Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs 519 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

April 13, 2007

Guelph Reads! Promotes Discussion, Change

Exploring the impact a book can have on how readers understand rights and responsibilities as local and global citizens is the goal of this year’s Guelph Reads!, a free community event organized by students at the University of Guelph.

The third annual event runs April 21 at 7 p.m. at Norfolk United Church, with a reception to follow.

Guelph Reads! began in 2005 as a class project in a first-year learning seminar taught by English professor Ajay Heble and has grown into a community-wide reading program.

It involves community leaders choosing a book that has created great or subtle change in the past or has the potential to invoke future social progress, then reading excerpts from it and leading a discussion about why it should be read by the Guelph community.

This year’s event host is Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge, who will be joined by panellists Lucy Reid, Jean Little, Sabina Chatterjee and Lee Maracle.

Reid, an Anglican priest and ecumenical campus minister at U of G, has selected The Fat Lady Struck Dumb by Guelph professor David Waltner-Toews. In this book of poetry the author speaks on behalf of the earth and transfers his deep commitment to its survival.

Little, the author of more than 44 children’s books, has chosen the literary phenomenon Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling .

Chatterjee, executive director of the Change Now Youth Drop-In and Resource Centre, has selected Zadie Smith’s first novel, White Teeth, which deals with friendship, love and war and involves three cultures and three families over three generations.

Maracle, cultural director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre in Toronto and writer-in-residence at U of G, has chosen Richard Van Camp’s Angle Wing Splash Pattern, which features stories of death, rebirth, and personal growth linked by themes of hope, the spirit of friendship, and hunger.

Following the presentations, members of the audience will be invited to ask questions, challenge points, and then cast their ballot for the book they think all of Guelph should read. The event will be broadcast in three parts on CFRU 93.3 FM starting April 29. The winning book will be announced May 13.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982.

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