The Northampton On the Same Page 2011 reading program of Tim OíBrienís The Things They Carried has come to an end.
Special thanks to everyone who made it so meaningful and successful!
Visit our recommended reading list for suggestions of more great books to read.
Published in 1990 and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Things They Carried is a series of fictional stories about the Vietnam War, partly based on the author's experiences as an Army infantryman. O'Brien begins by sharing the talismans and treasures the various members of a platoon of young soldiers carry into battle. The tales, ranging from a paragraph to 20 or so pages, reveal one truth after another. Sometimes the author tells the same story from different points of view, revealing the lingering, sometimes consuming, effect war leaves on the soul.
The Northampton On the Same Page Committee, comprised of librarians, booksellers, and community members chose this book for the 2011 community wide reading event because it is a powerful, well-written and accessible book with valuable discussion points. This book has long been on the local high schoolís summer reading lists, as well as popular with adult readers.
The committee partnered with the Veteranís Education Project based in Amherst, the Forbes Library in Northampton and the Lilly Library in Florence, Northamptonís Office of Veteran Services, and Northamptonís Human Rightís Commission to organize and implement the event. Official co-sponsors included the Northampton City Council, Soldier On (a veteransí shelter based in Leeds), and other community organizations.
Co-sponsors include Friends of Forbes Library, Friends of Lilly Library, Forbes Library, Lilly Library, Veterans Education Project, Broadside Bookshop, Northampton Veterans Services, Soldier On Shelter for Homeless Veterans, matt Mitchell's 100 Faces of War, UMASS Asian Arts and Culture Department and Fine Arts Center War Veterans Commemoration and Daily Hampshire Gazette.