Their literary talents, of course.
They will be among the boldface-name writers in attendance when the East Hampton Library holds its annual Authors Night benefit Saturday, Aug. 13. The evening's co-founding chairs, Alec Baldwin and Barbara Goldsmith, play host to more than 160 authors at this high-season tradition now in its seventh year. Tickets are on sale through the event website.
Last year's event -- 1,200 supporters strong -- raised more than $200,000, according to organizers, who expect this year's attendees will be just as numerous -- and generous.
Does the East Hampton Library deserve such largesse in a world with, let's face it, much needier concerns?
"Any library is a worthy cause," insists Jeffrey Lyons, media critic, Authors Night participant and author, most recently, of "Stories My Father Told Me" (Abbeville Press). "The event is an incredible gathering place of more authors per square foot than probably anywhere else. It's a testament to the dedication to keep libraries flourishing and thriving in the face of competing technology."
What to expect
The evening begins at 5 p.m. with an authors reception under the tent on the library grounds, featuring hors d'oeuvres, wine and the opportunity to meet the authors, buy their books and have them inscribed.
At 8 p.m., attendees can spend time with the guest authors at themed dinners in private homes. Dinner tickets are still available, but passes to some parties are highly prized. Go to the event website, pick three writers you'd like to have dinner with, and organizers will seat you with one of them. You'll be notified by email.
The reception is a gala event unto itself. There's no dress code per se, but you never know whom you'll be standing next to when the camera flashes go off. Baldwin may be the biggest name and surest bet to be there, but such celebrities as Mariska Hargitay, Anne Heche and James Lipton have come by just to lend their support to the library alongside other civic-minded Hamptons residents who love books.
"My fondest memory of Authors Night is walking into that immense tent and seeing over a hundred authors engaged with people who were walking away with bags full of books," says co-chair Goldsmith.
Authors Night benefit
WHEN | WHERE 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at East Hampton Library, 159 Main St., East Hampton
INFO 631-324-0222 ext. 7, authorsnight.org
ADMISSION $100 cocktail reception, $225 and up for dinner with authors at private homes