Art Works Blog

The Big Read

During his service with the 3rd Infantry Division from 2002 to 2006, Hector Ocampo served two tours of duty in Iraq, the first in 2003 and the second in 2005. His experiences there are never too far from the surface, particularly on his birthday, which triggers memories of an earlier birthday...
Fahrenheit 451 is widely regarded as one of the great American novels and a masterpiece of literary science-fiction. Since its publication in 1954, the novel—considered controversial by some—has become one of the most widely taught books in the American public education system. But a...
A little over ten years ago, in September of 2003, Jhumpa Lahiri's debut novel, The Namesake, entered the world. A poignant novel and new Big Read selection, The Namesake further explores themes Lahiri has mined throughout her writing career; identity, self-acceptance, and the trials and...
With the incredibly amazing NEA National Heritage Fellowships Concert happening TONIGHT! , we wanted to highlight a 2013 Heritage Fellow whose music makes a cameo on the new Big Read audio guide for Luis Alberto Urrea’s fantastic novel, Into the Beautiful North . Selecting the music, as...
Video of Julia Alvarez - 2009 National Book Festival "Nothing human is alien to the pen of a novelist. And when we read, nothing human is alien to us either." —Julia Alvarez, speaking at the 2009 National Book Festival Love literature? See which authors will be speaking this weekend...
Listing all of Ernest Gaines’s achievements would likely take up an entire paragraph or five. There’s been a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, a National Book Critics Circle Award, and critically acclaimed books such as The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman , A Gathering of Old...
Just in case you haven’t heard the news, we added three new exciting novels to the Big Read canon: Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea; The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri; and True Grit by Charles Portis. Throughout the year, we’ll be showcasing excerpts of audio that never made...
Today you can engage with the NEA not just through arts.gov , but also on the Art Works, Blue Star Museums , and Big Read blogs, and on Twitter , Facebook , and YouTube . Back in 2007, however, it was---we can admit now---with great trepidation that we first dipped a quivering toe into the social...
Keyboard 2 by flickr user john_a_ward When the Big Read launched in 2006, the program’s library consisted of four titles: The Great Gatsby, Their Eyes Were Watching God, To Kill A Mockingbird, and Fahrenheit 451. All were American classics, representing the lives, fears, and difficulties of...
This week's podcast is a little bit different. We wanted to continue the conversation begun with the recent issue of NEA Arts which focuses on the rich intersections of the arts and the military. So, we asked Vietnam veteran and author Richard Currey to share his experiences reading Tim O'...

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