Author duos—including Jane Mayer and Frank Rich, Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry, and more—mark a new lineup that also features 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction-winner Andrew Sean Greer and many others

The William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series, presented by the Cuyahoga County Public Library Foundation and its academic partner, Case Western Reserve University, will return for its 16th season in September.

All events will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Case Western Reserve’s Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple–Tifereth Israel located at 1855 Ansel Road.

Jane Mayer & Frank Rich: Wednesday, Sept. 25

Photo compilation of photos of Jane Mayer and Frank Rich
Jane Mayer (photo by Stephen Voss) and Frank Rich (photo by Lacey Terrell)

Trailblazing investigative journalist Jane Mayer is chief Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, where she covers politics, culture, national security and the #MeToo movement. Previously, she worked at The Wall Street Journal, where she covered the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the Gulf War, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1984, she became the WSJ’s first female White House correspondent. She is the author of the acclaimed bestseller Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, which was published to acclaim in 2016.

Award-winning journalist Frank Rich writes on politics and culture for New York Magazine, where he is writer-at-large. Since 2008, Rich has been a creative consultant at HBO. He is the executive producer of Veep, the long-running Emmy and Peabody Award-winning comedy starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Rachel Kushner & Piper Kerman: Wednesday, Oct. 16

Photo compilation of photos of Rachel Kushner and Piper Kerman
Rachel Kushner (photo by Ann Summa) and Piper Kerman (photo by Michael Oppenheim)

Rachel Kushner is the best-selling author of The Flamethrowers, a finalist for the National Book Award and a New York Times Top Ten Book of 2013; Telex from Cuba (2008), a finalist for the National Book Award; and The Mars Room (2018), which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Soon after graduating from college, Piper Kerman got mixed up in a drug trafficking and money laundering operation. In 1998, she was brought up on charges related to her involvement in the drug operation. Kerman was later sentenced to 15 months in prison. Her experiences behind bars inspired the 2010 best-selling memoir Orange Is the New Black, which was later turned into an Emmy Award-winning Netflix series of the same name.

Michael Ondaatje: Tuesday, Nov. 12

Michael Ondaatje
Michael Ondaatje (photo by Rolex-Bart Michiels)

Michael Ondaatje is one of the world’s foremost writers whose artistry and aesthetic have influenced an entire generation of writers and readers. Although he is best known as a novelist, Ondaatje’s work also encompasses poetry, memoir and film. His transcendent novel The English Patient explores the intersection of four diverse lives at the end of World War II. This best-selling novel was later made into an Academy Award-winning film. In 2018, The English Patient was named the best winner of the Booker prize of the last 50 years, in a public vote. Ondaatje’s latest novel is Warlight (2018).

Andrew Sean Greer: Thursday, March 19

Photo of Andrew Sean Greer
Andrew Sean Greer (photo by Kaliel Roberts)

Andrew Sean Greer is the author of six works of fiction, including the bestsellers The Confessions of Max Tivoli (2004), for which he received the California Book Award; The Story of a Marriage (2008), which was chosen by The Washington Post as a book of the year; and Less (2017), for which he earned the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Less also made best-books-of-the-year lists in The New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and The Paris Review.

Luís Alberto Urrea & Julia Alvarez: Thursday, April 23

Photo compilation of photos of Luís Alberto Urrea and Julia Alvarez
Luís Alberto Urrea (photo by Joe Mazza) and Julia Alvarez

Mexican-American author Luís Alberto Urrea has written 16 books, including the acclaimed novels The Hummingbird’s Daughter (2004), Into the Beautiful North (2009) and Queen of America (2011). His 2004 book, The Devil’s Highway (2004)—a nonfiction account of a group of Mexican immigrants lost in the Arizona desert—won the Lannan Literary Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Urrea’s latest book is the novel The House of Broken Angels (2018).

Dominican-American author Julia Alvarez is regarded as one of the most critically and commercially successful Latina writers of her time. Her novels include How the García Girls Lost Their Accents (1991), In the Time of Butterflies (1994), for which she was nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award; and In the Name of Salomé, which Publishers Weekly called “one of the most politically moving novels of the past half century.” In 2013, Alvarez received a National Medal of Arts.

Carl Hiaasen & Dave Barry: Thursday, May 7

Photo compilation of photos of Carl Hiaasen and David Barry
Carl Hiaasen (photo by Quinn Hiaasen) and David Barry (photo by Daniel Portnoy)

The 2019-20 season will conclude with two of Florida’s favorite sons, Miami Herald columnists and best-selling authors Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry. Hiaasen has written more than 20 novels set in his native state of Florida, including the national bestsellers Strip Tease (1993), which was adapted into a film starring Demi Moore; Sick Puppy (2000), Nature Girl (2006), Bad Monkey (2013) and Razor Girl (2016). He is also the author of several popular novels for young readers, including Hoot (2002)—for which he received a Newbery Honor—Flush (2005), Scat (2009) and Squirm (2018). 

Pulitzer Prize- and Walter Cronkite Award-winning columnist Dave Barry’s work has appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the U.S. and abroad. He is the author of more than 30 books, including Dave Barry Turns 40 and Dave Barry’s Greatest Hits, which inspired the CBS sitcom “Dave’s World” (1993-97), starring the late Harry Anderson. When he’s not writing, Barry plays lead guitar for the Rock Bottom Remainders, a literary rock band whose members include Stephen King, Amy Tan and Mitch Albom. Barry’s latest book is Live Right and Find Happiness (Although Beer Is Much Faster): Life Lessons and Other Ravings from Dave Barry by Dave Barry (2015).

Ticket Information 

Series subscriptions for the 2019-20 William N. Skirball Writers Center Stage Series are on sale now. Choose your seat when you purchase tickets online at Call 216.368.6062 to purchase tickets by phone. 

For more information, contact Daniel Robison at