Boston Public Library Literary Lights 2017

SUN, APR 23, 2017 (1:14:04)

The Associates of the Boston Public Library recognize authors Kwame Anthony Appiah, Susan Faludi, Jane Kaminsky and Wally Lamb at the 2017 Literary Lights Awards.

Each year the Literary Lights event honors distinguished authors from the Northeast for their contributions to literature and the written word.

Literary Lights of 2017 and Their Presenters

Kwame Anthony Appiah
New York Times columnist, “The Ethicist,” and author of The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen
Presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Susan Faludi
Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and author of Backlash: The Undeclared War against American Women
Presented by Christopher Lydon
Jane Kamensky
Harvard University professor and author of A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley
Presented by Jill Lepore
Wally Lamb
Novelist and author of I’ll Take You There and I Know This Much Is True
Presented by Andre Dubus III

Keynote speaker: The Honorable Margaret H. Marshall
First female Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
Presented by David Leonard, President, Boston Public Library

+ BIO: The Honorable Margaret H. Marshall

The Honorable Margaret H. Marshall was born in South Africa where, as a student, she led the National Union of South African Students, working to end oppressive minority rule and achieve equality for all South Africans. Marshall first came to the US as a high school exchange student in Wilmington, DL in 1962, as the civil rights battles were beginning to boil over, and later returned to the US for graduate school, where she became involved with the anti-war and the women’s movements. After Yale Law School, she entered private practice, became President of the Boston Bar Association, Vice President & General Counsel for Harvard University, and then went on to the State’s Supreme Court, where she became the first female Chief Justice of the oldest continuously serving appellate court in the Western Hemisphere. Though she has had many accomplishments, Justice Marshall is most renowned for her 2003 opinion which led Massachusetts to become the first state in the nation to outlaw the ban on same-sex marriage. Although she loved her time on the bench, Justice Marshall stepped down in 2010. She now mentors young lawyers at her former law firm, Choate Hall & Stewart, and teaches at Harvard University.

+ BIO: Jane Kamensky

Jane Kamensky is Professor of History at Harvard University and Pforzheimer Foundation Director of the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She is a historian of early America, the Atlantic world, and the age of revolutions, with particular interests in the histories of family, culture, and everyday life.

Born in Manhattan, Kamensky received her BA (1985) and PhD (1993) in History from Yale University. Before coming to Harvard, she taught for two decades at Brandeis University, where she won two awards for excellence in teaching, and chaired the Department of History. She has also served as Mary Ann Lippitt Professor of History at Brown University.

Kamensky’s books include A Revolution in Color: The World of John Singleton Copley (W.W. Norton, 2016), winner of the New-York Historical Society’s Barbara and David Zalaznick Book Prize in American History and the Annibel Jenkins Biography Prize of the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and a finalist for PEN’s Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography, the Marfield Prize for Arts Writing, and the George Washington Book Prize; The Exchange Artist: A Tale of High-Flying Speculation and America’s First Banking Collapse (Viking, 2008), also a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize; Governing the Tongue: The Politics of Speech in Early New England (Oxford University Press, 1997); and the novel Blindspot (Random House, 2008), jointly written with Jill Lepore. With Edward G. Gray, she edited the Oxford Handbook of the American Revolution (Oxford UP, 2012).

Her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, the Charles Warren Center at Harvard, and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. A co-founder, with Jill Lepore, of the online journal Common-place, she has served on the editorial boards of the American Historical Review, the Journal of American History, and the Journal of the Early Republic; and as a Commissioner of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. She has been elected to the Council of the American Antiquarian Society, the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians, the Advisory Board of the Society of Historians of the Early American Republic, and the Executive Board of the Society of American Historians, and was honored as a “Literary Light” by the Boston Public Library in 2017.

+ BIO: Wally Lamb

Wally Lamb is the best-selling author of She’s Come Undone, I know This Much is True, The Hour I First Believed, and Wishin’ and Hopin’. His first two books were selected for Oprah’s Book Club, were New York Times best-sellers, New York Times Notable Books of the Year and, between them, have been translated into 18 languages. His latest novel is We Are Water. Lamb has also edited two volumes of essays: Couldn’t Keep it to Myself and I’ll Fly Away, written by students in his writing workshops at a women’s prison in Connecticut. He has taught creative writing in the English department at the University of Connecticut, was founder and director of the Writing Center at Norwich Free Academy, has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and Connecticut Commission for the Arts, and was honored with the Connecticut Center for the Book’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

+ BIO: Susan Faludi

Susan Faludi is a journalist and author who has written extensively on gender issues. In 1991 she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Journalism for a piece on the leverage buyout of Safeway Stores, focusing on the “human cost of high finance.” After graduating from Harvard University, where she wrote for The Harvard Crimson, she was a contributor to the New Yorker, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Nation, as well as many other publications. In the 1980s Faludi wrote several pieces on the feminist movement and the resistance to it, resulting in her 1991 book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, for which she won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. She went on to write Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man, The Terror Dream, and, most recently, The Darkroom, which was inspired by her father’s transsexuality. She was a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies in the 2008-2009 academic year and a 2013-2014 Tallman Scholar in the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at Bowdoin College.

+ BIO: Kwame Anthony Appiah

Kwame Anthony Appiah is a philosopher, novelist, professor and cultural theorist. He grew up in Ghana and earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Cambridge University in London. Professor Appiah has lectured around the world and taught at Princeton, Yale, Cornell, Duke and Harvard Universities before moving to New York University where he now teaches in the Department of Philosophy. In 2009 Forbes Magazine named him one of the world’s most powerful thinkers, in 2010 he was on the list of Foreign Policy Magazine’s top global thinkers, and he was awarded the National Humanitarian Medal at a White House ceremony in 2012. Appiah, the author of numerous books and articles, has traveled around the world giving lectures on multiculturalism, global citizenship, courage, identity, and religion. One of his early books, In My Father’s House, which explores the role of African American intellectuals in shaping contemporary African life, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the Herskovits Award for the most important scholarly work on African studies published in English. Appiah is well known for his columns and podcasts as the Ethicist for the New York Times.

Partner
Boston Public Library
Series
Talks for Book Lovers
Recommended Lectures