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Authors Luncheon 2018

Join us for our 27th Annual Authors Luncheon!

Meet four fabulous authors at the annual Abilities United Authors Luncheon. Over 500 book lovers gather to hear renowned authors discuss their latest works and share their literary inspiration. Hear for yourself what has made this one of the most anticipated and beloved fundraising events.

The Authors Luncheon sells out each year! You won’t want to miss this entertaining and dynamic fundraiser for Abilities United!

Saturday, November 3
10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Crowne Plaza Cabaña Hotel
4290 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA

Get the best ticket price available. Buy before October 25!

  • $165 July 1 through October 25
  • $195 beginning October 26

Purchase your seats or tables now   Benefits of sponsorship

Proceeds from sponsorship, ticket, and book sales benefit the thousands of individuals and families who receive therapeutic, educational, and support services at Abilities United. To learn more about the benefits you, your company or book club will receive as a sponsor of the event, or to purchase tickets, contact us via email or call 650-494-0550.

Your contributions ensure that we have a very successful and record-breaking 27th Annual Authors Luncheon.

Can’t attend?  You can still support the Authors Luncheon by making a donation.

Event Schedule

  • 10:30 am – Book sales, espresso and no-host drinks, live music, art silent auction
  • 11:00 am – Author Signing
  • 11:30 am – Ballroom seating opens
  • 12:00 pm – Welcome and luncheon
  • 12:30 pm – Abilities United presentation
  • 12:45 pm – Fund-a-future
  • 1:00 pm – Author presentations
  • 2:00 pm – *Book sales, signing, and art silent auction continues

*Book sales benefit Abilities United and are managed by Books Inc.
All book purchases made from this Books Inc. link will benefit Abilities United all year long.

Meet our authors

Vanessa Hua

Vanessa Hua

Award-winning author and San Francisco Chronicle columnist

Featured Book: A River of Stars, her powerful and entertaining debut novel about a pregnant Chinese woman’s life as an undocumented California immigrant

The first novel by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Vanessa Hua, A River of Stars follows the adventures of the pregnant mistress of a Chinese crime boss who escapes a secret maternity home in Los Angeles and heads to San Francisco’s Chinatown. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “heartbreaking and, at turns, hilarious,” while Booklist says it “confronts identity, privilege, freedom, and a twenty-first-century rendering of the American dream with poignancy, insight, humor, and plenty of savvy charm.”

Hua’s 2016 short story collection, Deceit and Other Possibilities, was hailed as a searing debut by O, The Oprah Magazine, and received an Asian/Pacific American Award in Literature. Her work as a journalist, which began two decades ago at the Los Angeles Times, has earned numerous honors while taking Hua across the globe. A Bay Area native, Hua graduated from Stanford University and UC Riverside’s MFA Program.

More authors will be announced soon!

Get a taste of the luncheon…watch our video

Join these sponsors in support of children and adults with disabilities

Award Winner Sponsors ($20,000)
  • Goldman, Sachs & Co.
  • Stanley E. Hanson Foundation
  • Anonymous
Best Seller Sponsors ($10,000 – $19,999)
  • Laurie T. Jarrett
  • Christina Kenrick
  • Rachel and Simon Segars
First Edition Sponsors ($5,000 - $9,999)
  • Claudia Claussen
  • Nancy Drapkin
  • El Camino Hospital
  • Ellen Jones
  • Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati Foundation
  • Patty and Jim White
  • Brenda and Bill Younger


Choice Chapter Sponsors ($3,000 - $4,999)
  • Thomas and Wallace Brunner
  • Julie Johnson Davis
  • Ellen and Tom Ehrlich
  • Sara and Mike Hammond
  • David and Mary Kabakov
  • Hal and Iris Korol
  • Ginger and Doug Levick, III
  • Carol and Mike Shealy
  • Mary Weersing
  • Elizabeth Wolf
Event Partners

Full Color Vector 7 Flatened   photo1517 photo1844     GreatAmericanFramingCo_logo

Homewood Suites by Hilton logo      ¯      photo1515       photo1130


Last year’s authors

Donia Bijan

Donia Bijan

Acclaimed Bay Area chef and memoirist

Featured book: The Last Days of Café Leila, her celebrated debut novel, which explores the bonds of family and food while tracing four generations of Iranians across Europe, California, and Iran.
Amy Dickinson

Amy Dickinson

Best-selling author and nationally syndicated advice columnist

Featured Book: Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Coming Home, her best-selling memoir about finding your way home again.
Tom Lichtenheld

Tom Lichtenheld

Award-winning author and illustrator of best-selling children’s books

Featured Book: Mighty, Mighty Construction Site, a rhyming story featuring children’s favorite construction characters.
Maile Meloy

Maile Meloy

One of the best young American novelists writing today

Featured Book: Do Not Become Alarmed, a story about the protective force of innocence and the limits of parental power, and the way a crisis shifts our perceptions of what matters most.