham, a summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen’s Mr. Wickham meets a sudden and suspicious end. Nearly everyone at the party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery in this tantalizing fusion of Jane Austen and Agatha Christie.

Ron Robinson Theater, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

October 22, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Saturday

Mark Haber + Steve Yarbrough

In Saint Sebastian’s Abyss, former best friends who built their careers writing about a single work of art meet after a decades-long falling-out. One of them, called to the other’s deathbed for unknown reasons, spends his flight to Berlin reflecting on Dutch Renaissance painter Count Hugo Beckenbauer and his masterpiece, “Saint Sebastian’s Abyss,” the work that established both men as important art critics and also destroyed their relationship.

In Stay Gone Days, after a childhood in Mississippi marred by a horrific family scandal, teenage sisters Ella and Caroline Cole escape their hometown, losing all connection to each other. Despite the decades apart, each sister is never far from the other’s thoughts. Then, one day, Ella walks into a bookstore and sees a novel called Stay Gone Days. Will this novel, a heartbreaking tale of estranged sisters, help Ella and Caroline find each other and start down the hard road of reconciliation and forgiveness?

Main Library, Darragh Center, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

October 22, 12pm, Saturday
Charly Palmer @ Little Readers Rock

Charly Palmer

Charly Palmer @ Little Readers Rock

The award-winning author/illustrator who grew up playing streetball in Milwaukee makes a special visit.  He studied art and design at the American Academy of Art and the School of the Art Institute, both in Chicago.

Sponsored in part by Clinton Presidential Center, Hearne Fine Art/Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing, Little Rock Central High School Tiger Foundation. 

Theater, 12pm

October 22, 1 - 2pm, Saturday

Sean Thor Conroe + Zain Khalid

This audacious freewheeling debut novel Fuccboi follows our eponymous fuccboi, Sean, as he attempts to live meaningfully in a world that doesn’t seem to need him.

Brother Alive is an astonishing debut novel about family, sexuality, and capitalist systems of control, following three adopted brothers who live above a mosque in Staten Island with their imam father.

Sponsored by the Elizabeth Fletcher Dishongh Charitable Trust.

Ron Robinson Theater, 1-2 p.m.

October 22, 1 - 2pm, Saturday

Destiny Birdsong + Jewel Thomas

In the glittering triptych novel, Nobody’s Magic, Suzette, Maple, and Agnes, three Black women with albinism, call Shreveport, Louisiana, home. At the bustling crossroads of the American South and Southwest, these three women find themselves at a crossroads in their own lives. This novel is a searing meditation on grief, female strength, and self discovery set against a backdrop of complicated social and racial histories.

Abandoned in the Lions’ Den is a novel that journeys through the most influential events of the twentieth-century African American experience—the Great Migration, the Depression, World War II, and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. For the Davis family, living in the largely integrated community of Herminie, Pennsylvania, south of Pittsburgh, a strong religious faith is their defense against poverty, racism, and the changing morals of the developing century.

Main Library, Darragh Center, 1-2 p.m.

October 22, 2:30 - 3:30pm, Saturday

GennaRose Nethercott + Annie Hartnett

In Thistlefoot, the Yaga siblings have been estranged since childhood. But when they receive a mysterious inheritance from their twice-great-grandmother near Kyiv, the two reunite—only to discover that their bequest isn’t land or money, but something far stranger: a sentient house on chicken legs. In the tradition of modern fairytales comes a sweeping epic rich in Eastern European folklore and Jewish myth—a debut novel about the ancestral hauntings that stalk us, and the uncanny power of story.

In the darkly comic novel Unlikely Animals, Emma Starling returns to her small hometown in New Hampshire to care for her father, who is dying from a mysterious brain disease. Her dad has been hallucinating small animals, as well as having visions of the ghost of a long-dead naturalist, once known for letting wild animals live in his house. This ghost has been giving him some ideas on how to spend his final days.

Bonus: Panel will include a shadow puppet show.

