On the morning of April 28, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. By the time the fire was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. More than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library—and if so, who? Weaving her lifelong love of books into an investigation of the fire, award-winning New Yorker writer and New York Times bestselling author SUSAN ORLEAN will give us a delightful, stirring reflection on the past, present, and future of libraries in America and the passion for them that drew her to this story.
Registration will open on Monday, May 24 at 7:00 a.m.
The 2021 Summer Speaker Series, presented by The Community Library and the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, is a series of four FREE outdoor lectures hosted in Ketchum’s Forest Service Park. Advanced registration is required. Click above to reserve your space. We will determine the number of seats available closer to the event, and waitlisted guests will be notified as soon as possible.
The lecture will also be available to stream on the Library’s Livestream. Click here to watch the live stream, which will be available for a limited time.
Susan Orlean is the author of eight books, including The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup; My Kind of Place; Saturday Night; and Lazy Little Loafers. In 1999, she published The Orchid Thief, a narrative about orchid poachers in Florida, which was made into the Academy Award-winning film “Adaptation” starring Nicolas Cage and Meryl Streep. Her book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend, a New York Times Notable book, won the Ohioana Book Award and the Richard Wall Memorial Award. In 2018, she published The Library Book, about the arson fire at the Los Angeles Public Library. It won the California Book Award and the Marfield Prize, was nominated for the Andrew Carnegie Medal, and was a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book of 2018.
Orlean has been a staff writer for the New Yorker since 1992, and has also contributed to Vogue, Rolling Stone, Outside, Esquire, and the New York Times Magazine. She has written about taxidermy, fashion, umbrellas, origami, dogs, chickens, and a wide range of other subjects. She was a 2003 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow. She is currently adapting The Library Book for television, and is a writer and associate producer of “How to With John Wilson” on HBO. She lives with her husband and son in Los Angeles.
Pre-sales of Orlean’s books will be available through Iconoclast Books. Please visit Iconoclast in Hailey or call 208-726-1564 to order your copies. Orlean will sign books in private to protect the health and safety of the speaker and attendees, and those who purchase books through Iconoclast will be able to pick them up at the bookstore approximately 1-2 days following the lecture.
Photo credit: Noah Fecks