Authors, poets, and educators will gather at Charleston County Public Library’s main branch (68 Calhoun St.) on Fri. Feb. 7, 6-8 p.m., to celebrate the life of Anne Rivers Siddons, a local author who passed away in September at the age of 83. The program will be followed by an open reception hosted by the Charleston Friends of the Library.

Siddons lived in Charleston since 1998 and was the author of bestselling novels like Heartbreak Hotel, Peachtree Road, and The House Next Door. Heartbreak Hotel was made into a feature film in 1989, Heart of Dixie, and The House Next Door was adapted for a Lifetime Network movie in 2006.

In a press release Siddons’ friend and colleague Mary Alice Monroe said: “Anne was a pioneer in novels about the New South. She broke the mold writing about women’s struggles with the expectations of Southern society vis-a-vis relationships, careers, marriage, and even appearance. It’s important that her work be acknowledged and celebrated, and more, introduced to a new generation of readers.”

During the celebration of Siddons’ life, attendees can hear from speakers (6-7 p.m.) who will share stories about the author, followed by a short video by Henry Hagerty that chronicles the final year of her life. Speakers include Monroe, Cassandra King, Nathalie Dupree, Cynthia Graubart, Alex Sanders, and Marjory Wentworth.

At the reception guests will have a chance to purchase copies of Siddons’ books.

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