Literary Star Studded Author’s Night at East Hampton Library
You suddenly felt smarter when you entered the tent at the East Hampton Library for the literary star studded 6th Annual Authors Night on Saturday night. Being in the presence of a plethora of talented writers makes you suddenly want to start texting with complete words and grammatically correct sentences, even consider using adverbs again.
The event to raise money for the East Hampton Library which houses within its walls, 113 years of reading history, reminded everyone of the power of words and of voice and of diversity of life experiences. Like a five star hotel Sunday brunch there were simply too many delicious literary dishes to choose from: decorating, travel, cooking, psychology, architecture, biographies, novels, and even dental health.
Founding Chairman Alec Baldwin, Honorary Co-Chairs Ken Auletta, Candace Bushnell, Robert Caro, Jay McInerney, Richard Reeves and Authors Committee Chair Barbara Goldsmith gathered a virtual who’s who of contemporary writers.
To have the chance to get books personally autographed by the authors and have a moment to chat face to face is a rarified experience with a range of enthusiastic first time authors to literary giants, often seated next to one another depending on alphabetical proximity of their last name.
Dava Sobel, best selling author of Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter was signing copies of her new book The Planets and I asked her about this strange planet alignment which was supposedly causing havoc in everyone’s lives this summer. While planets are subject to the “gravitational attraction of unseen companions,” she said there was no need to worry. I was vastly reassured.
It takes great courage to be an author, especially when you are revealing your own life. Two of my favorite, most powerful writers were there with new memoirs. In the story of her adoption and journey when her birth parents came looking for her, A.M. Homes creates an incredibly moving self portrait in The Mistress’s Daughter.
Dani Shapiro shares her search for meaning and peace in her memoir Devotion, a beautiful reminder of the importance of asking the big questions – moving us beyond “How can I get a reservation at Nick and Toni’s?” to “Do I believe in god?” (perhaps the two questions are related.)
But next to God of course there is baseball. Tom Clavin and Danny Peary signed copies of their new book Roger Maris – Baseball’s Reluctant Hero and proved that great biographers and great detectives have a lot in common, unearthing the truth to create a compelling portrait.
In the end the most important take away is that books R important, really, really important.