This year’s “Big Read” selection in the Kenosha/Racine area is a book that covers a dark subject matter. “Station Eleven,” by Canadian author Emily St. John Mandel, is a novel about the aftermath of a flu pandemic.
The UW-Parkside library is the lead entity responsible for picking the book and organizing various lectures, discussion groups and other events that will explore the book’s themes.
The author’s main motivation would appear to have little to do with the flu itself. The value of culture to society is what appears to be the main theme, according to Big Read co-chairs Paige Barreto and Shauna Edson. "The interesting thing about this book is that while it's not completely uplifting at all times, I think the dystopian aspect--or the epidemic--is not the main point of the story," Baretto said in a recent taping of an upcoming "Morning Show."
"The theme that runs through the book is this phrase that survival is insufficient," said Edson. "It's not enough to just physically survive. You have to have arts and culture and be intellectually stimulated." she said.
Both Edson and Baretto are Parkside librarians.
“Big Read” events around the country are financed by the National Endowment for the Arts.
Free copies of this year’s Big Read book in the Kenosha/Racine area are available—while they last—at libraries in the area.
More information is available online .