Reading SpreeGAMBIER, Ohio (September 9, 2009) Copies of the Louise Erdrich novel Love Medicine will be given away on Saturday, September 12, starting at 9:30 a.m. during the Mount Vernon Farmers Market on the Mount Vernon Square.
The free book giveaway sets the stage for a series of public events and discussions about the novel throughout the community and heralds the Kenyon Review Literary Festival in Gambier in November.
David Lynn, editor of the Kenyon Review and Kenyon professor of English, will be joined at the book giveaway by Mount Vernon Mayor Dick Mavis and John Chidester, director of the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County. Rick Collins, Native American storyteller and musician, will perform at 10:00 a.m.
A $10,000 Big Read grant from the National Endowment for the Arts provides for the free distribution of the book. Love Medicine, published in 1984 and later revised, is an account of the lives of Native Americans on a fictional North Dakota reservation.
Coordinated by the Kenyon Review staff, the literary festival initiated Knox Reads, a community-wide reading and discussion program in 2007. The Big Read grant helps expand the Knox Reads program to Knox County schools. About 200 students in Danville, Fredericktown and Mount Vernon high schools will read the novel and local teachers will be joined by Kenyon faculty and Kenyon Review writers for book discussions. Kenyon students will work with teachers at Wiggin Street Elementary School in Gambier in writing workshops based on children's books by Erdrich.
Each family will receive one copy of the free book along with a helpful reader's guide and a bookmark. In the event of rain, the book giveaway and program will occur at ThePlace@TheWoodward, 107 S. Main St., Mount Vernon.
Erdrich will receive the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement in New York City on Nov. 5 and will deliver the keynote address at the literary festival at Kenyon on Nov. 7. Visit www.kenyonreview.org for more information on the literary festival and a detailed list of book-discussion groups, a film series, and a craft day at the Brown Family Environmental Center.
The NEA launched the Big Read initiative in 2006 to restore reading to its role at the center of American culture. About 400 communities have engaged in Big Read projects, tapping into an NEA library of thirty selected works, including Love Medicine. The Big Read is an initiative of the NEA developed in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest.
Here is a list of free public events related to Love Medicine that will follow the book giveaway:
- Film series. We Shall Remain: Tecumseh's Vision. Kenyon Athletic Center theater, 221 Duff St., Gambier. Sept. 23, 7 p.m.
- Brown bag chat. Overview of the NEA Big Read and an orientation to Love Medicine. Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, 201 N. Mulberry St., Mount Vernon. Oct. 7, noon.
- "Literature and Lunch" and "Literature and Lattes." Discussion of revisions made to Love Medicine over the years. Sips Coffee Shop, 101 S. Main St., Mount Vernon. Oct. 14, at noon and at 7 p.m.
- Kenyon College Brown Family Environmental Center Harvest Festival craft project. A craft will be tailored for children in grades three and above at the environmental center, 9781 Laymon Rd., Gambier. Oct. 17, 3 p.m.
- Book discussion. Lulu's Café & Bistro, 505 Market St., Danville. Oct. 19, 6 :30 p.m.
- Book discussion. Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County. Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m.
- Film series. Nokomis: Voices of Anishinabe Grandmothers. Kenyon Athletic Center theater. Oct. 21, 7 p.m.
- Lipsha's Journey (Readers' Theater adaptation of Love Medicine). ThePlace@TheWoodward. Oct. 23, 7 p.m., and Nov. 7, 4 p.m.
- Book discussion. Fredericktown Public Library, 1 Burgett Dr., Fredericktown. Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m.
- Book discussion. Centerburg Public Library, 49 E Main St., Centerburg. Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.
- Book discussion. Mount Vernon Nazarene University, 800 Martinsburg Rd., Mount Vernon. Nov. 2, 7 p.m.
- Brown bag chat with Janet McAdams, Robert P. Hubbard Associate Professor in Poetry at Kenyon. Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County. Nov. 4, noon.