‘Night Watchman’ community read starts June 23
Events include in-person book club, virtual talk with author Louise Erdrich
Free copies of Louise Erdrich’s Aspen Words Literary Prize-winning novel “The Night Watchman” will be distributed to residents of the Roaring Fork Valley starting June 23, kicking off the third annual summer-long community read presented by Aspen Words and the Pitkin County Library.
A lineup of in-person and virtual community events will follow through the summer, seeking to spark meaningful discussion about the issues explored in the story.
Erdrich’s book, based on the life of her grandfather, who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from North Dakota to Washington, D.C., won the award announced during a virtual celebration on April 21.
Registered participants can pick up their free copy of “The Night Watchman” outside the Library’s Dunaway Community Room (on the lawn of Galena Plaza) on June 23 from 3 to 6 p.m. A tent and tables will be set up for in-person pick-up.
The library will host a community book club discussion on July 27 at 5:30 p.m. Book lovers are invited to discuss the novel’s questions and themes at this in-person event in the Dunaway Community Room, then break into smaller groups for more intimate conversation, using both indoor and outdoor spaces. A virtual option will also be available.
Erdich will then join the community for an online discussion on Aug. 2 at 5:30 p.m. A second August event, centering on the social issues raised in the book, is also in the works.
Register for your free copy of the book and events at pitcolib.org/communityread.
A member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, Erdrich lives in Minnesota and is the owner of the independent Birchbark Books in Minneapolis. The Aspen Words Literary Prize follows previous accolades for her fiction including winning the 2012 National Book Award for “The Round House” and twice earning the National Book Critics Circle Award for “Love Medicine” (1984) and “LaRose” (2016).
The mission of the $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize is to recognize a work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.
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