franceisafeastfrenchchefinamerica

Saturday, September 29 at 4 p.m.

Alex Prud’homme, Julia Child’s grandnephew, will present an illustrated talk on his two recent books. The French Chef In America: Julia Child’s Second Act, recounts the enchanting story of Julia Child’s years as a TV personality and beloved cookbook author and vividly describes the myriad ways in which she profoundly shaped how we eat today. Child was in her 60’s when she turned away from classical cooking and began to use recipes from around the world. It was then that she began to write in the first person instead of as The French Chef. France Is A Feast documents how Julia Child first discovered French cooking and the French way of life via intimate and compelling photographs taken by her husband Paul Child in France in 1948-1954.

Journalist and non-fiction author Alex Prud’homme began his writing career in 1988 after joining New York magazine as a fact-checker. He wrote many short articles there, and freelanced on the side, producing stories like “Slave,” a New Yorker piece about an irascible soup maven (later made famous by Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi”). In the 1990s he moved to Business Month, where he profiled business leaders, to Time, where he covered national affairs, and to People, where he wrote crime stories. His articles have also appeared in The New York Times and Vanity Fair. He has written books about terrorism, the ImClone scandal, and the environment.

Copies of The French Chef In America and France Is A Feast will be available for purchase and signing. This event is FREE and open to the public. Please call the Essex Library at 860-767-1560 for more information or to register.

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Wednesday, August 15th at 7 p.m. in The Cube at Centerbrook Architects  

Christopher Buckley’s father, an avid sailor, once owned a wooden sloop named Panic. In describing a few of William F. Buckley’s adventures at sea in the memoir “Losing Mum and Pup” he adds that his Mum often commented, “Bill, why are you trying to kill us?” In a special Essex Library event, Christopher Buckley will share details about a lifetime of sailing with his father: on Long Island Sound, across the Atlantic twice and Pacific once. Expect tears, laughter, the whole schmear.

Christopher Buckley is a novelist, essayist, humorist, critic, magazine editor and memoirist. His books include Thank You for Smoking, The Judge Hunter, and The Relic Master. He worked as a merchant seaman and White House speechwriter. He has written for many newspapers and magazines and has lectured in over seventy cities around the world. He was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence.  Copies of The Judge Hunter will be available for purchase and signing.

This event is free and open to the public. Please call (860) 767-1560 to register.

whenparissizzled

Saturday, February 4th at 1:30 p.m.

When Paris Sizzled vividly portrays the City of Light during the fabulous 1920s, les Annees folles, when Parisians emerged from the horrors of war to find that a new world greeted them one that reverberated with the hard metallic clang of the assembly line, the roar of automobiles, and the beat of jazz. Mary McAuliffe traces a decade that saw seismic change on almost every front, from art and architecture to music, literature, fashion, entertainment, transportation, and, most notably, behavior. The epicenter of all this creativity, as well as of the era s good times, was Montparnasse, where impoverished artists and writers found colleagues and cafes, and tourists discovered the Paris of their dreams. Major figures on the Paris scene such as Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Picasso, Stravinsky, Diaghilev, and Proust continued to hold sway, while others now came to prominence including Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Cole Porter, and Josephine Baker, as well as Andre Citroen, Le Corbusier, Man Ray, Sylvia Beach, James Joyce, and the irrepressible Kiki of Montparnasse. Paris of the 1920s unquestionably sizzled. Yet rather than being a decade of unmitigated bliss, les Annees folles also saw an undercurrent of despair as well as the rise of ruthless organizations of the extreme right, aimed at annihilating whatever threatened tradition and order a struggle that would escalate in the years ahead.

We’ll welcome When Paris Sizzled author Mary McAuliffe to the Essex Library on Saturday, February 4th at 1:30 p.m. She’ll describe the unique time in Paris when the famously creative and creatively famous were at their peak of activity. If you enjoyed Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, you’ll want to hear all the tales from this fabulous time. This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase & signing.

robertwyssThursday, January 19, 2017 at 7 p.m.

David Brower (1912–2000) was a central figure in the modern environmental movement. His leadership, vision, and elegant conception of the wilderness forever changed how we approach nature. In many ways, he was a twentieth-century Thoreau. Brower transformed the Sierra Club into a national force that challenged and stopped federally sponsored projects that would have dammed the Grand Canyon and destroyed hundreds of millions of acres of our nation’s wilderness. To admirers, he was tireless, passionate, visionary, and unyielding. To opponents and even some supporters, he was contentious and polarizing.

As a young man growing up in Berkeley, California, Brower proved himself a fearless climber of the Sierra Nevada’s dangerous peaks. After serving in the Tenth Mountain Division during World War II, he became executive director of the Sierra Club. This uncompromising biography explores Brower’s role as steward of the modern environmental movement. His passionate advocacy destroyed lifelong friendships and, at times, threatened his goals. Yet his achievements remain some of the most important triumphs of the conservation movement. What emerges from this unique portrait is a rich and robust profile of a leader who took up the work of John Muir and, along with Rachel Carson, made environmentalism the cause of our time.

Robert Wyss is associate professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut and a journalist who has written for the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, the Boston Globe, Smithsonian, Yankee, and the Providence Journal. He is the author of Covering the Environment: How Journalists Work the Green Beat (2007).

This program is free and open to the public.