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  • NYS Writers Institute

Natalie Portman & Gregory Maguire: A virtual talk

A virtual talk with Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman for her new picture book Natalie Portman’s Fables, joined by Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked and a 1976 UAlbany graduate. This event is brought to you in partnership with Porter Square Books, an independent bookstore located in Cambridge, Mass.

Event date: 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 21

Event address: Your computer screen via Crowdcast.

* Tickets may be purchased at

* Your ticket includes a copy of Natalie Portman’s Fables -- or upgrade to the premium bundle including both Natalie Portman’s Fables and Gregory Maguire’s A Wild Winter Swan.

A link to join the virtual event will be emailed to ticket holders during the week of October 19. A select number of SIGNED copies of Natalie Portman’s Fables will be randomly distributed to ticket holders of both ticket types.

In Natalie Portman’s Fables, Academy Award-winning actress, director, producer, and activist Natalie Portman retells three classic fables and imbues them with wit and wisdom. From realizing that there is no “right” way to live to respecting our planet and learning what really makes someone a winner, the messages at the heart of Natalie Portman’s Fables are modern takes on timeless life lessons.

Told with a playful, kid-friendly voice and perfectly paired with Janna Mattia’s charming artwork, Portman’s insightful retellings of The Tortoise and the Hare, The Three Little Pigs, and Country Mouse and City Mouse are ideal for reading aloud and are sure to become beloved additions to family libraries.

Natalie will be joined by New York Times Bestselling author Gregory Maguire, beloved for his own retellings of classic stories.

Natalie Portman is an Academy Award winning actress, director, producer, and activist whose credits include "Black Swan," for which she won an Oscar and Golden Globe Award for Best Actress; "Leon: The Professional," "Cold Mountain," "Closer," "V for Vendetta," the Star Wars franchise prequels", A Tale of Love and Darkness," "Jackie," and the forthcoming "Thor: Love and Thunder." Born in Jerusalem, Israel, she is a graduate of Harvard University, and now lives with her family in Los Angeles.

Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Now a beloved classic, Wicked is the basis for a blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical.

Born in Albany, Gregory Maguire is a distinguished alumnus of the University at Albany and created the Maguire Family Endowment at the NYS Writers Institute. He delivered the undergraduate keynote address at UAlbany's 2011 Commencement and the University also houses Maguire's personal and professional papers, manuscripts, documents, diaries, and memorabilia, a collection spanning more than 50 years to date, in the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections & Archives.

Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts. In his latest book, Wild Winter Swan, Maguire turns his unconventional genius to Hans Christian Andersen's "The Wild Swans," transforming this classic tale into an Italian-American girl's poignant coming-of-age story, set amid the magic of Christmas in 1960s New York.


The New York State Writers Institute and of WAMC Northeast Public Radio's Joe Donahue, host of "The Book Show," launched an #indiebookstoreboost initiative earlier this year to support independent bookstores. In a Times Union story published in May, Grondahl said, ​“We’re trying to pick up some author events that would have been in their stores. We’ll do some virtual interviews with these authors and each interview will have a direct sale link to that particular bookstore.” Read more on the site.


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