'Tupelo Reads' launches this month

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The city this month kicks off its second annual Tupelo Reads Program with events organized around the 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “Gilead.”
Written by Marilynne Robinson, the story follows a dying, fictional pastor as he puts on paper his life story so his young son might better know him after he’s gone.
The Mayor’s Task Force on Education, which organizes the yearly event, selected the novel in March and has been encouraging residents young and old to read it in advance of the events.
Among the events are a pastors’ roundtable discussion based on themes in the book, dramatic readings from the novel, and an art show of work produced by Tupelo High School students inspired by “Gilead.”
The first event starts Sept. 26 at the Lee County Library where Mississippi writer and syndicated columnist Sid Salter reviews the book along with his daughter, Kate, a Mississippi State University English professor.
All events are free and open to the public.
Last year’s inaugural Tupelo Reads program centered around the nonfiction novel “Tuesdays With Morrie” by Mitch Albom and featured a month of community events including a movie in the park and a play at the Lyric Theatre.

Free Events
Tupelo will offer several free events based on themes inspired by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “Gilead” as part of the Tupelo Reads Program:

• SEPT. 25: ART SHOW AND RECEPTION – View artwork inspired by “Gilead” and created by Tupelo High School students, from 6-7 p.m., at the GumTree Museum of Art.

• SEPT. 26: LUNCHING WITH BOOKS – Listen to father-daughter duo Sid Salter and Kate Salter review “Gilead” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Lee County Library. Lunch available for purchase.

• OCT. 2: PASTORS’ ROUNDTABLE – Sit in as pastors from different denominations discuss issues related to “Gilead” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Lee County Library. Pastors are Dr. Bryan Collier, The Orchard; Dr. Dvid Eldridge, Calvary Baptist; and Dr. Tom Groome, First Presbyterian.

• DATE PENDING: DRAMATIC READINGS – Watch as Dr. Rick Brooks of St. Luke United Methodist Church performs dramatic readings of “Gilead.” The city will announce dates and times later this month.

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