Items tagged with Authors

Historian David Dalin with an Inside Look at the Supreme Court

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Historian David Dalin, author of Jewish Justices of the Supreme Court: From Brandeis to Kagan, examines the legal careers, lives and legacies of the eight Jewish justices who have or are serving on the Supreme Court. This program is free and open to all. To reserve a seat, email skamisar [at] jewishphilanthropyct [dot] org.

Note location: Temple Israel, 14 Coleytown Road, Westport 


Community partners: The Federation for Jewish Philanthropy Cardozo Society and Temple Israel

“I thought I knew a lot about the Supreme Court’s eight Jewish justices, since I have known six of them personally. But I learned so much more from David Dalin's brilliant and readable account of their very different lives and connections to their Jewish heritage. A must read for anyone interested in Jewish, American or legal history.”—Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, Harvard Law School, and author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law

David G. Dalin is an historian and rabbi. He has written, co-authored or edited eleven books, including Religion and State in the American Jewish Experience with Jonathan D. Sarna. His articles and book reviews have appeared in publications such as American Jewish History, Modern Judaism, Weekly Standard, the American Jewish Year Book and the Jewish Review of Books.


Fighting Opioid Addiction with Shatterproof CEO Gary Mendell

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Founder and CEO of Shatterproof, Gary Mendell, joins in a panel discussion with moderator Monica K. Wheeler, MSN, RN, Director of Community Health for the Westport Weston Health District and panelists Elaine Daignault, Director of Human Services, Town of Westport and Denique Weidema-Lewis, Director of Prevention, Positive Directions.

Opioid Addiction resource guide

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation that addiction causes families. Under the leadership of CEO and founder Gary Mendell, who lost his son to addiction, Shatterproof has helped 14 states pass life-saving legislation and has, through its Ambassador program, empowered those impacted by addiction to share their stories to affect social and policy change.

Community sponsor: Cohen & Wolf

Large Reading Room

The Malloy Lecture in the Arts Presents "Falsettos:" In Conversation

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The Malloy Lecture in the Arts presents “Falsettos: In Conversation” is currently sold out.  Register here or call the Westport Country Playhouse box office at 203-227-4177. The box office will be open on Tuesday: 12PM – 7PM; Wednesday through Friday: 12PM – 8PM; Saturday: 11AM – 8PM; and Sunday: 11AM – 3PM. 

The 2017 Malloy Lecture in the Arts on Monday, September 11 at 7 pm brings Tony Award-winners & Broadway stars to Westport through a unique collaboration between Westport Library, "Live From Lincoln Center" and Westport Country Playhouse. It features a panel discussion on the Broadway hit Falsettos with the men behind the show—Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist William Finn and Tony Award-winning playwright and director James Lapine—and the revival’s Tony-nominated star Stephanie J. Block. The evening will be moderated by five-time Emmy award winner, Executive Producer of "Live From Lincoln Center" and Westport resident Andrew C. Wilk. 

The event is free; however, tickets are required. Tickets will be available beginning at noon, Tuesday, August 15. For updates please check the Westport Library website:

Note location: Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport

William Finn

James Lapine

Stephanie J. Block
Andrew C. Wilk

Written by both Finn and Lapine on the cusp of the AIDS crisis, Falsettos chronicles the life of a gay man Marvin, his ex-wife, his lover, his son, their psychiatrist and the lesbians next door as they navigate the often-choppy waters of modern, middle class family dynamics. Lapine directed its original run on Broadway in 1992 for which both he and Finn won Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical. Finn also won a Tony for Best Original Score.

The film version of Falsettos stars Tony-nominated actor Stephanie J. Block as Marvin’s ex-wife Trina. Block will join Finn and Lapine at the Westport Country Playhouse on the panel and perform selections from Falsettos as well as some of her other notable Broadway roles. 

The Malloy Lecture will be a panel discussion centered around selected scenes from the film of Falsettos. The evening will also include an opportunity for audience Q&A.

"Live From Lincoln Center," in partnership with Screenvision Media and event cinema creators KAOS Connect, is making the Tony-nominated production of Lincoln Center Theater’s Falsettos available to audiences in movie theaters for a very limited engagement nationwide. For information on the film, visit The film will be shown on PBS fall 2017.

The Malloy Lecture in the Arts is made possible by a generous contribution from Westport artist Susan Malloy. The Westport Library created the lecture series in 2002 as a free, public annual discussion by an individual who has had a significant cultural influence and whose work has enhanced the understanding and appreciation of the arts.

Past programs have included Philippe de Montebello, Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; distinguished playwright Arthur Miller; artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude; musicians Joshua Bell and Frederic Chiu; poet-laureate Billy Collins; Vartan Gregorian, President of the Carnegie Corporation; author Joyce Carol Oates; cartoonist Roz Chast; actor Christopher Plummer; stage, film and theater star John Lithgow; preeminent classical dancer Jacques d'Amboise; music legend Clive Davis, and author Salman Rushdie.