Ron Robinson Theater, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

October 22, 2:30 - 3:30pm, Saturday

Lydia Conklin + Lee Mandelo

In the exuberant story collection Rainbow Rainbow, queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming characters seek love and connection in hilarious and heart-rending stories that reflect the complexity of our current moment. A nonbinary writer on the eve of top surgery enters into a risky affair during the height of COVID, a lesbian couple enlists a close friend as a sperm donor, and a lonely office worker struggling with their gender identity chaperones their nephew to a trans YouTube convention.

Summer Sons weaves codependent college boys, fast cars, dark inheritances, and academic intrigue together with equal parts spooky ghost story and exploration of grief and masculinity. Andrew loses his closest friend Eddie to an apparent suicide a handful of days before Andrew is due to join Eddie in Nashville at Vanderbilt; Andrew comes south to search for answers about what happened to him. Eddie has left him a house with a stranger for a roommate, a pack of unruly and dangerous new friends, and a nasty haunting—which leads Andrew to suspect there’s more to his death than everyone else believes.

Sponsored by KUAR FM 89.1.

Main Library, Darragh Center, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

October 22, 8pm - 9:15pm, Saturday
False Negative: An Evening with John Waters

John Waters

False Negative: An Evening with John Waters

SOLD OUT!



Waters's rapid-fire one-man “vaudeville” act is updated and expanded from the original film version that enjoyed critical success at the Edinburgh, Toronto, and Berlin Film Festivals. The live performance focuses on Waters’s early negative artistic influences, his fascination with true crime, exploitation films, fashion lunacy, the extremes of the art world, Catholicism, sexual deviancy, and his love of reading.

Following the show, Waters will sign copies of his new book, Liarmouth. Masks will be required that evening.

Waters is a writer, a film director, an actor, and a visual artist best known for his films, including HairsprayPink Flamingos, and Serial Mom. He is the author of the national bestsellers Role Models, Carsick, and Mr. Know-It-All. His spoken-word shows continue to be performed around the world.

Books are on sale now through the Festival’s partner WordsWorth Books, and will be available that night. Order the book at https://wordsworthbookstore.com

The Waters program is part of the Central Arkansas Library System’s Speakers Series honoring Fred K. Darragh, a longtime trustee of the Public Library with a deep “commitment to intellectual freedom and accessibility to books and information for all people, regardless of race, economic status, or age.”

Saturday, Oct. 22, Ron Robinson Theater, 8pm

October 22, 4 - 5pm, Saturday
Steve Petkoff

Steve Petkoff

Steve Petkoff

Holly Street depicts the stories of a young boy growing up in Helena, Arkansas, in the Delta during the 1940s and 1950s. The author grew up working on a bread truck and learned how to drive it by the age of eight while he was still taking full advantage of his youth. He was a witness to incest, drunks, and murder, and found Civil War relics in his yard, including a skeleton.

Sponsored in part by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Betty Rowland Wittenberg Foundation.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church (1000 N. Mississippi Street), 4-5 p.m.

October 23, 1 - 2pm, Sunday
Toya Wolfe

Toya Wolfe

Toya Wolfe

Last Summer on State Street pulls back the curtain on life inside the projects, portraying with absolute authenticity what it’s like to grow up in a world where gang violence, stray bullets, and predators are a part of one’s social fabric. Yet the story is filled with joy and buoyancy—a beautiful reminder of childhood innocence and the power of community and family. Profound, reverent, and uplifting, this novel explores racist institutions, redlining, and gentrification, showing the power of owning one’s past and the impact of those defining relationships that form the heartbeat of our lives.

Ron Robinson Theater, 1-2 p.m.

October 23, 2:30 - 3:30pm, Sunday
Bitty Martin

Bitty Martin

Bitty Martin

Snake Eyes: Murder in a Southern Town reveals the true story of frightening times when a girl’s 1966 suspicious death at Hot Springs’ Blacksnake Ranch triggered the owner to commit a murder. Hot Springs residents were terrified of the ranch owner, and soon scary stories of his murders and cover-ups began swirling around the Spa City—and they still are told today.

