2020 Author Series welcomes diverse writers to Gainesville

2020 Author Series Logo

The Alachua County Library District’s annual Author Series brings best-selling authors to the heart of Gainesville for authentic conversations. Authors share their latest works, answer audience questions, and sign copies of their books. 

The series started early this year with National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi in November and continues with a diverse line up of speakers representing romance, thriller and history. All events start at 2:30 p.m. in Meeting Room A at the Headquarters Branch, 401 E. University Ave.

Ibram X. Kendi in conversation with Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe - Thursday, Nov. 21, 12:30 p.m. 

Photo of Ibram X. KendiHow to Be an Antiracist. Kendi, American University Professor and National Book Award winner of Stamped from the Beginning returns to Gainesville to present his new book. Kendi’s book looks at racism and inequality in our nation and in individuals. He guides the reader to see various antiracist ideas and how to understand the pernicious results of racism while proposing ways to counter racist words, thoughts, and actions. Kendi includes his own path toward antiracism in this very readable work of nonfiction. Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe will host this discussion with Kendi. Poe selected How to be an Antiracist for his Mayor's Book Club in August.



Jill Ciment - Sunday, Jan. 12, 2:30 p.m. 

Jill ClementUniversity of Florida professor Jill Ciment will present her latest novel, The Body in Question. She is the author of seven novels, a memoir and a collection of short stories. Her novel Heroic Measures was made into the film Five Flights Up starring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton. Ciment’s new book starts in a jury holding room as two jurors begin a flirtation that rapidly grows into a full-blown love affair. The central character, a married female photographer, finds herself drawn to her fellow juror and yearning for “one last dalliance before she gets too old.” As affair plays out against a backdrop of a murder trial, she is forced to weigh issues of guilt and innocence, loyalty and betrayal, life and death, passion and compassion.


Rochelle Alers - Saturday, Jan. 25, 2:30 p.m.

Rochelle Alers

Award-winning romance novelist Alers is a regular on the Waldenbooks, Borders and Essence bestseller lists. She has written more than 60 titles and boasts almost two million copies of her books in print. Her new book, The Bridal Suite, follows four friends on a romantic adventure to New Orleans. When Nydia Santiago arrives at the lovely Garden District estate her friends are transforming into a luxury inn, she meets the sexy engineer in charge of the renovation. But love isn’t without obstacles. This speaker is co-sponsored by the Opinionated Ladies Book Club.




Ann LeZotte - Saturday, March 7, 2:30 p.m.

Ann LeZotteAnn Le Zotte will share her new novel, Show Me a Sign – a young adult book with a subject and beautiful language will be enjoyed by all. Le Zotte, who is deaf, is a library specialist at the Waldo Branch and a recipient of the 2019 Guy Hudspeth Award. Show Me a Sign, Le Zotte’s third book, is inspired by the true history of a 19th century deaf community in Martha’s Vineyard. Mary Lambert’s great-great-grandfather was an early English settler and the first deaf islander. More than 100 years later, many residents -- including Mary -- are deaf, and nearly everyone can communicate in sign language.  Mary’s struggle to save herself is at the core of this poignant novel that probes perceptions of ability and disability.



Chris Bohjalian - Saturday, March 21, 2:30 p.m.

Chris BohjalianNew York Times-bestselling author and playwright Chris Bohjalian will present his new novel, The Red Lotus. Bohjalian is the author of more than 20 novels, including The Sandcastle Girls and The Night Strangers. His book The Flight Attendant will be a limited TV series on HBO. He is adapting his Oprah’s Book Club novel Midwives into a play that will premiere in January. The Red Lotus is a global thriller that kicks off as an American man disappears in Vietnam and his girlfriend, an emergency room doctor, is left to unravel the mysteries surrounding his disappearance.




Mary Alice Monroe - Saturday, May 23, 2:30 p.m.

Mary Alice MonroeBeach reads queen and conservationist Mary Alice Monroe will bring Lowcountry charm with her newest novel, The Summer Guests. Monroe weaves elements of the fragile coastal environment into her popular books. She has won numerous awards and her novel A Lowcountry Christmas won a 2017 Southern Book Prize for fiction. The Beach House was adapted into a Hallmark Channel Hall of Fame Movie, which premiered in 2018 and is available for check out on DVD. In The Summer Guests, an approaching hurricane drives an eclectic group of evacuees to seek shelter with friends in North Carolina, forcing them to resolve unsettled matters as they hunker down together.