We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler
Meet the Cooke family: Mother and Dad, brother Lowell, sister Fern, and our narrator, Rosemary, who begins her story in the middle. She has her reasons. Rosemary was not yet six when Fern was removed. Over the years, she’s managed to block a lot of memories. She’s smart, vulnerable, innocent, and culpable. With some guile, she guides us through the darkness, penetrating secrets and unearthing memories, leading us deeper into the mystery she has dangled before us from the start. Stripping off the protective masks that have hidden truths too painful to acknowledge, in the end, “Rosemary” truly is for remembrance.
2014 Sponsors: Nashville Public Library, Parnassus Books, Humanities Tennessee, Nashville Public Library Foundation, Mayor’s Office – Mayor Karl F. Dean
Life of Pi, Yann Martel – Spring 2013
The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger.
2013 Sponsors: Nashville Public Library, Mayor’s Office – Mayor Karl F. Dean, Parnassus Books, Humanities Tennessee, Nashville Public Library Foundation, Friends of the Nashville Public Library, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood - Fall 2012
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are only valued if their ovaries are viable.
Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid’s Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force.
2012 Sponsors: Nashville Public Library, Nashville Public Library Foundation, Parnassus Books, Humanities Tennessee, McNeely Pigott & FoxPublic Relations, LLC, Mayor’s Office – Mayor Karl F. Dean