Arlene Alda to Appear November 18 in Writers Speak Program at Stony Brook Southampton

Arlene Alda
Arlene Alda. Photo credit: Alan Alda

Critically acclaimed author and photographer Arlene Alda will be the featured guest in the next Writers Speak Wednesdays event, a free author talk and reading open to the public at Stony Brook Southampton. Alda will speak on Wednesday, November 18, at 7 p.m. in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall.

Alda most recently published Just Kids From the Bronx (Holt, 2015), a memoir of oral history in a place from where many celebrated cultural figures emerged. Drawing on six decades of living in the Bronx, Alda offers a textured portrait of her neighborhood from the early 20th century until today. Former President Bill Clinton called the book, “A down-to-earth, inspiring book about the American promise fulfilled.”

Alda is the author of 19 books, including The Last Days of MASH (Unicorn, 1983), and On Set—A Personal Story in Pictures and Words (Simon and Schuster/Fireside Books, 1981). She has also published many books for children, including Except the Color Grey (Tundra Books, 2011), Lulu’s Piano Lesson (Tundra Books, 2010), Hello, Good-bye (Tundra Books, 2009), and more.

In addition to her writing career, Alda works as a freelance photographer and has had several one-person shows. Her photos have appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Vogue, People Magazine, Life Magazine and Today’s Health Magazine. She won the Chicago Graphics Communications Award for her photo essay “Allison’s Tonsillectomy.”

Before her career as a writer and photographer, Alda received a Fulbright Scholarship to study clarinet in Germany. She went on to play clarinet for the Houston Symphony under the baton of Leopold Stokowski. The mother of three daughters and a grandmother of eight, Alda lives with her husband, actor Alan Alda, in New York and Water Mill.

The final guest author of the fall Writers Speak series will be poet and children’s book author Willie Perdomo on December 2. On Wednesday, December 9, the evening will be devoted to readings by “the stars of tomorrow,” students currently enrolled in the MFA in Creative Writing and Literature program.

Writers Speak Wednesdays programs are free and open to the public. The evenings begin with a brief reception at 6:30 p.m.; readings begin at 7 p.m., followed by a Q&A and book signing. All programs are held in the Radio Lounge on the second floor of Chancellors Hall at Stony Brook Southampton, 239 Montauk Highway, Southampton. For more information, call 631-632-5030 or visit

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