Ron Robinson Theater, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

October 23, 6:30 - 7:30pm, Sunday
Kim Wehle

Kim Wehle

Kim Wehle

Whether it be buying a house, negotiating a salary, or choosing the right health care, every major decision you make matters – so why not learn a methodical process to help you cut through the confusion and maximize the quality of your choice? In this session on How to Think Like a Lawyer & Why, participants will learn why the tenured law professor, book author, opinion journalist, lawyer, and former CBS News legal analyst’s method is so effective, filling law school classrooms with eager students year after year. CALS Executive Director Nate Coulter moderates.

This CALS Speaker Series program honors Rabbi Ira Sanders, a passionate advocate for social justice.

Ron Robinson Theater, 6:30 - 7:30pm

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October 24, 12 - 1pm, Monday
Anne Simon

Anne Simon

Anne Simon

The final book in The Tales of Marylene graphic novel trilogy (after The Song of Aglaia and Empress Cixtisis), Boris the Potato Child delivers a bitter critique of our consumerist impulses and abuses. Mixing literature and pop culture (such as mashing Simone de Beauvoir with the Beatles), Simon has created in Marylene a world as abundant in visual imagination as Oz or Narnia, but crafted with a Swiftian pen that’s mightier than any man’s sword.

Noon-1 p.m., virtual

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October 24, 4 - 5pm, Monday

Karen Eva Carr + Rachel Simon

Shifting Currents: A World History of Swimming is a deep dive into the history of aquatics that exposes centuries-old tensions of race, gender, and power at the root of many contemporary swimming controversies. Using archaeological, textual, and art-historical sources, it shows how the water attracted non-swimming northerners even as they perceived others’ swimming as uncanny, related to witchcraft and sin. This unresolved tension still sexualizes women’s swimming and marginalizes Black and Indigenous swimmers today.

An entertaining and comprehensive look at the America’s fastest growing sport, Pickleball for All is the ultimate primer for any level of player interested in the wacky history, unique rules, and exciting future of pickleball. From the history of the game to the basic rules (hint: you do not want to be caught in the “kitchen” during a volley), Simon offers a complete overview for casual and expert players alike. In addition, Simon weaves in inspiring stories from the world’s top players during their most exciting pickleball moments.

4-5 p.m., virtual

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October 24, 6:30 - 7:30pm, Monday

Omotara James + J. Estanislao Lopez

A profound and intersectional text, Song of My Softening is a queer, fat, love song of the interior. Poems study the ever-changing relationship with oneself, while also investigating the relationship that the world and nation has with Black queerness. This book is a window into what perseverance looks like, un-gilded, a mirror for anyone born into a culture outside of their identity, who has survived alienation, violation, depression, and systematized oppression.

We Borrowed Gentleness is a book of poems interrogating the power structures we inherit and the patriarchal violence that embeds itself in language and cultural memory. However, the book leaves open the question of whether man, men, a father and son, are redeemable. And yet there are poems that find, still, bits of joy and perhaps a shred of hope.

6:30-7:30 p.m., virtual

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October 24, 8 - 9pm, Monday

Xochitl Gonzalez + Stewart O'Nan

In Olga Dies Dreaming, a status-driven wedding planner grapples with her social ambitions, absent mother, and Puerto Rican roots―all in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Set against the backdrop of New York City in the months surrounding the most devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico’s history, this is a story that examines political corruption, familial strife, and the very notion of the American dream—all while asking what it really means to weather a storm.

Ocean State is a novel about a teenaged love triangle and a murder in a small town on the Rhode Island shore. Exploring the ecstasy and desperation of romantic love, it shows the lengths we’ll go to hold on to it.

8-9 p.m., virtual

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October 25, 12 - 1pm, Tuesday
Emma Kennedy

Emma Kennedy

Emma Kennedy

Letters from Brenda, a heartbreakingly funny look at the impact of discovering lost letters, is a celebration of correspondence.

Noon-1 p.m., virtual

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October 25, 4 - 5pm, Tuesday
Daniel Black

Daniel Black

Daniel Black

Don’t Cry For Me is the story of a dying Black man and his desperation to heal the breach between himself and his estranged gay son. Told in the epistolary form, this novel-in-letters explains to the son how and why the father treated him the way he did. The letters also express a heartfelt apology that the father hopes will heal the son’s wounded heart.

