Wayne County Reads announces 2013 pick
By From staff reports
Published in News on January 28, 2013 1:46 PM
The 10th annual Wayne County Reads selection will explore the Latino culture and offer a series of events and programs throughout February, organizers announced.
The one-book, one-community project features the classic novel, "Bless Me, Ultima" by Rudolfo Anaya, a National Endowment for the Arts "Big Read" book.
Set in New Mexico in the mid-1940s, the book follows the journey of Antonio, a young Mexican-American, as he experiences conflicts within his family and between his Native American heritage and his religion. Ultima, a curandera (traditional healer), who comes to live with Antonio's family, teaches and nurtures the child as he finds way through moral and cultural dilemmas.
"'Bless Me, Ultima' offers a good story with the potential of relating to all of people's experience. That it informs about a specific culture is a bonus," said Liz Meador, WCR committee member. "It emphasizes ways good overcomes evil, the theme of all the other WCR selections, a theme we need to be reminded of again and again in a world where the pervasiveness and injustice of evil events could overwhelm us.
"It focuses on the family unit with religion or faith as the adhesive that heals conflicts and envisions a future of greater peace and strength."
The latest selection is similar to ones in years past, Mrs. Meador said, citing "Night" and "Blood Done Sign My Name" as examples of books that challenge readers to expand their perspectives and consider their place in the world.
"This book achieves that purpose, too," she said. "It is relevant as an initiation novel just as 'To Kill A Mockingbird;' it offers an imaginative and a literary challenge just as 'Big Fish' did with its lyrical prose and magic realism."
Copies of the book will be made available from local branches of the library or purchased from the bookstore at Wayne Community College and Books-A-Million in Goldsboro. A reader's guide and more resources about the book and its author can also be found at www.neabigread.org/books/blessmeultima/.
The programs will kick off Feb. 4 with a presentation on Latino migration to the United States and North Carolina. "New Roots in the Old North State" will be presented by Dr. Hannah Gill, assistant director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC Chapel Hill and author and co-author of two books on Latino migration to North Carolina. It will be held in Moffatt Auditorium at Wayne Community College at 7 p.m.
Dr. Gill is an anthropologist with a specialization in Latin American-Caribbean migration studies. Her current research focuses on immigrant incorporation in new destination states and local immigration governance.
A reception will follow the presentation with refreshments and an opportunity to meet the speaker.
The presentation is co-sponsored by the Wayne Community College Cultural Diversity/Global Education Task Force and serves as its "World View" lecture for the semester.
The schedule of other upcoming events includes:
*Thursday, Feb. 7, Noon -- Book Discussion with Debra Curl, in Weil Auditorium at Wayne County Public Library, 1001 E. Ash Street, featuring a light lunch
*Tuesday, Feb. 12, 7 p.m., "Medicinal and Native Plants of the Carolinas" talk by Dr. A.J. Bullard in the Video Conference Room, Moye Library, Mount Olive College
*Wednesday, Feb. 13, noon, Book Discussion, Brown Bag Book Club, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Library, Watkins-Das Education Center, 1520 Goodson St., SJAFB (for those with base access)
*Tuesday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m., Panel Discussion: Faith and Family in Bless Me, Ultima (Panelists: Susana Garcia, Michelle Estrada, Alma Islas, and Julio Morales; Moderator: Fe Finch,) Weil Auditorium, Wayne County Public Library
*Thursday, Feb. 21, 6 p.m., Book Discussion, Brown Bag Book Club, SJAFB Library (for those with base access)
*Saturday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m., Story Time with Ron Jones - Native American and Hispanic Folklore for children and their families, Weil Auditorium, Wayne County Public Library
*Tuesday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m., Hispanic Food Demonstration presented by Caminando Juntos Club of the Wayne County Extension and Community Association, WAGES kitchen, 601 Royall Ave., Goldsboro
*Thursday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m., Terrarium Building Workshop with Jessie Strickland, Weil Auditorium, Wayne County Public Library
*Saturday, March 2, 2-5 p.m., Festival to Celebrate Latino Culture - for all ages and ethnicities, Wayne County Center, 208 W. Chestnut St., Goldsboro
Get program details at www.waynereads.com and www.facebook.com/WayneCountyReads.
All Wayne County Reads events are free and open to the public.
The 2013 Wayne County Reads Partners are Mount Olive College, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Library, Wayne Community College, Wayne Community College Cultural Diversity/Global Education Task Force, Caminando Juntos Club of the Wayne County Extension and Community Association, Wayne County Public Library System, Wayne County Public Schools and many individuals.