The Chicago Public Library Foundation and the Chicago Public Library announced that National Book Award winning author Don DeLillo (White Noise, Underworld) and best-selling biographer Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs, Einstein: His Life and Universe) will be honored at the annual Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner, Wednesday, Oct. 17 at The Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd. on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Whiting Award and Pushcart Prize winner, Nami Mun (Miles from Nowhere) will receive the 21st Century Awardhonoring significant recent achievement by a Chicago-area writer. The celebratory evening, co-chaired by Foundation Director Trisha Rooney Alden, President of R4 Services and Michael Sacks, CEO of Grosvenor Capital Management, L.P., and produced by Foundation Director Donna LaPietra, begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by an elegant dinner at 6:45 p.m, culminating with the awards program and on-stage conversation with DeLillo and Isaacson.
To highlight Chicago's vibrant, diverse literary community, a prominent writer with ties to the city will be seated at each table and engage guests from Chicago's business, civic and cultural communities in lively and thought-provoking conversation. Windy City Times Publisher Tracy Baim, author of several books, will be among those seated at the tables. All proceeds raised support innovative Foundation-sponsored Chicago Public Library programs including the Family Summer Reading Program, One Book, One Chicago Teachers in the Library and CyberNavigator computer tutors. BMO Harris Bank is the Presenting Sponsor of the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Dinner.
"It is truly thrilling to present Carl Sandburg Literary Awards to very different authors whose works share the amazing ability to transcend time and paint a spellbinding portrait of a distinctive moment in history," said Trisha Rooney Alden, who will co-chair the evening's event. "Both Don DeLillo and Walter Isaacson's works speak to such a wide array of our literary community and it is a privilege to celebrate them along with the multitude of authors that will be in attendance, while also raising money for our special library programming."
Past winners of the prestigious Carl Sandburg Literary Award include Roger Ebert, Toni Morrison, David McCullough, Robert Caro, Joyce Carol Oates, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Kurt Vonnegut, John Updike, David Mamet, Nikki Giovanni, Tom Wolfe and Salman Rushdie.
Sponsorship packages for tables of eight guests plus a renowned author are available at the $50,000, $25,000, $15,000 and $10,000 levels. Individual tickets are $1,000 and $2,500. Reservations are strictly limited. For information or to purchase tickets, tables or sponsorships, visit cplfoundation.org or contact Steve McQuown at the Chicago Public Library Foundation at (312) 201-9830 x 25 or email smcquown@cplfoundation.
Don DeLillo is the author of 15 novels, including Falling Man, Point Omega, Libra, and White Noise. He has won the National Book Award, the PEN / Faulkner Award for Fiction, and the Jerusalem Prize. In 2006, his masterpiece Underworld was named one of the three best novels of the last 25 years by The New York Times Book Review, and in 2000 it won the William Dean Howells Medal of the American Academy of Arts and Letters for the most distinguished work of fiction of the prior five years. He garnered his second Pulitzer Prize nomination with Underworld (his first was for the breakout novel Mao II in 1992). DeLillo is also a noted playwright whose works, including Valparaiso, Love-Lies-Bleeding and The Word for Snow have been performed by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company. A David Cronenberg film based on his novel Cosmopolis starring Robert Pattinson, Juliet Binoche and Paul Giamatti is due for release in 2012. DeLillo's work also includes essays, short stories and screen plays that he writes from his home in Brooklyn, New York.
Walter Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME Magazine. Isaacson's most recent work is the record-breaking, best-selling biography of Steve Jobs. Other
works includes Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992). He is the co-author of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986). Isaacson also serves as chairman of the board of Teach for America. 2012 he was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States.
Nami Mun grew up in Seoul, South Korea and Bronx, New York. For her first book, Miles from Nowhere, she received a Whiting Award and a Pushcart Prize, and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers and the Asian American Literary Award. Miles from Nowhere was selected as Editors' Choice and Top Ten First Novels by Booklist; as Best Fiction of 2009 So Far by Amazon; and as an Indie Next Pick. Chicago Magazine named her Best New Novelist of 2009.
Mun received a BA in English from UC Berkeley, an MFA from University of Michigan and has garnered fellowships from organizations such as Yaddo, MacDowell, Bread Loaf and Tin House. In 2011, she was a United States Delegate for a China / America Writers Exchange in Beijing and Chicago. Her stories have been published in "Granta," "Tin House," "The Iowa Review," "The Pushcart Prize Anthology," "Evergreen Review," "Witness," and elsewhere. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago.
The Chicago Public Library Foundation was founded in 1986 as a true public / private partnership with the City of Chicago to ensure the margin of excellence for Chicago's outstanding Library. Through the support of many civic-minded individuals, corporations and foundations, the Foundation provides on-going funding for collections and a variety of community-responsive programs include the Summer Reading Program, Teachers in the Library, CyberNavigators, and One Book, One Chicago. In the past 26 years, the Foundation has provided nearly $50 million in support to the Chicago Public Library.
Since 1873, the Chicago Public Library has encouraged lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and cutting-edge technology. The Chicago Public Library is comprised of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and more than 70 neighborhood branches. All locations provide free access to a rich collection of books, DVDs, audio books and music; the Internet and WiFi; sophisticated research databases, many of which can be accessed from a home or office computer; newspapers and magazines; and continue to serve as cultural centers, presenting the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults.