The Big Read Blog (Archive)


November 6, 2008
Martinsville, VA

Though Piedmont Arts' Big Read of To Kill a Mockingbird is still months away, director of programs Barbara Parker is already hard at work. One of her favorite tasks is seeking out visiting celebrities she can photograph holding a copy of Lee's seminal novel. Barbara hopes to wind up with 27 close-ups, which will run serially in Martinsville's local paper during The Big Read. Her first three shots are below, along with her commentary on the meet-ups. I think you just might recognize some of the faces! Barbara will share more about Piedmont Arts' Big Read so don't forget to check back!

JOHN GRISHAM: "John Grisham said that after he wrote A Time to Kill, Harper Lee sent him a signed, first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. It blew him away!"
MARK WARNER: "I caught Senator-Elect Mark Warner at a fund-raiser -- he has been very good to our area as Governor and has spent a lot of time here. He also said it is one of his favorite books, and was glad to take a moment to sit and at least pretend to read -- not much time for the real thing during the campaign."
JOE BIDEN: "I was standing in front at his rally in October at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville. After his speech, he made his way around the barrier shaking hands. I asked his Secret Service detail if Senator Biden could sign my book. They said that no, I couldn't hand him anything. When Senator Biden got to me, he shook my hand, noticed the book, and said it was his favorite novel and had meant so much to him over the years. I asked if I could take his photo with it, he said sure. He then asked if I would like him to sign it, and of course I said yes. Persistence pays."