Meet the Author: Ed Gray

Thursday, May 26th at 7 p.m.

Ed Gray, author of Left in the Wind, will be our featured speaker.

Most Americans have heard the story of Roanoke, the first English colony. In 1587, 118 men, women, and children settled at the site, and then later vanished without a trace. They left behind only one clue: the word “CROATOAN,” carved into a tree. But where did they go?

In Left in the Wind, Ed Gray offers one possible answer to this enduring question in the form of a fictional diary of Emme Merrimoth, a real Roanoke colonist. The diary brings readers on the harrowing journey across the Atlantic that brought the colonists to America and into the difficult early days of establishing a colony in the untamed North Carolina landscape. As the colonists struggle to survive in a new land, Emme finds herself in the middle of a series of dangerous conflicts—both between the colonists and the native people of Roanoke as well as strife within the colony itself.

Left in the Wind is an engrossing work of historical fiction that studies both the grand mystery of Roanoke and the quieter secrets of one woman’s life.

About the author
Ed Gray was the founding editor of the revered Gray's Sporting Journal where he discovered and edited the early fiction of E. Annie Proulx, Rick Bass and many others who have gone on to distinguished writing careers. He subsequently founded Graybooks Publishers and Aisle Seat Books, where he originated and developed the concept of Movie Length Tales™. He is also the author of a dozen books of essays and other writings.

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

Darien Library is proud to sponsor this event with the Middlesex Genealogical Society.

Meet the Author: Rinker Buck

Photo courtesy of Robert Mitchell
Photo courtesy of Robert Mitchell

Sunday, June 12th at 5 p.m.

Rinker Buck, author of The New York Times #1 bestseller The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey, will be our featured speaker.

In 2011, writer Rinker Buck and his brother Nick set off to make an authentic covered wagon crossing of the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail. They knew that their chances of failure were high. “Even if your wheels break halfway across,” his editor told him, “There’s still a great book there.” In fact, the Buck brothers’ wheels did break, at South Pass on the continental divide in Wyoming; they flipped their provisions cart in Nebraska; and their axle snapped in two in eastern Oregon. But after making trailside repairs, the Bucks persevered, becoming the first wagon travelers in more than a century to complete a crossing of the trail.  Rinker tells the story of their epic adventure in The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey.

At once a majestic American journey, a significant work of history, and a personal saga reminiscent of bestsellers by Bill Bryson and Cheryl Strayed, The Oregon Trail is an ambitious work of participatory history with a heart as big as the country it crosses.

Praise for The Oregon Trail

“Absorbing….Fundamentally, The Oregon Trail is an adventure story, one in which the Buck brothers find themselves in some legitimately harrowing situations involving cliffs, rivers, runaway mules, and low water supplies in the desert…. The many layers in The Oregon Trail are linked by Mr. Buck’s voice, which is alert and unpretentious in a manner that put me in mind of Bill Bryson’s comic tone in A Walk in the Woods…This shaggy pilgrimage describes a form of happiness sought, and happiness found.”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Incredible… Weaving a tale somewhere between a travelogue and a history lesson, Buck traces the iconic path literally and figuratively as he re-creates the great migration with his brother and a Jack Russell terrier.”
Entertainment Weekly

About the Author
Rinker Buck began his career in journalism at the Berkshire Eagle and was a longtime staff writer for the Hartford Courant. He has written for Vanity Fair, New York, Life, and many other publications, and his stories have won the Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Writing Award and the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award. He is the author of The Oregon Trail as well as the acclaimed memoirs Flight of Passage and First Job. He lives in northwest Connecticut.

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


Book Launch: Robert H. Patton

Photo courtesy of Shiva Sarram
Photo courtesy of Shiva Sarram

Tuesday, June 14th at 7 p.m.

Join Robert H. Patton as we celebrate the release of his new novel, Cajun Waltz.

Inspired by his passion for Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, and duck hunting in the Deep South, Patton introduces readers to the cadence of New Orleans, spanning generations of rhythm and suffering.

The lyrics of a Cajun waltz may be dark as midnight with heartache and trouble, but still the music swings. The same goes for what happens after a shifty musician and a lonely shopgirl let destiny sweep them into an ill-suited marriage in swampy southwest Louisiana on the eve of the Depression. Love doesn't much figure between Richie Bainard and Esther Block. They build a business together while dreaming opposite dreams of fulfillment. But like a gumbo simmering with peppers and spice, desires finally come to a boil.

With the dark tempo of New Orleans, Cajun Waltz will sweep you up with setting that always strikes a hopeful note. Involving strong southern women, straight shooting guns, and deep rooted prejudice, Patton’s characters are layered showing good people can do black hearted things. The perfect summer novel to immerse yourself in, Patton will have you tapping along to the beat of his prose with his foray into fiction. 

About the Author
Robert H. Patton
holds degrees in literature and journalism from Brown University and Northwestern University. He worked as a Capitol Hill reporter, a commercial fisherman, and a real estate developer before publishing his family memoir, The Pattons, to wide acclaim in 1994. He lived and traveled throughout the South before settling in Darien, CT, with his wife.

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