‘Ding’ Darling to Host Distinguished Authors in 2024

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Barbara Kingsolver Photo by Steven L. Hopp

For its Distinguished Authors events in the upcoming season, the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) has engaged bestselling authors Barbara Kingsolver and Carl Hiaasen. They will speak in January and February to benefit the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island.

Mark your calendars for the two blockbuster lectures at The Community House on Sanibel Island, both starting at 10 a.m. Tickets for each of the two lectures are $25 and will go on sale via Eventbrite just in time for holiday gift-giving.

Kingsolver – a novelist and biologist known for her timeless, conservation-minded Prodigal Summer and classic Poisonwood Bible – will appear on Thursday, Jan. 11. She will speak along with her daughter Lily Kingsolver, who has collaborated with her mother on the recently released illustrated children’s book Coyote’s Wild Home. Tickets for their lecture go on sale Nov. 30.

Hiaasen, a former Miami Herald columnist, uses Florida’s political system as fodder for bestselling crime novels like Squeeze Me, Tourist Season, and the young-adults bestseller-turned- movie Hoot. He talks corruption and scandal and how to turn them into humor and fiction on Thursday, Feb. 29. Tickets go on sale Dec. 7.

“Both Carl and Barbara demonstrate deep concern for the environment and wildlife in their writings,” said DDWS Associate Executive Director Ann-Marie Wildman, who has organized the Distinguished Authors events. “We are beyond thrilled to bring such talented and celebrated authors to the island for such a worthy cause as the refuge continues to recover and rebuild after the devastation of Hurricane Ian. Thanks to the Szymanczyk family for helping to make the Hiaasen event possible.”

DDWS seeks sponsors for the Kingsolver lecture. Contact April Boehnen at aprilb@dingdarlingsociety.org for more information.

As a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, DDWS works to support J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge’s mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop profits. To support DDWS and the refuge with a tax-deductible gift, visit dingdarlingsociety.org or contact Birgie Miller Gresham at 239-292-0566 or director@dingdarlingsociety.org.

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