Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On The Same Page

It may not be a typical winter, but the season is always a good time to settle in with a good book. I'm reading The Submission, and so are hundreds of other people around town.

Sheila here. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County partners every year with area arts and cultural organizations for its On the Same Page program. It's an annual community reading event every February and March. It's aimed at encouraging local readers to enjoy the featured book, reflect on how the issues it raises affect our own community, and relate to their neighbors through book discussions and special programs.

I cracked open The Submission this week, and I am hooked. In the first chapter, the reader meets the jury charged with choosing the design for a memorial to those who died in the September 11th terrorist attack in New York City. Two strong women -- one an artist and one a 9/11 widow -- are locked in a battle over the final two designs. The jury finally makes a decision, only to discover that its creator is an American Muslim. Through the eyes of its characters, The Submission explores how 9/11 has challenged our personal convictions and changed the public debate on what it means to be American.

Author Amy Waldman was a city desk reporter for The New York Times and was in New York City on 9/11. She helped cover the response to the attack, both in the city and later internationally as the paper's co-bureau chief for south Asia. Waldman wrote The Submission, her first novel, to explore how America and the world have changed in the aftermath of 9/11.

Waldman will be visiting Cincinnati March 4-5. She will be with us on the Fox 19 Morning News on the 5th, and she will speak and discuss her novel at several locations both days: the Downtown Library, Xavier Univeristy, The University of Cincinnati, and the Mercantile Library. (You need to reserve a spot at the Mercantile Library.) You may pick up a copy of The Submission at your local library or bookstore, and log onto the Library website to get involved in the discussion. You can also see what your neighbors are saying on Twitter. Happy reading!

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