4-5 p.m., virtual

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October 25, 6:30 - 7:30pm, Tuesday
Sam Quinones

Sam Quinones

Sam Quinones

The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth chronicles how America’s opioid epidemic has evolved from opioids into illicit synthetic drugs. Sponsored by Arkansas Municipal League.

Ron Robinson Theater, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

October 26, 12 - 1pm, Wednesday
Robin Stevens

Robin Stevens

Robin Stevens

Murder Is Bad Manners the first in the Murder Most Unladylike series for readers ten and up, is the story of Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong, best friends who create a detective society—and then discover a murder at their school.

Noon-1 p.m., virtual

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October 26, 4 - 5pm, Wednesday

Zarqa Nawaz + Tomi Obaro

Jameela Green Ruins Everything, a hilarious dark comedy about the price of success and a biting look at what has gone wrong with American foreign policy in the Middle East, is the compulsively readable, yet unexpectedly touching, story of one woman’s search for meaning and connection.

Dele Weds Destiny is about the evolving friendship of three Nigerian women who meet in college who are reuniting for the first time in more than twenty years to celebrate a daughter’s wedding. In two timelines, the 1980s and the 2010s, the story explores fraught mother-daughter relationships, the loneliness of immigration, and the endurance of female friendship.

4-5 p.m., virtual

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October 26, 6:30 - 7:30pm, Wednesday
Shilpa Ravella

Shilpa Ravella

Shilpa Ravella

A Silent Fire: The Story of Inflammation, Diet, and Disease is a riveting investigation of inflammation and how we can prevent, treat, or even reverse it.

6:30-7:30 p.m., virtual

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October 26, 8 - 9pm, Wednesday
Jorge L. Contreras

Jorge L. Contreras

Jorge L. Contreras

In The Genome Defense: Inside the Epic Legal Battle to Determine Who Owns Your DNA, Contreras follows ACLU lawyers, along with a committed group of activists, scientists, and physicians, who took a one-in-a-million case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, showing how society is grappling with how to balance scientific discovery with corporate profits and the rights of all people.

8-9 p.m., virtual

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October 27, Thursday
Writers In The Schools (WITS) Initiative @ Central High

Brandy Colbert

Writers In The Schools (WITS) Initiative @ Central High

The Tulsa Race Massacre was one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in United States history. But how did it come to pass, and why are the events unknown to so many of us today? Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, ambitious and intimate in turn, explores the ways in which the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre is the story of America—and by showing us who we are, points to a way forward.

Sponsored by the John and Robyn Horn Foundation.

Central High School (school only)

October 27, Thursday
Writers In The Schools (WITS) Initiative @ Southwest High

Ayana Gray

Writers In The Schools (WITS) Initiative @ Southwest High

In Beasts of Ruin, the much anticipated follow-up to New York Times bestselling Beasts of Prey, Koffi’s powers grow stronger and Ekon’s secrets turn darker as they face the god of death. Koffi and Ekon—separated by both land and gods—risk everything to reunite. But the longer they’re apart, the more they will have to reckon with changing destinies and, maybe, changing hearts.

Southwest High School (school only)

October 27, 12 - 1pm, Thursday

Aamina Ahmad + Akil Kumarasamy

In The Return of Faraz Ali, a man is sent back to his birthplace—Lahore, Pakistan’s notorious red-light district—to hush up the murder of a girl, and finds himself in an unexpected reckoning with his past.

In Meet Us by the Roaring Sea, in the near future, a young woman finds her mother’s body starfished on the kitchen floor in Queens and sets out on a journey through language, archives, artificial intelligence, and TV for a way back into herself.

Noon-1 p.m., virtual

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October 27, 4 - 5pm, Thursday
Colin Edward Woodward

Colin Edward Woodward

Colin Edward Woodward

Country music star Johnny Cash left Arkansas in 1950, but he never really left Arkansas in his mind. Over the course of his life and career, he returned often to his home state to see family, hunt and fish, revisit familiar spots, and play memorable concerts. Country Boy: The Roots of Johnny Cash combines biography, social history, and music criticism in its examination of Cash’s days in his home state.

