The Dublin Library invites you to participate in the 4th annual one city, one book program, Dublin Reads, for the month of October, 2010. The book selected for this year is Pearl of China by Anchee Min.  Dublin Reads is an opportunity for the community to share the experience of reading and discussing the same book.  The program is generously sponsored by the Friends of the Dublin Library and includes book discussions and other special events to enhance the experience of the book.

 We are so excited that author Anchee Min will be coming to the Dublin Library to read  from and discuss her book on Wednesday evening, October 20 starting at 7:00 p.m. 

Anchee Min was born in Shanghai in 1957.  During the Cultural Revolution she was forced to denounce Pearl Buck without ever having read any of her books.  At age 17, Min was recruited from a labor collective to appear in propaganda films.  In 1984, with the help of friends, she came to the United States.  Within six months, she learned

Author, Anchee Min

English and began writing.  Her books include the bestselling memoir, Red Azalea and the novels Katherine, Becoming Madame Mao, Wild Ginger, Empress Orchid and The Last Empress.

Pearl of China tells the story of Pearl Buck through the life of  her best friend, Willow Yee. In the southern town of Chin-kiang, in the last days of the nineteenth century, these two girls bump heads and become thick as thieves.  Willow is the only child of a destitute family; Pearl, the headstrong  and talented daughter of zealous Christian missionaries. Set against the backdrop of China’s tumulutous history, the story portrays Pearl Buck as seen through a friendship tested by imprisonment and exile, civil war and the Communist regime of Mao Tse-tung.

The journal Booklist writes “[Anchee] Min, a prime example of an indomitable Chinese woman, has made it her mission to reveal the truth about the lives of women in China, including Madame Mae, Empress Tzu Hsi, and now [Pearl] Buck…Ardently detailed, dramatic, and encompassing, Min’s fresh and penetrating interpretation of Pearl S. Buck’s extraordinary life delivers profound psychological, spiritual, and historical insights within an unforgettable cross-cultural story of a quest for veracity, compassion, and justice.”

We are so pleased that Mayor Tim Sbranti has agreed once again to lead a community book discussion!  Join him Monday evening, October 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Library Program Room. If that isn’t a good time for you, the Library’s two book discussion groups are opening their doors for people in the community to join them when they discuss the book.  The first discussion is this Thursday, September 23 at 12:30 p.m.   The evening book group will talk about it on Wednesday, November 3 starting at 6:30 p.m. 

In addition to reading Pearl of China, the library has purchased new copies of The Good Earth for people to revisit that story.  We will also show the  1937 classic film  on Saturday, October 9, starting at 1:00 p.m. 

As in previous years, the Library is offering multiple “read and release” copies of both books. Read and release copies do not have to be checked out from the library; you can just take one, read it, initial it, and pass it along to the next person — a neighbor, a friend, or a co-worker.  If you come across a “read and release” copy, let us know right here on this blog where you got it and what you thought of it!

To further immerse us in the culture of China,  a docent from Asian Art Museum will present a slideshow on Chinese Art on Saturday, October 16 at 2:00 p.m.  Check out the library’s display  for further reading on China and the Cultural Revolution.  

Copies of the book are now available at the Dublin Library, the Dublin Heritage Center and the Dublin Senior Center.  Join us!