The Distinguished Author Series Returns This Spring

Four-Part Virtual Author Series Begins in April

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) is proud to announce a four-part, virtual author series beginning in April. The Distinguished Author Series brings together great authors who spark new thoughts, ideas and deep discussion. Delve into the minds of Dr. Robert Sapolsky, Jaron Lanier, Joyce Carol Oates and Jhumpa Lahiri to explore topics of the biology of stress and related diseases, the impact of technology on present lives and the future, and immigration.

“We are honored to present these award-winning authors, scientists and artists,” said County Librarian Jennifer Weeks. “By hearing from them firsthand, we hope to engage people into thought-provoking conversation and gain a deeper understanding of these topics, as we listen and learn.”

Dr. Robert Sapolsky will kick off the series on Wednesday, April 14, at 7:00 pm. The Stanford Professor lectures on diverse topics such as stress and related diseases, living amongst baboons and the biology of individuality. His most notable works include Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers (1994), and the bestseller Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst (2017).

A second event will be held on Wednesday, April 28, at 7:00 pm with Jaron Lanier. The computer scientist, composer, visual artist and author has been at the forefront of technical innovation and writes about the social impact of technology, Internet politics and the future of humanism. His books include the bestseller You are Not a Gadget (2010), Who Owns the Future? (2013) and Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now (2018). He was most recently featured in the Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma (2020).

Award-winning novelist, poet and essayist Joyce Carol Oates will join us on Saturday, May 8, at 3:00 pm. This versatile and accomplished author has penned bestselling novels, critically acclaimed collections of short fiction, essays and a memoir including The Falls (2004), We Were the Mulvaney’s (1996), Night. Sleep. Death. The Stars (2020) and the newly released The (other) You (2021).

The series will wrap on Saturday, May 22, at 3:00 pm with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri. Her writing explores issues of identity among immigrants and cultural transplants, as well as the perplexities of the immigrant experience. Lahiri’s notable works include the Pulitzer Prize-winning Interpreter of Maladies (1999), The Namesake (2003) and Unaccustomed Earth (2008).  

“This is a rare opportunity to engage with truly distinguished authors,” said County Supervisor and Library JPA Board Member Joe Simitian. “By offering these events virtually, even more people across the County will have the opportunity to participate and interact with the writers who are speaking to the critical issues of our time.”

Each event will feature a moderator to facilitate conversation with the author. There will also be time for participant questions at the end of the discussion. Please register in advance to receive a Zoom link to these special events. Learn more about the Distinguished Author Series and register for events at

SCCLD would like to thank the Los Altos Library Endowment, Friends of the Milpitas Library, and the Saratoga Friends of the Libraries for their generosity in supporting the Distinguished Author Series.

The Distinguished Author Series

Dr. Robert Sapolsky: Wednesday, April 14, 7 p.m.
Jaron Lanier: Wednesday, April 28, 7 p.m.
Joyce Carol Oates: Saturday, May 8, 3 p.m.
Jhumpa Lahiri: Saturday, May 22, 3 p.m.