June 9, 2010
TONI MORRISON IN CONVERSATION WITH OPRAH WINFREY
AT THE CARL SANDBURG LITERARY AWARDS DINNER ON OCTOBER 20
Portrait by Timothy Greenfield-
The Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Public Library Foundation are honored to announce that Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison will appear in conversation with Oprah Winfrey at the annual Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner on Wednesday, October 20.
Toni Morrison, one of the most provocative and respected novelists of our time, will receive the Carl Sandburg Literary Award which is presented each year to an author whose significant body of work has enhanced the public’s awareness of the written word. The 21st Century Award, honoring recent achievement in writing by an author with ties to Chicago, will go to writer Eula Biss. Both awards will be presented at a fundraising dinner for the Chicago Public Library Foundation at the The Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road at Halsted Street.
Prof. Morrison is the author of nine novels and three children’s books. Her novel Beloved was awarded the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and in 2006 was named by the New York Times Book Review as the best novel of the previous 25 years. Ms. Winfrey produced and starred in the 1998 film based on the book. Morrison became a professor at Princeton University in 1989 and in 1993 received the Nobel Prize in Literature, making her the first African American to be so honored.
Internationally known and admired, Oprah Winfrey is a true Chicago icon. Through the power of media, Oprah Winfrey has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world. As supervising producer and host of the top-rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has entertained, enlightened and uplifted millions of viewers for the past two decades. Her accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today. And since launching Oprah’s Book Club in 1996, she has inspired millions to rediscover the joy of reading and helped countless authors to find an audience.
Eula Biss teaches non-fiction writing at Northwestern University and is a founding editor of Essay Press. Her recent book of essays Notes From No Man’s Land was honored as this year’s best work of literary criticism by the National Book Critic’s Circle.
Past winners of the prestigious Carl Sandburg Literary Award include David McCullough, Robert Caro, Joyce Carol Oates, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, David Mamet, Nikki Giovanni, Tom Wolfe and Salman Rushdie.
Event Co-Chairs are Jim Tyree, Chairman and CEO of Mesirow Financial and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, President and CEO of Nia Enterprises. Ms. McKissack is also a member of the Chicago Public Library Foundation Board.
Sponsorships for tables of ten begin at $10,000. Individual tickets at $1000 and $2500 will be available this summer. Reservations will be strictly limited. For information visit chicagopubliclibraryfoundation.org or contact Rebecca Spence, event coordinator, at (312) 201-9830 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chicago Public Library Foundation was founded in 1986 as a true public/private partnership with the City of Chicago to ensure the margin of excellence for Chicago’s outstanding Library. Through the support of many civic-minded individuals, corporations and foundations, the Foundation provides on-going funding for collections and a variety of community-responsive programs include the Summer Reading Program, Teachers in the Library, CyberNavigators, and One Book, One Chicago. In the past 24 years, the Foundation has provided more than $30 million in support to the Chicago’s Public Library.
Since 1873, the Chicago Public Library has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and cutting-edge technology.
The Chicago Public Library is comprised of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and more than 70 neighborhood branches. All locations provide free access to a rich collection of books, DVDs, audio books and music; the Internet and WiFi; sophisticated research databases, many of which can be accessed from a home or office computer; newspapers and magazines; and continue to serve as cultural centers, presenting the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults. The Harold Washington Library Center, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and Conrad Sulzer Regional Library are open 7 days a week, the branch libraries are open 6 days a week and patrons can access all of the Library’s collections online 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit the website at chicagopubliclibrary.org or call the Chicago Public Library Press Office at (312) 747-4050.