First Look Darien - Dagmara Dominczyk

Dagmara Dominczyk [photo credit Patrick Wilson]
Dagmara Dominczyk [photo credit Patrick Wilson]

Thursday, July 25 at 7 p.m.

Dagmara Dominczyk, author of The Lullaby of Polish Girls, will be our featured speaker.

The Lullaby of Polish Girls follows three best friends from their early teenage years on the lookout for boys in Kielce—a town so rough its citizens are called “the switchblades”—to the loss of innocence that wrecks them, and the stunning murder that reaches across oceans to bring them back together after they’ve grown and long since left home.

Praise for The Lullaby of Polish Girls

“In this arresting debut novel, Polish American film and TV actress Dagmara Dominczyk pays homage to her native city of Kielce while capturing the joys, insecurities, and struggles of three girlfriends coming-of-age. Spanning 13 years, Dominczyk’s absorbing story is a triptych of tęsknota (Polish for a kind of yearning) and a profound desire for acceptance, freedom, and home.” — Booklist (starred review)

“This gossipy, feisty debut . . . follows a trio of friends across decades and the Iron Curtain, from Communist Poland to adulthood in the U.S. . . . Fresh and revelatory.” — Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Dagmara Dominczyk was born in Poland and immigrated to New York City at the age of seven. She has acted in numerous films, TV series, and plays. Most recently she appeared in the motion picture Higher Ground and on Broadway in Golden Boy. She is married to the actor Patrick Wilson, with whom she has two sons. She lives in New Jersey.

Books will be available for purchase at this event. Refreshments will be served.

First Look Darien is our debut author series designed to spotlight first novels handpicked by our staff.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Meet the Author - Martha D. Peterson

Martha D. Peterson
Martha D. Peterson

Thursday, September 19 at 7 p.m.

Martha D. Peterson, author of The Widow Spy, will be our featured speaker.

The Widow Spy is the first hand account of a true Cold War spy operation in Moscow, told exclusively by the CIA case offiicer who lived this experience. She was one of the first women to be assigned to Moscow, a very difficult operational environment. Her story begins in Laos during the Vietnam War where she accompanied her husband, a CIA officer. She describes their life in a small city in Laos, ending with the tragic death of her husband. Then her own thirty year career begins in Moscow, where she walks the dark streets alone, placing dead-drops and escaping the relentless eye of the KGB. Experience her arrest and detention in Lyubianka Prison, as only she can relate it. What she reveals in The Widow Spy has never been told.

About the Author

Marti was raised in Darien and graduated from Darien High School in 1963. She attended Drew University in Madison, NJ, receiving a BA degree in Sociology in 1967. It was at Drew that she met her future husband John, a physics major. After their marriage in 1969, John was hired by the CIA to be a paramilitary officer. Together they traveled to Pakse, Laos in 1971, where John managed Lao irregular troops as they attempted to interdict North Vietnamese troops and war materiel headed to South Vietnam along the Ho Chi Minh trail. In October 1972, John was killed in a helicopter accident. Marti returned to Virginia and applied to be an Operations Officer with the CIA. Marti’s career with the CIA lasted thirty-two years. She retired in 2003 to Wilmington, North Carolina, where she has been a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, Lower Cape Fear Hospice and Life Care Center, and the Wrightsville Beach Turtle Watch.

Books will be available for purchase at this event.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Meet the Author - John Searles

John Searles [credit Thomas Caruso]
John Searles [credit Thomas Caruso]

Wednesday, October 16 at 7 p.m.

John Searles, author of Help for the Haunted, will be our featured speaker.

The author of the critically acclaimed Boy Still Missing and Strange but True returns with an unforgettable story of a most unusual family, their deep secrets, their harrowing tragedy, and ultimately, a daughter’s discovery of a dark and unexpected mystery.

Praise for Help for the Haunted

“Superlative storytelling... Searles expertly manages his cleverly conceived plotline as he alternately withholds and doles out key information in tantalizing fashion.” – Booklist, Starred

“Unsettling… Keeps the reader on edge while Sylvie bravely uncovers her family’s many secrets.” – Publishers Weekly, Starred

Chosen for LibraryRead’s Inaugural List for 2013

About the Author

For ten years, John Searles has appeared regularly as a book critic on NBC’s Today Show and CBS's The Early Show. He is also the Editor-at-Large of Cosmopolitan. His essays have been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, Daily Beast and other national publications. He lives in New York City. Follow John on Twitter: @searlesbooks.

Books will be available for purchase at this event. Refreshments will be served.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Meet the Author - Carol Rifka Brunt

Carol Rifka Brunt [credit Rose Cook]
Carol Rifka Brunt [credit Rose Cook]

Thursday, October 10 at 4 p.m.

Carol Rifka Brunt, author of Tell the Wolves I'm Home, will be our featured speaker.

