PEN America Author’s Evening with Lisa Grunwald

Lisa Grundwald headshot and book cover photo for The Evolution of Annabel CraigPlease join us for an intimate evening with novelist Lisa Grunwald in celebration of the release of her new book, The Evolution of Annabel Craig. Grunwald will be in conversation with documentary filmmaker Lynn Novick. This event is being generously hosted by Cathy Cramer.

From the author of Time After Time, The Irresistible Henry House, and Letters of a Century, Grunwald’s The Evolution of Annabel Craig follows a young Southern woman who sets out on a journey of self-discovery as the infamous 1925 Scopes Trial tests her faith and her marriage. 

Annabel Hayes—born, baptized, and orphaned in the sleepy conservative town of Dayton, Tennessee—is thrilled to find herself falling quickly and deeply in love with George Craig, a sophisticated attorney newly arrived from Knoxville. But before the end of their first year of marriage, their lives are beset by losses. The strain on their relationship is only intensified when John T. Scopes is arrested for teaching Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution at the local high school.

Foreshadowing today’s culture wars, the trial against Scopes is a spectacle unlike any the country has seen. William Jennings Bryan—a revered Southern politician—joins the prosecution, pitting himself and his faith against the renowned defense attorney Clarence Darrow. Journalists descend in a frenzy, thrusting the town and its citizens into the national spotlight. And when George joins the team defending Scopes, Annabel begins to question both her beliefs and her vows.

As the ongoing trial divides neighbor against neighbor, it also divides the Craigs in unexpected ways. But in the midst of these conflicts—one waged in an open courtroom, the other behind closed doors—Annabel will discover that the path to her own evolution begins with the courage to think for herself.

This event is currently full. Please contact Maris Endres to be added to the waitlist. 

Donations to attend this dinner are $350 per person. Following your RSVP, you will be sent the address for the event. The donation is considered 100% tax-deductible and supports PEN America’s mission to defend writers and free expression at a time of unprecedented need. Your generosity is deeply appreciated. Please contact Maris Endres with any questions.

About pEN America Authors’ Evenings

The PEN America Authors’ Evenings are nights of literary dinners in private homes and intimate settings. Please visit the Authors’ Evenings webpage for our full calendar of dinners.

Proceeds from the PEN America Authors’ Evenings support PEN America’s programming to secure the liberty of persecuted and imprisoned writers around the world, to defend freedom of expression, and to promote literature and international cultural exchange.