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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.

Tickets on Sale for Lunch for Libraries With Paula McLain March 17

MADISON, Wis. (Wednesday, January 20, 2016) – Tickets are on sale now for Madison Public Library Foundation’s fifth annual Lunch for Libraries on Thursday, March 17, featuring New York Times and international best-selling historical fiction writer Paula McLain. The event will move across the street from Central Library, where it has traditionally been held, to Overture Center for the Arts to allow for more guests.

The luncheon, the foundation’s largest fundraiser for the Wisconsin Book Festival, begins at noon. Individual tickets are limited and are $125 each, including a signed hardcover copy of “Circling the Sun.” They may be purchased at There are also opportunities to purchase a table of eight; those interested may call 608.266.6318 for details.

McLain creatively relives the lives of notable women from the past in her novels. “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 alone across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to North America. McLain also penned the 2011 bestseller “The Paris Wife,” which offers a glimpse of what life may have been like for Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley.

“Ms. McLain’s novels are extremely popular in our libraries and with local book clubs,” said foundation Executive Director Jenni Collins. “We’ve had a lot of interest already, and we’re glad that this year we can offer more tickets to her fans and our biggest library supporters by relocating the event to Overture Center.”

Abandoned by her parents in her youth and a foster child for most of her early years, McLain struggled from the beginning. She discovered her talent for writing in her adulthood, overcoming adversity to earn her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan. She lived in Madison for a short time afterward. McLain has also 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.

McLain will give a free book talk as part of the Wisconsin Book Festival’s year-round programming at 7 p.m. March 17 at Central Library. Details are available at

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

Lunch for Libraries is presented by BMO Harris Bank.

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

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Please contact Jenni Jeffress, or 608.266.6318 for media inquiries.

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Paula McLain

"Circling the Sun"

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