July 31, 2008
Mayor’s Press Office
Director of Marketing
TOM WOLFE’S THE RIGHT STUFF IS THE CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY’S FALL 2008 ONE BOOK, ONE CHICAGO SELECTION
Chicago Public Library Board of Directors President Jayne Carr Thompson announced today that The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe will be the 15th selection for Chicago’s citywide book club, One Book, One Chicago. The book, first published in 1979, tells the remarkable story of Project Mercury, the United States’ first attempt to send a man into space, and the lives of the pilots at the center of the attention. The nonfiction account received the American Book Award that year and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.
“As we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the NASA and the kickoff of Science Chicago, a year-long celebration of science, this book is a perfect choice to remind us how much can be achieved by those with the vision and the courage to take on a challenge such as literally ‘shooting for the moon’,” Thompson said in remarks at a press event at the Harold Washington Library Center. “We hope all Chicagoans will enjoy reading this compelling, yet human, account of the men who first ventured into space. We are excited to highlight Tom Wolfe’s work of ‘new journalism’ and proud to be presenting him with the Carl Sandburg Literary Award at the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s dinner in October.”
Throughout its 135-year history, the Chicago Public Library (CPL) has always encouraged Chicagoans of all ages to make reading a priority. One Book, One Chicago began in the fall of 2001, to encourage all Chicagoans to read the same book at the same time, and discuss a great piece of literature with friends and neighbors. CPL librarians have created resource guides and will conduct book discussions across the city in libraries, colleges and cultural institutions. One Book, One Chicago can be experienced in virtually every Chicago neighborhood throughout October. This includes film screenings, lectures, and panel discussions at the Adler Planetarium, Museum of Science and Industry, Steppenwolf Theatre and Beverly Arts Center.
To kickoff the celebration this summer, the Motorola Foundation and the Illinois Science Council are joining with the Chicago Public Library and the Mayor’s Office of Special Events to offer a free screening of the movie version of The Right Stuff in Grant Park on Thursday, August 14 at 8 p.m. The screening serves as an unofficial start of the Chicago Air & Water Show, which begins the next day. The Library will be present at North Avenue Beach during the Air & Water Show, handing out copies of the book as well as the resource guide and bookmarks.
On display throughout the Harold Washington Library Center through November 1 is an exhibit entitled “The Right Stuff – X-Vehicles and Spacecraft: Then and Now.” With rarely-seen images and objects loaned by the Boeing Corporation, the Motorola Foundation and NASA, this exhibit gives readers of the book and other aerospace enthusiasts a chance to see photographs, technical drawings and renderings of X-vehicles and space vehicles from The Right Stuff era and beyond. The viewer gets a sense of the drama, excitement and ingenuity that characterized our country’s earliest forays into space.
The Library is partnering with the Adler Planetarium, the Museum of Science & Industry and Steppenwolf Theatre to present a variety of programs in October exploring not only the race to space and the real lives of the astronauts, but also Tom Wolfe’s part in the development of the “new journalism” form of non-fiction writing. The author himself will appear at the Chicago Public Library’s Harold Washington Library Center on October 16, for a conversation about his work with journalist Carol Marin.
DePaul University will once again offer a ten-week, graduate level course to explore the book beginning September 10. For more information, including course tuition, visit the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies Program Web site at www.depaul.edu/~oboc or call (773) 325-7839.
Additionally, Harold Washington College and Shimer College, located on the campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology, will hold various public programs inspired by The Right Stuff and a series of book discussions. One Book, One Chicago discussions will also take place at select Barnes and Noble locations, Literacy Chicago, Gerber/Hart Library, Wright College and Loyola University. Nearly 2,000 copies of The Right Stuff and dozens of DVDs are available at Chicago Public Library locations. At seven Chicago Public Library branches, patrons can check out a Book Club in a Bag which contains eight copies of the novel and resource guides. One Book, One Chicago programs are open to the public and free of charge. For an up-to-date schedule of events, call (312) 747-8191 or visit chicagopubliclibrary.org.
The Fall 2008 One Book, One Chicago is presented by the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Public Library Foundation, the Motorola Foundation and Boeing Corporation. Additional support is provided by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Public Radio, DePaul University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Corbis and Science Chicago.
One Book, One Chicago selections have been To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Night by Elie Wiesel, My Ántonia by Willa Cather, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, The Coast of Chicago by Stuart Dybek, In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez, The Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri, Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin, The Crucible by Arthur Miller and The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler.
Now celebrating its 135th year, the Chicago Public Library continues to encourage lifelong learning by welcoming all people and offering equal access to information, entertainment and knowledge through materials, programs and cutting-edge technology.
The Chicago Public Library is comprised of the Harold Washington Library Center, two regional libraries and 76 neighborhood branches. All locations provide free access to a rich collection of books, DVDs, audio books and music; the Internet and WiFi; sophisticated research databases, many of which can be accessed from a home or office computer; newspapers and magazines; and continue to serve as cultural centers, presenting the highest quality author discussions, exhibits and programs for children, teens and adults.
The Harold Washington Library Center, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and Conrad Sulzer Regional Library are open 7 days a week, the remaining 76 branch libraries are open 6 days a week and patrons can access all of the libraries ’ collections online 24 hours a day. For more information, please visit the website or call the Chicago Public Library Press Office at (312) 747-4050.