The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Old School

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...
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 "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 "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...
"La Bodeguita Ernest Hemingway" by ahisgett from Flick'r A recurring theme on the blog is hearing from The Big Read authors about other writers and artists who have influenced their work. From an interview with the NEA, here's Tobias Wolff (author of Old School ) on some of the writers whom he...