La Crosse Reads was recently featured on the UWL website. In the article, grant co-authors Kate Parker and Bryan Kopp share why it is so vital that our community join together to read A Lesson Before Dying:
The goal of Big Reads, according to the NEA, is “to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.”
UWL Assistant Professor of English Kate Parker, one of the grant’s co-authors, expects the book selected, “A Lesson Before Dying,” will do exactly that.
“This is a book about La Crosse, not just Louisiana in the 1940s,” says Parker. “Many of the issues it raises have relevance to what’s going on today in our communities.”
Among the issues raised in the book are: social justice, human rights and dignity, and literacy. Parker encourages avid readers and others to attend the community conversations and author presentations even if they haven’t had an opportunity to read the selected novel. Copies of the book can be checked out at local libraries, or purchased at local bookstores or online.
Another expected benefit of the read is the relationships that it will form. “We expect to see people coming together who don’t normally come together,” says another grant co-author, UWL Assistant Professor of English Bryan Kopp. “Slowing down and reading a book is a great way to connect with one another.”