By Alison Trautmann
This fall, Marywood will participate in the Scranton Reads program for the second year in a row. Following the success of reading Dashiell Hammett’s detective novel, The Maltese Falcon, the chosen book for 2009 is Tim O’Brien’s collection of short stories about the Vietnam War, The Things They Carried. Dr. Agnes Cardoni emphasized that the chosen book is very accessible and vivid. She said that we “read the book to understand the immorality of war.” The book asks the reader to think about the fact that no story is completely true because it comes filtered through our own perception.
The website for the Scranton Reads program details that Scranton Reads is associated with The Big Read, which is a part of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Big Read is aimed to encourage more people to read for pleasure. The kick-off for the program was on September 18th and will continue throughout the months of September and October. Events such as book discussions, photography displays, and a Vietnam War Film Festival will help enhance the experience of reading The Things They Carried. There will also be trips to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. and Bethel Woods.
Marywood will also be participating in the events by screening the movie, A Soldier’s Sweetheart, which is based on “Sweetheart of the Song Tra Bong,” a story in The Things They Carried. The screening will take place on October 21 at 8pm in the Comerford Theater.
Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried, will be coming to speak at Marywood on October 29 at 7pm in the Sette LaVerghetta Center for the Performing Arts. He will read from the book and take questions. Tickets are needed for this event and will soon be available at the Marywood and Scranton Libraries.
Dr. Tammy Brown, Dr. Agnes Cardoni, and Lizah Ismail have all been essential parts of Marywood’s involvement in the Scranton Reads program. Cardoni described the process of bringing Scranton Reads to Marywood “like running a wedding. Lots of little things have to come together to make it happen.” Thanks to this team, the events will come together in order to bring a unique reading experience to Marywood University.