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The First-ever Biography of Fred Rogers

City of Asylum (2018)

The Good Neighbor:
The Life and Work of Fred Rogers

Sunday, January 27th
6:00 pm

The Good Neighbor — the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers and a New York Times best-seller — tells the story of Pittsburgh’s champion of compassion, equality, and kindness who became an utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories and archival documents, President & CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation Maxwell King traces Rogers’ personal, professional and artistic life through decades of work.

The Good Neighbor Cover

“The inimitable Mister Rogers becomes somehow even more enchanting. In addition to elegantly narrating the facts of Rogers’ life… King’s book brims with anecdotes of intimate exchanges that highlight Rogers’ kindness and grace.” — Booklist

King examines Rogers’ surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes, written in collaboration with experts on childhood development. An engaging story, rich in detail, The Good Neighbor is the definitive portrait of a beloved figure, cherished by multiple generations.

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Tree of Life Memorial Reading @ City Books

Tree of Life Memorial

Please join City Books on Saturday, November 10th from 7:00-9:00 pm as we honor the victims and families of the anti-Semitic attack Tree of Life with a memorial reading to benefit HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) and JFCS Pittsburgh. Suggested donation is $5.

We expect an overflow audience on Saturday, so we ask for cooperation and consideration as we manage the crowd.

Scheduled Readers

Jennifer Bannan
Tuhin Das
Barbara Edelman
Michelle Gil-Montero
Kevin Haworth
Tereneh Idia
Joy Katz
Marc Nieson
Adriana Ramirez
Shannon Reed
Phil Terman
Jesse Welch

and Mimi Jong, ehru soloist

HIAS Logo

“The most important African novelist in 25 years”

City of Asylum (2018)

Nuruddin Farah

Thursday, November 1st
7:00 pm

Winner of the Neustadt International Prize for Literature, Nuruddin Farah is one of Africa’s most respected contemporary writers. Maps is the first novel in his acclaimed Blood in the Sun trilogy, set in his native Somalia.

Askar lost his father in the bloody war between Ethiopia and Somalia, and his mother died giving birth to him. Taken in by Misra, a kindhearted woman, he grows up in a small village. But as an adolescent, a true child of his times, he begins to feel suffocated there and goes to live with his cosmopolitan aunt and uncle in the capital.

Nuruddin Farah

“Startling … passionate. Farah’s masterpiece.” — The New York Times

Askar throws himself into radical political activity in the midst of the turmoil and civil war. As allegations of murder and treason are leveled at Misra, Askar’s personal sense identity and Somalia’s political boundaries are challenged with a ferocity he could have never imagined.

This program is presented in partnership with Paul A. Bové, distinguished professor at the University of Pittsburgh and editor of Boundary 2 — a journal of literature and politics around the world.

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Cameron Barnett at City Books, July 21

Cameron Barnett

Please join City Books on Saturday, July 21st at 7:00 pm as we welcome Cameron Barnett reading from his poetry collection, The Drowning Boy’s Guide to Water, winner of the Autumn House Press 2017 Rising Writer Contest, and finalist for the 49th NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work in Poetry. The event is FREE but seating is limited.

If you haven’t yet watched the Shelf Life interview with Cameron, you can find it here.

An Insider’s Peek into the World of Black Panther

City of Asylum (2018)

Walks in Wakanda:
The Black Panther in Comics and Culture

with Evan Narcisse

Monday, May 7th
8:00 pm

The Black Panther is now one of this highest grossing films of all time—and more than that, it has become a cultural touchstone.

Evan Narcisse — co-author of the Rise of the Black Panther graphic novel miniseries for Marvel Comics — will give an insider’s history of the Black Panther in Marvel Comics, and discuss how and why the Black Panther became a blockbuster film. Evan will also talk about his personal journey from critic to artistic creator working in comics.

The Black Panther

This program will include an audience Q&A and a “fireside chat” with celebrated poet Yona Harvey, herself a contributor to Marvel’s World of Wakanda graphic novel.

Don’t miss this timely, relevant, and revealing exploration of a pop culture phenomenon.

