Best-selling novelist Jodi Picoult, who recently donated her papers to the Libraries’ Special Collections, will be the guest speaker on Saturday, March 29 at 6:30 p.m., at the Friends of the UMass Amherst Libraries 12th annual Dinner with Friends at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.
The Dinner with Friends will also feature a champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception with live jazz, a silent auction, a gourmet meal and a book-signing of Picoult’s works. Proceeds from the event will support the Special Collections Archival Training Fund to provide students with opportunities to explore careers in history, archives and allied fields.
Picoult, a passionate researcher,is known for taking on compelling social and ethical issues and weaving them into the works of fiction that have won her a devoted readership. From her first novel, “Songs of the Humpback Whale” (1992), to “My Sister’s Keeper” (2004), to her recent bestseller, “The Storyteller” (2013), Picoult has grappled with a range of thought-provoking topics: fractured families, eugenics, school violence, teen suicide, spousal abuse, the legal rights of minors, childhood cancer, gay rights, the death penalty, war crimes, vengeance, justice, faith and the value of life. Her wide readership continues to grow, and her novels regularly debut at No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller lists. Picoult’s next novel, “Leaving Time,” will be published by Ballantine next fall.
The recipient of numerous awards, including the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction, Picoult graduated in 1987 with high honors from Princeton, where she majored in English and creative writing, and from Harvard, where she earned a master’s degree in education, in 1990. She and her husband have three grown children and live in Hanover, N.H.
The Jodi Picoult Papers include research files, drafts, editorial notes, correspondence, publicity material, early stories, and student material. Picoult also donated a comprehensive collection of her publications, including the novels in American and foreign-language editions, her earliest published work, which appeared while she was still in college, as well as five Wonder Woman stories she wrote for DC Comics.
The Dinner with Friends is the Libraries’ signature fundraising event. Tickets are $150 per person and $275 for two (of which $100 and $175, respectively, is tax-deductible). Complimentary passes for the parking garage are available by request. Handicapped accessible parking is available next to the Du Bois Library.
For more information, and to make reservations, contact Carol Connare at 545-0995, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the Dinner with Friends website at www.library.umass.edu/dinner. Individual and corporate sponsorships are available starting at $250.