The Big Read Blog (Archive)

The Things They Carried

In The Things They Carried , author and Vietnam veteran Tim O'Brien uses fiction to explore war's truths and half-truths, searing memories and distorted perspectives, and its tangle of obscenities and fears. While reading O'Brien's raw, blunt narrative can be a jarring experience, it also contains...
One of the pieces of artwork completed as part of the oral history project at Miami Dade College's Center for Literature and Theatre. Photo courtesy of Paola Fernandez Rana As a civilian, I’ve always felt sincere gratitude and respect towards those who have fought for our country. I’ve studied past...
The Homer Public Library in Homer, Alaska. Photo courtesy of the library Books that are based on real-life events, such as war, are capable of provoking powerful stories from those who suffered through a similar experience. Case in point: Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam novel-in-stories, The Things They...
Vietnam War Memorial by flickr user eleephotography As part of their Big Read program, the Quincy Public Library in Quincy, Illinois, hosted an essay contest for area teens in 10th through 12th grade. The contest was inspired by the the community's Big Read book, The Things They Carried by Tim O'...
Tim O’Brien. © Marion Ettlinger, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Next week, we celebrate the birthday of novelist and Big Read author, Tim O'Brien. Like many young American men in the late 1960s, O'Brien was drafted and fought in Vietnam. Much of his literary work concerns that war and its aftermath,...
Tim O’Brien. © Marion Ettlinger, courtesy of Houghton Mifflin In honor of Memorial Day, we're focusing today's post on Big Read author Tim O’Brien, a veteran of the Vietnam War. His experience as a solider is a subject he has returned to again and again in his writing, and his novel about the...
Joyce Wilson-Young. Photo courtesy of Wilson-Young On April 4 and 5, residents of Cochran, Georgia, gathered for a two-night writing workshop based on the community's Big Read selection of The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien. More than a dozen participants, from high school sophomores to...
Image courtesy of World Book Night In the United Kingdom and Ireland, UNESCO’s World Book Day is geared toward “helping children to explore the pleasure of books,” as the celebration’s tagline states. But what about adults? Shouldn’t fully grown members of society be encouraged to pick up a book as...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb8VhdJiKpk Last week, Maryland's Somerset County Library System kicked off their discussion of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried with two nights of powerful readings of letters written by servicemen and aid workers during the Vietnam War. The community gathered...
Art is creation; war is destruction. Yet the overlap between the two can often prove remarkable, as is demonstrated by novels such as Tim O?Brien?s The Things They Carried. In honor of O?Brien?s birthday on Saturday, we asked Donald Anderson, editor of the journal War, Literature & the Arts (...

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