Sponsored by the Central Arkansas Library System Foundation

4-5 p.m., virtual

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October 27, 6:30 - 7:30pm, Thursday
Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett

The beloved New York Times bestselling author of Bel Canto, Commonwealth, The Dutch House and other books, reflects on home, family, friendships and writing in this deeply personal collection of essays. A literary alchemist, Patchett plumbs the depths of her experiences to create gold: engaging and moving pieces that are both self-portrait and landscape, each vibrant with emotion and rich in insight. Infused with the author’s grace, wit, and warmth, the essays in These Precious Days resonate deep in the soul, leaving an indelible mark—and demonstrate why Ann Patchett is one of the most celebrated writers of our time.

Sponsored by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.  

6:30 - 7:30pm, virtual

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October 27, 8 - 9pm, Thursday
Ty Seidule

Ty Seidule

Ty Seidule

In a forceful but humane narrative, Robert E. Lee and Me: A Southerner’s Reckoning with the Myth of the Lost Cause challenges the myths and lies of the Confederate legacy―and explores why some of this country’s oldest wounds have never healed.

Sponsored in part by CALS Adult Programming.

8-9 p.m., virtual

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October 28, 12 - 1pm, Friday
Aida Salazar

Aida Salazar

Aida Salazar

A Seed in the Sun is about a farm-working girl with big dreams. She meets activist Dolores Huerta and joins the 1965 protest for migrant workers’ rights in this tender-hearted middle-grade novel in verse, perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Pam Muñoz Ryan.

Noon-1 p.m., virtual

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October 28, 4 - 5pm, Friday
Maud Newton

Maud Newton

Maud Newton

Searching, moving, and inspiring, Ancestor Trouble is one writer’s attempt to use genealogy—a once niche hobby that has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry—to expose the secrets and contradictions of her own ancestors, and to argue for the transformational possibilities unlocked when we reckon with our ancestors.

Supported in part by Arkansas State Library.

4-5 p.m. virtual

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October 28, 6:30 - 7:30pm, Friday
Richard Gallagher

Richard Gallagher

Richard Gallagher

Demonic Foes: My Twenty-Five Years as a Psychiatrist Investigating Possessions, Diabolic Attacks, and the Paranormal provides astonishing examples of the most harrowing authentic possessions he has encountered over the years, while also explaining how to recognize false cases. He will also speak a bit about The Exorcist.

Ron Robinson Theater, 6:30 p.m., virtual, also shown on the Ron Robinson Theater screen

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A screening of The Exorcist will immediately follow.

October 29, 10 - 11am, Saturday
Megan Kate Nelson

Megan Kate Nelson

Megan Kate Nelson

Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America illuminates geologist-explorer Ferdinand Hayden’s survey of the Yellowstone basin as a national project meant to give Americans a sense of achievement and unity in the wake of a destructive civil war.

Sponsored in part by Residence Inn.

Ron Robinson Theater, 10-11 am

October 29, 10 - 11am, Saturday
Patrick Oliver

Patrick Oliver

Patrick Oliver

On My Own: Vision Board Guidebook for Young People guides young people through an interactive process that will assist them with goal setting associated with their personal aspirations.

Main Library, Darragh Center, 10-11 a.m.

October 29, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Saturday

Lan Samantha Chang + Oscar Hokeah

The Family Chao is a Dostoyevskian story of three brothers who must contend with their charismatic, domineering, and highly flawed father, and the legacy he leaves behind. Overlooked by the residents of Haven, Wisconsin, aside from their ability to concoct delicious Americanized Chinese dishes, the Chaos become embroiled in a restaurant succession drama that ultimately leads to the murder of the deeply troubled patriarch, Leo Chao, and the subsequent passing of the gentle, kind matriarch, Winnie, two deaths which draw the exacting gaze of the entire town.