RSVP here

June can only be herself in her Uncle Finn’s company; he is her godfather, confidant, and best friend. So when he dies, a victim of AIDS six weeks before the AZT cocktail is released, June’s world is turned upside down—she is alone again, shy and introspective, at odds with her older sister Greta, with her parents, and with herself.

Finn’s death leaves a gaping hole in June’s life; she's shocked when the awkwardly charming Toby, the boyfriend she never knew her uncle had and the man her family holds responsible for his death, makes a bid to fill that emptiness by contacting June secretly. Toby, who misses Finn as desperately as she does, with his own mysterious past, knows things June doesn’t—about Finn and his illness, about June’s family and their secrecy, and perhaps even about her own heart.

Praise for Tell the Wolves I'm Home

“A dazzling debut novel.” — O Magazine

“In this lovely debut novel set in the 1980s, Carol Rifka Brunt takes us under the skin and inside the tumultuous heart of June Elbus…Distracted parents, tussling adolescents, the awful ghost-world of the AIDS-afflicted before AZT—all of it springs to life in Brunt’s touching and ultimately hopeful book.” — People Magazine, 4 stars

About the Author

Carol Rifka Brunt’s work has appeared in several literary journals, including North American Review and The Sun. In 2006, she was one of three fiction writers who received the New Writing Ventures award, and, in 2007 she received a generous Arts Council grant to write Tell the Wolves I'm Home, her first novel. Originally from New York, she currently lives in England with her husband and three children.

Books will be available for purchase at this event. Refreshments will be served.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Meet the Author - Wally Lamb

Wally Lamb
Wally Lamb

Sunday, December 8th at 5 p.m.

Wally Lamb, author of We Are Water, will be our featured speaker.

With such New York Times bestsellers as She’s Come Undone and The Hour I First Believed, Wally Lamb has won the hearts of millions of readers. We Are Water, Lamb’s first full-scale novel in five years, is another probing exploration of contemporary themes, tempered with the wisdom and empathy that has marked all of this master storyteller’s work. Rooted in the world of a troubled family and driven by riveting drama, this warm-hearted, emotionally powerful novel explores childhood trauma, abuse, and family dynamics, as well as issues of class, race, and cultural inclusion.

Praise for We Are Water

“We are water: ‘fluid, flexible when we have to be. But strong and destructive, too.’ That’s evident in this emotionally involving new novel from the author of She’s Come Undone….Clear and sweetly flowing; highly recommended.” -- Library Journal, starred review

About the Author

Wally Lamb is the author of four previous novels. His first two works of fiction, She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much is True, were both number one New York Times bestsellers and selections of Oprah’s Book Club. Lamb edited Couldn’t Keep it to Myself and I’ll Fly Away, two volumes of essays from students in his writing workshop at York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison in Connecticut, where he has been a volunteer facilitator for fifteen years. He lives in Connecticut with his wife, Christine. The Lambs are the parents of three sons.

Books will be available for purchase at this event. Refreshments will be served.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Meet the Author - Susan Conley

Susan Conley [credit Michael Lionstar]
Susan Conley [credit Michael Lionstar]

Thursday, October 3 at 7 p.m.

Susan Conley, author of Paris Was the Place, will be our featured speaker.

When Willie Pears agrees to teach at a Parisian center for immigrant girls who have requested French asylum, she has no idea it will utterly change her life. She has lived in Paris for six months, surrounded by the most important people in her life: her beloved brother, Luke, her funny and wise college roommate, Sara, and Sara’s do-gooder husband, Rajiv. And now there is Macon Ventri, a passionate, dedicated attorney for the detained girls. Theirs is a meeting of both hearts and minds— but not without its problems. As Willie becomes more involved with the immigrant girls who touch her soul, the lines between teaching and mothering are blurred. Conley has written a piercing, deeply humane novel that explores the connections between family and friends and reaffirms the strength of the ties that bind.

About the Author

Susan Conley is the author of The Foremost Good Fortune, a book that won the Maine Literary Award for memoir and was a Goodreads Choice Award Winner. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, The Paris Review, The Harvard Review, The Massachusetts Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Portland, Maine, with her husband and their two sons.

Books will be available for purchase at this event. Refreshments will be served.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Video of Jami Attenberg, Rosie Schaap, and Meg Wolitzer

On Tuesday, July 2, 2013, we were honored to have three authors visit us at Darien Library: Jami Attenberg, Rosie Schaap, and Meg Wolitzer.

For more information, please visit the event listing page.

Meet the Author - Michael Sears

Michael Sears [photo credit: Rod Goodman]
Michael Sears [photo credit: Rod Goodman]

Wednesday, November 6 at 7 p.m.

Michael Sears, author of Mortal Bonds, will be our featured speaker.

