Bringing many writers and their readers together to talk about books in an informal setting
Four writers, a common theme and an open microphone: the recipe for a successful free event that has been capturing book lovers in Scarsdale, New York.
Four years ago, the journalist Preeti Singh and myself decided to transform a small regular home literary gathering in a successful community event. We are both writers, passionate about books and multiculturalism. We both appreciate literature from all over the world and we are amazed by the good writers that surround us in our daily lives. We are good friends coming from opposite sides of the globe: Preeti is from Mumbai, India, where she developed a brilliant career as a writer and columnist before moving to New York. I come from São Paulo, Brazil, where I worked for years as a journalist and radio host.
I used to have a regular writers gathering in my own house, a small, sit-by-the-fire-and-read-aloud meeting. Preeti loved the idea and encouraged me to expand it, searching a partnership with the Scarsdale Public Library, who opened all doors to our project. Now, we are partners in organizing The Scarsdale Salon, which happens three times a year and has brought many writers from different places and genres to read their work and meet the public.
In the winter, spring and late fall, we invite four writers to participate. The Salon always happens at the Scarsdale Library or at Bronx River Books, the local bookstore in the Scarsdale village. There’s always a theme connecting the writers’ work, wrapping them all in a bunch, such as “Journeys”, “Women” or “Distant Voices”. Each writer reads from his or hew own book for five minutes. Afterwards, the microphone is open to the audience to ask questions and promote discussions. We are always amazed by the interesting comments and observations. In the end, authors sign books and mingle with the readers. The informal conversation always goes beyond the scheduled time, a good sign of success!
Over the past four years, we were honored to listen to amazing and diverse literary voices: Elyssa Friedland, Falguni Kothari, Henry Webb, Patricia Dunn, Sara Aharon, Asif Ismael, Barbara Solomon Josselsohn, the poet Ruth Handel, the satirical columnist Deborah Skolnik, Lynn Lowin, Nancy Kelton, Rebecca Marks, Steve Lewis, Sonya Terjanian, Annabel Monaghan, Ginger McKnight-Chavers, Lori Wilson, Gillian Lynn Katz, Sara Lippmann,Jacqueline Goldstein, Beverley Caen, Ines Rodrigues, the Indian activist Ruchira Gupta, Iris Dobian, Manreet Someshwar, Jimin Han, Carol Zoref, Emily Rubin, Stephen Landau, Susan Kleinman, Amanda Stauffer, Kathy Curto, John Gredler, Jackie Friedland and Thaddeus Rutkowski.
Days of Bossa Nova on