In the debut novel Calling for a Blanket Dance, an exploration of the power of tribalism and its never-ending task to heal residuals of colonial violence, Ever Geimausaddle faces a series of opportunities to either heal generational trauma or intensify it. Through the call from matrilocal Kiowa, Cherokee, and Mexican familial voices, he must make choices to either strengthen his tribal communities or become a predator to his own people.

Sponsored in part by University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Ron Robinson Theater, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

October 29, 11:30am - 12:30pm, Saturday

Brooks Blevins + John A. Kirk

A History of the Ozarks, Vol. 3: The Ozarkers charts the development of a misunderstood and stereotyped people, from the emergence of the hillbilly image to the rise of Walmart and from the phenomenon of tourism in Branson to the demographic changes wrought by the arrival of tens of thousands of Hispanic and Asian poultry workers. Written for a general audience yet grounded in scholarly research, this is a rare academic book that entertains as it educates.

Winthrop Rockefeller: From New Yorker to Arkansawyer, 1912–1956 investigates why the scion of one of the most powerful families in American history left New York for an Arkansas mountaintop in the 1950s. Extensively researched and richly detailed, the book uses previously neglected archival evidence to fully unravel the mystery for the first time. In doing so, it casts a powerful new light on Rockefeller’s relationship with his adopted state, where his legacy continues to be felt more than half a century after his governorship.

Sponsored by Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

Main Library, Darragh Center, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

October 29, 1 - 2pm, Saturday
Khentrul Lodrö T’hayé

Khentrul Lodrö T'hayé

Khentrul Lodrö T’hayé

The Power of Mind: A Tibetan Monk’s Guide to Finding Freedom in Every Challenge is a modern guidebook based on ancient Buddhist techniques for transforming suffering into complete well-being that benefits us and the people around us.

Sponsored by the John David Coulter Memorial Fund.

Ron Robinson Theater, 1-2 p.m.

October 29, 1 - 2pm, Saturday

Kim Fu + Kevin Brockmeier

In the twelve unforgettable tales of Lesser Known Monsters of the 21st Century, the strange is made familiar and the familiar strange, such that a girl growing wings on her legs feels like an ordinary rite of passage, while a bug-infested house becomes an impossible, Kafkaesque nightmare. Each story builds a new world all its own: a group of children steals a haunted doll; a runaway bride encounters a sea monster; and a vendor sells toy boxes that seemingly control the passage of time.

In The Ghost Variations, the author of the acclaimed novel The Brief History of the Dead gives us one hundred funny, poignant, scary, and thought-provoking ghost stories that explore all aspects of the afterlife. These tales are by turns playful, chilling, and philosophical, paying homage to the genre while audaciously subverting expectations. The ghosts in these pages are certain to haunt you well after you’ve closed the book.

Main Library, Darragh Center, 1-2 p.m.

October 29, 1 - 2pm, Saturday

Vishwesh Bhatt + Lauren Thomas

One of the South’s best chefs invites you to grill, stew, and fry your own way to a more expansive and delicious dinner. In his long-anticipated cookbook, I Am from Here: Stories and Recipes from a Southern Chef, James Beard Award–winning chef Vishwesh Bhatt shares his worldly life story through 130 recipes that pay homage to traditional southern and Indian ingredients while exploring the unexpected delight of partnering the two. He makes an elegant, delicious case that a more expansive, inclusive South is a more delicious South—for everyone.

The Modern Hippie Table invites you to slow down and create a sanctuary at home, using food and conversation to bring people together, strengthen family bonds, and forge lifelong friendships. The more than seventy recipes are elevated, yet simplified, ensuring the host has plenty of time to enjoy the gathering, and there are menus to help plan any meal, big or small. Gorgeous, doable decorating ideas for the tabletop allow the host to set the scene quickly and economically to create an atmosphere of laidback elegance, encouraging everyone to use their inner Modern Hippie to find joy in the art of cooking and entertaining.

Sponsored by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Friends of Central Arkansas Library System

Roosevelt Thompson Library (38 Rahling Circle), 1-2 p.m.

