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1997 Indian River Literary Society – Initial Board of Directors


Charlie Cooper, President                     Darby Gibbons

Charlotte Terry, Vice President           Kevin Given

Mary Beth Vallar, Sec/Treasurer        Jo Ann Merrill

Bob Bauchman                                         Elizabeth Moulton

Marilyn Chenault                                      Chuck Pistole

Alice du Pont                                              Larry Reisman

Todd Fennell                                               Mary Snyder

A Brief History of the Indian River Literary Society

The Indian River Literary Society dates to early 1997, when Northern Trust’s Vero Beach office decided to form the Society as a 501(C)(3) organization to promote reading, writing, and literary discussion.  The initial Board of Directors is shown below; wonderful people who “birthed” a tremendous organization!  At Literary’ s inception, Northern Trust partnered with the Vero Beach Press Journal as co-sponsors.  The first meeting was held at Orchid Island’s Beach Club in October 1997.  For perspective, Bill Clinton was President, Tiger Woods won his first Masters, and the Dow finished that year at 6,442. 


When the Press Journal stepped aside, Northern Trust continued as the sole sponsor until the fall of 2013.  At that time, the Vero Beach Book Center came on board as a new co-sponsor.   Chad Leonard and team at the Book Center have been tremendous.  The Book Center will hit its 10th anniversary of sponsorship this fall, and the Society is better for this involvement. 


The pandemic resulted in the cancellation of two meetings in March and April 2020, and a suspension of the Society until November 2022.  In early 2022, Northern Trust formally advised the Literary Society Board that after 25 years, it would be turning over the reins of the organization to the Board, helping with the transition to assure the Society’s continued success. 

Blue Skies

IRLS Authors since the beginning...

October 1997 to April 1998

David Hagberg - Assassin

Janice Daugherty - Earl in the Yellow Shirt

James W. Hall - Red Sky at Night

Jeff Shaara - Gods and Generals

Stefanie Matteson - Murder Under the Palms

Robin Hudnut - Poetry and Reminiscences of Robert Frost

Patrick D. Smith - A Land Remembered

October 1998 to April 1999

Rick Bragg - All Over But the Shoutin'

Timothy Dumas - Greentown

Stuart Woods - Orchid Beach

Nicholas Sparks - Message in a Bottle

Sharon Kay Penman - Cruel as the Grave

Connie Mae Fowler - Remembering Blue

Donald Maass - The Career Novelist

October 1999 to April 2000

Stuart McIver - Murder in the Tropics

Anita Shreve - Fortune’s Rocks

Jane Heller - Sis Boom Bah

Michael Cunningham - The Hours Adeline

Yen Mah - Falling Leaves

Ursula Hegi - The Vision of Emma Blau

Susan Hertog - Anne Morrow Lindberg, Her Life

October 2000 to April 2001

Randy Wayne White - Ten Thousand Islands

Martin Goldsmith - The Inextinguishable Symphony

Elinor Lipman - The Ladies’ Man

Laurel Blossom - What’s Wrong (Poems)

Jonathan Hull - Losing Julia

Susan Orlean - The Orchid Thief

Barbara Parker - Suspicion of Malice

October 2001 to April 2002

J.T. Glisson - The Creek Sena

Jeter Naslund - Ahab’s Wife

Stuart Kaminsky - A Few Minutes Past Midnight

Kent Haruf - Plainsong

Tim Junkin - Good Counsel

Marcel Theroux - The Confessions of Mycroft Holmes

Arlene Hutton - Last Train to Nibroc (Play)

October 2002 to April 2003

Martha Powers - Bleeding Heart

Alan Cheuse - Listening to the Page

Robert Hellenga - Blues Lessons

Andre Dubus III - House of Sand and Fog

Ann Patchett - Bel Canto

John Biguenet - The Torturer’s Apprentice

Anh Vu Sawyer - Song of Saigon

October 2003 to April 2004

Victoria Pope - Leap of Faith

Joseph Kanon - The Good German

Les Standiford - Last Train to Paradise

Richard Russo - Empire Falls

Carl Hiaasen - Basket Case

Sue Monk Kidd - The Secret Life of Bees

Leif Enger - Peace Like a River

Jeanne Ray - Eat Cake

October 2004 to April 2005

Aimee Liu - Flash House (Orchid Golf Club)

Stephanie Burke - To My Daughter in France

Meg Wolitzer - The Wife

Edna Buchanan - Cold Case Squad

Neely Tucker - Love in the Driest Season

Khaled Hosseini - The Kite Runner

Evelyn Mayerson - Net Loss (Play)

