The Moore American
MOORE — The Pioneer Library System will wrap up the 2013 edition of the Big Read by welcoming author Tobias Wolff to Oklahoma.
Wolff will make public presentations at 11 a.m. April 25 at the Geiger Center at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee and later that evening at the Longfellow Middle School Auditorium in Norman.
Wolff is the author of “Old School,” the selected novel for this year’s Big Read. The book looks at the relationships and challenges of a group of teens at a boarding school in the northeastern United States in the early 1960s.
Students are competing in a writing contest for a chance to meet a famous author, and the storyline centers on some of the rules some of them break in trying to win.
While in Oklahoma, Wolff also will take part in a private reception hosted by the Pioneer Library System Foundation and will tape a segment at the Oklahoma History Center for the series “Writing Out Loud,” a production that will air on Oklahoma’s PBS affiliates.
His appearance carries on a recent tradition for the library system of hosting the authors of selected Big Read novels. In 2011, Pulitzer nominee Tim O’Brien came to Oklahoma. In 2012, Amy Tan made two public appearances to conclude the Big Read.
The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, designed to give readers an opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their community and to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.
The Big Read was created in response to reports by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2004 and 2007 that found that literary reading in American was declining rapidly among all groups, especially among the young.
These declines in reading had civic, social and economic implications: literary readers were more likely to perform volunteer and charity work, visit art museums, and attend performing arts events and sporting events.
The Pioneer Library System began its annual Big Read event in 2007 featuring “The Grapes of Wrath,” followed by “Bless Me Ultima,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “The Maltese Falcon,” “The Things They Carried” and “The Joy Luck Club.”
Each title has presented different opportunities for discussion and community partnerships and events.
The Big Read is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Oklahoma Humanities Council, Norman Arts Council, University of Oklahoma Outreach, the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, LevyMart Public Relations, the Pioneer Library Foundation and the Pioneer Library System.
For more information, go online to bigreadok.com.