October 29, 2:30 - 3:30pm, Saturday
Ronnie Williams

Ronnie Williams

Ronnie Williams

Markham Street: The Haunting Truth behind the Murder of My Brother, Marvin Leonard Williams is an exploration of systemic racism, police violence, and the facts of a brutal murder, as well as the story of one man’s enduring love for his lost brother and his devotion to his grieving parents.

Ron Robinson Theater, 2:30-3:30 p.m. 

October 29, 2:30 - 3:30pm, Saturday

James Gavin + Janis F. Kearney

George Michael: A Life is the most comprehensive and probing telling to date of the story of the Greek-British pop superstar whose worldwide hits—“Careless Whisper,” “Faith,” “Freedom ‘90,” “One More Time,” and others—established him as a hyper-macho sex god whose work was both pained and smolderingly erotic. Michael’s long-hidden homosexuality was a ticking time bomb, and as one of the industry’s most privileged yet tortured men began to self-destruct, the industry showed little sympathy.

Only on Sundays: Mahalia Jackson's Long Journey is a re-examination of Mahalia Jackson’s hard journey from living as the young Halie who loved to dance, sing, and play baseball to leaving New Orleans at age sixteen to become America’s Queen of Gospel, healing with her songs and her stories.

Sponsored by Rebsamen Fund.

Main Library, Darragh Center, 2:30-3:30 p.m.

This is a free event. Buy tickets for George Michael Reborn Tribute Concert below.

________________________

George Michael Reborn - Tribute Concert.
Saturday, Oct. 29, Ron Robinson Theater, 8pm
BUY TICKETS

October 29, 4 - 5pm, Saturday

Sean Fitzgibbon + Sofia Warren

Graphic nonfiction What Follows Is True: Crescent Hotel explores the Crescent Hotel’s strange two years as the Baker Hospital, one of the darkest and most controversial legends in the town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

With nuance, compassion, and humor, Radical: My Year with a Socialist Senator is a gripping and intimate graphic memoir of a millennial New Yorker cartoonist’s experience embedded with Julia Salazar and her freshman staff of community organizers battling entrenched power structures.

Sponsored by Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Main Library, Darragh Center, 4-5 p.m.

October 30, 2:30 - 3:30pm, Sunday

Geoff Dyer + Sarah Krasnostein

In the ingeniously structured meditation The Last Days of Roger Federer: And Other Endings, Geoff Dyer sets his own encounter with late middle age against the last days and last works of writers, painters, musicians, and sports stars who’ve mattered to him throughout his life. This study of the careers of athletes, writers, and artists coming to an end shows how we come to appreciate certain works of art more when set against a consciousness of the deepening twilight.

The Believer begins with a Mennonite choir performing on a subway platform, a fleeting moment of witness that sets the author on a fascinating journey to discover why people need to believe in absolute truths and what happens when their beliefs crash into her own. By turns devastating and uplifting, these interwoven profiles will leave you convinced that the most ordinary-seeming people are often the most remarkable and that deep and abiding commonalities can be found within the greatest differences.

Ron Robinson Theater, 2:30-3:30 p.m. 

October 30, 4pm, Sunday
Classic in Context: Discussion with John Hornor Jacobs

John Hornor Jacobs

Classic in Context: Discussion with John Hornor Jacobs

Chosen by Fest attendees this past year, Stephen King’s The Shining closes the 2022 Fest and gets you in the mood for Halloween. Horror writer John Hornor Jacobs—who has been a finalist for the Shirley Jackson Award, the World Fantasy Award, and the Bram Stoker Award—gives some interesting background on King’s popular book. Following that, watch Stanley Kubrick’s classic film adaptation. Make sure you vote for the 2023 Classic in Context.

Sponsored by Dr. Elizabeth Fletcher Dishongh Charitable Trust. 

Sunday, Oct. 30, Discussion with John Hornor Jacobs, Rob Robinson Theater, 4pm

Sunday, Oct. 30, The Shining screening, Ron Robinson Theater, 6:30pm

VOTE FOR 2023 CLASSIC IN CONTEXT SELECTION