Opus & Olives


Save the date for this year's event!

Opus & Olives
Sunday, October 13, 2019
Saint Paul RiverCentre

5:00 p.m. | Cocktails and Book Signing

6:15 p.m. | Dinner and Author Presentations

Opus & Olives is a fundraiser that supports the Saint Paul Public Library and local literacy programs of the Pioneer Press. When you join us at Opus & Olives, you support early literacy, workforce development, and other lifelong learning opportunities for individuals of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background. This lively and elegant evening is not your average gala. More than just fabulous dinner, drinks, and conversation, Opus & Olives is a celebration of the power of the library to transform communities.

Each year, we feature five bestselling authors who entertain guests, sign books, and share their love of libraries. Check out this year's incredible line-up below.

2019 Featured Authors To Be Announced

The 2018 line-up included Leif Enger as emcee, Lisa Genova, Casey Gerald, Jane Leavy, and Lisa Wingate.

Leif Enger Virgil Wander

Leif Enger, emcee

Leif Enger was born in 1961 in Osakis, Minnesota. Before writing his debut novel Peace Like a River, Enger was a writer and producer for Minnesota Public Radio program “Mainstreet Radio” for 16 years. In the early 1990s, Enger and his brother Lin co-wrote and published several mystery novels centered on a retired baseball player. The books were published under the pseudonym L.L. Enger. Enger published Peace Like a River, his first novel, in 2001. The book won numerous novels, including a spot in Time Magazine’s top five novels of the year. Enger published his second novel, So Brave, Young, and Handsome, which also garnered several accolades, such as earning a spot on the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Bestseller List.

About his latest work: Virgil Wander

Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is “cruising along at medium altitude” when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball and falling in love, Virgil Wander is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often overlooked American Upper Midwest by a “formidably gifted” (Chicago Tribune) master storyteller.

We interviewed Leif in preparation for the big event. See what he had to say here.

Lisa Genova Every Note Played

Lisa Genova

Lisa Genova graduated valedictorian, summa cum laude from Bates College with a degree in Biopsychology and has a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University. Acclaimed as the Oliver Sacks of fiction and the Michael Crichton of brain science, Lisa has captured a special place in contemporary fiction, writing stories that are equally inspired by neuroscience and the human spirit. She is author of the New York Times bestselling novels, Still Alice, Left Neglected, Love Anthony, and Inside The O'Briens. Still Alice was adapted into a film starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish. Julianne Moore won the 2015 Best Actress Oscar for her role as Alice Howland. In 2015, Lisa was named one of the U.S. Top 50 Influencers in Aging by Next Avenue. She has appeared on Dr. Oz, the TODAY show, CNN, PBS Newshour, and NPR.

About her latest work: Every Note Played

An accomplished pianist, Richard received standing ovations from audiences all over the world in awe of his rare combination of emotional resonance and flawless technique. Richard now has ALS, and his entire right arm is paralyzed. Karina is paralyzed by excuses and fear, stuck in an unfulfilling life as a piano teacher, afraid to pursue the path she abandoned as a young woman, blaming Richard and their failed marriage for all of it. When Richard becomes increasingly paralyzed and is no longer able to live on his own, Karina becomes his reluctant caretaker. As Richard's muscles, voice, and breath fade, both he and Karina try to reconcile their pasts before it's too late.

We interviewed Lisa in preparation for the big event. See what she had to say here.

Casey Gerald There Will Be No Miracles Here

Casey Gerald

Casey Gerald has witnessed every facet of the American Dream -- from his harrowing childhood in Texas, to his tenure at the heights of America's elite institutions, to his journeys through the cities and towns of the American heartland where he has spent his recent years as cofounder and CEO of MBAs Across America. Now his work as a writer, speaker, and business leader centers on the question: will the American dream survive another generation? Born and raised in Dallas, Gerald received an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he delivered the 2014 commencement address, and a BA in Political Science from Yale College. He has been featured on MSNBC, in the New York Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, and he has appeared on the cover of Fast Company, which also named him one of the "Most Creative People in Business." He currently serves on the advisory board of NPR's Generation Listen.

