UPDATE: System Upgrade

A library systems upgrade is continuing this week, and during this update you may experience delays and problems with some services and search results. We apologize for any inconvenience.


AViD Presents: Robert Kolker

Primary tabs

Program Type:

Author Visits

Age Group:

Registration for this event is no longer open.

Program Description

Event Details

Award-winning journalist and author Robert Kolker is the best-selling author of Lost Girls (2013), named one of the New York Times’s 100 Notable Books and one of Slate’s best nonfiction books of the quarter century. His follow-up, 2020’s Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family, tells the tragic, compelling story of the Galvin family, which saw six of 12 children diagnosed with schizophrenia. The mystery behind how so many members of one family could be diagnosed led to them being one of the first families ever studied by the National Institute of Mental Health.

The book became an instant No. 1 New York Times best-seller and chosen as a Oprah's Book Club selection. The book has received universal critical acclaim, and named a Top Ten Book of 2020 by the New York TimesPeople, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington PostSlate, and the Boston Globe.

The event will be moderated by Peggy Huppert, Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Iowa. She’s a Drake journalism graduate who started her professional life as a reporter and editor, then moved to the nonprofit world as a communications director. In addition to communications, she’s served as a development, government relations and executive director for such varied groups as the Chrysalis Foundation, the Iowa Hospice Organization, the Des Moines Playhouse and the American Cancer Society. Peggy has experience with mental illness over 20 years through several close family members who have experienced addiction, hospitalization and incarceration as a result of their illness. Thankfully they are all currently living in wellness and recovery.


The 2021 season of AViD is sponsored by the Des Moines Public Library Foundation with support from these generous donors: Nationwide Foundation, Union Pacific Foundation, Kelly and Brad Edmister, Principal, Humanities Iowa and the National Endownment for the Humanities, Mary K. and Daniel M. Kelly Family Foundation, Karen Shaff and Steven Jayne, Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey, Cultivating Compassion: The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation, Dr. Katherine and Andrew Hauser, Douglas and Deborah West, Cynthia O’Brien and Michael Fitzpatrick, Mary M. Riche, Shelley and Martin Brody, Dawn Taylor, Judy Blank, Jann Freed and John Fisher, Barbara and Jon Yankey, and The Des Moines Register (in-kind) and Iowa Public Radio (in-kind).