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New Canaan Library’s 14th Annual Literary Luncheon Welcomes Bestselling Author Martha Hall Kelly, Speaking on Latest Novel, Sunflower Sisters
November 4, 2021 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm
New Canaan Library is delighted to once again welcome guests to an in-person setting for its Annual Literary Luncheon. Continuing the tradition of featuring respected and award-winning authors, the 14th Annual Literary Luncheon presents The New York Times bestselling author Martha Hall Kelly as guest speaker. Ms. Kelly, well known for her impeccably researched historical fiction, will be speaking about her latest novel, Sunflower Sisters. The event will be held on Thursday, November 4, 2021, at 11 a.m. at the Woodway Country Club, Darien, Connecticut. Information on individual tickets and Benefactor tickets/tables is available on the Library’s website, newcanaanlibrary.org/literary luncheon.
Inspired by true accounts and written with an emphasis on vivid, realistic depictions of the Civil War experience, Sunflower Sisters tells the story of three women from vastly different backgrounds. Their lives intersect as they move in directions they had never imagined, defying the roles society assigned them. Readers meet Georgeanna Woolsey, a young woman of social stature who follows her passion to become a Union battlefield nurse, and Jemma, a young, enslaved woman who is sold off from her family and conscripted into the Union army. In different ways both their lives are intertwined with Anne-May Wilson, a Southern plantation mistress torn between Union and Confederacy allegiance who enters into a life of espionage. Ms. Kelly’s beautifully written story powerfully illustrates a particularly disturbing time in America’s history, bringing it to life through the eyes of three very strong women. Many of the themes addressed in the book are still relevant today.
The Literary Luncheon’s online auction in support of the Library has become a popular tradition and will once again be an exciting aspect of the event. A few highlights of this year’s offerings include a peaceful sunset cruise out of Stamford Harbor Point Marina for up to 8 people, sailed by a seasoned captain on a Jeanneau 64’ sailboat, an Art Basel trip to Miami Beach donated by Artful Jaunts, and a once-in-a-lifetime culinary experience via a cooking class for 6 to 8 people with celebrated Cordon Bleu chef Silvia Baldini, winner of Food Network’s Chopped. Knowledgeable and passionate about sustainable food and the use of wholesome ingredients and traditional wisdom, Baldini’s recipes have been published in numerous culinary publications and major media outlets, and she has been featured in Forbes, Tech Crunch, Entrepreneurial Chef, among others. Other items and experiences on the auction roster include Caramoor arts center tickets, a family photo package, guided tour of NYC art galleries, 6 months of gorgeous floral arrangements, gardening and planting lessons, horseback riding lessons, and a custom created piece of art.
Generous corporate sponsorship this year comes from Bankwell, Saxe + Bryan Properties, Turner Construction Company, Artful Jaunts, LLC, Centerbrook Architects and Planners, Clarke, DEANE, Inc, Lampert Toohey & Rucci, LLC, New Canaan Racquet Club, Rand Insurance, Reynolds + Rowella, and Springboard Travel. Once again, Moffly Media is the exclusive media sponsor for the event.
The Literary Luncheon is the Library’s biggest annual fundraiser, welcoming more than 400 guests for bestselling authors such as Alice Hoffman (2020), Delia Owens (2019), Jennifer Egan (2018), Amor Towles (2017), Paula McLain (2016) and Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Doerr (2015).