Top Authors to Speak at Banned Books Week Fundraiser for ABFFE

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Authors Pat Conroy, Dave Barry, Connie May Fowler, and Cassandra King will speak at a Banned Books Week fundraiser at Books & Books, Coral Gables, on Saturday, September 21 at 8:00 p.m. The event is being held on the first day of Banned Books Week (September 21-28), the only national celebration of the freedom to read.

Proceeds of the event will benefit the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) ( "This is a great way to kick off Banned Books Week," ABFFE President Chris Finan said. "We are very grateful for the support of Books & Books." Finan will also speak at the event.

A sponsor of Banned Books Week, ABFFE has strongly opposed efforts to invade the privacy of bookstore records. In 1998, it helped an independent bookstore successfully resist Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's efforts to obtain Monica Lewinsky's book purchase records. Last year, the FBI served a subpoena on Books & Books seeking the titles of books purchased by U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli and others. ABFFE was able to convince the FBI to drop its demand for title information. Recently, ABFFE has been among the organizations working to discover how many subpoenas may have been issued for bookstore records under the U.S.A Patriot Act.

Pat Conroy is the bestselling author of Prince of Tides, Lords of Discipline, Beach Music, and The Great Santini. His new book is a memoir, My Losing Season (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday). Dave Barry's latest book is Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway: A Vicious and Unprovoked Attack on Our Most Cherished Political Institutions (Ballantine Books), which will be released next month. Connie May Fower's most recent book is When Katie Wakes: A Memoir (Doubleday). Her previous works include the bestseller Before Women Had Wings. Cassandra King's first book, The Sunday Wife: A Novel (Hyperion), was published this month, and is a Book Sense 76 pick for September/October. She is Pat Conroy's wife.