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AViD Author Series Announced


Acclaimed, best-selling authors featured in 2022 Authors Visiting in Des Moines (AViD) season


Des Moines Public Library’s annual  author series will have in-person author events for first time since 2019

The Des Moines Public Library’s Authors Visiting in Des Moines (AViD) speaker series returns to in-person events for its 2022 season with a lineup featuring acclaimed and best-selling authors of both fiction and nonfiction. Among the authors scheduled to appear are this year’s National Book Award for Fiction winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, the author of one of TIME Magazine’s best YA novels of all time, an author panel of local dignitaries, and more.

This year’s series marks a return to live, in-person events for the first time since 2019. The 2020 AViD season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the 2021 season took place virtually over Zoom. Several of the 2022 AViD events will also be live-streamed virtually.

“We are thrilled to be bringing an inspiring, impressive lineup of authors to Des Moines for the library’s signature event,” said Tim Paluch, the Des Moines Public Library’s Marketing & Communications Supervisor and organizer of the AViD series. “These are some of the most acclaimed authors in America right now, and we are excited to have them entertain and educate our audiences at these free events.”

Best-selling author and television personality Brad Meltzer kicks off the 2022 season at 7 PM on Thursday, March 17 at Central Library. Meltzer’s latest novel, The Lightning Rod, will be released in March and is the follow-up to his 2018 #1 New York Times bestseller, The Escape Artist. Meltzer has appeared on The Hollywood Reporter’s list of the 25 Most Powerful Authors, has hosted television shows on The History Channel, and is the author of the best-selling I Am … children’s book series. The popular PBS Kids TV show, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum, is based on his work.

On Saturday, March 26, at 5 PM, Angeline Boulley will speak as one of the headlining authors at the DSM Book Festival in downtown Des Moines. The Des Moines Public Library is partnering with the festival to bring Boulley to Des Moines. Boulley’s debut 2021 novel, The Firekeeper’s Daughter, was an instant New York Times #1 bestseller and was named one of TIME Magazine’s best YA novels of all time. The book is being adapted into a Netflix series by Barack Obama’s production company. Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, is the former Director of the Office of Indian Education at the U.S. Department of Education.

Language scholar and author Amanda Montell will appear at Central Library on Thursday, April 21 at 7 PM to discuss her 2021 book, Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism. The book was an indie bestseller and was named one of the best books of 2021 by NPR. Cultish analyzes the social science of cult influence, and explores how groups ranging from Jonestown and Heavens Gate to Peloton and SoulCycle use language to manipulate and energize their “cultish” communities. Montell is also the host of the popular podcast, Sounds Like a Cult.

On Thursday, May 5, one of America’s most acclaimed literary figures, Lauren Groff, will speak at 7 PM. (The location of this event will be released in the coming weeks.) Groff’s 2021 novel, Matrix, was a finalist for both the Carnegie Medal for Excellence and the National Book Award – Groff’s third time as an NBA finalist. The best-selling book tells the story of a woman cast out of royal court in France and sent to England to run an impoverished abbey. Matrix was an instant bestseller and was showered with critical praise.

Jason Mott will speak at Central Library at 7 PM on Wednesday, May 25. Mott’s 2021 novel, Hell of a Book, was awarded the National Book Award for Fiction, one of America’s highest literary honors. The book – sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking, always thought-provoking – tells the story of a Black author who sets out on a cross-country publicity tour for his latest book, and the novel twists and bends into a surprising, magical story that touches on everything from injustice to police brutality to the nation’s reckoning over a racial tragedy playing out on the news.

The 2022 AViD season concludes with a special author panel comprised of popular, distinguished local figures who are also published authors at 7 PM on Tuesday, June 7 at Central Library. Appearing will be: Dr. Richard Deming, the medical director of MercyOne Cancer Center and author of Above and Beyond Cancer; Neil Hamilton, the former director of the Agricultural Law Center at Drake University, whose new book, The Land Remains, will be released this spring; and Jim Autry, the prolific author of 15 books whose work has had a significant influence on leadership thinking. The men will be discussing their works and how their unique experiences in Des Moines and Iowa led them to where they are now.

With support from the Des Moines Public Library Foundation and its generous donors, including Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment for the Humanities, AViD has celebrated the literary arts in Des Moines since 2001.

All AViD events are free and open to the public. Seating is first come, first served. Each author will also take part in a question-and-answer session and will autograph books. Books will be available for purchase at each event, courtesy of Beaverdale Books.

Several of the author events will also be live-streamed. For full details about the 2022 Authors Visiting in Des Moines series, go to dmpl.org/AViD.