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Ayad Akhtar, Alexander Maksik Continue Sun Valley’s Author Bingeing
Imbolo Mbue, author of "Behold the Dreamers" and "How Beautiful We Were," appeared in conversation with Library Director Jenny Emery Davidson last week as part of The Community Speaker Series presented in partnership with the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference.
Tuesday, July 19, 2022


The Sun Valley Writers’ Conference was bustling this weekend with nearly every seat in the Pavilion filled for keynote lectures and many more book lovers taking advantage of free lectures on the Pavilion Lawn.

If you’ve got the summer reading bug, it doesn’t have to end.

The Sun Valley Writers’ Conference is partnering with The Community Library to bring award-winning writer and playwright Ayad Akhtar to Ketchum’s Forest Service Park on Wednesday, July 20. And the library will present Sun Valley’s own Alexander Maksik on Friday, July 22, in the Library’s lecture hall.

  • Akhtar, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, will discuss his latest novel, “Homeland Elegies,” at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ketchum’s Forest Service Park. No registration is necessary for the free talk. Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics.

    The lecture will be livestreamed and available to watch later at

    “Homeland” Elegies” was selected by The New York Times as a Top 10 Book of 2020. One of Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2020, it is a personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made.

    It captures a country in which debt has ruined countless lives, where immigrants live in fear and where the gods of finance rule.

    Akhtar won the Kennedy Prize for American Drama and a Tony nomination for his play “Junk.” He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony nomination for the play “Disgraced.” And he won an Obie Award and two Olivier Award nominations for “The Who & The What” and “The Invisible Hand.”

  • Alexander Maksik, also a presenter at the 2022 Sun Valley Writers’ Conference, will discuss his new novel, “The Long Corner” at 5 p.m. Friday, July 22, at the library.

Set in 2017 in New York City, it revolves around a young journalist-turned advertising hack who is disillusioned by the hollowness and conformity of American life and language. He accepts an invitation to The Coded Garden, an artists’ colony on a tropical island whose mysterious patron initially offers an escape but comes to be the very embodiment of the age’s worst impulses.

The event will be livestreamed at But it will not be recorded to watch later.

Maksik is the author of “You Deserve Nothing,” a New York Times bestseller; “A Marker to Measure Drift,” which was a New York Times Notable Book, and “Shelter in Place,” named one of the best books of the year by The Guardian and San Francisco Chronicle.



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