About his latest work: There Will Be No Miracles Here

Casey Gerald’s story begins at the end of the world: Dallas, New Year’s Eve 1999, when he gathers with the congregation of his grandfather’s black evangelical church to see which of them will be carried off. His beautiful, fragile mother disappears frequently and mysteriously; for a brief idyll, he and his sister live like Boxcar Children on her disability checks. When Casey is recruited to play football at Yale, he enters a world he’s never dreamed of, the anteroom to secret societies and success on Wall Street, in Washington, and beyond. But even as he attains the inner sanctums of power, Casey sees how the world crushes those who live at its margins. If to live as we are is destroying us, There Will Be No Miracles Here asks, what would it mean to truly live?

We interviewed Casey in preparation for the big event. See what he had to say here.

Jane Leavy Babe Ruth

Jane Leavy

Jane Leavy is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Last Boy (Mickey Mantle biography), Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy and the comic novel Squeeze Play, which Entertainment Weekly called “the best novel ever written about baseball.” She was a staff writer at The Washington Post from 1979 to 1988, first in the sports section, then writing for the style section. She covered baseball, tennis, and the Olympics for the paper.

About her latest work: The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created

After hitting his 60th home run in September 1927—a total that would not be exceeded until 1961—he embarked on the mother of all barnstorming tours, a three-week victory lap across America, accompanied by Yankee teammate Lou Gehrig. The Omaha World Herald called it "the biggest show since Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, and seven other associated circuses offered their entire performance under one tent." In The Big Fella, acclaimed biographer Jane Leavy recreates that 21-day circus and in so doing captures the romp and the pathos that defined Ruth’s life and times. Drawing from more than 250 interviews, a trove of previously untapped documents, and Ruth family records, Leavy breaks through the mythology that has obscured the legend and delivers the man.

We interviewed Jane in preparation for the big event. See what she had to say here.


Lisa Wingate

Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, inspirational speaker, and New York Times Bestselling author of 30 novels. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, The Carol Award, and the Christy Award. Her blockbuster hit, Before We Were Yours remained on the New York Times Bestseller List for over ten months, was Publishers Weekly’s #3 longest running bestseller of 2017, and was voted by readers as the 2017 Goodreads Choice Award winner for historical fiction. Before We Were Yours has been a book club favorite worldwide and to date has sold over one million copies.

About her latest work: Before We Were Yours

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family's Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge, until strangers arrive in force and throw them into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage. Aiken, South Carolina, present day. Born into wealth and privilege, Avery Stafford seems to have it all, but when she returns home to help her father weather a health crisis, a chance encounter leaves her with uncomfortable questions and compels her to take a journey through her family’s long-hidden history. Based on one of America's most notorious real-life scandals, Wingate's riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.

We interviewed Lisa in preparation for the big event. See what she had to say here.

Ticket Opportunities

Tickets will go on sale shortly - stay tuned!

Library Champion:

$300/individual ticket

Guests receive premier seating tickets (tables seat ten), a three-course plated dinner, wine at each table, complimentary valet parking, and recognition for table host(s).

Reading Ambassador:

$150/individual ticket

Guests receive tickets (tables seat ten), a three-course plated dinner, wine at each table, complimentary valet parking, and recognition for table host(s).

Because The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all but $75 of each ticket is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.


Support Learning for a Lifetime

By sponsoring Opus & Olives, our biggest, most visible fundraising event, you are helping us make an impact in your community and beyond. Your partnership supports early literacy, workforce development, and lifelong learning, for individuals of every age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.

Entertain and Enjoy

This lively and elegant evening features more than just fabulous dinner, drinks, and conversation. Opus & Olives is a celebration of the transformative power of the written word. Each year we host five best-selling authors that deliver engaging presentations with personal stories about their work, their inspiration, and the importance of libraries on their journey.

Now in its fifteenth year, Opus & Olives is recognized nationally as one of the premier literary and social events of the year. Whether you’re entertaining clients or mingling with Twin Cities leaders, you’ll find an audience of smart, savvy, influential Minnesotans.

Get Involved

If you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities, you can download our sponsorship kit  or contact Greg Giles, Vice President of Development and Community Engagement, at 651-366-6499 or [email protected]