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Attending the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards Event

Friday, November 22nd, 2013
A photo of all the authors featured at the event

A photo of all the authors featured at the event

It’s hard to believe the glamorous event took place almost a month ago. It felt like yesterday.

More than 750 people gathered together to honor the Carl Sandburg Literary Awards recipients: Isabel Allende (fiction), Michael Lewis (non-fiction) and Christine Sneed (21st Century Award). Over 70 authors in the greater Chicago areas or have written about Chicago were also featured at the award dinner event. I have always loved Allende’s writing, and her memoir about her daughter Paula especially touched me. I felt so honored to stand on the same stage with these literary giants.

photo 2The event is also the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s largest annual fund-raising dinner. Each author hosted a table of ten, and a total of 1.5 million was raised for the evening. Quite impressive.

It was a very exciting evening for me, meeting other fellow authors and talking with the M.C. of the event, Bill Curtis, who has been a supporter of Mulberry Child movie.

Chicago Mayor speaking at the event

Chicago Mayor speaking at the event

The guests on my table happened to a group young professionals—most of them lawyers. They are open and curious and eager to learn more about China and my experience growing up there. I very much enjoyed the evening and the sharing of our life stories growing up in different parts of the world.

I had the opportunity to exchange a few words with each of the award-winning authors and had them sign copies of their books respectively. I walked away feeling very much inspired.

Link to the photos of the evening event:

Jian Ping, author of Mulberry Child: A Memoir of China, which has been developed into an award-winning feature-length documentary film by Susan Morgan Cooper and is narrated by Jacqueline Bisset. Visit for more information.

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