Award-winning authors headline 2018-19 Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series

Published Sep 16, 2018 at 9:00am

SYRACUSE — The Friends of the Central Library (FOCL) presents the 2018-2019 Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series featuring six renowned authors including a Syracuse native, New York Times best-selling authors, National Book Award finalists, an Academy Award nominee and Book of the Year authors.

The Rosamond Gifford Lecture Series is the one of the largest library-related lecture series in the United States. Since 1995, FOCL has brought more than 130 world-famous authors to Syracuse to entertain, inform and inspire our Central New York audience.

All lectures begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Crouse Hinds Theater, John H. Mulroy Civic Center at Oncenter, 411 Montgomery St.

This season’s lecturers, starting this month:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 25: Frank Bruni, New York Times Op-Ed Columnist and best-selling author
  • Monday, Oct. 29: Rainbow Rowell, Award-winning Young Adult author
  • Monday, Nov. 12: Diana Abu-Jaber, Best-selling author and Syracuse native
  • Monday, March 4, 2019: Louise Penny, #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail best-selling novelist
  • Tuesday, April 2, 2019: David Grann, #1 New York Times best-selling author
  • Tuesday, May 7, 2019: Colm Tóibín, Award-winning author and poet

Individual tickets are $35 and may be purchased at the OnCenter Box Office, 315-435-2121 or online at Groups of 10+ qualify for 20% off regular ticket prices. Student tickets for individual lectures are available for $10 with a valid student ID.

Frank Bruni

Op-Ed columnist Frank Bruni writes about politics, popular culture, food and gay rights for the New York Times. He has written three bestselling books: Born Round, a memoirWhere You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, about the college admissions mania; and Ambling into History about George W. Bush. His most recent book, A Meatloaf in Every Oven, is an homage to a tradition, with recipes.

Bruni has been an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times since June 2011. In his columns, which appear every Sunday and Wednesday, he reflects on diverse topics including American politics, higher education, and gay rights. He joined the newspaper in 1995 and since then he has been a White House correspondent, the chief restaurant critic, a staff writer for The Times Magazine and the Rome bureau chief.

The Times’s first openly gay Op-Ed columnist, he was several times named GLAAD’s newspaper columnist of the year and, in the fall of 2016, was given the Randy Shilts Award for his lifetime contributions to L.G.B.T. Americans by the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. He frequently appears as a political commentator on CNN, and MSNBC.

“Books are personal, passionate. They stir emotions and spark thoughts in a manner all their own, and I’m convinced that the shattered world has less hope for repair if reading becomes an ever-smaller part of it.” —Frank Bruni

Rainbow Rowell

Rainbow Rowell, an author of young adult and adult novels, wrote Carry On, a New York Times best seller and Book of the Year. Her book Eleanor & Park was a Michael L. Printz Award Best Book nominee and she’s the writer of Marvel Comics new Runaways series, the story of six teenagers who betray their supervillain parents and save the world. Almost Midnight is her most recent work.

Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline). Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & ParkFangirl and Carry On). But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.

When she’s not writing, Rowell is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things. Rowell recently began writing the return of the Runaways series for Marvel Comics.

“I’m the kind of girl who fantasizes about being trapped in a library overnight.” —Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell

For more information on each speaker, go online to

About the Friends of the Central Library

The Friends of the Central Library (FOCL) raises funds to support the Central Library, the hub of the Onondaga County Public Library system. The mission of FOCL is to champion the Central Library as a vital community resource. Through fundraising and public advocacy, we enhance the excellence of our library and its capacity to serve the community.