The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Old School

Dave Brubeck at work. Photo by Tom Pich NEA Jazz Master Dave Brubeck died last week just a few days shy of his 92nd birthday. Thankfully, the NEA captured his soulful spirit on tape which you can listen to here in these very short NEA Jazz Moments featuring Brubeck and his music. A few years later...
Stamp of Robert Frost from 1974. Image in the public domain. Part of the appeal of Tobias Wolff’s insider take on the cutthroat competitive life of a prestigious prep school in Old School is the suspense of a writing contest---a contest that gives the winning student a private meeting with a famous...
Book cover used courtesy of Random House. Old School tells the story of a teenage boy struggling to discover his true, honest self. The nameless narrator craves friendship and acceptance as he seeks to find his place among his classmates. In this scene, we hear from the author himself, Tobias Wolff...
Washington, DC Tim O'Brien in Conversation with Tobias Wolff on "Writing and War" from Stanford Humanities on Vimeo . Back in February, Big Read authors and Vietnam veterans Tim O?Brien and Tobias Wolff sat down for a conversation titled ?Writing and War? at Stanford University. O?Brien of course...
Washington, DC " No Substitute " by accent on eclectic via flickr Every once in a while, you?ll read a sentence in a book that is so beautifully written, or so forceful in the truth it speaks, that you can?t help but stop and marvel at the power of language. Those are the lines that you underline...
Washington, DC Book cover used courtesy of Random House. Old School , by Tobias Wolff, tells the story of a teenage boy struggling to discover his true, honest self. In many ways, he is an outsider at a privileged college prep school. The nameless narrator craves friendship and acceptance as he...
Washington, DC "The Teacher" by Kevin Dooley via Flickr While you may not be able to judge a book by its cover, sometimes you can tell an awful lot about a book from its first line. Or can you? Here are the first lines from five of the titles in The Big Read library. Can you guess which novels...
Washington, DC Louisville Free Public Library Foundation's Their Eyes Were Watching God kickoff. (Photo courtesy Louisville Free Public Library Foundation) Hi there--we've missed you! But don't worry, we've spent the summer plotting and planning interesting things to bring to you by way of The Big...
Washington, DC "St. Michael's" by Charlie Dave via Flickr ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/charliedave/ / CC BY 2.0 ) In Curtis Sittenfeld?s bestselling novel Prep , a 14-year-old girl struggles to fit in when she leaves her family and life in Indiana behind to attend the prestigious Ault School in...
Washington, DC http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/ / CC BY 2.0 "Unlike writing a memoir as I?ve also done, for me the writing of a novel is really something of a freedom from the constraints of memory. You help yourself to memory insofar as it will give a support to your invention and supply...

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