In the midst of all things pandemic we pause to remember
the last time we were together in joyful celebration.
Pictured: 2020 Honored Author L. John Harris celebrates with dinner guests.
Tienne Lee Reflects on 18th Annual Authors Dinner
Berkeley is in my blood. I grew up in South Berkeley and got my first library card at the Claremont branch. I attended BUSD schools from kindergarten at John Muir to graduation at Berkeley High School. I got my JD at Berkeley Law and am a parent of a Berkeley High graduate (Class of 2019). And now, I grab the books I put on hold at the North Berkeley branch.Yet somehow I’ve missed being at the Berkeley Public Library Foundation’s Annual Authors Dinner all of these years!
On February 8th, I attended my first Authors Dinner (the 18th one, for those of you keeping count!). I had the privilege of greeting many of the 240 guests as I opened the door for them to the historic Berkeley City Club. I was grateful to be one of many enthusiastic supporters of the library to celebrate the accomplishments of 24 authorsand raise funds for our beloved Berkeley institution.Little did I know that this would be the last community gathering that I would attend for the foreseeable future.
Our table’s author, Julia Flynn Siler, whose most recent book is about a chapter in the history of San Francisco Chinatown, resonated with me and my parents (also first-time guests!) as a Chinese-American family in America for 5 generations. Michael Lewis, author and Honorary Chair of the evening, entertained us all with his own library story that involved several copies of his books and a famed singing coach in Los Angeles.
I am so grateful to have recent memories of this community celebration to enjoy during this time of isolation. Please thank and support the sponsors and other businesses in Berkeley during this challenging time when you can. Order a book from the Foundation’s Cody Award winner Pegasus Booksor buy a bottle of wine from long time wine sponsor Kermit Lynchto celebrate when we can all gather in person as a community again!