Photo credits:
William Finn: Harry Roseman
Stephanie J. Block: Bill Westmoreland

Westport Country Playhouse
Malloy Lecture in the Arts

Author and Journalist Jessica Bruder on “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century”

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A new labor force is growing across the country: “workampers,” older Americans who have turned to short-term transient work when Social Security and their retirement cushions have fallen short. Author Jessica Bruder’s new book, Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, tells the stories of these nomadic laborers navigating a changing economic landscape for America’s retirees.

WNYC's Leonard Lopate interviews her 9/26.

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to Bruder about her book.

"Journalist Bruder (Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man) expands her remarkable cover story for Harper’s into a book about low-income Americans eking out a living while driving from locale to locale for seasonal employment."—starred Kirkus Review

"What photographer Jacob Riis did for the tenement poor in How the Other Half Lives (1890) and what novelist Upton Sinclair did for stockyard workers in The Jungle (1906), journalist Bruder now does for a segment of today’s older Americans forced to eke out a living as migrant workers."—starred Booklist Review

Jessica Bruder is an award-winning journalist whose work focuses on subcultures and the dark corners of the economy. She has written for Harper’s, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Bruder teaches narrative writing at the Columbia School of Journalism.

Large Reading Room

Author and LGBTQ Activist Jeffrey Marsh on “How to Be You”

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Author and LGBTQ activist Jeffrey Marsh discusses their book How To Be You: Stop Trying to Be Someone Else and Start Living Your Life, which traces Jeffrey's own story of "growing up fabulous in a small farm town" along with the stories of heroes and heroines who have transcended the stereotypes of race, age and gender.

Community partner & location: Toquet Hall Teen Center, 58 Post Road East

Community sponsor: Triangle Community Center in Norwalk

LGBTQ Resource guide

Jeffrey Marsh is an activist and icon whose message of inclusion and acceptance has amassed over 300 million views on social media. Jeffrey is a regular contributor, writer, and on-air host for Snapchat Stories, Facebook Live, O Magazine,,, Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and Mashable. Jeffrey is a social media ambassador/correspondent for MTV/LOGO, VH1, GLSEN, GLAAD and PFLAG. Jeffrey is the first non-binary author with Penguin Random House, and the first multi-hyphenate talent to use ‘they/them’ pronouns (as opposed to he/she/his/her’).

This is a program for all ages. There will be crafts and snacks will be provided.

Toquet Hall Teen Center
Teen, Authors
Authors, Teen

Author & Filmmaker Tom Shachtman on "How the French Saved America"

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Author, filmmaker and educator Tom Schachtman discusses his book How the French Saved America: Soldiers, Sailors, Diplomats, Louis XVI, and the Success of a Revolution. To the rebelling colonies, French assistance made the difference between defeat and triumph.

Community partner: Westport Historical Society

American Revolution guide

Even before the Declaration of Independence was issued, King Louis XVI and French foreign minister Vergennes were aiding the rebels. After the Declaration, that assistance broadened to include wages for our troops; guns, cannon, and ammunition; engineering expertise that enabled victories and prevented defeats; diplomatic recognition when no other country would give it; safe havens for privateers; battlefield leadership by veteran officers; and the army and fleet that made possible the Franco-American victory at Yorktown.

Nearly ten percent of those who fought and died for the American cause were French. Those who fought and survived, in addition to the well-known Lafayette and Rochambeau, include François de Fleury, who won a Congressional Medal for valor, Louis Duportail, who founded the Army Corps of Engineers, and Admiral de Grasse, whose sea victory sealed the fate of Yorktown.

Tom Schachtman has written or co-authored more than thirty books, as well as documentaries for ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, and BBC, and has taught at New York University and lectured at Harvard and Stanford. He is a former chairman of The Writers Room in Manhattan, a trustee of the Connecticut Humanities Council, a founding director of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, and is currently a consultant to the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's science and technology initiatives.

Author photo credit Mark Connolly

Large Reading Room

Musician and Author John Andrew Fredrick

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Musician, author and artist John Andrew Fredrick, founder of the black watch (which Magnet Magazine called “one of music’s most perfect and unheralded rock outfits”), comes for an evening that offers an intimate glimpse into the life and work of one of indie rock’s most celebrated talents. Fredrick will talk about his life making music, read from recent books (including his political satire Your Caius Aquila and his exploration of the early films of Wes Anderson, F**king Innocent), and perform some of the music that’s cemented his reputation as an indie rock icon.

This evening offers Westport audiences an unprecedented opportunity to get up close and personal with one of rock music’s irreverent visionaries. Fredrick's solo appearance is the kick-off for the band's 2017 East Coast tour.

