Author Melanie Benjamin to speak at Carmel Clay Public Library


By Renee Larr



New York Times bestselling author Melanie Benjamin – who grew up in Indianapolis – will visit the Carmel Clay Public Library to discuss her new book, “The Swans of 5th Avenue.” The presentation is scheduled for 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 30.

“She entered and won a short story contest, and after that she published two novels,” said Beth Jenneman, communications director for the library. “Ever since then she has decided to start writing historical fiction, and that is what she does now.”

“The Swans of 5th Avenue” focuses on the dark side of New York high society in the 1950s. It details scandalous affairs, the Black and White Ball at the Plaza, celebrities and the tight-knit circle of women known as the “swans.”

“The book is historical fiction about Babe Paley, who was the wife of Bill Paley, head of CBS, and a Manhattan socialite at the time of Truman Capote,” Jenneman said.

The afternoon event will have a black-and-white theme.

“We’re having black and white treats from Market District in Carmel. Also, we have some volunteers who will be modeling black and white outfits from White House Black Market,” Jenneman said. “It’s more than just your regular author visit.”

The event is free to attend, but guests should register by calling 814-3984. The presentation will be held in the program room. Benjamin’s book will be available for purchase after the event, and she will sign books for those interested.

Carmel Clay Public Library is planning to hold additional author visits in the future. For more information, visit