Video of Douglas Kennedy

On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, author David Kennedy, who wrote Five Days visited Darien Library.

For more information, please visit the event listing page.

Meet the Author - Douglas Kennedy

Douglas Kennedy
Douglas Kennedy

Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m.

Douglas Kennedy, author of Five Days, will be our featured speaker.

Forty-two-year-old Laura spends her days looking at other people’s potential calamities. She works in the radiography unit of a small hospital on the Maine coast, scanning and x-raying frightened patients. In a job where finding nothing is always the best result, she is well versed in the random unfairness of life, a revelation that has started to affect her personally. Her husband Dan has become a stranger since losing his job eighteen months ago and she feels the distance is only growing between them. Her son, a promising artist, is in college, and her vivacious seventeen-yearold daughter is set to leave home within the year. Laura begins to wonder if her impending empty nest will only deepen the disconnected state of her marriage.

So when the opportunity arises for her to spend the weekend at a radiography conference in Boston, Laura jumps at the chance. She’ll be on her own for 72 hours for the first time since her children were born—and she revels in her temporary escape.

Praise for Five Days

“With Five Days, Douglas Kennedy has crafted a brilliant meditation on regret, fidelity, family, and second chances that will have you breathlessly turning pages to find out what happened in the past and what will happen next. At once heartbreaking and hopeful, it is a powerful new work of fiction by an internationally acclaimed writer at the height of his powers.” —Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club

About the Author

Douglas Kennedy is the author of ten previous novels, including the international bestseller The Moment. His work has been translated into twenty-two languages, and in 2007 he received the French decoration of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

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 - Dennis Watlington

Dennis Watlington will visit the Library May 9
Dennis Watlington will visit the Library May 9

Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m.

Dennis Watlington, author of Chasing America, will be our featured speaker.

Chasing America is a rollercoaster ride through promise and poverty, affirmative action and addiction, and a powerful story that captures a life and an era that is seminally American. Born in Harlem in 1952, Dennis developed a heroin habit at the age of 14, kicked it, and received a scholarship to the Hotchkiss School where he was elected president of his class. He went on to NYU, became involved in film and theater, got addicted to crack, kicked that, and became an Emmy-winning television writer.

Chasing America shows us the best and worst that America offers to a Black man—from the Jim Crow South to boarding school life in New England to backstage at the Fillmore East to a holding cell in Bellevue Hospital.

About the Author

Dennis Watlington has been a junkie, a thief, a motivational speaker, a janitor for the circus, an occupational therapist, a journalist, a soap opera actor, and most recently a screenwriter and documentary filmmaker. His credits include The Untold Story of the Black West which won him an Emmy.

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 Poet: Christina Pugh

Christina Pugh will read from her new book of poems.
Christina Pugh will read from her new book of poems.

Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m.

Christina Pugh will read from her third book of poems, Grains of the Voice, which draws on the work of Roland Barthes and the sonnet tradition in order to investigate contemporary facets of sound, speech, and song.

About the Poet

Christina Pugh is also the author of Restoration and Rotary, as well as the chapbook Gardening at Dusk. Her poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, TriQuarterly, Ploughshares, The Kenyon Review, and other periodicals, and in anthologies such as Poetry 180. Her honors have included the Word Press First Book Prize (for Rotary), the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from Poetry magazine, the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, an individual artist fellowship in poetry from the Illinois Arts Council, the Associated Writing Programs’ Intro Journals Award, the Grolier Poetry Prize, residencies at the Ragdale and Ucross Foundations, and a faculty fellowship from the UIC Institute for the Humanities.

A reception will follow the presentation.

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

Meet the Author - Will Schwalbe

Will Schwalbe
Will Schwalbe

Wednesday, June 5 at 7 p.m.

Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club, will be our featured speaker.

During her treatment for cancer, Mary Anne Schwalbe and her son Will spent many hours sitting in waiting rooms together. To pass the time, they would talk about the books they were reading. Once, by chance, they read the same book at the same time—and an informal book club of two was born. Through their wide-ranging reading, Will and Mary Anne—and we, their fellow readers—are reminded how books can be comforting, astonishing, and illuminating, changing the way that we feel about and interact with the world around us.

Praise for The End of Your Life Book Club

"A loving celebration of a mother by a son." -- The New York Times Book Review

"Not only a son’s heartfelt tribute to [his mother’s] courage and grace but vivid testimony to the enduring power of books to create meaning out of chaos, illuminate values, and connect us with each other.” -- The Boston Globe

About the Author

Will Schwalbe has worked in publishing (most recently as senior vice president and editor in chief of Hyperion Books); digital media, as the founder and CEO of Cookstr.com; and as a journalist, writing for various publications including The New York Times and the South China Morning Post. He is on the board of the Kingsborough Community College Foundation. He is the coauthor, with David Shipley, of Send: Why People Email So Badly and How to Do It Better.

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 - Becky Aikman

Becky Aikman [Photo credit Nina Subin]
Becky Aikman [Photo credit Nina Subin]

Thursday, January 31 at 7 p.m.

Becky Aikman, author of Saturday Night Widows, will be our featured speaker.

One night in 2010, Becky Aikman convened the first meeting of what she called the “Saturday Night Widows”—a group of six women (she among them) shocked to find themselves widowed in the middle of their lives. Becky’s idea was to create an amateur support group to help one another not only past the toughest transition they’d ever made, but to reinvent themselves in the face of grief and build their lives anew.

When they first made a pact to spend their Saturday nights together, the women didn’t know what to expect. They did, however, know that even in their sadness, they shared a desire to find happiness again; to reengage with work, friends, children, and pleasure; and perhaps to find new love. The friendships and adventures that evolved among these women with little in common other than young widowhood are at the heart of Saturday Night Widows.

