Books, Talks, Drinks: a Benefit

A yearly fund-raiser for Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library

They may be private residences in one of the world’s wealthiest communities, but don’t worry, the photo ID and background check are likely to be skipped, and no bulge will conceal a security goon’s Glock, if anything merely ardor for the written word.

Or the written word spoken, as that’s the deal with One for the Books, the yearly fund-raiser for Sag Harbor’s John Jermain Memorial Library, in which writers, mostly, but also the occasional artist or filmmaker, discuss books, usually, at cocktail parties around town, the first being tomorrow night at 8 at Lou Ann Walker’s place, where the Stony Brook Southampton prof will welcome a recent hire in the M.F.A. program in creative writing and literature, Amy Hempel.

An author of short fiction, and of one of the most memorable examples of such since Reagan was in office, “In the Cemetery Where Al Jolson Is Buried,” Ms. Hempel will tackle that genre, in the words of the library’s website, “from Kafka to Kawabata.” The latter is a reference, just in case, to Yasunari Kawabata, the Nobel Prize winner whose “Snow Country,” a melancholy short novel from the 1930s set at a remote hot springs and involving a geisha and a wealthy ne’er-do-well, remains particularly worth checking out.

The parties continue Saturday night — six more of them, in fact — and this is where your faceless correspondent will direct you to the John Jermain website, where you can see more about gatherings with Jennet Conant (“Man of the Hour: James B. Conant, Warrior Scientist”), James and Kate McMullan (on his “Leaving China: An Artist Paints His World War II Childhood”), Melissa Bank (on Elizabeth Strout’s “Olive Kitteridge”), David Friend (on his recent “The Naughty Nineties: The Triumph of the American Libido”), Susan Lacy (on examining the lives of the likes of Steven Spielberg and Jane Fonda through film), and April Gornik (who will consider Ben Lerner’s novel “Leaving the Atocha Station”).

Admission to any of the parties is a cool Franklin.

Amy Hempel leads off the One for the Books fund-raiser in Sag Harbor on May 4. Richard Kern