March 3, 2010
COLM TÓIBÍN’S BROOKLYN CHOSEN AS
THE SPRING 2010 ONE BOOK, ONE CHICAGO SELECTION
Chicago Public Library today announced that Colm Tóibín’s award-winning novel, Brooklyn, will be the 18th selection for Chicago’s city-wide book club One Book, One Chicago.
“For nearly a decade the Chicago Public Library has captivated Chicago readers with its diverse and exciting One Book, One Chicago citywide book club selections,” said Library Commissioner Mary A. Dempsey. “That tradition continues with Colm Tóibín’s beautifully written and compelling novel, Brooklyn. Set within the backdrop of both a small Irish village and a bustling 1950s Brooklyn, readers will fall in love with Tóibín’s writing as well as his rich characters. They will be drawn into the story of a young Irish woman finding her way in a strange new land.”
Throughout its 137 year history, the Chicago Public Library 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.
As a special feature, author Colm Tóibín joins Commissioner Mary Dempsey on April 21, in conversation about his life and work, including his thoughts about writing Brooklyn. In addition, Chicago Public Library librarians have created a resource guide and will conduct book discussions across the city at neighborhood libraries. Thousands of Chicagoans are expected to participate in additional panel discussions, lectures, dramatic readings and cultural events.
In keeping with these technological times, this spring One Book, One Chicago offers an online discussion forum, where readers from both Chicago and Ireland will come together for a virtual book club. Presented with the Cúirt International Festival of Literature at the Galway Arts Center in Ireland, the online forum can be found at onebookonechicago.tumblr.com. From March 29 through April 30, a different discussion topic will be introduced each week by a “guest blogger.” Contributors will include Chicago writer Patrick Somerville (The Cradle), actor Michael Patrick Thorton and Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey.
Additional events include the Beverly Arts Center’s screening of the film, Gateway, the story of an Irish immigrant and the immigration process before World War II, which is followed by a discussion on Irish immigration on Sunday, March 7. Brooklyn: On Stage and In Song will be presented at the Irish American Heritage Center on April 11. Abbreviated performances of On Stage and In Song will be performed in various locations around Chicago starting on March 17 at the Harold Washington Library Center.
DePaul University is offering a variety of One Book, One Chicago related events, including a 1950s fashion showcase and an Irish Céilí dance performance and instruction at DePaul University’s Cortelyou Commons Building. DePaul will also host a series of related panel discussions on its Lincoln Park Campus. And once again, DePaul University’s English Department is offering a ten-week course, “English 378: Literature and Social Engagement – Chicago’s One Book: Issues and Perspectives,” which explores literary components of the city’s One Book, One Chicago selections. The title of this particular course is Contemporary Irish Literature: Leaving Home, Finding Home, which examines the work of Colm Tóibín in the context of contemporary Irish literature.
Chicago Public Library’s Teen Volume Reader’s Theatre will present a live performance on current and classical themes revealed in Tóibín’s Brooklyn in the Library’s new YOUmedia space and YOUmedia will connect young adults with related books, technologies and cultural events through a series in interactive workshops. For the second time, One Book, One Chicago brings Chicago high school students together with students from overseas. CPL has connected with two schools in Ireland — St. Edna’s in Galway and St. Mary’s CBS in Enniscorthy, which is the author’s alma mater. More than 70 students from those Irish schools are already reading Brooklyn alongside more than 100 students in Chicago, from Benito Juarez, Hyde Park Academy and St. Ignatius College Prep. Students from these schools and from the YOUmedia space at the Harold Washington Library Center are reading the novel, completing some of the same related projects, and are communicating with each other and sharing their projects in an online forum created just for this occasion. Projects include essays, digital media, art work, photographs and more, all detailing their experience reading the book.
The 2010 Spring One Book, One Chicago is presented by the Chicago Public Library, the Chicago Public Library Foundation, the Motorola Foundation and Allstate. Partners include the Irish American Heritage Center, Chicago Sister Cities International, DePaul University, Chicago Public Radio, Corbis and the Park Hyatt Chicago.
Past 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, The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler, The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and The Plan of Chicago: Daniel Burnham and the Remaking of the American City by Carl Smith.
The Harold Washington Library Center, Carter G. Woodson Regional Library and Conrad Sulzer Regional Library are open 7 days a week, the branch libraries are open 6 days a week and patrons can access all of the Library’s collections online 24 hours a day. For more information about One Book, One Chicago, please visit the website or call the Chicago Public Library Press Office at (312) 747-4050.