Author lecture series at the Chilmark Community Center

Richard Russo and his daughter, Kate, will kick off the author lecture series at the Chilmark Community Center on Thursday, July 19. — Photo courtesy of Suellen Lazarus

This summer for the first time, the Chilmark Community Center (CCC) and Bunch of Grapes Bookstore will collaborate to sponsor a series of lectures by acclaimed authors at the CCC.

The first event will be on Thursday, July 19 at 7:30 pm. Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the fiction novel “Empire Falls,” Richard Russo, and his daughter, artist Kate Russo, will present “Interventions,” a combination of his previously unpublished novella and three shorter stories. The four-volume collection is a tribute to the printed book with discussions of art and the narrative language. Each volume contains a full-color print of a painting by Ms. Russo. General admission to the event is $10, and one book and two admission tickets are $40.

On Sunday, July 22, at 7:30 pm, Daily Beast blog editor and professor at City University of New York, Peter Beinart, will share his new book, “The Crisis of Zionism.” In it he discusses innovative ways to uphold Zionism’s founding ideals in Israel. The event, which will be moderated by Chilmark author Richard North Patterson, will also include a talk between Mr. Beinart and lawyer, political commentator, and Harvard professor Alan M. Dershowitz. Tickets are $10, and one book and two admission tickets are $26.

Following will be Jennifer Egan on her bestselling novel “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” which won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award. It tells the stories of aging characters whose lives take them in unexpected directions, such as that of former punk rocker Bennie Salazar, whose self-destructive tendencies led to kleptomania. The stories jump between the 60s and the present day. The event will take place on Thursday, August 2, at 7:30 pm. General admission is $10, $15 for one book and one admission ticket.

Finally on Saturday, August 18, at 7:30 pm, Henry Louis Gates Jr. will discuss “The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader,” a collection of three decades of Professor Gates’ essays, op-ed pieces, interviews, and other writings as well as his work in restoring African American genealogy. Professor Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Tickets are $10, or $30 for one book and two tickets.

“The series is all about the love of reading and supporting books, publishers, and Island bookstores,” said series’ founder Suellen Lazarus. “Hopefully the authors will get to meet their audiences and sell a lot of books, and the audience will learn about new authors that they didn’t know before and meet the ones that they already love.”

Tickets are available at Bunch of Grapes bookstore in Vineyard Haven and at the CCC office from 9 am to 12 noon, or online at For more information, call 508-645-9484.