By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – A 2005 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “Gilead,” will educate and entertain readers as the subject of the city’s second annual Tupelo Reads Program, organizers announced Tuesday.
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 dead.
“It’s about grace and forgiveness,” said Bonnie Webb, a member of the Mayor’s Task Force on Education, which organizes the yearly event.
Tupelo residents both young and old are encouraged to read the book this summer and reconvene for a series of events based on the novel this fall. Chief among them will be a Sept. 26 luncheon at the Lee County Library where Mississippi writer and syndicated columnist Sid Salter discusses the book along with his daughter, Kate, a Mississippi State University English professor.
“We want to get the word out early so people can plan to put the book on their summer reading list,” said Mayor Jack Reed Jr. at the announcement held at the library.
Other events have yet to be scheduled but likely will include essays by Tupelo High School students, a display of artwork inspired by the book and a panel discussion featuring ministers from different denominations.
“We want to integrate as much of the community as possible,” said Lisa Reed, who chairs the task force and is the mayor’s wife.
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.