Event, Past Event, Undaunted

East Hampton Library Authors’ Night, August 12, 2023

August 12, 2023

Of course I (wo)manned a table with Undaunted for the East Hampton Library Authors Night. I currently serve as the library’s president, so there was no bowing out. Check out the many stellar authors who participated Saturday, August 12 in this annual local lit bash, which provides the funds that make the vast array of programs at the library free to everyone all year long. Also, note those who were featured at dinners hosted in area homes after the event in the big tent in Herrick Park, just a few steps from my home. I was delighted to be hosting Rachel Swarns—paired at one of the dinners with Mark Whitaker at the home of Karen Phillips—and Jeremy Eichler, who was among the featured authors at another dinner, at the home of Patti Kenner. (Undaunted was well and fully celebrated locally back in June. Here’s the evidence.) But I will appear in the area again on Wednesday, November 8th at 1 pm at Southampton’s Rogers Memorial Library.

We kicked off the weekend with a dinner at home. I especially liked the way the table looked.

Our group was even better. It included Rachel and Jeremy, pictured here with Jon Segal (Jon is the editor of Jeremy’s and my books. He regaled us with memories of Sonny Mehta and mused on his many irons in the fire as he leaves Knopf after thirty-some years on December 15. Also at table were Jade Albert, Rob Boynton, and Celia and Henry McGree. Rob and the McGees arrived soon after the photo-taking. 

Jade Albert, Jon Segal, Rachel Swarns, Jeremy Eichler. Rob Boynton and Celia and Henry McGee also joined us.

This is Jade’s gallery of photos.



(l to r) Jon Segal, Rachel Swarns, Brooke Kroeger, Jeremy Eichler

It was a pre-Authors Night feast. Monica Torres made a dinner of gazpacho, filler-less crab cakes, tuna loin with ponzu sauce and a garnish of sliced heirloom tomato, avocado and mango. Cheese came next followed by chocolate desseerts from Carissa and the house staple, strawberries and cream. 

And what on earth, or not on earth, we wondered, were those alien lights in the dark sky? Ah, I’m told, Starlink of Elon Musk’s SpaceX. 

Saturday: Still at home, we had tea with Allison Gilbert and her husband, Mark. 

l to r, Mark and Allison Gilbert, Rachel Swarns, Jeremy Eichler

We then walked as a group the few minutes to Herrick Park to take our places under the big tent. Within minutes, this is how the scene looked from my book table: 

And here are a few random snaps:

Via Twitter, I told Rachel Louise Snyder that I would abandon my post to find her (we know each other even though we really don’t.) And I did. We will meet again in mid-October at the JAWS camp in Chicago.

Rachel Louise Snyder and Brooke by Keri Lamparter

Keri Lamparter took this photo and the one above and sent them to me. Thank you, Keri!

By Keri Lamparter

And Richard Lewin sent me this one, again with thanks from me:

By Richard Lewin

In the end, I didn’t move as many books as others. Rachel sold out and Jeremy left a small stack. But just as I was leaving and had left my post, a random passerby stopped to look at a book and asked if the author was still around. I announced myself and immediately realized that the one asking already had a copy, which I knew from the Knopf publicists as a book had been requested. Katie Couric then did me the honor of this sweet pose. (She’s in the book.)

The dinner at the beautiful home of Karen Phillips was perfect. She is an elegant host. The evening featured Rachel and Mark Whitaker.  I’m sure all the other dinners were wonderful but it’s hard to imagine a more absorbing, riveting evening than this one. Mark and Rachel were brilliant, Rachel on the 272, the enslaved people that the Jesuits sold to support Georgetown and the furthering of the Catholic Church in America, and Mark on 1966, a year of radical change in the Civil Rights Movement. The group that our host assembled (which included Rachel’s and my colleague and friend Pamela Newkirk), added to the conversation in profound and impressive ways. Rachel and I were so engaged throughout the evening that we neglected to take photographs. That I really regret.

But when we all got home, way tired, we did remember to memorialize our time together and the great time we had. It was just that special.

Jeremy, Brooke, Rachel. What a great time.