Writers and celebrities who’ve written memoirs signed books at the Authors Night at the East Hampton Library, which was held under a tent at Gardiner's Farm in East Hampton Village, on Saturday, August 10, 2013 in East Hampton, New York. The event included dinner and cocktails.
In recent years, about 1,000 guests purchased the most recent books from about 100 authors and authoresses and got them signed. Started in 2005, all proceeds raised at Authors Night go to the East Hampton Library. The East Hampton Library is located at 159 Main Street in East Hampton, New York 11937.
The writers at the event included residents of towns in the region, such as Suzanne Corso, who lives in Bridgehampton and has written two semiautobiographical novels: Brooklyn Story and The Suite Life. Movie and television actor (and Capitol One credit card pitchman) Alec Baldwin and his pregnant wife, Hilaria, also attended this event. Baldwin owns a residence in East Hampton and is the co-founder of Authors Night with Barbara Goldsmith.
In addition to the professional writers in attendance, music producer Clive Davis signed copies of his autobiography The Soundtrack of My Life. Actress-singer Gwyneth Paltrow signed copies of her latest cookbook, It's All Good: Delicious Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great. Ms. Paltrow is one of this year’s honorary co-chairs.
Authoress and sweater designer Christina Oxenberg, a member of the Karađorđević Dynasty of Serbia, complained about the impact of Gwyneth Paltrow’s arrival, along with her famous husband (Chris Martin of Coldplay), their children, and bodyguards on the event. [Christina Oxenberg’s mother is Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia, and her sister is the actress Catherine Oxenberg.] Ms. Oxenberg complained on her blog, “Due to the inflexibility of the alphabet I had the questionable good fortune to be seated directly beside Gwyneth Paltrow. Since she arrived on the late side I had a chance to make some sales to new and repeat customers…”
Then slowly yet unmistakably a line began to form in front of my section of table. These folks were hushed and reverential and had a particularly earnest and focussed [sic] demeanor and casting furtive eyes around, clearly single minded and clearly without any interest in yours truly. Unless you count the increasingly urgent question they posed, ‘Where is Gwyneth?’
I bandied a variety of responses, from, ‘perhaps you can see she is not here?’ Which was met with sullen looks. So I upped the ante and replied by saying, ‘I am Gwyneth!’ This earned me palpably hostile replies…
Then the divinity in question arrived with hubby, children and a couple of massive bodyguards. The worshippers blocked my view of the whole world, abusing my tiny territory upon which to abandon their trash or lean their sorry asses.
So I abandoned my post and took that opportunity to roam the great tent and greet my fellow authors. Which is when I saw the food table, and suddenly I knew what needed doing. I made a plate of miniature sloppy hamburgers, stinky steak sandwiches, and the like and hauled it back to my piece of table.
Gwyneth’s bodyguards blocked my re-entry despite my assurance I was a just an author and pointing at my name tag, ‘No!’ they growled, body blocking me. So I was forced to crawl under the table. And there I sat with my meat products, wafting the excellent smells toward my sleek vegan neighbor. She ignored the siren smells of protein. We never did say hello, although I did try to sell my book to her sleek vegan children. No bites.
The Guardian humorously recapitulated the blog post in a Q &A format, and the writer or writers added snarky comments of his or her (or their) own. Novelist and short-story writer Jay McInerney, who was seated about ten places away from Ms. Oxenberg, tweeted, “Author’s night at East Hampton Library highjacked [sic] by movie stars with ghost- written cookbooks,” with a link to her blog.
In an e-mail, East Hampton Library Dennis Fabiszak told The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy culture blog, “There was not a disturbance at the event. Gwyneth helped raise a lot of money for the East Hampton Library. She signed a lot of books for guests at the event. We are very thankful to Gwyneth and all the other great authors and look forward to having them back next year.” The writer of the blog referred to Fabiszak as a “spokesman,” but he is actually the Director of the East Hampton Library.
On Tuesday, August 13, 2013, Ms. Oxenberg wrote on Facebook, “Allow me to clarify, the divinity Ms. Paltrow was perfection itself. Gorgeous, and sweet and thoroughly professional. She was mobbed by adoring, worshipful fans and at all times she remained poised and gracious. Her bodyguards were only doing their job. And in fact she did need them.”
While my writing style is cheeky and irreverent, my goal is simply to spin entertainment.
I'm delighted so many readers found my account amusing, I thoroughly enjoyed myself that day. And frankly I was grateful for the material as I knew it would make writing my Sunday blog all the easier. It wrote itself. It’s just that I then forced the episode through the meat-grinder that is my sense of humor, merely to jazz things up. Certainly not with the intention of hurting anyone’s feelings, or ridiculing anyone, that is not my style. Honestly, I have no beef with Gwyneth!
That’s entertainment, folks!
The following day, she continued,
...oh and by the way, last time I did that same event I gleefully skewered those to the right and to the left of me, in the name of fun and entertainment, and that's all there is to it. Nothing personal at all. Business really, the business of filling my Sunday blog. Which reminds me, please one and all on Sundays read WOOLDOMINATION.COM