Book Markers: 10.03.13

Local book news

Bookish Dinners
    Where renovations and expansions continue apace, as at Sag Harbor’s venerable John Jermain Memorial Library, can a fund drive be far behind?

    The library’s capital campaign will be bolstered once more by One for the Books, a raft of benefit dinners held at various residences and attended by Sag Harbor authors ready to be chatted up or peppered with questions. This year the dates are Oct. 12 and 19 — yes, two Saturdays, for you weekenders out there — from 6 to 8 p.m., though who really knows once the booze starts flowing. Tickets cost $100.

    The choices for the 12th: E.L. Doctorow (“Homer & Langley”), David Margolick (“Dreadful: The Short Life and Gay Times of John Horne Burns”), Suzanne Mc­Near (“Knock Knock: A Life”), David Scott Kastan (“Shakespeare and the Book”), and Tom Clavin (“The DiMaggios”).

    For the 19th: Joe Pintauro (“Nunc et Semper”), Eric Fischl (“Bad Boy”), Mac Griswold (“The Manor: Three Centuries at a Slave Plantation on Long Island”), and Alan Furst (“Mission to Paris”).

    Questions can be directed by e-mail to, or there’s always the phone.

Only Obser
    Eileen Obser, East Hamptoner and veteran writing coach, is back at the Hampton Library in Bridgehampton with a five-week workshop, Memoir and Personal Essay Writing. It meets on Tuesdays from 5 to 7 p.m., from Oct. 8 through Nov. 15 but skipping Oct. 29. The focus, as the title suggests, is on autobiographical expression, help coming in the form of readings and group discussions, research tips, and marketing suggestions. The cost is $65. Registration is with the library. And scribes and readers take note: Ms. Obser has a memoir of her own, “Only You,” coming out in January by way of Oak Tree Press.

From Open House to House Envy
    The Stony Brook Southampton M.F.A. program in creative writing and literature may exist on a largely deserted campus, but who says its teachers and administrators can’t still be homey? They’re inviting all comers, for instance, to an open house on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the intriguingly named Radio Lounge of the more comprehensible Chancellors Hall. Students, too, will be on hand, primed to be pumped for news.

    “Information will be available on combining course work in Manhattan and Southampton,” a release said, “or, for those interested in writing for younger readers, the new one-year Children’s Lit Fellows program,” which is now accepting applications for 2014. “Tailored to accommodate and facilitate distance learning,” the program was put together by Emma Walton Hamilton, who heads up the Children’s Literature Conference, and Julie Sheehan, the director of the M.F.A. in creative writing, “to offer children’s book writers a more affordable and flexible option than matriculation in a two or three-year M.F.A. program.” The deadline is Dec. 1 and the Web site is R.S.V.P.s for the open house can be directed by e-mail to

    But wait, there’s more: At 7 that night, Meghan Daum, a columnist for The Los Angeles Times, will put in an appearance for the Writers Speak series. She is the author of an essay collection, “My Misspent Youth,” a novel, “The Quality of Life Report,” and, most recently, “Life Would Be Perfect if I Lived in That House,” a humorous quest for better real estate and something grounded in a rootless existence — er, a 900-square-foot fixer-upper? Don’t forget the wine and cheese afterward.