Author to speak at dinner

NASHUA – Author and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel will be the keynote speaker for the New Hampshire Humanities Council’s annual dinner Monday.

His speech, titled “On Humanizing History,” will begin at 8 p.m. at the Sheraton Nashua Hotel.

The 620 tickets to the event have been sold out for more than a month, said Peter Davies, program officer for the NHHC. Tickets were first offered to organizations and then to the public.

The Romanian-born author and humanitarian will talk about the way history is interpreted. According to Davies, Wiesel, a Holocaust victim, has moved away from talking strictly about the tragedy, which was the subject of his memoir “Night,” and he’s more likely to encourage the audience to look at history through the eyes of real people.

At the dinner, Wiesel, 76, will be presented an award for excellence in the humanities. Lee Rouner, an NHHC board member and a colleague of Wiesel’s at Boston University, will present the award.

Rouner, a religion professor, became friends with Wiesel at Boston University, where Wiesel teaches two days a week, and invited him to speak at the dinner.

This year marks the 15th annual dinner for the NHHC. Davies said it began modestly, but has grown bigger over the years. Previous keynote speakers have ranged from Bishop Desmond Tutu to Tom Brokaw.

“There’s been a fair number of well-known people,” Davies said. “It’s generally been a major event with major speakers.”

This year Gov. Craig Benson will give welcoming remarks.

Although the event sells out almost every year, almost 300 seats were lost this year because the Center of New Hampshire, where the dinner is usually held, was booked.

The event was originally set for Oct. 4, but was rescheduled because Wiesel had commitments in Israel at that time.