Big Read

We’re in the midst of our multi-arts celebration of literature, The Big Read. Since January, we’ve hosted discussions, classes, contests, and get-togethers to explore the themes of community, family, and isolation—all based on Marilynne Robinson’s PEN/Hemingway award-winning novel Housekeeping—and we’re not done yet!

Get involved:

Housekeeping tells the story of the Foster sisters, Ruthie and Lucille, as they grow up, and apart, from each other. The girls are raised by a series of relatives, most notably their rail-riding, eccentric Aunt Sylvie. Outsiders in their community, and even with each other, they test the ties of familial love and what it means to belong, as Lucille longs to be like other, "normal" families, and Ruthie finds herself becoming more and more distant from her home and community.

In lyrical, evocative prose, Housekeeping asks us to consider provocative questions of community and family: Who belongs? Who doesn’t? Who gets to decide? And what happens when you finally make that decision?

Marilynne Robinson currently teaches at the Iowa Writers Workshop. Her 2004 novel, Gilead, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and Home (2008) received the Orange Prize for Fiction. In 2012, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama.



Book Discussions

MAIN EVENT: Vagabond Happy Hour   **Free Event!**
Friday, April 25, doors open 6:00 PM, program begins 7:00 PM

@ Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive
We’ve spent the past few months being inspired by Housekeeping, the nuanced and beautiful novel by Marilynne Robinson, and now it’s time to celebrate, to honor, and to share all that we’ve learned about belonging, sisters, trains, and hoboes. It’s also time to applaud the winners of the Big Read photo and writing contests, and to be mesmerized by all the creative work inspired by Housekeeping—including films, poems, stories, paintings, and more.
Join us for the Vagabond Happy Hour—part minstrel show, part mini-lecture, part art-show, part reading, part shindig.
Special guest Patricia Calhoun, editor for the Westword, will open the evening's festivities! 



BOOK DISCUSSIONS (back to top)

Book Discussion at McNichols   **Free Event!**
Saturday, April 26, 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

@ McNichols Building at Civic Center, 144 W. Colfax Avenue
Facilitator: Benjamin Whitmer

Book Discussion at DPL's Park Hill Branch   **Free Event!**
Saturday, May 3, 2:00 to 3:00 PM

@ Park Hill Branch Library, 4705 Montview Boulevard
Facilitator: Dan Manzanares

Book Discussion at McNichols   **Free Event!**
Saturday, May 10, 10:00 AM to Noon

@ McNichols Building at Civic Center, 144 W. Colfax Avenue
Facilitator: BK Loren



COLLABORATIONS (back to top)

Visual Art Exhibit with Arts Student League of Denver
April 7 to 23 @ Lighthouse, 1515 Race Street
April 25 @ Su Teatro, 721 Santa Fe Drive
The Art Students League of Denver curated an exhibit of visual art created in response to Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson. Artwork will be displayed at ASLD, Su Teatro, and Lighthouse Writers Workshop from March 21 to April 25.



The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest.

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