One Book, One Chicago Fall 2005
As Mayor and on behalf of the City of Chicago, I invite you to participate in the ninth One Book, One Chicago presented by the Chicago Public Library. One Book, One Chicago encourages all Chicagoans to read the same book at the same time and to gather together in discussion with friends and neighbors.
This fall, we have selected Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. In her literary masterpiece, Austen explores the human capacity to judge or misjudge others. In addition to being a great read, this One Book, One Chicago selection acknowledges the long-standing connection between Chicago and the United Kingdom. The Chicago Public Library was founded through a donation of books from England following the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the British Consulate General in Chicago. Pride and Prejudice honors this continuing friendship.
You can find a copy of Pride and Prejudice at your neighborhood Chicago Public Library or local bookstore. Please join in one of the many book discussions planned for libraries, bookstores and museums throughout October.
Richard M. Daley, Mayor
“Why has a story of the marrying off of young women in Regency England endured where most other novels of its time have sunk into obscurity? Ironically the answer is perhaps best found in those who have been, over two centuries, Austen’s detractors. Critics have complained that her books are devoid of the politics of her era, the tumult of the French and American revolutions. Yet it is precisely because she chose to investigate and illuminate the enduring issues of social pressures and gender politics that Pride and Prejudice seems as vital today as ever, the most modern of 19th century novels…. Pride and Prejudice is also about that thing that all great novels consider, the search for self. And it is the first great novel to teach us that that search is as surely undertaken in the drawing room making small talk as in the pursuit of a great white whale or the public punishment of adultery.”
—Anna Quindlen in her introduction to the 2000 Modern Library edition of Pride and Prejudice