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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It’s Time to Read A Lesson Before Dying

A Lesson Before Dying takes place in a small Cajun community in 1940s Louisiana, where a young black man is about to go to the electric chair for murder. When the man is convicted and sentenced to die, his grandmother begs the narrator in the story to teach her grandson to die like a man. The book has been described as offering a “powerful exploration of race, injustice and resistance.” It was a 1997 Oprah Book Club selection.

A Lesson Before Dying is also the 2009 selection for The Big Read/All Fairfax Reads, a community-wide reading program that this year brings together many readers from across the Commonwealth. This reading program is an initiative of The National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest.

The Big Read is designed to “revitalize the role of literature in American culture and bring the transformative power of literature into the lives of its citizens.”

I have definitely been transformed by books I’ve read, though, sadly, none of the diet books.

Visit the library catalog and place your hold on A Lesson Before Dying.

Mary Mulrenan, Fairfax County Public Library

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

In these stress-filled times, I wish we were reading a light-hearted or cheerful book.

Pat said...

The message in Ernest Gaines work is always positive, even if the circumstances of his plots aren't.
He believes in the human ability to rise above adversity.

Anonymous said...

Did you read the 2008 All Fairfax Reads selection - The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett? Talk about light-hearted!

Fairfax County Public Library said...

Fairfax County Public Library believes in the importance of reading and discussion with friends, family and colleagues to get people through tough times. A Lesson Before Dying is set in the 1940s but the questions raised in the book still provide us with food for thought in 2009. This book gives readers a chance to examine their own lives and explore how their actions can help others. It could be considered uplifting to realize how one small thing can make a large difference in someone's life, and in your own.