October 2005 to April 2006

Robert Alexander - The Kitchen Boy

Ron McLarty - The Memory of Running

Jeannette Walls - The Glass Castle

Audrey Neffenger - The Time Traveler’s Wife

Chris Bohjalian - Before You Know Kindness

Kermit Roosevelt - In the Shadow of the Law

Steve Berry - The Third Secret

October 2006 to April 2007

Joan Biskupic - Sandra Day O’Connor

Bill Belleville - Losing it all to Sprawl…

Mary Morris - Revenge

Jodi Picoult - The Tenth Circle

Philippa Gregory - The Boleyn Inheritance

John Berendt - The City of Falling Angles

Mary Doria Russell - A Thread of Grace

October 2007 to April 2008

Aryn Kyle - The God of Animals

Manette Ansay - Blue Water

Hilma Wolitzer - Summer Reading

Timothy Egan - The Worst Hard Time

Claire Messud - The Emperor’s Children

Jane Hamilton - When Madeline Was Young

John Hart - Down River

October 2008 to April 2009

Howard Frank Mosher - On Kingdom Mountain

Nancy Horan - Loving Frank

Rody Johnson - The Rise and Fall of Dodgertown

Sarah Gruen - Water for Elephants

Danny Danziger - Museum

Jennifer Cody Epstein - The Painter From Shanghai

Geraldine Brooks - The People of the Book

October 2009 to April 2010

Lily Koppel - Red Leather Diary

John Burnham Schwartz - The Commoner

Myron Uhlberg - Hands of My Father

Jay Parini - Promised Land

Julian Fellowes - Past Imperfect

Elizabeth Berg - Home Safe

Joseph O’Neill - Netherland

October 2010 to April 2011

David Beckworth - A New Day in the Delta

Tiffany Baker - The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

Kathleen Grissom - The Kitchen House

T. J. Stiles - The Last Tycoon

Abraham Verghese - Cutting for Stone

Jamie Ford - Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

Ron Rash - Burning Bright

October 2011 to April 2012

Tatjana Soli - Lotus Eaters

Susan Vreeland - Clara and Mr. Tiffany

Tom Franklin - Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

Sarah Blake - The Postmistress

Helen Simonson - Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand

Paula McLain - The Paris Wife

Minrose Gwin - The Queen of Palmyra

October 2012 to April 2013

Deborah Kogan - The Red Book

Jon Gertner - The Idea Factory

Amy Walden - The Submission

Alexandra Fuller - Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness

Armor Towels - Rules of Civility

Mitchell Zuckoff - Lost in Shangri-La

Daisy Goodwin - The American Heiress

October 2013 to April 2014

Terry Teachout – Duke: The Life of Duke Ellington

Jennifer Chiaverini – Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker

Barbara Shapiro – The Art Forger

Eleanor Morse – White Dog Fell From the Sky

William Landay – Defending Jacob

Will Schwalbe – The End of Your Life Book

Amanda Coplin – The Orchardist

October 2014 to April 2015

Hank Phillipi Ryan - Truth Be Told

Anthony Marra - A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

Julia Glass - And the Dark Sacred Night

Daniel James Brown - The Boys in the Boat

Marisa Silver - Mary Coin

Allison Pataki - The Traitor’s Wife/ The Accidental Empress

Robin Black - Life Drawing

October 2015 to April 2016

Kris Radish - The Year of Necessary Lies

Margaret Bradham Thornton - Charleston

Celeste Ng - Everything I Never Told You

Hector Tobar - Deep Down Dark

Lily King - Euphoria

Miriam Toews - All My Puny Sorrows

Thrity Umrigar - The Story Hour

October 2016 to April 2017

Cassandra King Conroy - LowCountry Heart: Reflections of a Writing Life

Andrew Schulman - Waking the Spirit

Sere Prince Halverson - All the Winters After

Angela Flournoy - The Turner House

Dominic Smith - The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

Janice Y.K. Lee - The Expatriates

Vicki C. Croke - Elephant Company

October 2017 to April 2018

Christopher Swann - Shadow of the Lions

Jessica Shattuck - The Women in the Castle

Kathleen Rooney - Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

Robert Olen Butler - Perfume River

Hala Alyan - Salt Houses

Monica Woods - The One-in-a-Million Boy

Paulette Jiles - News of the World

October 2018-April 2019

Rhiannon Navin – Only Child

Jasmin Darznik – Song of the Captive Bird

Aja Gabel – The Ensemble

Tara Westover – Educated

Wiley Cash – The Last Ballad

Mary Gordon – There Your Heart Lies

Alice McDermott – The Ninth Hour

October 2019-April 2020

Jeffrey Blount – Emancipation of Evan Walls

Chris Wilson – The Master Plan

Madeleine Miller – Circe

Rebecca Makkai – The Great Believers

Lynne Olson – Madame Fourcade’s Secret War

Fatima Mirza – A Place for Us (cancelled due to COVID)

Silas House – Southernmost (cancelled due to COVID)

Fall 2020-Spring 2021

Season cancelled due to COVID

Fall 2021-Spring 2022

Season cancelled due to COVID

November 2022-April 2023

Tracey Enerson Wood – The War Nurse

Victoria Murray – The Personal Librarian

Bonnie Garmus – Lessons in Chemistry (Chris Bohjalian) (sub)

Bryn Turnbull – The Woman Before Wallis

Nathaniel Miller – The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven

Meredith Hall – Beneficence (Author cancelled 4/9/23 due to COVID)

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