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A Spontaneous Creation of Words, Jazz and Dance

City of Asylum (2018)

The Ellipses Condition Presents

Completely Out of Context

Saturday, April 28th
8:00 pm

Completely Out of Context is a site-specific performance created by The Ellipses Condition. Writers and poets will share original works accompanied by improvisational jazz musicians and dancers. Readers will also lend fresh meaning to books grabbed from the stacks around them, intoning their readings with intent inspired by the musicians and the dancers.

The Ellipses Condition

The Ellipses Condition is the partnered artistry of Pearlann Porter and John Lambert, sharing a commitment to the authentic translation of their inner thoughts and emotions into dance, music and words. Their improvisational performances blur the dynamics between movement, musicality and poetry, embodying the philosophy of ‘jazz as a verb’ lived in every aspect of being. Collaboratively they cultivate new audio/physical relationships, lending living bodies to intangible conversations.

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Saturday Night at City Books: Doug Rice

Doug RicePlease join us on Saturday, March 17th at 7:00 pm when City Books welcomes Doug Rice back home to the Northside. A book signing will follow the reading. Limited seating.

Doug Rice is the author of Here Lies Memory, the first book of a Pittsburgh trilogy. Born in Pittsburgh, he currently lives and teaches at Sacramento State University. His fiction, memoirs and creative nonfiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and journals and he is the author of eight novels. Doug is currently working on Daughters of the Rivers, the second novel of the trilogy.

“This tale of sacrifice, exploitation, and reclamation is not to be missed.

City of Asylum (2018)

Shobha Rao

Monday, March 19th
8:00 pm

Award-winning author Shobha Rao presents Girls Burn Brighter — a searing, electrifying debut novel about the extraordinary bond between two girls driven apart by circumstance but relentless in their search for one another.

Shobha Rao

“Rao layers her debut novel with issues that face many young women worldwide, from street harassment and domestic abuse to oppressive societal norms.”
Ms. Magazine

Poornima and Savitha have three strikes against them: they are poor, they are ambitious, and they are girls. When a devastating act of cruelty drives Savitha away, Poornima leaves behind everything she has ever known to find her friend.

Her journey takes her into the darkest corners of India’s underworld, on a harrowing cross-continental journey, and eventually to an apartment complex in Seattle. Alternating between the girls’ perspectives as they face ruthless obstacles, Girls Burn Brighter introduces two heroines who never lose the hope that burns within.

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The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Celebrates Women Artists at Alphabet City

City of Asylum (2018)

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Presents

Inspiration and Tenacity

Thursday, March 15th
8:00 pm

In honor of Women’s History Month, join the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (lead by conductor Christine Hestwood) for a program celebrating female artists.

PSO@CoA

Inspiration and Tenacity honors Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon in anticipation of the world premier of her Tuba Concerto at Heinz Hall on March 16th & 18th. The program, featuring PSO clarinetist Victoria Luperi and trombonist Rebecca Cherian, will showcase the talent and musicianship of these women soloists.

ARThouse’s Vanessa German and PEN/Fusion Emerging Writers Prize-winner Adriana E. Ramírez will complement the evening with readings responding to the issues of the day.

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February 27th: “A terrifying and necessary book”

City of Asylum (2018)

Anna Bikont

Tuesday, February 27th
8:00 pm

The Crime and the Silence: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne examines the events in the small Polish town of Jedwabne on July 10, 1941, when the citizens rounded up the Jewish population and burned them alive in a barn. The massacre was a shocking secret that had been suppressed for more than sixty years, and it provoked the most important public debate in Poland since 1989.

Anna Bikont

“A daring exposure. Bikont’s fearless research … makes this a fantastic book.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Including the perspectives of both heroes and perpetrators, Bikont chronicles the sources of the hatred that exploded against Jews and asks what myths grow on hidden memories, what destruction they cause, and what happens to a society that refuses to accept a horrific truth. Her writing in turn subsequently became a crucial part of the debate and she herself an actor in a national drama.

Part history, part memoir, The Crime and the Silence is a journalist’s account of these events: both the story of the massacre told through oral histories of survivors and witnesses, and a portrait of a Polish town coming to terms with its dark past.

This reading is co-presented by Classrooms Without Borders in partnership with the Departments of History, English and Modern Languages at Carnegie Mellon University and the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Pittsburgh.

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