The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Big Read

Former National Council on the Arts members John Steinbeck and Ralph Ellison. Photo by R. Philip Hanes, Jr. Wednesday, February 27, would have marked John Steinbeck's 111st birthday. To celebrate the Big Read author, we pulled together a few fun facts about the American icon. Did you know...? When...
Cover of Their Eyes Were Watching God. Image courtesy of Harper Perennial Modern Classics Oftentimes, books we read in childhood and adolescence become touchstones throughout our lives. Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God is undoubtedly one such book for many people. In this 1937...
Image of Penelope Niven (right) and her new biography about Thornton Wilder. Used courtesy of Harper Collins, Louis Kapeleris Hark! The clock is ticking. Ford Theatre's 75th anniversary production of Thornton Wilder’s play, Our Town , wraps in four days on February 24. Let’s turn to biographer...
Flora Wong celebrating her athletic achievements. Wong recently delivered a lecture on writing memoir as part of Lewis & Clark Library's Big Read program. Photo courtesy of Flora Wong Everyone has a story to tell. We all have people, events, and past experiences that have impacted us, shaping...
Caricature of Carson McCullers by John Sherffius Next week, on February 19, Carson McCullers would have turned 96. Let’s celebrate her life by hearing from her biographer, Virginia Spencer Carr, and musician Jim White. [2:03] [audio: http://bigreadblog.arts.gov/audio/CarsonBio.mp3] [ transcript ]
love by flickr user .jennifer donley. We all have our favorite literary love affairs. Rhett and Scarlett. Rochester and Jane. Elizabeth and Darcy. But as much as these fictional flings have come to symbolize the height of passion and heartbreak, one can find plenty of love stories in the nonfiction...
The mascot for the Baltimore Ravens is a Raven named Poe. The Ravens, the 2013 Super Bowl Champions, are the only football team to be named after a poem. Photo by Phil Hoffman I have to admit, I've never really shown much interest in football. But my husband is a big sports fan, and so our Sunday...
Big Read Caricature of Marilynne Robinson by John Sherffius The Big Read selection Housekeeping opens with the narrator Ruth recounting her family’s curious and troubled history in the mysterious town of Fingerbone. The first tragedy is the unusual death of her grandfather, a railroad employee who...
February 4, 2013 The cast of the Ford’s Theatre production of Our Town , directed by Stephen Rayne. Photo by T. Charles Erickson On January 22, 1938, Thornton Wilder’s Our Town premiered at the McCarter Theater in Princeton, New Jersey. Seventy-five years later, the play remains one of the most...
Jack London with his dog, Rollo, 1885. Photo courtesy of Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens Ernest Hemingway once said, “There is no friend as loyal as a book.” While I agree with dear Ernie to a certain extent, the loyalty of man’s best friend is hard to rival. The lifelong...

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