Best selling author Nancy Horan was the Keynote Speaker at the annual Mukilteo Schools Foundation fundraising breakfast on November 11th. The breakfast was held at the Future of Flight Aviation Center in Everett.
Ms. Horan’s presentation centered around the negative impact today’s dependence on electronics can have on meaningful communications between people. Ms. Horan is the author of two books that are favorites of book clubs across the country. Her book Loving Frank tells a little-known story from the life of the legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright about his relationship with a client’s wife, Mamah Borthwick Cheney. The book remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year and won the James Fenimore Cooper prize for best historical fiction.
Her second book, Under the Wide and Starry Sky, explores the unlikely relationship between the famed author Robert Louis Stevenson and his spirited American wife, Fanny Van de Grift Stevenson. That book was selected for the NBC Today Show Book Club.
In her presentation, Ms. Horan admitted that while she loves her email, it can’t be a substitute for face-to-face communication. She said history has been passed down for centuries through the telling of stories and that her work depended heavily on the letters that were written by the characters in her books. She admitted that she worries about future writers like her, who will find it extremely difficult to research subjects living today who are communicating using tweets and emails. She recommended that members of the audience send their children a handwritten letter that tells their life stories. “Put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and mail it to them,” she said. “It will blow their minds.”
Horan was the latest in a string of well-known local authors who have spoken at the Foundation’s annual fundraising breakfast. Previous authors have included Erik Larson, Deb Caletti, Jim Lynch, Carol Cassella, Garth Stein, Robert Dugoni, Patrick Jennings, and Jane Porter. Proceeds from the breakfast will be used to support classroom grants as well as other efforts that encourage and reward excellence, while supporting innovation and creativity in Mukilteo School District classrooms.