CAALS: Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series

"The Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs."

Marygrove welcomes Colson Whitehead as its thirtieth author in Marygrove's Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series.


Thanks to everyone who registered for Dinner with the Author. The dinner has been sold out.
But we welcome you to the free lecture beginning at 8 p.m. on the Marygrove College campus.

Marygrove College is proud to be celebrating the milestone 30th Anniversary of the Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series.  From the great Gloria Naylor in 1989 to award-winning Mat Johnson in 2017, Marygrove has brought significant African American authors to the attention of its students, thousands of Detroit area high school students and the community at large.

Marygrove is thrilled to introduce Detroiters to the works of Colson Whitehead. This is a most exciting way to celebrate 30 years of this signature event in the city of Detroit. Mr. Whitehead is one of today’s most talked-about and sought-after authors because his work is poignant and thought-provoking.

His 2016 book, The Underground Railroad was:

  • Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
  • Winner of the National Book Award for Fiction
  • Finalist for the Kirkus Prize
  • Finalist for the Carnegie Medal
  • #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • #1 Time Magazine Book of the Year
  • #1 Amazon Book of the Year
  • A New York Times Best Book of the Year
  • A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
  • A GQ Best Book of the Year
  • A Newsday Best Book of the Year
  • An O Magazine Book of the Year
  • A Buzzfeed Best Book of the Year
  • A Star Tribune Best Book of Year
  • A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
  • An Esquire Best Book of the Year

Put this one in ink on your calendar!  Bring friends.  Plan on coming to dinner with the author before his public reading. 

This series at Marygrove College is an annual event bringing a nationally-known author to our campus for a public lecture and seminar with students. It began when the late Frederick P. Currier, a former Marygrove College trustee, attended a reception on campus and remarked that he would like to bring a national writer to Marygrove for a weekend. Mr. Currier's start-up check soon followed his suggestion, and in 1989 nearly 600 guests of the College heard Gloria Naylor inaugurate the series.

Since then, through the generous support of corporate donors, foundations, advertisers, friends, alumni, the Marygrove College Board of Trustees, and the Lillian and Donald Bauder Endowment, we have been able to keep the Series free and accessible to the entire metropolitan Detroit community. To date, nearly 8,000 people have joined us at the Friday night public reading to hear outstanding writers share their work. The Friday evening reading/lecture is followed by a reception and book signing.

View the CAALS Author Archive

Contemporary American Author Lecture Series (CAALS)

Contemporary American Authors Lecture Series (CAALS)

The CAALS brings a nationally-known author to Marygrove College each year for a public lecture and a seminar with students.

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