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“If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…” 2005

2005—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.

For four months beginning in January 2005, the entire Rochester community will be turned into one giant book club, as Writers & Books once again presents “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…”

Andrea Barrett, author of 'Servants of the Map' Andrea Barrett has published five novels and two short story collections, including Ship Fever, which won the 1996 National Book Award.

The goal of “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…” is to connect people in our community, through reading and discussion, to the shared experience of literature. Each year Writers & Books selects one book to read and discuss over a two-month period throughout the region, leading up to a three-day residency by the author.

The choice for 2005, the fifth year of the program, is the collection of shortstories and novellas Servants of the Map by Andrea Barrett.

Partnering with schools, bookstores and libraries in Rochester and the surrounding region, Writers & Books will generate interest and enthusiasm for reading the book and taking part in the discussions. Displays in bookstores and branch libraries will feature the author and the book.

Andrea Barrett will be in Rochester for numerous appearances at schools, libraries and other public venues March 16–19, 2005.

If All of Rochester Read the Same Book...

Resources Available

The following materials are available at W&B, and at local libraries and bookstores:

Ranging across two centuries, and from the western Himalaya to an Adirondack village, the wonderfully imagined stories and novellas of Servants of the Map travel the territories of yearning and awakening, of loss and unexpected discovery.

  • A mapper of the highest mountain peaks realizes his true obsession.
  • A young woman afire with scientific curiosity must come to terms with a romantic fantasy.
  • Brothers and sisters, torn apart at an early age, are beset by dreams of reunion.

Throughout, Barrett’s most characteristic theme—the happenings in that borderland between science and longing—unfolds in the diverse lives of unforgettable human beings.

Servants of the Map

  • The title story of the collection was selected for Best American Short Stories 2001 and for Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards 2001. Andrea Barrett is a National Book Award winner for her earlier story collection Ship Fever.
  • The New York Times said of Servants of the Map: “These stories possess a wonderful clarity and ease, the serene authority of a write working at the very height of her powers.”
  • The Chicago Times said of Barrett: “To call Barrett our poet laureate of science is perfectly apropos, as long as we recognize that her specialty is the heart. She is forever humanizing scientists, taking them off the pedestal and into the messy reality of everyday life.”
  • Kirkus Reviews called Barrett’s work, “Gorgeous, illuminating entrancing fiction.”
  • The Washington Post Book World wrote, “[Barrett’s] ability to navigate the universe’s deepest mysteries with such a gentle touch is a marvel in itself.”

For more information, contact Karen vanMeenen at 585-473-2590 x104 or .

Call for Work

Poets Respond to Servants of the Map

As part of the “If All of Rochester Read the Same Book…” project and in celebration of National Poetry Month in April, Writers & Books is publishing a chapbook of poetry from local readers created in response to Andrea Barrett’s collection of stories Servants of the Map. The chapbook will include works by writers, readers, community members and students participating in this community reading program.

  • Poems and prose poems accepted.
  • Submission deadline : Monday, April 4 at 5pm.
  • Submissions must be sent via email attachment with full name, telephone and surface mailing address of the contributor to .
  • Open to all ages.

All accepted contributors are invited to participate in the Reading and Publication Party on Tuesday, April 26 at 7pm at Writers & Books and will receive one complimentary copy of the anthology. Copies of the anthology will be available for $3.00 each at the reading and thereafter at the W&B bookstore.