Exploring Susan Orlean’s “The Library Book”

Next month, we have a real treat for all literary lovers. As part of the Vancouver Writers Fest and Vancouver Public Library’s Incite series, New Yorker staff writer and legendary author Susan Orlean will be joined by fellow author and journalist Carol Shaben to explore Orlean’s latest release, The Library Book.

A New York Times Notable Book of 2018, a Washington Post Top 10 Book of the Year, and praised by the likes of Dave Eggers, Erik Larson and Elizabeth Gilbert, The Library Book is a phenomenon—and for good reason. It speaks to the heart of why we love to read and sheds new light on the important cultural cornerstones that nourish our literary appetites.

Re-opening the unsolved mystery of the most catastrophic library fire in American history, Orlean intimately chronicles the evolution of libraries across the world. ‘The life and times and near-death experience of the Los Angeles Public Library was a story that felt urgent to tell,’ writes Orlean. ‘[It] gave me a chance to pay tribute to these marvelous places that have been such an essential part of my life.’

Booklist praises The Library Book as for its originality and wit as ‘[a] riveting mix of true crime, history, biography, and immersion journalism.’ Orlean’s investigation is fascinating, intelligent exploration of the multi-faceted position libraries have occupied and still occupy in our society, their integral democratizing power. It’s a beautiful testament to why libraries are more necessary than ever.

Please join us for an unforgettable conversation, fittingly hosted at Vancouver’s own central library. Orlean will reflect on the process of writing The Library Book – including attempting to burn a book herself – and the timely, heartwarming lessons learned from excavating the hidden histories of a beloved public institution.

Tickets are free, but you can RSVP here to let us know you’re coming.

Incite: Susan Orlean on “The Library Book”

Wednesday, March 6
7:30pm, doors at 7pm.
Alice MacKay Room – Vancouver Public Library
350 W. Georgia Street, Vancouver


Lauren Dembicky