The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Edith Wharton

http://youtu.be/DSlY74J6iH8 Browsing through Small Demons is like playing a literary version of Six Degrees of Separation. The site, which launched last autumn, compiles the details mentioned in some 10,000 books---the people, places, songs, products, etc.---and shows how those details connect the...
Billie Holiday in Down Beat magazine, 1947. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons It's autumn in New York, and Newland Archer is about to marry May Welland. [Okay, he's about to marry her in a fictitious novel set some 140 years ago. Details.] May is the woman Archer is supposed to marry according to...
Washington, DC Edith Wharton courtesy of the Library of Congress. The Age of Innocence is a novel to be sure. But it also reads like a historical document, recreating in remarkable detail New York?s celebrated Gilded Age. Wharton herself grew up among New York?s elite society, which isn?t...
Washington, DC Edith Wharton, courtesy of Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscripts Library. Edith Wharton writes like a librettist composes operas, or like a sculptor builds structures. Today, we take a look at (and a listen to) the lasting effect of Wharton's...
Washington, DC Book cover courtesy of Modern Library, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. As playwright David Ives notes on The Age of Innocence audio guide , ?sitting down with this novel is like sitting down next to the most wonderful dinner guest who knows all of the guests at the party...
Washington, DC Edith Wharton. Photographer and date unknown. From Library of Congress collection Though in her lifetime, she saw her reputation wax and wane, Edith Wharton's name is very familiar to contemporary readers and---thanks to celluloid versions of The Age of Innocence , Ethan Frome , and...
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...
Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania The New York City skyline, circa 1904. Photo by William Herman Rau , from Library of Congress collection. When Dr. Ferda Asya, Associate Professor of English at Pennsylvania?s Bloomsburg University, approached the Bloomsburg Public Library staff about organizing a Big Read...
March 29, 2010 Washington, DC Undated portrait of Edith Wharton from Library of Congress collection Although Edith Wharton's writing chronicled the milieu of early 20th century, upper class New York, I think one of the qualities that makes her a "classic" writer is that the concerns addressed in...
Washington, DC http://www.flickr.com/photos/yaxzone/ / CC BY-NC 2.0 A few words from the authors of The Big Read to kick off the new year. Happy 2010 everyone! Hope is the thing with feathers/that perches in the soul/And sings the tune without the words,/And never stops at all . . . --- Emily...

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