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“If All of Rochester Reads the Same Book…” 2002

2002—If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…

Writers & Books’ “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…” initiative connects people to the experience of literature and to others throughout our community, through reading and discussion.

Writers & Books selects one book of literary fiction to be read and discussed each year, leading up to a three-day residency in the community by the author of the book. The choice for 2002 is The Sweet Hereafter by Russell Banks.

banksrussellTo prepare for Mr. Banks’ visit, book discussions, panels, film screenings and lectures that focus on the issues in The Sweet Hereafter are scheduled in various venues throughout the community.

See the downloadable toolbox for background material on Russell Banks, The Sweet Hereafter, his three other novels, and study guides and guidelines for beginning a Book Discussion Group. These are also available in hard copy to both library-sponsored and independent book discussion groups, to individuals and to schools.

“If all of Rochester Read the Same Book…” is a community-wide event. Writers & Books partners with a multitude of area institutions in order to reach the widest audience as possible. These partnerships include the library system, school districts, local media, bookstores and for this particular event, Geva Theatre.

Our partners will be participating in the event through making available the toolbox and books, creating displays highlighting the project and organizing book discussion groups. Writers & Books has provided them with buttons to pass out saying “I’m Reading Russell Banks” to facilitate discussion of the book between individuals during the period leading up to the author’s appearance.

Russell Banks will be in Rochester March 6, 7 & 8, making public appearances throughout the 47104community. These appearances will include readings, book signings, media appearances, and discussions. The majority of events will be free of charge. Please see the Calendar of Events for detailed information.

“If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…” will continue to have a positive impact on the community long after its conclusion, as was true last year with our first program which highlighted the book A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest Gaines.

In addition to bringing major authors to a diverse reading audience, the program:

  • increase interaction between individuals based on a shared reading experience
  • broaden and deepen readers’ appreciation for books
  • create a jumping off point for a discussion of critical social issues
  • bring more people into libraries, bookstores and literary institutions
  • help more branch libraries start book discussion groups
  • increase the number of people involved in book discussion groups
  • increase opportunities for discussion between young people and adults

The 2002 “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…” is made possible through the generous support of

For more information, contact Karen vanMeenen at 585-473-2590 or .

To hear a broadcast of last year’s “If All of Rochester…” by National Public Radio, visit NPR’s website.