Once upon a time the East End was a haven for the creative class with writers like Truman Capote and such artists as Jackson Pollack living in rural bliss. The celeb-a-thon that began in the 1980s seems to grow every year to the point if you don’t spot a boldfacer on a routine run to Citarella out East, you wonder if there’s something wrong with your sunglasses prescription. But the South Fork today is still home to plenty of big-name writers and artists, who—maybe it’s the East End effect—became major celebrities themselves. And the celebrities became authors (more of the East End effect?) too. All that authoring and celebrity-dom makes for one big happy party every year when the East Hampton Library holds its annual Authors Night. This year Alec Baldwin was the evening’s Honorary Founding Chair. His Honorary Co-Chair committee was certainly a stellar one and included Gwyneth Paltrow, Christie Brinkley, Robert A. Caro, Dick Cavett, Mary Higgins Clark and Eric Ripert. Other top authors like Michael Gross, Jay McInerney, Ina Garten and Dr. Ruth Westheimer joined them, and for the first time as an author this year, Jean Shafiroff (who wrote Successful Philanthropy: How to Make a Life by What You Give) headlined the list of 100 scribes who signed their newest books. The event was held at 4 Maidstone Lane in East Hampton.
More than 2,500 guests and had the opportunity to meet and mingle with the authors, buy their books, and have them personally inscribed. (Tickets for the event were $100; dinner party tickets $300.) Following the cocktail party/book-signing, guests were hosted at private dinners throughout East Hampton featuring the event’s participating authors. Authors Night sold more than 4,000 books and raised more than $300,000 for the Library. All funds resulting from Authors Night are used for programs and services at the Library throughout the year. Radio partner WPPB 88.3 Peconic Public Broadcasting broadcast live during the book signing reception.
About the East Hampton Library: It was founded in 1897 and is located at 159 Main Street near the Town Pond. The Library is a vibrant cultural center and maintains the important Long Island Collection for historical research. Children love this library (I know I certainly did when younger) with its numerous programs (Storytime Yoga, Reading Clubs) and extensive collections.