Author Susan Orlean to be featured speaker at Aspen Words benefit

Staff report

Best-selling author and New Yorker staff writer Susan Orlean will be the featured speaker at the annual Aspen Words Summer Benefit on June 19 at the Hotel Jerome.

Orlean has been praised as “a national treasure” by The Washington Post. She is the author of eight books, including “The Orchid Thief,” a national best-seller that inspired the Academy Award-winning film “Adaptation” in which Meryl Streep portrayed Orlean. Her latest work is the New York Times best-seller “The Library Book,” an exploration of the history, power and future of libraries, which have become endangered institutions. “The Library Book” is told through the lens of Orlean’s quest to solve a notorious cold case: Who set fire to the Los Angeles Public Library in 1986, ultimately destroying 400,000 books? Author Dave Eggers said of the book: “(It’s) bursting with incredible tales and characters. There could be no better book for the bookish.” “The Library Book” was named one of both The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2018 and The Washington Post’s Best Books of 2018.

In addition to Orlean, other special guests expected to attend the benefit include the winner of the $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize, to be announced at an awards ceremony on April 11. Also in attendance will be faculty members, agents and editors from Aspen Words’ premier summer program, the Summer Words Writers Conference and Literary Festival (June 16 to 21), which includes writing workshops, public panel discussions, a readers retreat and meetings with publishing experts.

Tickets and tables are on sale now for the event, which will include a wine tasting reception and dinner in the grand ballroom. More info at