Nashville Public Library Awards Louise Erdrich the 2022 Literary Award

It was a dark and stormy night… What could be the opening line to a spine-tingling novel was instead the perfect way to enter an event celebrating institutions honoring the written word. The Nashville Public Library Literary Gala was, as always, a fabulous event housed in the hallowed halls of the downtown Main Library. As revelers entered the beautifully decorated entrance hall, they were greeted by warm hugs from friends as delicious hors d’oeuvres passed through the room. The library was adorned with stunning archways of greenery, giving the room a more natural feel by bringing the out-of-doors indoors. 

Co-chairs McLean Barbieri and Michelle Gaskin Brown circulated throughout the evening with guests who were there in support of the Nashville Public Library’s important mission: “to inspire reading, advance learning and connect our community.” Patrons mingled, sipped cocktails and took photos on the front steps, eagerly awaiting the speech from the night’s Literary Award winner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Louise Erdrich.

After the reception, attendees were invited to the Grand Reading Room. As guests ascended the stairs, they admired the beautiful nod to Louise and her Native American heritage as the co-chairs installed a greeting in Ojibwe, the indigenous language of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa. Dinner was served: a delicious salad, followed by tender chicken breast with seasonal vegetables. A tasty crème brûlée rounded out the menu.

The Margaret Ann Robinson Leadership Award was presented to Kay and Keith Simmons and UBS, and then guests were enthralled by the beautiful speech from Louise as she accepted the Literary Award. It was clear that many did not want the evening to end as they mingled and visited; however, just like any great novel, another Literary Award Gala came to a close.