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O Canada: Citywide Reading Trend Reaches the Great White North

Daily News

Online Only, posted 3.22.02

It all started in Seattle: Starbucks, grunge, and ... the "one book, one city" program. In the four years since Nancy Pearl organized a Seattle-based reading of Russell Banks's The Sweet Hereafter, the idea has spread across the country. Cities in at least 18 states have tried similar programs. New York City, after much deliberation—not only over which book to read but also over the city's interest in standing on common literary ground—chose Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee for "One Book, One New York," which will be launched at BookExpo America in May.

What started as a simple concept to get Americans to read good books has become an international phenomenon: Canadians have decided to adopt and expand the idea. Rather than limiting the civic conversation to one city or state (or province as the case may be) Canada is planning a nationwide reading.

In April a book will be chosen from a shortlist of Canadian fiction that includes The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, Whylah Falls by George Elliott Clarke, The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence, A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, and In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje. The books were chosen by a panel comprised of writers Nalo Hopkinson and Leon Rooke, former prime minister Kim Campbell, actor Megan Follows, and musician Steven Page of Barenaked Ladies.

From April 15 to April 19, during a discussion that will be broadcast by Canadian public radio, the panelists will vote off the list until one book remains. The title will be announced on April 23, Canada Book Day. A nationwide celebration will follow, including a broadcast reading of the book.

 

City Guide

by Jen Michalski

Author Jen Michalski takes us on a tour of the many literary sites writers should visit while strolling the gritty streets of Baltimore.

Upcoming Events
Poetry
Reading/Panel/Performance
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
October 23, 2014 - 9:00am
Fiction
Reading
Taylor Books Cafe
October 23, 2014 - 5:30pm
Fiction
Reading/Talk
Barnes & Noble DePaul Center
October 23, 2014 - 6:00pm
Poetry
Reading/Workshop/Panel
Poet's House
October 23, 2014 - 6:00pm
Creative Nonfiction
Reading
Alpine Branch Library
October 23, 2014 - 6:00pm
Conferences & Residencies
Residency
West Cork, Ireland
Residency
Riga, Latvia
Conference
Charlotte, North Carolina
Writing Contests
Provincetown OuterMost Community Radio
University of Evansville
American Library Association
Magazine Articles

by Mira Ptacin

November/December 2014

Despite struggles, libraries are learning to navigate the ever-changing, and often cost-prohibitive, landscape of digital lending.

 

by Staff

Politics & Prose replaces Barnes & Noble as official National Book Festival bookseller; new Berryman volume and reissues released; Carlos Lozada named nonfiction book critic at the Washington Post; and other news.

Directory of Writers
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Leawood, KS

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