'Authors! Authors!' lineup is a varied one

2013-14 season of library series includes Henry Winkler

Actor and children's book author Henry Winkler
Actor and children's book author Henry Winkler

The 2013-2014 Authors! Authors! season will feature a strong lineup of writers who appeal to several age groups. Announced yesterday by the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, it will feature Sherman Alexie, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Jeff Greenfield, Zadie Smith, Rick Atkinson, and Henry Winkler.

In an effort to draw more teens and young adults, the library aims to develop lesson plans on several of the speakers, for use by high school and university teachers, said Ben Malczewski, manager of the humanities department and organizer of the series that is cosponsored by The Blade. The library will have ample copies of books by all the authors, he added. Talks are at 7 p.m. and tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. Tickets for Authors! Authors! can be purchased at library branches and at the door, and seating is first come, first served.

Sherman Alexie will kick off the series Sept. 11 in the Stranahan Theater. Known for his tales of contemporary American Indian life and themes of poverty, violence, and alcoholism among Native American people, he wrote and produced the film, Smoke Signals, based on his book, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, which won the audience favorite award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival. He grew up on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington and has written Ten Little Indians (a national best seller); Reservation Blues (a 1996 American Book Award); The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian; War Dances; and The Toughest Indian in the World.

Jimmy Santiago Baca (Oct. 2 in the Main Library’s McMaster Center) was a runaway at 13. After being sentenced to several years in a maximum security prison, he threw himself into reading, writing, and poetry. His memoir is A Place to Stand, in which he wrote, “I paced my cell with a book in one hand and a knife under my mattress. I knew I could have a long and happy life with a book in my hand or I could have a miserable short life with the shank that was in the mattress.” It won the International Award. He’s also written Adolescents on the Edge, Stories from the Edge, and the novel, A Glass of Water. He conducts writing workshops with children and adults at schools, community centers, and prisons.

Political analyst Jeff Greenfield will speak Nov. 7 in McMaster Center. Known for quick wit and insight, he’s spent more than 30 years on network television speaking about politics, history, and current events. The five-time Emmy winner’s newest book, If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History, will be released in October.

Zadie Smith, will speak March 5 in the Stranahan Theater. Born in London in 1975, her mother was a Jamaican immigrant and her father English. She finished her first novel, White Teeth (2000), during her last year at Cambridge University. It portrays a multicultural London as perceived through the members of three ethnically diverse families. Subsequent novels have included The Autograph Man (2002), On Beauty (2005), and NW (2012). She teaches writing at New York University.

Military historian Rick Atkinson speaks May 1 in McMaster, A three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he recently completed his Liberation Trilogy on World War II with publication of the third volume, The Guns at Last Light: The War in Europe, 1944-1945. He wrote for the Washington Post for 25 years, and has written books about the Persian Gulf War, the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and West Point.

Winding up the series on May 14 in the Stranahan will be Henry Winkler, known by many as The Fonz for his portrayal of Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli in the television sitcom Happy Days. Between 2003 and 2007, he co-authored 12 children’s novels with Lin Oliver in a series called Hank Zipzer, the World’s Greatest Underachiever, based on his own early struggles with dyslexia.

Contact Tahree Lane at or 419-724-6075.