Press Releases

April 7, 2003
Tom Wolfe Headlines Popular Book Fair With 90 Other Authors

Annual "Summer Kickoff" Moves to Southampton College

(631) 287 8313
Fax: (631) 283 4081

There still will be the big tents, the art exhibits and over 90 authors meeting and signing their books for the public. But there's one big difference: Now, for the first time in 26 years, the annual "Meet the Writers" Book Fair that benefits Southampton College will finally be held on campus.

The popular Book Fair that's known as the unofficial kickoff to the Hamptons 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.

Author Tom Wolfe will be the 15th recipient of the John Steinbeck Award at the Book Fair, which takes place on Friday, May 2 from 4 to 7:30 p.m. Admission to the event is $20 in advance/$25 at the door. For tickets and further information, call (631) 287-8347.

Over 90 local writers - from literary newcomers to bestsellers including Wolfe, Nelson DeMille, James Brady, Roger Rosenblatt and Dava Sobel - will meet the public and autograph their works at the rain-or-shine event. It is sponsored by the John Steinbeck Project at Southampton College and benefits the college's Library and Writing program. Tom Wolfe, who resides part-time in Southampton, is the author of several best-selling books including the novel "Bonfire of the Vanities" and non-fiction books including "The Right Stuff," "Hooking Up," "The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby" and "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test." He has won the American Book Award for nonfiction, the National Institute of Arts and Letters Harold Vursell Award for prose style, and the Columbia Journalism Award.

Past recipients of the John Steinbeck Award include E.L. Doctorow, Lanford Wilson, Peter Matthiessen, Kurt Vonnegut, Terrence McNally, Betty Friedan, David Ignatow, Wilfred Sheed, Edward Albee, James Salter, Susan Isaacs, Dava Sobel, Kenneth Koch and Gregory Rabassa.

Since its inception 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.