The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Jim White

Image courtesy of Jim White In addition to being a masterful storyteller ( check out his short story, "The Bottom" ), musician Jim White knows how to pen a song. One of the best parts of my job is helping find and license relevant songs that evoke the themes and feelings in Big Read books. The tone...
Cover of Housekeeping , courtesy of Picador Eccentricity can often be misinterpreted as mental instability, but so can genius and originality. Take Thelonious Monk for example. Or Andy Warhol. Or Zelda Fitzgerald as discussed in Monday's post. The character of Aunt Sylvie in Marilynne Robinson's...
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 ]
Jim White, in the studio. Photo courtesy of Jim White And now, a literary moment featuring musician Jim White on Carson McCullers's, The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter . [1:29] [audio: http://bigreadblog.arts.gov/audio/WhiteSymphony.mp3] [ transcript ] To hear the entire McCullers Big Read audio guide,...
Book cover used courtesy of Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin, New York. Though The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter is set in a small mill town in the late 1930s, it could have been written today. The ambitious book touches on a wide range of issues and social ills that still plague present-...
Sunset over Lake Coeur d'Alene by Clarence Nies As winter comes to an end in Housekeeping , the town of Fingerbone is devastated by a major flood, which author Marilynne Robinson describes with both humor and subtle biblical undercurrents. When the banks of the lake are overwhelmed, not even the...
Washington, DC Dan Stone, producer of the Housekeeping audio guide, and musician Aimee Mann with her copy of Housekeeping . Marilynne Robinson?s 1980 debut novel, Housekeeping , introduced readers to three generations of women from an eccentric family, the Fosters, who live in the fictional town of...
Washington, DC Actor Alan Arkin holding his copy of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter . Image courtesy of Dan Stone The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter tells the story of four principal characters---a black doctor, a labor agitator, a restaurant owner, and a young girl---from multiple points of view. These...
Washington, DC Book cover courtesy of Mariner Books, a division of Houghton Mifflin, New York. Set in a small Georgia mill town during the Great Depression , The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter tells the story of four principal characters. In addition to the broad scope of the novel, one of Carson...
Washington, DC Carson McCullers. Portrait by Carl Van Vechten, July 31, 1959. From Carl Van Vechten photography collection at Library of Congress . Now based in Athens, Georgia, musician and filmmaker Jim White discovered The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter when he moved to Europe in his early 20s. As he...