Ah, the imaginative world of stories and books, the value that fiction imparts to the human condition, the power of the imaginary world in our daily lives — internationally-renowned author Salman Rushdie mesmerized guests attending the 2015 Inprint Poets & Writers Ball with his view of the fantastic in literature.
"I want to talk about falling in love with stories and books because I believe that the books and stories we fall in love with make us who we are," he told the sellout crowd of 426. "Or not to claim too much, but that the act of falling in love with a book or story changes us in some way and the beloved tale becomes a part of our picture of the world. A part of the way in which we understand things and in which we make choices in our daily lives."
At the end of his talk, guests in the Houston Country Club ballroom rose to salute the famed author with a standing ovation. It was Rushdie's third visit to the city for Inprint Inc., twice before presenting readings in the Margarett Root Brown Reading Series.
Inprint executive director Rich Levy noted of Rushdie's speech, "His talk was perfect — smart, funny, inspiring, about the power and value of imaginative fiction. It was truly a joy. Everyone loved it and we couldn't be more grateful."
The evening was chaired by Joan and Stanford Alexander, Jeff Fort and Andrea and Bill White and raised $460,000 for Inprint's community programs that include literary performance programs, readings for young people and writers workshops.
Among those applauding the literary contingent were Inprint board chair Consuelo Duroc-Danner, Inprint board president Christina Byran with Trey Peacock, Michael Zilkha, Sis and Hasty Johnson, Eleanor and Dan Gilbane, Susie and Sanford Criner, Robin Angly and Miles Smith, Cece and Mack Fowler, and Luba and Alan Bigman.