Sunday, April 28, 2019 Boston Park Plaza

The Associates of the Boston Public Library will be holding the 31st annual Literary Lights dinner on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at the Boston Park Plaza. This annual black tie event is our opportunity to honor outstanding writers from the Northeast and to celebrate their contributions to literature.

We are in the process of finalizing the event roster. Please check back here closer to the date to learn who we will be honoring and how to buy tickets.
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In 2018 we honored a delightful group of authors:

Julian Fellowes

Presented by Rebecca Eaton

Julian Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford (Keynote Speaker), is a British actor, producer, novelist, and screenwriter best known for creating the television series Downton Abbey. Fellowes was born in Egypt and attended Magdalene College, Cambridge. He then studied at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. Beginning in the mid-1970s, he played character roles in television series and movies, and in the 1990s he began to write TV adaptations of novels, notably Little Sir Nicholas, Little Lord Fauntleroy, and The Prince and the Pauper. Fellowes’s breakthrough came with his first produced screenplay, Gosford Park. It earned him several honors, including an Academy Award for best original screenplay. He then wrote scripts for Vanity Fair; Separate Lies, which he also directed; The Young Victoria; The Tourist; and Romeo and Juliet. He also published the novels Snobs and Past Imperfect. In 2010 Fellowes created and produced Downton Abbey, which began following the fortunes of more than a dozen major characters, from the earl and countess of Grantham down to the scullery maid, in the pre-World War I period. The show became a massive success both in the UK and abroad, airing on PBS in the United States. In 2011 the show received an Emmy for best drama series, and Fellowes also received an Emmy for his writing on the show.

André Aciman

Presented by Alice Hoffman

André Aciman is an awarding-winning novelist. Born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt, he is currently a distinguished professor at the Graduate Center of City University of New York, where he teaches the history of literary theory and the works of Marcel Proust. Aciman is the author of several novels, including Call Me by Your Name, which won a 2007 Lambda Literary Award, and was recently made into a highly-acclaimed film. His 1995 memoir, Out of Egypt, won a Whiting Award. He is also the author of two collections of essays, False Papers and Alibis and is the editor of The Proust Project. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, The Paris Review, as well as in many volumes of The Best American Essays.


Stephen Kinzer

Presented by David Greenway

Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on five continents. His articles and books have led The Washington Post to place him “among the best in popular foreign policy storytelling.” Kinzer spent more than 20 years working for The New York Times, with extended postings as bureau chief in Nicaragua, Germany, and Turkey. After leaving the Times in 2005, Kinzer taught journalism, political science, and international relations at Northwestern University and Boston University. He is now a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University, and writes a world affairs column for The Boston Globe. Kinzer is also the author of numerous books including Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq, and his most recent, The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire.

Jane Mayer

Presented by Stacy Schiff

Jane Mayer is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of three bestselling and critically acclaimed narrative nonfiction books. She co-authored Landslide: The Unmaking of the President, 1984–1988, with Doyle McManus, and Strange Justice: The Selling of Clarence Thomas, with Jill Abramson, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her book, The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals, for which she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, was named one of The New York Times’s Top 10 Books of the Year and won the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, the Goldsmith Book Prize, the Edward Weintal Prize, the Ridenhour Prize, the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism, and the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. It was also a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. For her reporting at The New Yorker, Mayer has been awarded the John Chancellor Award, the George Polk Award, the Toner Prize for Excellence in Political Reporting, and the I. F. Stone Medal for Journalistic Independence presented by the Nieman Foundation at Harvard.


Brian Selznick

Presented by Gregory Maguire

Brian Selznick is the author and illustrator of many children’s books, including the bestselling The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was awarded the Caldecott Medal and was a National Book Award finalist. That book was turned into an Academy Award–winning film, Hugo, by Martin Scorsese. Another of Selznick’s books, Wonderstruck, was made into a film that recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Selznick is also the illustrator of many books for children, including Frindle and Lunch Money by Andrew Clements, as well as the Doll People trilogy by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, and The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins by Barbara Kerley, which was a Caldecott Honor Book.

In addition to celebrating the accomplishments of these outstanding writers, proceeds from Literary Lights support the David McCullough Conservation Fund, William O. Taylor Art Preservation Fund, Associates Endowment Fund, and the Associates of the Boston Public Library's operations.

If you would like to receive a mailed invitation or for more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Associates office at or (617) 536-3886. Thank you.

Past Literary Lights

The Associates have been honoring authors for the past 30 years at Literary Lights dinners. View a list of authors the Associates have honored over the years.