Bob Graham among the featured authors at ALTAFF’s "First Author, First Book" event at ALA Annual Conference

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/24/2011


Jillian Kalonick

PHILADELPHIA - The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), will host “First Author, First Book” from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. CDT on Sunday, June 26 at the 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Many writers who have been featured in this popular, long-standing event have gone on to be best-selling, award-winning authors. Featured authors include former senator Bob Graham, Rebecca Makkai, Eleanor Henderson, Jon Michaud, Ellen Bryson and Neil Abramson. The program will be moderated by Barbara Hoffert, editor, Prepub Alert, Library Journal. An author book signing will follow. Some books will be given away and others will be sold at a generous discount.

Sen. Bob Graham ("Keys to the Kingdom," Vanguard Press/Perseus, June 2011) was a former two-term governor of Florida and served l8 years in the United States Senate. He was appointed by President Obama to co-chair a bipartisan national commission on the BP oil spill and to chair the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. He has been a regular contributor to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and a frequent guest on CNN, Fox and MSNBC.

Rebecca Makkai ("The Borrower," Viking/Penguin, June 2011) has published stories in journals, including Tin House, Ploughshares, New England Review and The Threepenny Review, Shenandoah and on NPR’s Selected Shorts. They have additionally appeared in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 editions of "The Best American Short Stories."  Makkai teaches elementary school and lives north of Chicago with her husband and two daughters.

Eleanor Henderson ("Ten Thousand Saints," Ecco/HarperCollins, June 2011) earned an MFA from the University of Virginia in 2005. Her story “The Farms” was selected by Alice Sebold for "The Best American Short Stories 2009."  Her nonfiction has appeared in Poets & Writers, where she was a contributing editor, and Virginia Quarterly Review, where she was the chair of the fiction board. She is currently an assistant professor at Ithaca College.

Jon Michaud ("When Tito Loved Clara," Algonquin, March 2011) is the head librarian at The New Yorker and is a regular contributor to His short stories have been published in North American Review, Denver Quarterly, and other journals. He lives in Maplewood, N.J., with his wife and their two sons.

Ellen Bryson ("The Transformation of Bartholomew Fortuno,"  St Martin’s Griffin/Macmillan, June 2011 paperback) has a BA in English from Columbia University and an MA in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University. Formerly a modern dancer, she lives in Southern California.

Neil Abramson ("Unsaid," Center Street/Hachette, Aug. 2011) is a partner in a Manhattan law firm, and his wife is a veterinarian. Abramson is also a past board member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an award recipient from the ASPCA for his legal work on behalf of animals and a founding member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Legal Issues Relating to Animals.

“First Author, First Book” will be held at the Morial Convention Center, Room 269. The event is free for conference attendees; for more information about registration options, visit  Those purchasing the Exhibits Plus package ($35) will have access to hundreds of vendors on the exhibits floor, plus programming on the PopTop Stage, the Opening General Session and all non-ticketed programs of ALTAFF, including “First Author, First Book.” For more information about “First Author, First Book” and other ALTAFF events at the ALA Annual Conference, visit


ALTAFF is a division of the American Library Association that supports citizens who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. ALTAFF brings together library Trustees, advocates, Friends, and Foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit, or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or