Sarah Vowell, bestselling author and 'social observer,' 2015 Annual Conference Auditorium Speaker

For Immediate Release
Tue, 02/17/2015


Amy McGuigan

Conference Manager

Conference Services

American Library Association

CHICAGO – 2015 ALA Annual Conference attendees will be among the first to hear journalist, essayist, social commentator and New York Times bestselling author of nonfiction books on American history and culture Sarah Vowell talk (among other things) about her humorous and perceptive account of the Revolutionary War hero Marquis de Lafayette. Vowell will appear as an Auditorium Speaker at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 27.

Lafayette was a general who became wildly unpopular in his native France but so beloved by Americans that George Washington considered him a son and 90,000 people showed up to cheer for him when he sailed into New York Harbor after a 30-year absence. In the forthcoming book “Lafayette in the Somewhat United States” (October 2015), Vowell offers an insightful look at a nation’s idealism and its reality through her portrait of the one Frenchman we could all agree upon.  

Vowell is often referred to as a "social observer,” and her previous books include "Unfamiliar Fishes," "The Wordy Shipmates," "Assassination Vacation," "The Partly Cloudy Patriot" and essay collections "Take the Cannoli" and "Radio On."  She was a contributing editor for This American Life and an original contributor to McSweeney’s. She has been a columnist for SalonTime and San Francisco Weekly and writes occasional essays for the opinion page of the New York Times. In addition to making numerous appearances on the Late Show with David LettermanLate Night with Conan O’Brien and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Vowell is also the voice of teen superhero Violet Parr in the Academy Award-winning animated film "The Incredibles."

Vowell’s appearance at ALA Annual Conference is sponsored by Riverhead, a division of Penguin.

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