The Big Read Blog (Archive)


February 19, 2009
Washington, DC

Happy Birthday today to Big Read authors Carson McCullers (1917-67) and Amy Tan (1952)! From the Reader's Guide to The Joy Luck Club, here's Amy Tan's take on "Why read?"

In childhood, reading provided a refuge for me, especially during difficult times. It provided me with the idea that I could find an ending that was different from what was happening at the time. Imagination is the closest thing that we have to compassion and empathy. When you read about the life of another person, you are part of their lives for that moment. This is so vital, especially today, when we have so much misunderstanding across cultures and even within our own communities.

Want more from the Reader's Guide? Peruse away at The Big Read Web site.