Lynsey’s Love Fest

Maxine Bleiweis has mastermined 17 “Booked for the Evenings.”

But tonight was her first honoring a homegrown hero.

Lynsey Addario — Pulitzer Prize winner, MacArthur genius grant awardee, inspiration for an upcoming Steven Spielberg movie and now best-selling author — drew a packed house to the Westport Library.

Friends from childhood, friends of her parents, family members (including her 102-year-old grandmother), and just proud Westporters, they were already impressed by the New York Times photojournalist. When they saw her compelling images, heard her harrowing stories of her work in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Darfur and Libya, they left even more awed.

Lynsey Addario speaking tonight at the Westport Library's

Lynsey Addario speaking tonight at the Westport Library’s “Booked for the Evening.” One of her vivid photographs is projected behind her.

It was a hometown evening. Actress Cynthia Gibb (Staples High School Class of ’81) read excerpts from Lynsey’s book, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. Doug Tirola (Staples ’84) produced a tribute video (narrated by CNN anchor and Easton native Ivan Watson). Eli Koskoff (Staples ’15, and Lynsey’s colleague Tyler Hicks’ nephew) played guitar.

Lynsey was called “brilliant, articulate, warm, engaging and very kind” — and she did not disappoint. She gave shout-outs to her sisters, parents, and the town she grew up in. All helped provide the one quality that, she said, every photojournalist needs: “being non-judgmental.”

It was a wonderful evening: for Lynsey, for Westport, and for the library that — in 17 years of “Booked” events — has raised over $3 million.

As New York Times Magazine director of photography Kathy Ryan said: “This is the rocking-est library I’ve ever seen!”

2 responses to “Lynsey’s Love Fest

  1. Diana Bowes

    Amen Dan- what an incredible evening- I don’t think I was the only one crying. Hurray to Lynsey-yes she made us all feel like slaggards-
    And hurray to Maxine and her committee who
    Have spoiled us this last 17 years!!!

  2. Roberta Tager

    Kudos to Lyndsey, to her family and to those supporting her in the special town of Westport,Ct.,,!