Wednesday, February 21 , 2018, 9:01 am | Fair 47º

 
 
 

CALM Authors’ Luncheon Turns Another Fascinating Page

Gary David Goldberg, Andrew Klavan, Deborah Rodriguez and Lisa See headline 22nd annual fund-raiser.

CALM’s (Child Abuse Listening Mediation) 22nd Annual Celebrity Authors’ Luncheon was, as always, a rousing success, thanks in large part to the dynamic duo of Sharon Bifano and Stephanie Ortale, who have co-chaired the event every year since its inception in 1987.

Board president Meredith Scott gave a lovely tribute to retiring executive director Anna M. Kokotovic, Ph.D. That, along with a moving video presentation produced by Surf Media Communications, brought the work that CALM does in the community to the forefront of the luncheon — to prevent, assess and treat child abuse by providing comprehensive services for children and their families — inspiring the approximately 500 supporters at the luncheon to dig deep into their pockets to help abused children.

Retired KEYT anchor Debby Davison and Borders Books’ Kate Schwab interviewed an interesting panel of authors: Lisa See (Peony in Love), Andrew Klavan (Damnation Street), Deborah Rodriguez (Kabul Beauty School) and Gary David Goldberg (Sit, Ubu, Sit).

See’s book follows the lives of two young Chinese women in remote 19th century China. Her comparison of the tortures of female foot binding to the “plastic boobs” of today’s women (“They’re both painful things done to women as status symbols for men”) had the mostly female crowd in stitches.

When asked about the vivid characters he creates, Klavan said, “I really enjoy the fact that people are immensely different.”

Another vivid character was Rodriguez herself, a hairdresser from Michigan who went to Afghanistan as a relief worker and ended up training Afghan women to do modern beauty treatments.

“I mean Taliban are bad but this perm was really bad, too,” said Rodriguez, describing the woman who inspired her to start the Kabul Beauty School.

“I couldn’t believe that you could make a living doing what I got to do,” said Goldberg, creator of Family Ties and Spin City, who spoke about writing a memoir about his life as a television writer/producer.

The panelists joined the ranks of more than 70 authors interviewed over the years, including Ray Bradbury, Julia Child, Barnaby Conrad, Michael Crichton, Fanny Flagg, Sue Grafton, Jane Russell, Maria Shriver and Jonathan Winters.

In addition to purchasing books by the interviewed authors (with a portion of the proceeds going to CALM), authors Mindy Bingham, Polly Bookwalter, Joe Bruzzese, Jack Canfield, Kathryn Cushman, William Davis, Karen Finell, David Gersh, Beverly Jackson, Susan Jorgensen, Jennie Nash, Katie Nuanes, Sissy Taran and Flavia Weedn were on hand to sign books and donate part of the proceeds to CALM.

Click here for more information about CALM.

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