Once a year, Long Island book lovers and literati come together for a splashy night of cocktails and conversation under summer skies, all in the name of charity. East Hampton Library’s Authors Night is easily the most anticipated literary event on the East End and one of the largest library-author events in the country. Now in its 14th year, the celebration boasts more than 100 authors, ranging from local to celebrity, all signing books at the Saturday evening cocktail party, hosted again by founding honorary chair and Alec Baldwin. (Wife Hilaria is an honorary co-chair.) Whether the event is already on your not-to-miss list or this is your first time attending, here are a few things to know:
1. New location. This year for the first time the party moves to 555 Montauk Highway in Amagansett. Known as the “555 Field,” just east of the IGA supermarket, this location offers more accessibility (parking on the field is ample and free) and visibility. Tickets ($100) can be purchased in advance online or at the door, and organizers hope to capture walk-ins who can pop in on their way to the Hamptons for Saturday evening dinner or music. The goings-on will still take place beneath a big white tent, rain or shine.
2. Meet the authors. More than 100 authors will be signing copies of their most recent books under the tent, including Ndaba Mandela, author of the new memoir “Going to the Mountain: Life Lessons from My Grandfather, Nelson Mandela”; Lee Child, mastermind behind the Jack Reacher thriller series; A.J. Finn, author of the year’s runaway bestseller “The Woman in the Window”; and novelist Jamie Brenner, whose beach read is “The Husband Hour,” a signed copy of which would make the perfect summer host or hostess gift.
3. Drinks and dinner. Attendees can stop in for cocktails, small bites and book signings for $100, or extend the evening and join one of 32 writers for dinner at various private East End residences (tickets start at $300 and include entrance to the cocktail party reception). Among the guests of honor are former Long Island congressman Steve Israel ("Big Guns"), Dr. Ruth Westheimer ("Stay or Go") and Wednesday Martin ("Primates of Park Avenue'). Tickets sell out quickly, but there may still be seats at the table for this sought-after simultaneous supper party.
4. Library love. The entire night is a fundraiser for the East Hampton Library, a private, not-for-profit organization serving the community since 1897. Food and wine for the event are provided by local vendors including Montauk Brewing Company, Starbucks and Swedish Culinary Summer, and books are donated by publishers. Proceeds average $300,000 and fund the library’s community outreach programs.
5. Children’s fair. If you want to share the fun with the little ones, come back to 555 Field on Sunday for the annual Children’s Book Fair held under the same big white tent. Raffles, performers and crafts mix with book signings by authors including Billy Baldwin (“Wipeout the Wave") and Wendy Wax (“Even Firefighters Go to the Potty”). The free fair is just one of the many events funded by proceeds from Author’s Night.
East Hampton Library's Authors Night
WHAT Cocktail party and book signings
WHEN | WHERE 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at 555 Montauk Highway, Amagansett
INFO Tickets, $100, can be purchased online or at the door; authorsnight.org
WHAT Author dinner parties
WHEN | WHERE Starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11, at various locations; addresses will be revealed the night of
INFO $300 and up; authorsnight.org
WHAT Children's book fair
WHEN | WHERE 2 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12; 555 Montauk Highway, Amagansett