You’ve got three and a half weeks to read Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam War novel, The Things They Carried, before O’Brien himself will appear at the Bing as part of Get Lit!
In the meantime, there are lots of events this week in connection with the Big Read.
And what's that, you ask?
The Spokane version of the Big Read 2011 — a nationwide event, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, which encourages entire cities and smaller communities to read and enjoy the same book, more or less simultaneously — is focusing, this month and next, on O’Brien’s semi-autobiographical account (which was first published in 1990). Here's some of what's coming up this week:
To get a view of Vietnam that’s complementary to O’Brien’s vision, watch Oliver Stone’s 1986 film (starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe and yes, a much younger Charlie Sheen). Downtown Library, 906 W. Main Ave. Wed, March 23, from 5:30-7:30 pm
Discussion panel on The Things They Carried
Experts about such topics as disabilities, engineering, media and military affairs will share their perspectives. EWU Riverpoint Campus, Phase One Building, Room 122. Wed, March 23, from 6-8 pm
Book discussion at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 51
A U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman will lead a discussion, open to all ages and backgrounds. VFW, 300 W. Mission Ave. Fri, March 25, from 5-7 pm
“Things We Still Carry: Veterans Reflect on the Big Read”
Two Vietnam vets and two Gulf War vets, all members of the Spokane chapter of Veterans for Peace, share their perspectives on O’Brien’s novel. Community Building, 25 W. Main Ave. Fri, March 25, from 7-8:30 pm
VETS: Portraits of Veterans and Their Stories
John Thamm shares his book as poets and visual artists provide additional perspectives. Visit johnthammstudios.blogspot.com. J.F. Thamm Gallery, 11 S. Washington St. Sun, March 27, from 3-5 pm
The American Experience: My Lai
An 80-minute documentary examines the 1968 massacre through the eyes of survivors on both sides; a panel discussion follows. Moran Prairie Library, 6004 S. Regal St. Wed, March 30, 6:30-8:30 pm
Book discussion at Barnes & Noble (Spokane Valley)
Everyone’s welcome in the cafe to discuss O’Brien’s novel. 15310 E. Indiana Ave., in the Market Pointe Shopping Center, Spokane Valley. Thurs, March 31, from 7-9 pm
Book discussion for EWU students
Student-led discussion of The Things They Carried. EWU, Morrison Hall, Cheney. Sun, April 3, from 5-6:30 pm
Fairchild AFB book discussion
For military personnel only. FAFB library. Tues, April 5, from 6-8 pm
Visit neabigread.com or ewu.edu/getlit, or write firstname.lastname@example.org or call 359-6977.