Big Read project kicks off with events on Sept. 13, 16

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West Virginia University at Parkersburg has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host a “Big Read” project throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley. The event kicks off Friday, Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. at the Wood County Public Library and Monday, Sept. 16 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at WVU Parkersburg.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg is partnering with the Parkersburg and Wood County Public Library, Vienna Public Library, Jackson County Public Library, Ritchie County Public Library, Roane County Public Library, Pleasants County Public Library, Sistersville Public Library and Dora B. Woodyard Memorial Library in Elizabeth. Book discussions and other events will occur throughout the region.

Designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment, individuals throughout the region are invited to read and discuss Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.” The book is a tale of a bleak future where literature and knowledge are on the edge of extinction.

Although written 60 years ago, the issues raised in this powerful book – censorship, the effects of technology on society and literature, and the means by which knowledge is gained – continue to be very real concerns today. Considered a work of science fiction when first published, Fahrenheit 451 has achieved the rare distinction of being both a literary classic and a perennial bestseller.

Those who attend the kickoff events will receive copies of “Fahrenheit 451,” a reader’s guide, a bookmark and an invitation to book discussions and other special events.

Related events and activities will include:
• A special exhibit for Banned Book Week in the college library;
Aquila Theater performing “Fahrenheit 451” on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. in the College Activities Center;
• Screenings of the 1966 Francois Truffaut film; and
• Book discussions with noted Bradbury scholar Dr. Robert Woods.

Project director for WVU Parkersburg’s Big Read is Dr. H.G. Young III, professor of music.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

For a complete list of events visit, The Big Read website at: http://neabigread.org.

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