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Susan Orlean discusses 'The Library Book'
Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, 7 – 8:10 p.m.
Susan Orlean discusses 'The Library Book'
WhereCentral Library
Room LocationLevel 1 - Microsoft Auditorium
AudienceAdults
LanguageEnglish
SummaryJoin us to hear bestselling author Orlean (The Orchid Thief) discuss her new book, an examination of a legendary library fire, and of the crucial role that libraries play in our lives.
DescriptionAbout the book
On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. Thanks to long-term planning and protocols, all patrons and employees were evacuated within five minutes—but the blaze continued, and seven hours later, despite the tireless efforts of firefighters, staff, and volunteers, the library had been gutted by the fire and 400,000 books had been lost. Immediately, investigators descended on the scene, determined to find the culprit, but to no avail. Over thirty years later, the mystery remains: who would set fire to a library—and why?

With her characteristic humor, insight, compassion, and knack for deep research, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author of Rin Tin Tin and The Orchid Thief Susan Orlean returns with "The Library Book," an investigation of the legendary Central Library Fire, and the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives. To truly understand what happens behind the stacks, Orlean visits the different departments of the LAPL, encountering a colorful cast of employees and patrons, and experiencing alongside them both the victories and struggles that they face in the modern age. She also studies the evolution of libraries across the country and the world, from metropolitan charitable initiative to a cornerstone of national identity, burns a copy of a book herself, and tries to track down Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to Central Library over thirty years ago. Along the way, she learns that these buildings provide much more than just books—and that we need them now more than ever.

Filled with heart, passion, and extraordinary characters, "The Library Book" is a love letter to a beloved institution that remains a vital part of heart, mind, and soul of our country.

About the author
Susan Orlean has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1992. She is the author of seven books, including Rin Tin Tin, Saturday Night, and The Orchid Thief, which was made into the Academy Award–winning film “Adaptation.” She lives with her family and her animals in Los Angeles and upstate New York and may be reached at www.susanorlean.com.
View in Catalog"The Library Book" by Susan Orlean
NotesLibrary events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.

This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, author series sponsor Gary Kunis, and media sponsor The Seattle Times and presented in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company.
PodcastThis event will be recorded for podcast.
Contact Phone206-386-4636
Have a question?Ask Us
Contact Info*Central Library
Room CapacitySpace is limited at library events. Please come early to make sure you get a seat. Due to the fire code, we can’t exceed the maximum capacity for our rooms.
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