Audio, Event, Speech, Undaunted

PEN America Author’s Evening with Brooke Kroeger, May 4, 2023

May 4, 2023


What a wonderful format to have been asked to participate in on behalf of an organization as vital as PEN America. Gail Gregg pulled out the stops in her beautiful home, starting with nametags that discreetly pulled the money quote from Undaunted‘s starred review in Kirkus Reviews.
According to PEN’s communications director, Geraldine Baum, we had to turn people away to retain the format’s emphasis on an intimate setting. We were 26 people in all, who gathered for cocktails and to hear about the extraordinary work of PEN in this era of book-banning and threats to the lives of journalists the world over, then about Undaunted with questions and answers as we headed into a delicious dinner. Many in the room I know well and adore: Gail and Dan Shreier, Geraldine, Marsha Pinson, Diana Noble, Bernadette Murray and Bran Raskovic, Philippa Brophy, Celia McGee, Janny Scott, Meryl Gordon, Laura Weiss, and Jeane Straus.  (Joyce Purnick, I only met that night but felt I knew her from her presence in the book.) The setting invited the opportunity to engage in conversation more informally.
Here’s a link to the audio of the formal part of the evening, starting with Maayan Dauber’s brief remarks on behalf of PEN; host Gail Gregg’s introduction of Brooke (4:11-6:42) and Brooke’s acknowledgment of her friends in attendance (6:43-11:39) and Brooke’s remarks about Undaunted (11:40-29:43).
Below is the initial announcement on the oganization’s website. Thank you, Gail. Thank you, Geraldine. Thank you, PEN America.
Brooke Kroeger headshot and Undaunted book coverJoin us for an intimate dinner with Brooke Kroeger discussing Undaunted: How Women Changed American Journalism. This promises to be a fascinating evening, and we hope that you will join us. In Undaunted, Kroeger examines the lives of the best-remembered and long-forgotten woman journalists. She explores the careers of standout woman reporters who covered the major news stories and every conflict at home and abroad since before the Civil War, and she celebrates those exceptional careers up to the present, including those of Ida B. Wells, Martha Gellhorn, Rachel Carson, Janet Malcolm, Joan Didion, Cokie Roberts, and Charlayne Hunter-Gault. This evening is being generously hosted by Gail Gregg.TICKETS/DONATIONSDonations to attend this evening are $350. Following your RSVP, you will be sent the address for the dinner. The donation is considered 100% tax-deductible and supports PEN America’s mission to defend writers and free expression at a time of unprecedented need. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.If you have any questions, please contact Christy Wensley at


The PEN America Authors’ Evenings are nights of literary dinners in private homes and intimate settings. Please visit the Authors’ Evenings webpage for our full calendar of dinners.

Proceeds from the PEN America Authors’ Evenings support PEN America’s programming to secure the liberty of persecuted and imprisoned writers around the world, to defend freedom of expression, and to promote literature and international cultural exchange.