Book Talks and Signings

The DCA is proud to partner with Barrett Bookstore to bring a variety of highly-acclaimed authors to the DCA for these book signings and discussions of their latest works.

Upcoming Book Talk and Signing:

Barrett Bookstore and the DCA Present Mary Louise Kelly
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
6:15pm reception
7:00pm event


Along with Barrett Bookstore and media partner WSHU Public Radio, we are thrilled to host a live, in-person event with Mary Louise Kelly, famed NPR reporter and co-host of their award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered.

A former national security correspondent and author of two espionage novels, Anonymous Sources and The Bullet, Mary Louise Kelly will discuss her new book It. Goes. So. Fast. The Year of No Do-Overs, and answer audience questions. A signed copy the book is included in the ticket price and additional copies will be available at the event.

In this book, Mary Louise Kelly reflects on and comes to grips with the realities that every parent faces, whether children growing up and leaving for college, or aging parents.

Mary Louise Kelly will be in conversation with Diane Orson, special correspondent with Connecticut Public. Diane is a longtime reporter and contributor to National Public Radio. Her stories have been heard on Morning EditionAll Things ConsideredWeekend Edition and Here And Now.

“It. Goes. So. Fast. is a moving and funny account of the deals we cut with ourselves: what we sacrifice, what we gain, and what we really want (which is everything). By holding up a mirror to her own choices, Mary Louise Kelly gives us tremendous insight into how we struggle to be true to ourselves and the people we love, and how we’re never going to get it exactly right. This book is the voice of solidarity. It is a gift.”
Ann Patchett

Mary Louise Kelly graduated from Harvard University and completed a master’s degree at the University of Cambridge in England. She also created and taught a graduate course on national security and journalism at Georgetown University. In addition to her books, she is the author of articles and essays that have appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, among numerous other publications.

$40 DCA members

$50 public
Ticket price includes a hardcover copy of the book and glass of wine/light bites at the reception

Register online by Tuesday, April 11. 

(photo credit: Mike Morgan/NPR)


Past Book Talks and Signings:

Barrett Bookstore and the Darien Community Association hosted an in-person event with Colm Tóibín, award-winning author of The MagicianBrooklyn and The Master.

The evening featured conversation with Colm about his new book A Guest at the Feast, a collection of essays that is both an intimate encounter with a supremely creative artist and a glorious celebration of writing.

Erudite essays from one of the world’s finest writers.” – Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
A writer of sophisticated elegances…mesmerizing power and skill.” – Richard Eder, The Boston Globe

Thank you to all who came to celebrate Kristen Harnisch and the release of The Vintner’s Legacy, her third book in the internationally bestselling Vintner’s Daughter series.


Barrett Bookstore and the Darien Community Association were pleased to host a live, in-person book launch at the DCA with Darien’s own Kristen Harnisch, to celebrate the release of The Vintner’s Legacy, the third book in the internationally bestselling Vintner’s Daughter series.

Beginning over a decade after Kristen Harnisch’s second novel ended, The Vintner’s Legacy takes us back to 1918 to a world at war, when the Americans are mobilizing to send troops to France. In this gripping sequel to The Vintner’s Daughter and The California Wife, four related families confront the turmoil of the First World War, a deadly influenza epidemic and a looming American Prohibition.

Award-winning author Kristen Harnisch drew upon her extensive research and experiences living in the San Francisco Bay area and visiting the Loire Valley to create the stories for the three historical novels in the series. Ms. Harnisch earned a degree in economics from Villanova University and resides in Darien with her family.

Barrett Bookstore and the DCA presented Julianna Margulies, in conversation with Kristen Harnisch.

Thank you for a sold out book talk with Barrett Bookstore and actor Julianna Margulies, discussing her memoir Sunshine Girl.

Audience comments:
Such a wonderful evening.

You guys always host the best events.

Julianna was fabulous.

I was impressed with the moderator’s style with Julianna, that I felt like I was eavesdropping on their conversation. Julianna is an intelligent, insightful person and was so genuine during the Q/A session. It was an enjoyable evening and I look forward to attending other DCA events.


Barrett Bookstore and the DCA presented Erik Larson, in conversation with Dr. Antonio “Tony” Dajer.

Thank you to Erik Larson and Dr. Dajer – an entertaining and insightful evening with a sold out in-person audience and online Zoom audience!

In The Splendid and the Vile, Larson delivers an intimate chronicle of Winston Churchill and London during the Blitz – an inspiring portrait of courage and leadership in a time of unprecedented crisis.

Audience comments:
“I loved the in-conversation format, with Dr. Dajer contributing his own thoughtful perspective while bringing out Erik Larson’s charm and personality – and the sheer fun he had writing this book!”

“Erik was AMAZING! What an incredible mind he has. Loved it. I hope the DCA is feeling lots of joy from the return of in-person events.”

“Thank you! I gave this event to my husband for Valentine’s Day and he loved it!”

One of (Erik Larson’s) best books yet…perfectly timed for the moment.”

A bravura performance by one of America’s greatest storytellers.

Barrett Bookstore and the DCA presented Pulitzer Prize-winner Elizabeth Strout, in conversation with New York Times bestselling author of Inheritance, Dani Shapiro.  

Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favorite writers, so the fact that Oh William! may well be my favorite of her books is a mathematical equation for joy. The depth, complexity, and love contained in these pages is a miraculous achievement.”—Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House

Elizabeth Strout is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Olive, AgainAnything Is Possible, winner of the Story Prize; My Name Is Lucy BartonThe Burgess BoysOlive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize.

Dani Shapiro is the author of the New York Times bestselling memoir Inheritance, as well as Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion and five novels including Black & White and Family History.

Barrett Bookstore and the DCA presented Walter Isaacson, in conversation with Wendy Kopp

Walter Isaacson’s new book The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race is a gripping account of how Nobel prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and improve the human species.

Walter Isaacson, a professor of history at Tulane University, is the bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, and Steve Jobs. He has been CEO of the Aspen Institute, chair of CNN, and editor of Time.

Moderator Wendy Kopp founded Teach For America and is currently CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All. She has been recognized by Time as one of their 100 Most Influential People.

Barrett Bookstore and the DCA Present Jeff Immelt, in conversation with Darien’s Peter Maglathlin

I thought that the Immelt interview was magnificent and I enjoyed every minute…
-Participant from event

The DCA would like to thank Barrett Bookstore for their longstanding partnership, and moderator Peter Maglathlin for his entertaining and informative conversation with former General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt. In the discussion of his book Hot Seat, Immelt shared the lessons he has learned about leadership, gleaned from his 16 years at the helm of GE and the numerous challenges and crises faced during that time.

Jeff Immelt, the former CEO of General Electric, named one of the “World’s Best CEOs” three times by Barron’s, shared the hard-won lessons he learned from his experience leading GE immediately after 9/11, through the economic devastation of the 2008–09 financial crisis, and into an increasingly globalized world.

Moderator Peter Maglathlin of Darien is Chairman and CEO of MBI Inc. in Norwalk and fellow classmate of Jeff Immelt at both Dartmouth and Harvard.

Virtual Book Talk with Richard Haass, In Conversation with Darien’s Kevin Peraino

Thank you! Almost 70 people participated in our virtual event with Barrett Bookstore; featuring Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, in conversation with fellow Council member and Darien resident Kevin Peraino. It was an informative and timely discussion of Dr. Haass’ new book and primer on foreign relations.

John Carreyrou, In Conversation with Darien’s Own Greg Cowles of The New York Times Book Review

Thank you to everyone who supported this fundraiser for the DCA with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner John Carreyrou, author of Bad Blood, in conversation with Greg Cowles of The New York Times Book Review.

And thank you to our partner for this event, Barrett Bookstore. If you haven’t read Bad Blood, we encourage you to visit Barrett and buy a copy.  It’s a hard-to-believe story that reads like a suspense thriller.

Bad Blood was named by TIME as one of the 10 best nonfiction books of the past decade.

Book Talk and Signing with Patricia Marx and Roz Chast on January 15
You Can Only Yell at Me for One Thing at a Time

Another sold-out event at the DCA! Thank you to everyone who came out to experience the evening of hilarious stories and entertainment from Patricia Marx and Roz Chast.

Patricia Marx (pictured above on left) is a former writer for “Saturday Night Live” and was the first woman elected to the Harvard Lampoon. Roz Chast (pictured above on right) attended Rhode Island School of Design and has loved to draw cartoons since she was a child growing up in Brooklyn.

Read the recent articles about Patricia Marx and Roz Chast: The Darien Times and The New Yorker Scenes from the Life of Roz Chast

Event partner: Barrett Bookstore
Wine reception sponsor: US Chemicals, A Woman-Owned Business

Fundraiser for the DCA with Pulitzer Prize Winner Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan won the Pulitzer Prize for A Visit from the Goon Squad. Her latest novel, Manhattan Beach, is 2018’s One Book, One New York winner, praised as “Egan’s most remarkable accomplishment yet…a magnificent achievement(The Boston Globe) and “Immensely satisfying…Egan works a formidable kind of magic…(The New York Times).

Manhattan Beach is a haunting and propulsive World War II-era novel which tells the intertwined stories of Anna Kerrigan, a Brooklyn Navy Yard diver, her father Eddie Kerrigan, a longshoreman turned small-time gangster, and Dexter Styles, Eddie’s inscrutable and connected boss. It contains all the hallmarks of a Jennifer Egan novel: stellar writing, shifting and slippery identities, characters longing for escape, and an intrepid, unforgettable female protagonist.

Thank you to the many Jennifer Egan fans who came to this event and supported the nonprofit mission of the DCA. This event was held in conjunction with Barrett Bookstore.

Book Talk and Signing with Author Paula McLain

What a gorgeous evening for a wine reception in the DCA formal garden, and then to hear bestselling author Paula McLain “in conversation” about her new novel Love and Ruin with Darien’s own Greg Cowles, senior editor at the New York Times Book Review.  Thank you to the large and enthusiastic crowd, and to Barrett Bookstore for their ongoing partnership with the DCA on our book talks and signings.   

 Book Talk and Signing with Author Amor Towles

A Gentleman in MoscowOn Wednesday evening, October 4, The New York Times bestselling author Amor Towles spoke at the Darien Community Association about his latest novel, A Gentleman in Moscow, to a sold-out crowd. It was a beautiful night to enjoy a drink with friends in our DCA historic formal garden before Amor discussed his book and answered questions from the audience.

Proceeds from this event supported the DCA’s non-profit mission.


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