Mondo Book Party in an Amagansett Field
“Watch out for their leavings,” the unsatisfied housewife says to the peripatetic photographer as they stroll an Iowa cow pasture in “The Bridges of Madison County.” It might be the only memorable line in the entire book, one best kept in mind by the Authors Night attendees as, well heeled or not, they tread the fields of the enigmatic 555 address on Montauk Highway in Amagansett, the former Principi farm, where once roamed large hoofed beasts.
Come Saturday night, literary animals will prowl there, sniffing out books to buy, authors to chat up or hit up for a quick name-scrawl, hors d’oeuvres to cram, and the inevitable plastic-tumbler chardonnay to wash them down with. The location may be new, but the evening remains a big-tent benefit for the East Hampton Library, of course. Accordingly, tickets are $100, and they’ll be available at the door. The party starts at 5 p.m.
Or, $300 will get you that and entrée to dinners at private residences around town organized around certain books, with their authors, fresh from the reception, in attendance. There were 33 of them to choose from at last check, ranging from the societal (David Margolick and “The Promise and the Dream,” on M.L.K. and R.F.K.) to the suspenseful (Helen Harrison and “An Accidental Corpse,” which reimagines the infamous Jackson Pollock car wreck) to the tell-all (Emily Jane Fox of Vanity Fair and “Born Trump”). They start at 8 p.m.
Robert James Waller, invoked above, unfortunately can’t make the reception, as he died in 2017, but while it’s true authors like him will be well represented, there will be others of far more substance seated at a table and ripe for cornering. Robert Caro, for one, the man obsessively chasing the white whale of “the last man who knew how to run the country,” as he’s been called, Lyndon Baines Johnson, in a multi-volume biography that’s bound to end up as midcentury America’s answer to Edward Gibbon on the Roman Empire.
As for other authors, they number about a hundred, so a visit to the Authors Night website makes sense. Everything you could conceivably need to know is right there.