April 21, 2003
Southampton College "Meet the Writers" Book Fair Features Array of Authors
Seated from A to Z, Bestsellers and Beginners Mingle in Egalitarian Affair
(631) 287 8313
Fax: (631) 283 4081
One of the charms of the annual Southampton College "Meet the Writers" Book Fair is its eclectic mix of authors - from bestsellers to beginners - seated alphabetically, each with equal space. It is egalitarian and interpersonal, a place where writers are the focus, not their publishers.
This year, Long Island's largest literary event features over 90 authors, starting with poet Donald Everett Axinn and ending with spiritualist Amy Zerner. In between, more well-known writers including James Brady, Steven Gaines, Nelson DeMille, Roger Rosenblatt, Dava Sobel and Tom Wolfe will share their tables and war stories with authors just as devoted to the written word, if not as popular.
They are also all united in that they are East End residents, at least part-time, and had a book published within the past 12 months'the only requirements to participate. Thus, this year's event will have something for every book buyer. It will be held at its host, Southampton College, for the first time, capitalizing on the campus's open spaces and central location.
Along with Wolfe, who will be honored this year with the 15th annual John Steinbeck Award by the College, other best-selling East End authors will be signing new books. Rosenblatt, the Time essayist and professor at Southampton College who also headlines July's nationally recognized Writers Conference, will debut his new book "Anything can Happen: Notes on My Inadequate Life and Yours" (Harcourt).
Brady, the Parade columnist who has written four books about the Hamptons, returns to the Book Fair with "Warning of War: A Novel of the North China Marines."
Gaines will sign his Fab Four history "The Love you Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles."
Sobel returns with her landmark translation, "Letters to Father" Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo (1623-1633).
Mega-seller DeMille will sign his three-book set, which was released in paperback this spring and includes "Up Country," "The Lion's Game" and "Plum Island."
Several poets are participating, including Suffolk County's Poet Laureate, George Wallace, who was named to the post last month, along with Fran Castan, Vince Clemente, Norbert Krapf and others. Many area journalists have also made the transition to book writing in the past year, including Dan Rattiner of Dan's Papers, Lee Davis of The Southampton Press, Russell Drumm of the East Hampton Star and Joe Haberstroh of Newsday. A record six alumni from the College's esteemed writing program will showcase their books: Alan-Michael Braveman ("Images of New York"), D. Daniel Judson ("The Poisoned Rose"), Heather Dune Macadam ("The Weeping Buddha"), Sandy Mcintosh ("Between Earth and Sky"), John D. Williams ("Motion Health") and Charles Pellegrino ("Ghosts of the Titanic").
Prolific children's author Josephine Nobisso will have five different books on hand for signing.
The popular Book Fair that's known as the unofficial kickoff to the Hampton's summer season will now enjoy the ample grounds of the College's Fine Arts Lawn and also benefit by adjoining programs in the Avram Theater and Gallery. Previously hosted by Elaine Benson Gallery, which closed last year, this year's Book Fair keeps the tradition of also featuring an art exhibit. The College's heralded theater troupe, the Southampton Players, will stage rehearsals for their upcoming musical "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," too.
The event takes place on Friday, May 2 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is $20 in advance/$25 at the door. For tickets and further information, call (631) 287-8347.
Since its inceprtion in 1977, the John Steinbeck Project has raised funds for Southampton College of Long Island University, which have been used to establish a Visiting Writer's Program, the annual Steinbeck Lecture, student writing awards and scholarships, and acquisitions for the College Library.