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July 6, 2009
A careful observer of personnel on The Big Read audio guides will notice that The Big Read authors often show up on each other?s guides talking about the ways they?ve inspired and encouraged each other, either in person or through the example of their work. Ray Bradbury, for example, modeled the structure of The Martian Chronicles after John Steinbeck?s The Grapes of Wrath. I think it?s fair to say that The Big Read is not just a community of readers, but also a community of writers.
Here?s Amy Tan (from an interview with the NEA) on Louise Erdrich?s Love Medicine:
Love Medicine is a collection of stories around a community of people, and they happen to be Native Americans who often refer to themselves as Indians. It?s about, I think, five generations of family and their relationships are not necessarily through the traditional lines. They may be [related] through secret affairs or liaisons that not everyone in the family knows about. They are united by these secrets and tragedies as well as a kind of love that is different I think from what we normally think of as love. It?s love that goes through misunderstanding and through history and through, sometimes, violence, anger, grudges, but it?s an enduring kind of love.
Read more from The Big Read authors on The Big Read Web site.