Patrick Radden Keefe will appear at the Music Hall Lounge with bestselling book EMPIRE OF PAIN in November

On Saturday, November 12, New York Times bestselling author Patrick Radden Keefe will come to the Music Hall Lounge to discuss his book, EMPIRE OF PAIN, a multi-generational account of the Sackler family and their role in the crisis. current opioids.

The 7 p.m. event includes a discussion about the author moderated by Music Hall Literary Producer Brittany Wason, followed by a Q&A with the audience. It will be held at the Music Hall Lounge at 131 Congress St., in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“Patrick Radden Keefe’s gift of storytelling can turn any subject into a page turner, and his new book is no exception,” said Brittany Wason, literary producer and host of the evening. “I look forward to talking with him about this extensive investigation into the family that started it all.”


The history of the Sackler dynasty is full of dramatic-baroque personal lives; bitter disputes over estates; fights in meeting rooms; scintillating art collections; Machiavellian legal maneuvers; and the calculated use of money to restore reputations and crush the less powerful. The name Sackler adorned the walls of many legendary institutions – Harvard, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Oxford, the Louvre. They are one of the wealthiest families in the world, known for their lavish gifts to the arts and sciences. The source of the family fortune, however, was vague until it emerged that the Sacklers were responsible for manufacturing and marketing a blockbuster painkiller that was the catalyst for the opioid crisis.

Empire of Pain is the saga of three generations of one family and the mark they would leave on the world, a tale that travels from the bustling streets of Brooklyn in the early 20th century to the halls of power in Washington, DC. early success with Valium to the much more potent OxyContin, marketed with a ruthless technique of co-opting physicians, influencing the FDA, minimizing drug addiction.

A masterpiece of narrative reporting, Empire of Pain is a ferociously compelling portrait of America’s second golden age, a study of impunity among the super-elite and a relentless investigation into the naked greed that built one of the great fortunes of the world.


Patrick Radden Keefe is an editor at The New Yorker and author of the New York Times bestseller Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland, which received the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, was selected as the one of the ten best books of 2019 by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal, and was named one of Entertainment’s “10 Best Nonfiction Books of the Decade” Weekly. Her work has been recognized with a Guggenheim Fellowship, the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing and the Orwell Prize for Political Writing. He is also the creator and host of the eight-part podcast Wind of Change. He lives in New York.


The ticket package for Talks: Patrick Radden Keefe with EMPIRE OF PAIN, Saturday, November 12 at 7 p.m., is $35. The package includes a signed copy of EMPIRE OF PAIN ($18, paperback), a drink, reserved seating, a chat with the author, a Q&A with the audience, and a post-show meet and greet. Packages can be purchased online at, by phone at 603.436.2400 or in person at the B2W Box Office at the Historic Theater, 28 Chestnut Street.

About the talks

In this age of participation, the Music Hall has expanded its programming to focus on the critical issues of our time. The Talks series, formerly named Innovation + Leadership, was first launched to serve our local business community, bringing together the best and the brightest in technology. The series has since expanded to feature thought leaders, authors, and all manner of educators, and to serve audiences from a tri-state region and beyond to all who wish to improve the worlds in which they live, at work and at home, locally and around the world. These lively and informative conversations feature experts in their field sharing their experiences and providing attendees with practical tools to make meaningful progress in their lives. From demonstrations in the art of all things digital to special forums featuring regional and global leaders in sustainability, from book talks on the positive effect of meditation to outreach events led by champions of philanthropy, feminism and family issues, every Talks event is memorable and impactful. The Music Hall is committed to community development and personal growth. Our Talks series delivers on that commitment.

About the Music Room

The Music Hall is an active and vital cultural center in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, dedicated to advancing the cultural life of the tri-state area through the performing arts, literature and education . A community-supported 501(c)3 nonprofit, it showcases entertainment from around the world and around the corner – the greatest musicians, writers and performers of the day, extraordinary films and award-winning documentaries. Its 600 annual events delight an annual audience of 130,000 (including 20,000 children) in two theatres, a historic 1878 Victorian-era theater and the intimate Music Hall Lounge. The Music Hall is an “American treasury for the arts”. Through innovative community partnerships, it funds thousands of tickets each year to make the arts accessible to everyone. The Music Hall is community driven and committed to helping the Seacoast region thrive.

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