For immediate release | June 7, 2010

ALA announces Auditorium Speaker Series lineup

Featured speakers include Sir Salman Rushdie, John Grisham, Junot Diaz

CHICAGO - The American Library Association’s (ALA) Auditorium Speaker Series welcomes 12 distinguished speakers who double as authors, activists and national newsmakers. Speakers include novelist Sir Salman Rushdie, best-selling author John Grisham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz and more. The series is part of the ALA Annual Conference, held June 24 – 29 at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

On Saturday, June 26, novelist Sir Salman Rushdie will appear from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Rushdie is the author of ten previous novels including: “Grimus,” “Midnight's Children” (for which he won the Booker Prize and recently, the Booker of all Bookers), “Shame,” “The Satanic Verses,” “The Enchantress of Florence” and one collection of short stories, “East, West.” He has also published five works of nonfiction including: “The Jaguar Smile” and “Imaginary Homelands.” Rushdie is the former president of PEN American Center, and his newest work of fiction, “Luka and the Fire of Life” will be published by Random House in November 2010.

On Monday, June 28, best-selling author John Grisham will appear from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. John Grisham is the author of 21 novels, one work of nonfiction and one collection of stories including “A Time to Kill,” “The Firm” and “The Pelican Brief.” His works are translated into 38 languages. Grisham, a number one international best-selling author, will be writing his first-ever children’s books series for Penguin Young Readers Group. The two novels in this series will be aimed at readers ages 8-12. The first book in the series, “Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer,” is scheduled for publication in May 2010 and will follow the adventures of a 13-year-old, amateur attorney who unwittingly becomes involved in a high-profile murder trial. The second book in the series, also featuring Theo, is due to be published in 2011.

On Monday, June 28, award-winning author Junot Diaz will speak from 3 – 4 p.m. Diaz exploded into the literary scene in 1996 with “Drown,”a collection of short stories that was one of the first books to illuminate the lives of Dominican-American immigrants. Diaz’s first novel, “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,”is the winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Moving from the hardscrabble inner-city neighborhoods of New Jersey to the barrios of Santo Domingo, and from the fear-plagued Trujillo dictatorship to the multicultural campuses of the contemporary United States, Diaz both redefines the immigrant experience and transcends it. His fiction has been published in The New Yorker and The Paris Review, and four times in The Best American Short Stories. The New Yorker placed him on a list of the 20 top writers for the 21st century.

Other speakers include: New York Times best-selling author Dennis Lehane New York Times best-selling author Sue Monk Kidd and her daughter, author Ann Kidd Taylor; best-selling author and actress Marlo Thomas; StoryCorps founder and best-selling author Dave Isay; Emmy Award winning filmmaker and author Mary McDonagh Murphy with librarian action figure model Nancy Pearl; best-selling author Audrey Niffenegger; enigmatologist-New York Times puzzle master Will Shortz; and award-winning illustrator David Small.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 62,000 members. Its mission is to promote the highest quality library and information services and public access to information.

For more information on the 2010 Annual ALA Conference, please visit the ALA Conference Web site at, or contact ALA Media Relations Manager Macey Morales at (312) 280-4393,, or ALA PR Coordinator Jennifer Petersen at (312) 280-5043,



Macey Morales