Volume 15, Issue 75  |  September 19, 2023SubscribeAdvertise

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AAUW Laguna Beach to hold 34th Annual Literary Luncheon

AAUW (American Association of University Women) is holding its popular Literary Luncheon event on Saturday, March 11 at the Surf & Sand Resort. Always a sellout, three women authors you won’t want to miss, Jennifer Coburn, Dori Jones-Yang and Maggie Shipstead, are the featured speakers. 

Bestselling San Diego author Jennifer Coburn has written a mother-daughter travel memoir, We’ll Always have Paris, a handful of delightful women’s fiction novels and a self-help book, Take Back Your Power: A Working Woman’s Response to Sexual Harassment.

AAUW Coburn

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Photos courtesy of AAUW

Author Jennifer Coburn

Her latest novel, Cradles of the Reich, a departure from light fare, is getting rave reviews. According to Donna Edwards of the Associated Press, “Every historical fiction novel should strive to be this compelling, well-researched and just flat-out good.” Cradles of the Reich explores a WWII-era Nazi breeding program through the lives of three very different and complex women. Coburn says that the devoted Nazi character, Hilde, was the most difficult to write. “I tried to walk the razor-thin line of exploring the psyche of a highly damaged person without excusing or justifying her behavior.” Coburn is currently working on a follow-up novel.

Author and journalist Dori Jones Yang, in her memoir When the Red Gates Opened (2020), shares her experiences during eight years as foreign correspondent and head of BusinessWeek’s Hong Kong news bureau. “The memoir was my capstone project,” she said. “It took me 30 years to get the perspective I needed to understand the long-lasting significance of China in the 1980s. I bring an interesting perspective on China,” she added, “one that may be different from what you read in the newspaper.”

AAUW Jones Yang

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Author Dori Jones Yang

Yang’s early career as a journalist led her to writing her first book, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, a perennial favorite of readers of business books. Besides her memoir, Jones Yang has delved into historical fiction with Daughter of Xanadu and Son of Venice and youth literature with two middle-grade novels that introduce Chinese culture to American children.

Maggie Shipstead’s highly acclaimed novel, Great Circle, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list and was featured as Jenna Bush Hager’s May Book Club pick on the Today Show. New York Times reviewer, Lynn Steger Strong, said of Great Circle, it “starts high and maintains altitude. One might say it soars.” The epic novel, dense with interesting characters, adventure and soul-searching, tells the story of Marian, an early 20th century aviatrix, a woman before her time, and Hadley, a lost and searching actress tackling the role of Marian in a Hollywood movie.

AAUW Maggie Shipstead

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Author Maggie Shipstead

Shipstead’s earlier novels, Seating Arrangements and Astonish Me, are stand-outs among books that highlight women’s and family issues, Seating Arrangements also finding a place on the New York Times bestseller list. An avid traveler, Shipstead is a frequent contributor to Travel + Leisure magazine as well as other journals including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast Traveler and more.

The varied works of these three authors and their takes on the struggles and rewards of the writing life are certain to make this 34th Annual AAUW Literary Luncheon another very special event.

AAUW is a national organization whose mission is to advance gender equity through research, education and advocacy. The Laguna Beach branch has 140 members from 18 cities, and is celebrating its 55th year of empowering women and girls, primarily through education.

The proceeds of the Literary Luncheon support college scholarships for girls from Laguna Beach, Dana Hills and Estancia high schools; scholarships for returning women undergraduates at Saddleback College, Orange Coast College, Laguna College of Art + Design and UC Irvine; summer STEM programs for local middle school girls and El Morro Elementary School tutoring.

The event will be held at The Surf & Sand Resort, located at 1555 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. for the silent auction, book sales and to meet the authors. Ticket price is $125 ($85 is tax deductible). To purchase tickets for the Literary Luncheon, visit http://bit.ly/AAUWLL2023. There will be no ticket sales at the door. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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