Fort Bend County Libraries invites the public to join in the “Gulf Coast Reads: On the Same Page” reading program, a community-wide reading project encouraging communities to read and discuss a particular book. The “Gulf Coast Reads” reading initiative will take place throughout the month of September. The 2011 selection for “Gulf Coast Reads” is One Amazing Thing, a novel written by Sugar Land author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
The “Gulf Coast Reads: On the Same Page” program is a collaborative reading initiative coordinated by Fort Bend County Libraries, the Harris County Public Library System, the Brazoria County Library System, the Montgomery County Memorial Library System, the Houston Public Library, and other library and educational institutions, museums, and bookstores. This “one book, one community” reading event is designed to encourage reading and discussion of the same book at the same time, provoking dialogue among co-workers, friends, families, and classrooms.
In the novel, One Amazing Thing, nine people of diverse nationalities struggle for survival after an earthquake leaves them trapped in the basement of the Indian Consulate in an unnamed American city. In an effort to ease tensions, a young graduate student suggests they each tell “one amazing thing” that has happened in their lives. Their tales of love and loss, betrayal, and redemption help to illuminate the impending darkness, and give them encouragement in their fight to survive.
Originally from Calcutta, India, Divakaruni teaches creative writing at the University of Houston and resides in Sugar Land. She has won numerous awards for her writing, and has judged several prestigious literary awards, including the National Book Award and the PEN Faulkner Award. Her writing has been included in more than 50 anthologies, and has been translated into 20 languages. Two of her books have been made into movies. Divakaruni’s poems, short stories, and novels generally focus on similar themes – the roles of women in India and America; the immigrant experience and the struggle to adapt to new cultures; and the complexities of love.
Book discussions on One Amazing Thing will take place at different locations throughout the library system on various dates and times throughout the months of September and October. Call the library’s Public Information Office at 281-341-2677, or check the library’s webpage – www.fortbend.lib.tx.us – for the schedule of programs, which are free and open to the public.