Society / The Seen

Famed Author Takes Houston Crowd on a Whirlwind Journey

And Everyone Leaves With Most Unique Party Favor Ever

BY // 02.13.18
photography Michelle Watson/CatchlightGroup.com

What: Inprint Poets & Writers Ball

Where: The Houstonian

PC Moment: Over dessert and coffee after a seated dinner, preeminent American travel writer and author Paul Theroux held the erudite crowd under his literary spell as he enchanted them with recollections of his travels surrounding reading. The 400 guests took home a Theroux memento — an autographed, limited-edition handmade chapbook, Deep South: An Excerpt by Theroux. The unique party favors were created by book designers Cathy Hunt and Fiona McGettigan of FioCat Press.

The evening began with three award winning authors from the University of Houston Creative Writing ProgramConor Bracken, Aja Gabel and Adrienne Perry — giving short salon readings from their works.

Applause, applause for ball chairs Chinhui Juhn and Eddie Allen, who led the evening to $400,000 in proceeds, well above the $350,000 goal.

Counterpoint to the cerebral nature of the evening, and as is tradition, the tabletops were imaginatively decorated with various literary themes. Adding his own literary touch to the evening was James Beard Award-winning chef Robert Del Grande of Cafe Annie, who designed a special dinner menu and wrote a playful essay titled, “A Menu Imagined, con alcuna licenze.” (without license)

As most guests were retrieving their cars from valet, more than 30 younger donors gathered in the hotel bar for “Postscript,” an after-dinner mini-fête. “Typewriters” was the signature cocktail (a play on the classic Manhattan).

Who: Judy and Mark Herzstein, Franci Neely, Nancy Allen, Brooke and Dan Feather, Dina Alsowayel and Tony Chase, Valerie and Rick Greiner,  Nicole and Evan Katz, Phoebe and Bobby Tudor, Katharine Bowdoin Barthelme, Jeff Beauchamp, Michael Zilkha, Vivie and Chris O’Sullivan, Candace Baggett and Ron Restrepo, Robin Angly and Miles Smith, Luba and Alan Bigman, Claire Smyseer Campbell and Robert Campbell, Susan Dunwoody, Katie Dunwoody, Rachel and Dr. Bud Frazier, Rice University president David Leebron, and Inprint board president Eleanor Gilbane and husband Dan.

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