EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. — There were lots of famous faces wandering around the huge tent in the large field near the ocean last Saturday as supporters of the East Hampton Library scurried around, snapping up books at the annual “Authors Night.”
Former New York Gov.and GOP presidential candidate George Pataki and his wife Libby were on hand to boost their daughter, Allison Pataki, as folks lined up to buy her latest historical novel, “The Accidental Empress,” inspired by the life of 19th Century Austrian Empress Elisabeth. The author’s dad appeared amused as quite a few people asked him to autograph the book, along with his daughter — who actually wrote it.
Among the longest lines were those waiting to buy an autographed copy from event honorary co-chair, actor and filmmaker Ed Burns — who is just out with “Independent Ed,” chronicling his life creating indie movies. Hugely popular novelist Nelson DeMille was so much in demand, he sold out all the copies of his latest, “Radiant Angel,” just moments after the event began.
Speaking of DeMille, Chicagoan Gioia Diliberto was delighted her signing spot was right next to the bestselling author. “Talk about the luck of the draw, or rather the alphabet,” quipped the Lincoln Park resident — noting how the authors were all seated in alphabetical order. She was at the event to sell her latest book, “Diane von Furstenberg: A Life Unwrapped,” a new biography of the famous designer.
At a small dinner at the oceanside home of actress and philanthropist Dina Merrill and her husband, Ted Hartley (after the main bookselling cocktail hour), Alec Baldwin joked about being constantly credited with solely creating “Authors Night” a decade ago, “People keep thanking me for founding it, even though so many people were responsible for making it happen. So, now I just say ‘Thank you,’ and take all the credit for it,” the actor quipped.
Among Chicago faces spotted wandering around the “Authors Night” event were Lawrie and Ed Weed, Sue Leonis, Victor Moore and John Tatooles,plus Margo Schiff — there to support former Chicagoan Betty Halbreich and her book “I’ll Drink to That: A Life in Style, with a Twist,”about her life as New York’s most famous personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman.
Among the nearly 100 authors on hand for “Authors Night” were Jonathan Adler, Kate Betts, Robert A. Caro, Dick Cavett, Simon Doonan, Jules Feiffer, Jesse Kornbluth, Katie Lee, Jeffrey Lyons, Fern Mallis, Charlotte Moss, Frances Schultz, Mimi Sheraton, Lynn Sherr, Victoria Tennant, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Richard Zoglin.