The Big Read

On Saturday, Los Angeles County Public Library chose Rudolfo Anaya’s book Bless Me, Ultima for their The Big Read book. Saturday was the big kickoff day for the book.

For those unaware, The Big Read in basically a nation-wide book club put on by the National Endowments for the Arts in conjunction with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. This is the 3rd year (I think it started in ’06) for The Big Read and it seems to be catching on. I looked at the map of communities participating and there are a lot more than last year. I’ll definitely have to get the book since I’ve never read this one.

There’s quite a few books on the list, but LA picked Anaya’s book. That’s works for me, since I’ve read all the other books on the list save this one and The Shawl, which I’ve never even heard of before. At any rate, for Los Angeles, there are several events happening at Cal State LA tied into this book:

CSULA Display of Anaya Materials
A collection of author Rudolfo Anaya’s materials, including books and photographs, will be displayed. (Part of The Big Read outreach program with the L.A. County Public Library to coordinate community-wide reading celebrations centered on Anaya’s classic novel, “Bless Me, Ultima.”)
Kick-off event at East Los Angeles Library: (Sat., Mar. 15, 1-5 p.m.) Roberto Cantu to discuss “La Santa Tierra: Land, History, and The Sacred in Bless Me, Ultima by Rodulfo A. Anaya.”
JFK Memorial Library
Call JFK Memorial Library at (323) 343-3950 for more information.
Saturday, March 15, 2008 – Saturday, April 19, 2008 – Exhibit opens during Library hours

Theatrical Adaptation of “Bless Me, Ultima”
Adapted and directed by Professor Theresa Larkin with Alejandra Flores playing the role of Ultima. (Part of The Big Read outreach program with the L.A. County Public Library to coordinate community-wide reading celebrations centered on Rudolfo Anaya’s classic novel, “Bless Me, Ultima.”)
Music Hall
Call the Cal State L.A. Box Office at (323) 343-4118 for more information.
Thursday, April 10, 2008 7:00PM

Book Discussion Group
Part of The Big Read outreach program with the L.A. County Public Library to coordinate community-wide reading celebrations centered on Rudolfo Anaya’s classic novel, “Bless Me, Ultima.”
Library North B530
Call JFK Memorial Library at (323) 343-3950 for more information.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008 12:00PM – 1:00PM

The Big Read Finale Lecture
Roberto Cantu, professor of English and Chicano Studies at Cal State L.A., will present a lecture, “Narrative Cycles in Rudolfo A. Anaya’s novels, from Bless Me, Ultima (1972), to The Curse of the ChupaCabra (2006).” (Part of The Big Read outreach program with the L.A. County Public Library to coordinate community-wide reading celebrations.)
King Hall Lecture Hall 2
Call the JFK Memorial Library at (323) 343-3950 for more information.
Thursday, April 17, 2008 6:00PM – 8:00PM

Yeah, I know the hours and they’re not very worker bee-friendly.  I hope there are some night-time book discussion events also happening.

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