Mortal Bonds is the second novel in Michael Sears’s extraordinary series featuring Jason Stafford, a former Wall Street trader who, in the wake of serving a prison sentence for fraud, is forced to earn his keep investigating wrongdoings in the financial world he knows intimately. A fundamentally decent man who foolishly got caught up in bad business, Stafford has a complicated personal life, with an autistic son and the ex-wife from hell. Always in need of ready cash, the beleaguered Stafford now finds himself entangled in a high profile case loosely based on the Bernie Madoff scandal that rocked the financial world.

Praise for Mortal Bonds:

“Sears’s knowledge of investment banking makes the plot compelling…Deft, witty prose is a plus.” ––Publishers Weekly

“As densely plotted as Sears’ strong debut (Black Fridays, 2012)…A particularly nice touch is the subordination of the scheming suspects to Stafford’s troubled, loving relationship with his son.” ––Kirkus

About the Author

Michael Sears was 61 when we published his first novel, Black Fridays in 2012. After nine years as a professional actor and an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland, Sears received an MBA from Columbia University. He spent over twenty years on Wall Street, rising to become the Managing Director in the bond trading and underwriting divisions of Paine Webber and, later, Jeffries & Co., before heeding his father’s advice: “When it stops being fun, get out.” He did so in 2005, and returned to what had always given him the greatest joy – writing – studying at NYU and the New School. Sears lives in Sea Cliff, New York, with his wife, artist Barbara Segal. They have two sons.

Books will be available for purchase at this event. Refreshments will be served.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Meet the Author - Nicholas Dawidoff

Nicholas Dawidoff [credit: Koren-Angell Studios]
Nicholas Dawidoff [credit: Koren-Angell Studios]

Tuesday, December 3rd at 7:00 p.m.

Nicholas Dawidoff, author of Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football, will be our featured speaker.

Football is the country's most popular pastime, and yet most of what happens in today's NFL is a mystery. The New York Jets gave Nicholas Dawidoff a security code, a locker, an office in the scouting department, and for an entire year he lived with the team. He has written a vivid, funny, and moving narrative about an emblematic NFL season that deepens the way we know the game.

Praise for Collision Low Crossers

"Dawidoff is a crack writer, saturating the book with the best of a year's worth of anecdotes and lacing it with the backgrounds of coaches and players with an intimacy that begs the question how he got all this sharp and often moving material.... Dawidoff has a sure hand with the nature of passion, the rancor and weeping joy that characterizes every season in the most popular sport in the country. Insightful, immediate sportswriting. Readers will feel every bit of the team's frustration and elation." -- Kirkus (starred review)

About the Author

Nicholas Dawidoff is the author of four previous critically-acclaimed books, including the bestselling The Catcher Was a Spy and The Crowd Sounds Happy. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Civitella Ranieri Fellow, a Berlin Prize Fellow of the American Academy, and an Anschutz Distinguished Fellow at Princeton University, and is now a Branford Fellow at Yale University. A Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Fly Swatter, Dawidoff is a contributor to The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, and Rolling Stone. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with his family.

Books will be available for purchase at this event. Refreshments will be served.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

Meet the Authors - Jami Attenberg, Rosie Schaap, and Meg Wolitzer

Jami Attenberg, Rosie Schaap, and Meg Wolitzer
Jami Attenberg, Rosie Schaap, and Meg Wolitzer

Tuesday, July 2 at 7 p.m.

Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins
After two kids and more than 30 years, Edie and Richard Middlestein’s solid family life together is disintegrating due to Edie’s lifelong obsession with food—she eats, sleeps, and dreams about her local Chinese restaurant. When Richard jumps ship, it’s up to the next generation to take charge. Robin, the schoolteacher daughter, is determined that her father pay for leaving Edie. Benny, an easy-going, pot-smoking family guy, just wants things to be copacetic. His uptight wife Rachelle, who obsesses about being uber-thin, is intent on saving her mother-in-law’s life, but this task proves more complicated and a lot more emotionally draining than planning her twins’ extravagant b’nai mitzvah party.

Rosie Schaap, author of Drinking with Men
Starting with her misspent youth in the bar car of a regional railroad, where at 15 she told commuters’ fortunes in exchange for beer, and continuing today as she slings cocktails at a neighborhood joint in Brooklyn, Schaap has learned her way around both sides of a bar and come to realize how powerful the fellowship among bar patrons can be. Now in a poignant and deeply funny memoir told from a distinctively female perspective, Rosie celebrates the camaraderie and community one can only find at her local haunt.

Meg Wolitzer, author of The Interestings
The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. The novel follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge.

A book signing will follow the authors’ presentations. Books will be available for purchase at the event. Refreshments will be served.

Additional parking for evening and weekend Library programs available on Thorndal Circle (behind Nielsen's).

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