Author of ‘Hidden Figures’ to speak at Aspen Words benefit

Staff report

Aspen Words will feature “Hidden Figures” author Margot Lee Shetterly at its annual summer fundraiser, to take place June 21 at the Hotel Jerome. The benefit will include a take by Shetterly, a reception, wine tasting, and dinner with the award-winning authors and publishing representatives attending the Summer Words writing conference and literary festival (June 18 through 23).

“Literature has the power to illuminate untold stories, daring us to confront new ideas and expand perspectives,” Aspen Words executive director Adrienne Brodeur said in an announcement. “We are honored to bring to Aspen an author who has not only received great acclaim but whose work embodies the critical importance of storytelling.”

“Hidden Figures” recounts the true story of seven African American women whose critical contributions to NASA secured America’s victory over the Soviet Union in the Space Race. Barbara Holley, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, Kathryn Peddrew, Eunice Smith, Dorothy Vaughan and Sue Wilder — all nearly top of their graduating classes in complex mathematic fields — persevered in the face of racial segregation and gender inequality to make significant contributions to aeronautics and astronautics.

“Hidden Figures” skyrocketed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list when the book’s film adaptation was released in December 2016, featuring Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monáe and Kevin Costner. The film received nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture and Best Supporting Actress for Spencer at the 89th Academy Awards.

Tickets and tables for the event range from $500 to $10,000. Tickets will go on sale to the general public May 3 at

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