“Many of the best writers I know swear they hate writing yet are glad to have written,” writes Roger Rosenblatt in the introduction to his essay collection The Story I Am: Mad About the Writing Life, published earlier this year. Not him. “To me, the writer’s life is an unending childlike adventure.” Though Rosenblatt has experienced trauma in his life—his daughter, Amy, died suddenly at the age of 38, an experience he recounted movingly in his 2010 bestseller Making Toast—he remains an eternal optimist who brings that enthusiasm into the writing sphere. On the occasion of Rosenblatt’s 80th birthday and the publication of his latest book, Cold Moon: On Life, Love, and Responsibility, special guests including the author Meg Wolitzer, the actor Alan Alda, and the cartoonist Garry Trudeau take turns roasting the man of the hour. —J.V.