The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Cynthia Ozick

Photo from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Instytut Pamieci Narodowej Cynthia Ozick's character in The Shawl , Rosa Lublin, is too real for comfort. Surviving the Holocaust left Rosa damaged beyond repair. She's broken, angry, and overflowing with sorrow. This sorrow...
An old cover to Henry James's Washington Square , courtesy of Wikimedia According to author Cynthia Ozick , " Washington Square is a novel about imposture, about people who pretend to be what they are not." Take a listen, she'll tell you. Her insight is reinforced by two remarkable Oscar winners,...
Cynthia Ozick. Photo by Nancy Crampton Cynthia Ozick shares her favorite novel from growing up and a haunting note about the staying power of the Grimm fairy tales. [audio: http://bigreadblog.arts.gov//audio/Ozickvox.mp3] [ transcript ] To hear the rest of the audio documentary about The Shawl ,...
Washington, DC Actress Olivia de Havilland with her copy of Washington Square . Photo courtesy of Dan Stone. The main character of Henry James?s 1880 novel, Washington Square , is Catherine Sloper, a simple but goodhearted young woman. She is the only surviving child of a celebrated New York City...
Washington, DC Holocaust Memorial Berlin , courtesy of d.i. via flickr For nearly all of us, the Holocaust falls into the category of history at this point. It?s something for textbooks and museums, lectures and documentaries. Yet as The Shawl reminds us, what is history for one is memory for...
Washington, DC Image of The Shawl used courtesy of Vintage Books, a division of Random House. The power and precision of Cynthia Ozick?s words supercharge their haunting effect. They make you stop and think and then reread. It?s not easy to read to begin with (atrocities are never easy), but Ozick?...
Washington, DC " Keyed " by derekGavey, via Flickr As anyone who has ever tried their hand at writing knows, sitting down before a blank page is the first step in a series of difficulties, doubts, passions, and exhilarating bursts of inspiration. Even for the legends of language, writing can be a...
Washington, DC Cabinet card of Count Leo Tolstoy by Sass, Moscow. Photo from Library of Congress Collection , George Kennan Papers. Working on some research for the blog this morning, I was surprised to discover that Leo Tolstoy's late-in-life spirituality greatly influenced both Mahatma Gandhi and...
October 29, 2009 Washington, DC Stack of books, Seattle, Washington by Wonderlane ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderlane/ / CC BY 2.0 ) In a world saturated with self-help books, I still swear by the words of courage, inspiration, and even caution that I've found in works of fiction. Here are a...
August 21 , 2009 Washington, DC Inspired by veteran Big Read organizer (and Caldwell Public Library Director) Karen Kleppe Lembo's July 31 article in The Recorder , here's the library's Big Read by the numbers . . . 253 : Number of Big Read activities offered by Caldwell Public Library in Caldwell...

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