John Andrew Fredrick received his Ph.D. in English from The University of California at Santa Barbara, where he formed an indie rock band called the black watch that has released nearly twenty albums, including the band’s latest, “the gospel according to john.” Fredrick is also the author of four books, including The King of Good Intentions, a novel chronicling the early days of an indie band; Your Caius Aquila, a satire of U.S. militarism and imperialism in the guise of a sexy and hilarious Roman Empire-set epistolary novel; and F*** Innocent: The Early Films of Wes Anderson, a critique of the acclaimed filmmaker’s early films. He started painting in 2006, using only materials he could purchase at 99-cent stores, but now he uses acrylic and oil and pre-stretched canvases as well.

John Andrew Fredrick photo credit Steve Keros.

McManus Room
Music, Authors
Authors, Music

CBS News Correspondent Jeff Pegues on His Book, Black and Blue

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Justice and homeland security correspondent for CBS News and Staples High School graduate Jeff Pegues discusses Black and Blue: Inside the Divide between the Police and Black America, which examines the growing crisis between law enforcement and people of color. He will be in discussion with Westport Chief of Police Foti Koskinas. The recent killings in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Ferguson, and elsewhere are just the latest examples of this longstanding rift between law enforcement and people of color. Pegues explores this through facts, statistics, and perspectives from both sides of the community-police divide as well as his access to top law enforcement officials throughout the country, including FBI Director James Comey and police chiefs in major cities. He also offers possible solutions by summarizing recommendations from police chiefs, politicians and activists. Note: the talk was originally scheduled for June 8.

This program is in special memory of Westport illustrator Tracy Sugarman, civil rights and social justice activist.
Community partners: TEAM Westport & the Westport Police Department

Westport/Weston Daily Voice article, 5/16/17, "Staples High Grad Offers Timely Discussion On Race And Law Enforcement"
WestportNow article, 5/15/17, "Two Staples Grads Talk Race and Policing"
Dan Woog's 06880 post, "Jeff Pegues: “Black And Blue” In America Today"

Jeff Pegues is the justice and homeland security correspondent for CBS News. In this capacity he has participated in closed-door interviews with FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson. In the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, Pegues orchestrated an interview with the chiefs of police representing four major U.S. cities. In 2015, he covered all angles of the Charleston, South Carolina, church killings, beginning with the manhunt for the suspect and culminating with a special report analyzing President Obama’s eulogy at the funeral of State Senator Clementa Pinckney. Previous to joining CBS News, Pegues spent ten years at WABC-TV in New York. He is the recipient of three Emmy Awards, numerous Emmy Award nominations, and the Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Summer Reading Challenge 2017.

McManus Room

Author Joshua Cohen on His New Novel, Moving Kings

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In a conversation with Joe Meyers of the CT Post, author Joshua Cohen discusses his new novel Moving Kings which is about faith, race, class, and what it means to have a home. It interweaves the housing crisis in America’s poor black and Hispanic neighborhoods with the world’s oldest conflict, in the Middle East. 

"Cohen shows an impressive knowledge of life in the cab of a moving van and in the ranks of the Israeli Defense Forces. He touches on two wars and two combat zones (counting brief allusions to Afghanistan). He is funny and caustic and has a marvelous snap in his dialogue."—starred Kirkus Review

Location and community partner: The Conservative Synagogue, 30 Hillspoint Road

Community partner: The Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County

Joshua Cohen has written novels (Book of Numbers), short fiction (Four New Messages), and nonfiction for The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, London Review of Books, The Forward, n+1 and others. In 2017 he was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists.

Author photo credit: Beowulf Sheehan

Summer Reading Challenge 2017.


Author Brian Reich on His Book, "The Imagination Gap"

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Strategist, speechwriter and media junkie Brian Reich discusses his new book The Imagination Gap, which addresses the need to draw on imagination more than ever before. Imagination makes the difference between projects that succeed and those that don't, and is the key ingredient that transforms an idea from interesting into world-changing.

There will also be “imagination challenges” designed for all ages, to encourage the use of imagination and include questions, prompts, and directives.

Dan Woog's "Woog's World" in the Westport News, "Brian Reich Teaches To Inspire" on May 5, 2017

Brian Reich, partner at little m media, is a strategist and speechwriter for executive leaders at global brands, media companies, startups, nonprofits, political, and advocacy organizations. He speaks regularly on the impact of media and technology on society and gives keynote speeches on these and other topics for major conferences and events.

He is the author of three books: The Imagination Gap, Shift & Reset, and Media Rules!. Brian’s work and views have been published in leading media publications, including the New York Times, Wired, AdAge, and the Chronicle of Philanthropy. He has delivered analysis of digital and political trends on NPR and Fox News and been an expert contributor for Fast Company.

Brian has taught consumer behavior and marketing strategy at The George Washington University and Columbia University. He has held senior roles at leading digital and public affairs agencies and was briefing director for Vice President Al Gore. 

Summer Reading Challenge 2017.

Large Reading Room