Conscious party: Author David Baldacci speaks at dinner and auction to bolster local literacy

BOOK BY BOOK: David Baldacci, author of 30 best-selling novels and counting, will speak at the Literacy Council of Buncombe County's 8th annual Authors for Literacy fundraising event three days after officially releasing his latest book The Keeper. Photo by Alexander James

WHAT: Eighth annual Authors for Literacy dinner and auction

WHERE: Renaissance Asheville Hotel

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 11, 6-9 p.m.

WHY: “Authors for Literacy is our single largest fundraising event, but it also raises awareness about an issue that is often hidden from the public eye,” says Literacy Council of Buncombe County development director LuAnn Arena. “Most people do not realize that 10 percent of Buncombe County residents have below basic literacy skills.”

This year’s fundraising dinner — prepared by executive chef Michael Marshall of the Renaissance Hotel with pours from Biltmore Wines — will enable the Literacy Council to secure volunteer tutors for some 350 locals lacking reading, writing and language skills.

Local businesses like Posana, Table, Rhubarb, Red Stag Grill, Asheville Yoga Center and the Asheville Symphony plus artists Michael Kane and Jonas Gerard have all donated items to the event’s silent auction, which includes a live portion and a shot at a beach resort vacation.

The biggest attraction for many, though, will be a keynote speech by best-selling author David Baldacci, who has worked extensively to address the interconnected issues of illiteracy, poverty and hunger on a national scale. He’ll be signing copies of his just-released book The Keeper as well.

“We are thrilled to have an author of David Baldacci’s caliber and popularity,” Arena says. “He will help to bring awareness to a national issue and its local impact. Literacy is a tool that can help people rise out of poverty and get better-paying jobs to support their families. Literacy allows parents to read to their children. A lack of basic literacy skills affects not only the struggling reader, but everyone in the Buncombe County community regardless of age, race, gender or background.”

Tickets are $75 per person and can be purchased at or by calling 254-3442. A mail-in registration form (to be submitted with check payment) is also available through the event website.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.