The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Join Us for Our Big Read Webinar!

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 the first half of the 20th century.

As the number of Big Read communities has expanded, so too has our library. Our 30-plus titles offer windows into worlds both past and present, into cultures both familiar and unknown, and into the minds of characters that we might admire or loathe. That is the power of literature, to transport us to places beyond our personal realities.

Now, the Big Read is growing once again, offering readers a chance to see the world through three new literary lenses. On Tuesday, November 13, we will host a webinar at 4:30 p.m. ET introducing our new Big Read titles: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, True Grit by Charles Portis, and Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. During the webinar, NEA Literature Director Ira Silverberg will be joined by Lahiri, Urrea, and Carlo Rotella, an English professor at Boston College who will speak about True Grit. Our guests will answer questions about each book, ranging from the impact these novels have had on the community to the challenges of inhabiting a particular character. Our viewers will also have an opportunity to ask Lahiri, Urrea, and Rotella questions of their own. We hope you'll log on and tune in!

For more information about Tuesday’s webinar, please visit arts.gov. We will also be live-tweeting the event, so be sure to follow us @NEAArts, hashtag #NEABigRead.

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