In the News

Just as countless inspiring works fill the shelves of our libraries, there are many stories to tell about the ways the foundation supports the libraries’ facilities, services and programs. Read or view recent news coverage below. For media inquiries, visit our For the Press page.

Historical Fiction Writer Paula McLain Booked for Lunch for Libraries Fundraiser March 17

MADISON, Wis. (Wednesday, November 11, 2015) – New York Times and international best-selling historical fiction writer Paula McLain will headline Madison Public Library Foundation’s fifth annual Lunch for Libraries fundraiser on Thursday, March 17, 2016, at Overture Center for the Arts.

McLain has found her niche in female-focused historical fiction, through which she imaginatively relives the lives of notable women from the past. “Circling the Sun,” released in July, is a fictionalized account of glamorous aviator Beryl Markham’s life in Kenya in the 1920s. At age 18, Markham was the first woman to earn a professional racehorse trainer license. In 1936, in the face of fierce storms and wind, she was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America.

“Circling the Sun” was preceded by McLain’s 2011 bestseller “The Paris Wife,” which offers a glimpse of what life may have been like for Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley.

“We’re thrilled that Ms. McLain will be coming to Madison to share her deeply poignant, beautifully written stories with book lovers in our community,” said foundation Executive Director Jenni Collins. “She is beloved by book clubs, and her novels are very popular here based on checkouts and hold requests. We’re already having fun planning this event that supports year-round, free Wisconsin Book Festival programming.”

McLain, a California native, was abandoned by her parents at a young age and lived most of her youth in foster homes. She worked many entry-level jobs before discovering that she had the ability and desire to write. In 1996, McLain earned her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan. She lived in Madison for a short time afterward.

While McLain is currently the leading lady of the historical fiction genre, she also has written two poetry collections, a memoir titled “Like Family: Growing Up in Other People’s Houses” and the novel “A Ticket to Ride.” She lives in Cleveland.

Lunch for Libraries begins at noon. Individual tickets are limited and will be $125 each, which includes a signed hardcover copy of “Circling the Sun.” They will be available beginning January 20 at Email to receive ticket information. There are also opportunities to purchase a table of eight; please call 608.266.6318 for details.

Library cardholders can reserve a copy of “Circling the Sun” and “The Paris Wife” at any of the nine Madison Public Library locations or on LINKcat, accessible through the library website at

About Madison Public Library Foundation: Madison Public Library Foundation promotes and supports Madison’s library facilities, services and programs. Established in 1993, the foundation provides annual project grants, raises funds for capital projects, and promotes awareness of the libraries and their programs. Learn how to support Madison’s libraries at, on the foundation’s Facebook page, and on Twitter (@mplfoundation). For information about the Wisconsin Book Festival, visit

Download Media Kit

Our media kit includes basic information about the Madison Public Library Foundation and its mission.

Please contact Jenni Collins, or 608.266.6318 for media inquiries.

Download Media Kit

Paula McLain

Library Website