The Big Read Blog (Archive)


October 6, 2009
Washington, DC

Quinn McDonald is an Arizona artist-writer taking part in West Valley Arts Council's Big Read of Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. Several local artists were invited by the council to create altered books reflecting the novel's themes for display in local library branches. From her blog post about the project, here's what Quinn has to say about how she approached altering her book:

I chose the idea from the final scene of the book, in which people become living books. Readers live in books, so I created a row house made of books. The central "house" is Fahrenheit 451. . . . Each house represents a genre: mystery, science fiction, art, and poetry.  Because a love of nature is banned in the [novel], the two houses on the left represent winter and spring, and the two books on the left represent summer and fall. The tags (in the central house) are all quotes about book from famous people, including Ray Bradbury's own quote, "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." There's also Salman Rushdie's quote, "A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it or offer your own version in return."

In the heart of the book---I chose page 98 deliberately as 98.6 Fahrenheit is the normal temperature of the human body---there are flames on one side and a matchbook on the other. . . . [T]he inside matches are the spines of books that have been banned in the past.

Check out West Valley Arts Council's full calendar of events to find out how else Arizona is celebrating  Fahrenheit 451.

All photos  © Quinn McDonald.

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