About the Author

A graduate of the School of Journalism at Columbia University, Becky Aikman was a writer and editor for Businessweek and a reporter for Newsday. She lives in New York City.

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 Richard Ford

On Sunday, February 10, 2013, Richard Ford, author of Canada, was our featured speaker.

For more information, please visit the event's page.

Meet the Author - Richard Ford

Richard Ford [credit Laura Wilson]
Richard Ford [credit Laura Wilson]

Sunday, February 10 at 5 p.m.

Richard Ford, author of Canada, will be our featured speaker.

Canada, the latest novel from Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Ford, is a powerful, suspenseful story of misadventure and malevolence that explores large themes of identity, culpability, and the ineluctable bonds that tie us to the past. Ford’s first book in nearly six years, it is a compulsively-readable, uncompromising tale in which a host of transgressions—including bank robbery, kidnapping, abandonment and murder—shape the life of its protagonist: a fifteen-year-old boy compelled to forge his own way when his insular family implodes. With prose at once spare and luminous, Ford renders the desolate beauty of Montana and Saskatchewan as only a great writer can, providing the perfect backdrop for this spellbinding look at the dark side of the American experience.

Praise for Canada

“Pure vocal grace, quiet humor, precise and calm observation.” — The New Yorker

“Confirms [Ford’s] position as one of the finest stylists and most humane storytellers in America… his most elegiac and profound book…” — Washington Post

About the Author

Richard Ford is the author of the Bascombe novels, which include The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day—the first novel to win the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award—and The Lay of the Land, as well as the short story collections Rock Springs and A Multitude of Sins, which contain many widely anthologized stories. He lives in East Boothbay, Maine, with his wife, Kristina Ford.

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

Richard Ford's appearance is made possible by Barrett Bookstore.

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

Meet the Author - David Benioff

David Benioff
David Benioff

Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m.

David Benioff, author of City of Thieves, will be our featured speaker.

The novel opens mid-siege as young Lev Beniov, small, smart, but insecure, is one of a handful of young men left in the city in 1942. Too young for service in the army, but old enough to refuse to accompany his mother out of town, he fends for himself. When a dead Nazi paratrooper lands in the middle of the square near his apartment building, he’s the only kid caught for looting the body. Dragged by the police to jail, he’s sure his life is over. The charge for looting is execution. Lev shares a cell with the charismatic, unflappable, and grandiose Kolya, a handsome young soldier arrested on desertion charges. Instead of facing the firing squad, Lev and Kolya are given a chance at survival by completing a seemingly unachievable task: securing a dozen eggs for a powerful colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake. In a city cut off from all supplies and suffering unspeakable deprivation, where the glue in the binding of books serves as a form of nourishment, the pair embarks on a hunt to find the impossible.

About the Author

David Benioff is an author and screenwriter. He adapted his first novel, The 25th Hour, into a feature film directed by Spike Lee, adapted The Kite Runner for the screen, and wrote the screenplay of Wolverine. His most recent screenplay, Brothers, was directed by Jim Sheridan and will be released in October of this year. His short story collection, When the Nines Roll Over, received critical acclaim. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.

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 - Michael Korda

Michael Korda will visit the Library Thursday, March 21.
Michael Korda will visit the Library Thursday, March 21.

Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m.

Michael Korda, author of Charmed Lives, will be our featured speaker.

With a loving but undeceived eye, Michael Korda recounts the trials and successes that fame brought to the Korda brothers from the Hungarian countryside to the pinnacle of Hollywood society.

Alexander Korda lived a life other men only dream about; having Churchill (who secretly wrote film scripts for him), HG Wells, Lord Beaverbrook and Robert Sherwood as lifelong friends; Olivier, Laughton, Ralph Richardson, Dietrich, Vivien Leigh, and Merle Oberon (whom he married) he brought to stardom. Achieving wealth and fame to become Sir Alexander Korda, one of the most legendary and flamboyant of all film tycoons- his two brothers, often unwillingly and quarrelsomely accepting his dominant role, rose with him. Zoltan, mercurial and eccentric, a director of genius whose The Four Feathers and Cry the Beloved Country are film classics; and Vincent, whom Alex shanghaied from a career as a painter to be the artistic director of his new motion picture empire. Alex, along with an incredible flair for success, had an equally powerful impulse toward destruction. In the end, it was this impulse that prevailed.

Praise for Charmed Lives:

"A rare, intimate portrait...crowded with anecdotes, comedy and drama." - The New York Times

"A rags to riches fairytale...Rich in anecdote...In a word: Charming!" - Newsday

About the Author

Michael Korda was born in London, in 1933, and has lived in the United States since 1958. He was educated at Le Rosey, in Switzerland, did his military service in the Royal Air Force, and then attended Magdalen College, Oxford. In 1956, he drove to Budapest with three friends to deliver medical supplies to the insurgents and took part in the Hungarian Revolution.

After working briefly for CBS-TV in New York City, Mr. Korda joined Simon and Schuster as an assistant editor in 1958, and subsequently became Managing Editor, Executive Editor and Editor in Chief. Over nearly five decades his authors have included presidents Carter, Reagan and Nixon, Charles De Gaulle, Dr. Henry Kissinger, Cher, Kirk Douglas, David McCullough, and Mary Higgins Clark.

His books include the #1 bestseller Power, the bestselling novels Queenie and The Fortune, and most recently Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia, With Wings Like Eagles: A History of the Battle of Britain, Ike: An American Hero, Country Matters, Another Life, Horse People, Ulysses S. Grant and Journey to a Revolution. He makes his home on a farm in Dutchess County, New York, with his wife Margaret, with whom he has, co-authored two books, Horse Housekeeping and Cat People.

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).

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