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A literary festival featuring events and workshops at El Dorado County libraries through June 2024

Book Talks • Cross-Generational Story Swap
Self-portrait Workshops • Graphic Anthology • StorySlam
Artist Talk • “A Picture’s Worth” Gallery Exhibition

The Big Read, a partnership between the NEA and Arts Midwest, broadens our understanding of our world, our neighbors, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience. Showcasing a diverse range of themes, voices, and perspectives, The Big Read aims to inspire meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community. El Dorado County will be participating in The Big Read by sharing in the experience of reading Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, by Roz Chast.

As part of The Big Read Arts and Culture El Dorado is partnering with the El Dorado County Library and will host programming events at each branch library in the county. Programming will include book talks, self-portrait workshops, a conversation exchange, oral history collecting, and film screenings. We will be producing an illustrated anthology of collected stories and will install an accompanying exhibition in Switchboard Gallery.

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We Want to Hear Your Story!

Sign up to sit in our STORY RECORDING BOOTH

Hosted at 4 branch libraries. Recorded stories will be compiled into an oral history anthology featuring an original soundtrack

Schedule of Events

Nothing from Saturday, June 22 2024 to Sunday, December 22 2024.

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Featured Book

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

by Roz Chast

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, written by Roz Chast, a longtime cartoonist for the New Yorker, is a “tour de force” (Elle), “remarkable” (San Francisco Chronicle), “revelatory” (Kirkus), “deeply poignant and laugh-out-loud funny” (New York Times), and “one of the great autobiographical memoirs of our time" (Buffalo News). A finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the Kirkus Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Books for a Better Life Award, the memoir tells the story of Chast’s parents’ final years through cartoons, family photos, found documents, and narrative prose. “So many have faced (or will face) the situation that the author details, but no one could render it like she does” (Kirkus). “Anyone who has had Chast’s experience will devour this book and cling to it for truth, humor, understanding, and the futile wish that it could all be different" (St. Louis Post-Dispatch). “I want to recommend it to everyone I know who has elderly parents, or might have them someday" (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

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NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.