The Louisiana Book Festival is hosting two group book discussions at its Nov. 1 festival in downtown Baton Rouge. One Book, One Festival will discuss Modern Baptists moderated by its author, James Wilcox. The Big Read group discussion will center on John Steinbeck’s classic The Grapes of Wrath.
“Group book discussions are a great way to be more than a spectator and really get involved at the Book Festival,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “I encourage the community to read one or both of the discussion books and enjoy the camaraderie with other Book Festival attendees.”
Initiated in 2008, One Book, One Festival is a scholar-led discussion group. Wilcox, a professor of creative writing at Louisiana State University and 2011 Louisiana Writer Award recipient, published his book about the fictional town Tula Spring, La., in 1983. Modern Baptistswas included in Harold Bloom’s Western Canon and listed by GQ magazine as one of the best works of fiction in the past 45 years in its 45th anniversary issue. This is One Book, One Festival’s first author-led discussion.
The Big Read’s featured book is The Grapes of Wrath. The panel book discussion is a result of a National Endowment for the Arts grant to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum to hold a month-long series of community events focusing on John Steinbeck’s classic and how it compares to post-Katrina New Orleans. Among the events is the Book Festival’s panel discussion that centers on 21st century perspectives about upheaval and adaption. Liz Williams, president and director of SoFAB Institute, a food authority and published author; David Beriss, author and cultural anthropologist at University of New Orleans; and Alisa Plant, an editor at LSU Press, will serve as panelists.
For more information about the Festival or to sign up to volunteer, visit LouisianaBookFestival.org. A Louisiana Book Festival app is available at the App Store and on Google Play. Also look for festival updates on Facebook and Twitter.
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State Library of Louisiana
Office of the Lieutenant Governor