The Big Read Blog (Archive)


June 16, 2009
Washington, DC

As you read this, I?m in Minneapolis for The Big Read orientation. I can?t as yet divulge who?s getting a grant in this round*, but I can tell you that I?m here with nearly 800 people who are gearing up to read big starting this September.

Tim O?Brien, author of Big Read new addition The Things They Carried, is giving the keynote address at tonight?s welcome dinner. I?m reading the book for the first time, and what I find extremely interesting is the mix of storytelling about the Vietnam War and storytelling about the writing of the book, that is telling the story about writing the story. Here is a snippet from the novel?s narrator on the craft of writing:

?You take your material where you find it, which is in your life, at the intersection of past and present?As a writer all you can do is pick a street and go for the ride, putting things down as they come at you. That?s the real obsession. All those stories.?

*We?ll be announcing The Big Read grants for 2009-2010 on June 23rd. Start the countdown?

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