Meet the Author Tea – Algonquin Books

Ina Stern, Associate Publisher
Algonquin Books
What’s New for 2015-16

September 17, 2015
Refreshments: 3:30    Program: 4:00 – 5:00
Chapel Hill Public Library, Room B
Free and open to the public


“The Little Publishing Company That Could,” was the headline on a 30th anniversary story about Algonquin Books published in late 2012 in Chapel Hill Magazine. They said “Thirty years ago, an unlikely story began to unfold with the launch of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Co-founded by Louis Rubin and Shannon Ravenel, the upstart literary press sought exceptional writers, many of them Southern. Almost immediately, Algonquin scored critical success with books from the likes of Jill McCorkle, Clyde Edgerton, Kaye Gibbons and Larry Brown, Julia Alvarez, Kaye Gibbons, Robert Morgan, Tayari Jones, Amy Stewart, Larry Brown and many others.”

You can get the inside story of Algonquin and what’s coming up in 2015-16 directly from Ina Stern, Associate Publisher at Algonquin. She will be bringing us exciting news about the titles on this year’s list and some of the authors with whom the press has a long-standing relationship.

In 1983, Algonquin Books set up shop in a woodshed behind co-founder Louis Rubin’s Chapel Hill, N.C., home. Algonquin Books is now an independent publisher of literary fiction and narrative nonfiction with offices in Chapel Hill, in an office park off Weaver Dairy Road, and New York City. In 1989, Algonquin was acquired by Workman Publishing, one of the largest independent publishing companies in the United States.

The original purpose of the press was to help young Southern writers who had trouble getting published without industry connections. Many of the early authors were Louis Rubin’s students – he taught for 22 years at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Algonquin is highly selective and continues to publish about 15 to 20 books a year, both fiction and nonfiction. Ina Stern, associate publisher and member of the editorial board, says, “We are looking for an original voice.” Although they publish only 20 new titles a year Algonquin is recognized around the world as an award-winning literary house with numerous bestsellers. From Water for Elephants to A Reliable Wife, The Art Forger to Last Child in the Woods, Agonquin Books continue to stimulate, enrich and entertain legions of fans.

Books Sandwiched In for 2015-16

The Friends kicks off its monthly book discussions August 5 with The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown.  This is the acclaimed true story of a group of young men on the rowing team of Washington University in competition for gold in the 1936 Olympics; it contains a great deal of 1930’s history. The team is made up of sons of loggers, shipyard workers and farmers and was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain.  Meeting room C, August 5, 11:30-12:30.  Bring a sandwich.

See all 2015-16 books.

Banned Books Week 2015

Back and Bigger than Ever

Banned Books Week is September 27 – October 3, and the Chapel Hill Public Library will celebrate with the third set of Banned Books Week Trading Cards.

“The Banned Books Trading Cards project grows in popularity each year,” says Library Director Susan Brown.  “While the cards showcase great local artists, the message of the project – celebrating the freedom to read – is universal. We have shipped cards all over the county and the world and the project has been featured in local, state, and national media outlets.”clockwork_small

Once again artists from Orange, Durham, Wake, Chatham, and Alamance counties are encouraged to submit small scale works that are in some way inspired by a banned or challenged book or author. A jury will select seven pieces to be printed as a series of trading cards that will be given away at the Library during Banned Books Week Deadline for submissions is August 17 and the exhibit will open with a preview party on September 25.   For more information see or call (919) 968-2777.

This year the Library has received a grant from the Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund at the Freedom to Read Foundation which will allow it to take Banned Books statewide.  CHPL is one of only six libraries nationwide to receive an award this year, and the only one to win more than $1,000. The $1,500 grant allows CHPL to work with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Civic Education Consortium to develop a curriculum associated with Banned Books Week.  The Consortium will create the curriculum and make it available to educators; the Library will print an additional 5,000 sets of trading cards and make them freely available to classrooms across North Carolina.

A limited number of sets of the 2013 and 2014 trading cards are available for sale in the Friends Book Store at the Library. The Banned Books Trading Cards receive annual support from the Friends of CHPL and the CHPL Foundation.