Art Works Blog

The Big Read

“April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four.” –Mark Twain When Tom Sawyer tricked a few friends into whitewashing a fence for him—a task he had been assigned as punishment—the scrappy Sawyer instantly...
Emily Dickinson was, it's been noted, progressive for her time, her time being the late 1800s. In the poem featured below, we see how she skillfully, and slyly, reveals how she's not your typical, church-going woman. After you read the poem, you'll find an excerpt by former president of...
“Dear March — Come in — How glad I am — I hoped for you before — ” Although Emily Dickinson found poetic inspiration in every season, spring for her held special appeal. “Spring to her was the great subject,” said Dr. Judith Farr, a Dickinson scholar...
Ever since the first Irishmen and women arrived in this country, they have contributed their unique experience to all aspects of American life, including literature. Through their writing, they have reflected how their Irish heritage both connects and isolates them from the rest of American society...
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re honoring a woman whose heroics were immortalized in the pages of Big Read title In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. The book, which is based on true events, chronicles the four Mirabel sisters as they attempt to overthrow Rafael...
March is one day away, so to kick off National Women's Month we're shining a light on Mattie Ross, the 14-year-old heroine of Charles Portis's novel, True Grit . Though fictional, young Mattie leaps off the pages with her unwavering conviction and outsize personality. This wonderful...
In 1966, author Jorge Luis Borges told an interviewer, “I think nowadays, while literary men seem to have neglected their epic duties, the epic has been saved for us, strangely enough, by the Westerns.” It’s true that the soundstages of Hollywood—commercially driven and...
In honor of Valentine's Day, we asked our Facebook friends to tell us about their first literary crush. Here's what they had to say: I think I have to go with Jane Eyre. Then and now, I view her behavior as so admirable. She has a hard road to hoe but she traverses everything with dignity...
Washington is a tourist’s dream: we’ve got more monuments and museums than you can shake a stick at. But in between the grand marble memorials are a number of smaller literary landmarks, which are often regrettably easy to miss. Here are a few that are worth seeking out. Henry Wadsworth...
The Maltese Falcon hinges on the trials and and tribulations of our anti-hero, detective Sam Spade, who is brilliantly portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in the faithful film adaptation. However good the film may be, it does not come close to the experience of reading the book. What's more, the film...

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