The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Big Read

Well friends, it's time once again for the Big Read Blog to take its annual summer hiatus. We'll be back in September---with three new titles to boot!---but in the meantime, we hope you'll keep in touch through our Art Works and Blue Star Museums blogs, and through Facebook and Twitter...
The moment pianist Vijay Iyer accepted our invitation to provide commentary for the NEA's audio guide for The Namesake , my heart did back flips. Not only does his experience as an Indian-American mirror, to a great extent, that of the novel's author, Jhumpa Lahiri; his story is also...
As we get ready to announce our new Shakespeare in American Communities grantees, we thought it was an opportune time to reflect on the continued importance of teaching, reading, and performing Shakespeare. And who better to explain this than those who have been personally touched, influenced, and...
We look at LGBT Pride month through the eyes of 21st-century citizens. Things have changed since the Stonewall riots in 1969. There is a wide belief that everyone deserves basic rights, deserves to be treated with equality. The literature world is filled with protagonists of all sexualities, and...
Meet Tacho. He's a character in one of the latest Big Read selections, Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea. He’s one of the few men left in the small village where the novel is set, Tres Camarones (Three Shrimp). He owns a taco shop called La Mano Caída (The Fallen Hand), and...
When I was a kid, I would spend entire days writing stories of sneaking into museums in the night or flying to Mars. I was always imagining some great adventure, and felt that I was destined to share these stories. If you asked ten-year-old me what I thought I would grow up to be, the answer would...
The art of storytelling is arresting to the senses. A great book will stop you in your tracks. You'll forgo other responsibilities to continue the story. You want more. More is what you get if you're participating in the Fresno County Public Library's Big Read events , which focus on Rudolfo Anaya'...
“I don’t want people to be invisible. People have a right to see themselves in literature.” --- Jacqueline Woodson Reading a book by Jackie Woodson is a breath of fresh air. In her work, Woodson often includes characters who are on the margins---characters of color, gay characters...
When I was young, most of the books I read were fantasy novels, as I was easily whisked away by wizards, talking animals, and castles in imaginary lands. I’m not sure when I started favoring more realistic fiction, but when I saw that Ursula Le Guin’s novel, A Wizard of Earthsea was on our Big Read...
Part of the compact we make when we go to the theatre is to shut out the outside world and completely immerse ourselves in the world displayed before us by artists, by actors. We can’t shut out our own thoughts of course, our memories and associations, but our gaze is directed, what we see...

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