East Hampton Library’s 17th Annual Authors Night fundraiser, the greatest gathering of writers this side of the Shinnecock Canal, is back largely in-person for 2021, and the lineup is as exciting as ever. Along with the big yearly book signing and cocktail party on Saturday, August 14, the weekend-long event includes live music and talks, as well as virtual conversations with some of the biggest names in news, politics and, of course, the written word.
Held outdoors beneath a tent on library grounds, unlike last year’s all-virtual Authors Night, Saturday’s main event gathers more than 20 authors who will be on-hand with piles of their books to meet guests and sign copies during this special cocktail party from 4–6 p.m. Participating writers include Taylor Barton, Bill Boggs, Robert A. Caro, Tom Clavin, Deborah Copaken, Stacy Dermont, Florence Fabricant, Amanda Fairbanks, Dan Glickman, Joshua M. Greene, Noel Hankin, Alice Harris, Harold Koplewicz, John Kurdewan, Mike Lupica, Jeffrey Lyons, Thomas Maier, Michael Shnayerson, Steven Stolman, Alan Zweibel and more.
Before that, the live festivities begin on Friday, August 13 at 6 p.m. with a free book talk and performance from married musical duo G.E. Smith and Taylor Barton (one of the participating authors) under the tent at East Hampton Library. An accomplished singer-songwriter and producer of her famed Saturday Night Live bandleader husband’s show, G.E. Smith’s Portraits, Barton will play from I Pitched a Tent in Hell, her unique audiobook memoir told through a collection of songs.
A series of interactive virtual author conversations kicks off on Thursday, August 12 and continues through Sunday, August 15. Each one-hour Zoom event brings together a featured author and notable interviewer, followed by a moderated question-and-answer session with the audience. The series begins with “This is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends About Racism,” a conversation between CNN anchor, author and Hamptonite Don Lemon and Cristina Cuomo at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
These chats continue with a long list of top talent from the pool of Saturday’s participating authors and other in-demand personalities, such as David W. Blight, Michael Eric Dyson, Tovah Feldshuh, Dan Glickman, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Harold Koplewicz, Thomas Maier, Zibby Owens, Allison Pataki, Owen Pataki, Marcus Samuelsson, Michael Shnayerson, Suzanne Simard, Alan Steinfeld, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Alan Zweibel. Interviewers include vaunted names like Florence Fabricant, David Brinkley, Judith Hope and Nick Pileggi, to name a few.
Tickets are $20 per one-hour talk in the schedule, which can be found, along with explanations about each pairing, at authorsnight.org/events.
“We’re looking forward to transitioning this year’s Authors Night fundraiser to a hybrid series of in-person and online events, allowing us to connect our community and the literary world in a dynamic new way,” East Hampton Library Director Dennis Fabiszak says in a statement, noting that the virtual portion makes for an impressive addition to coincide with this year’s scaled-down version of the Authors Night main event. “As we mark the 17th anniversary of Authors Night, we’re thankful for the outstanding generosity, participation, and support for the event that we’ve received from both the local and literary communities,” Fabiszak adds. “The funds raised at Authors Night enable the library to provide our diverse community with essential programming and services throughout the year—all free of charge.”
Tickets are limited, advanced purchase required. Ticket levels: $150, $250 and $500, which includes access to all online events.
East Hampton Library is located at 159 Main Street in East Hampton. Visit authorsnight.org for complete schedule and info about each author and virtual talk. Or call 631-324-0222.