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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

City of Somerville launches its second "One City, One Book" campaign!

SOMERVILLE - Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Nancy Milnor, Executive Director of the Somerville Public Libraries, announced today that the City of Somerville will launch its second "One City, One Book" campaign in April 2011. "Somerville Reads" is a project that promotes literacy and community engagement by encouraging residents to read and discuss the same book. The book selected for the 2011 program is The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, a novel that deals with the experiences of the Ganguli family, Indian immigrants adjusting to a new life in America. Copies of the book are available for check out at all Somerville Public Library locations, and a variety of events and exhibits will take place beginning in late April and continuing through May.

"We chose The Namesake as the Somerville Reads book for 2011, as it is a novel about the immigrant experience and we thought it would be perfect for Somerville, a city comprised of immigrants from countries all over the world," Milnor said. "We hope residents of all backgrounds will read the book and join us to discuss the story and celebrate our immigrant communities."

The program kicks off on Saturday, April 30th from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the East Branch Library (115 Broadway). The event will feature music and dancing, Henna art by Manisha Trevedi, and the opportunity to participate in creating a communal art project, the making of an "immigration quilt" that will illustrate the stories of the people of Somerville. This celebration is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Other program highlights throughout the month of May include:
An exhibit of Somerville High School students' original artwork inspired by The Namesake at the Central Library (79 Highland Avenue) throughout the month of May. The opening reception for the exhibit will take place on Thursday, May 5th from3:00 to 4:30 p.m.

A book discussion led by Tufts University English professor Neil Miller on Wednesday, May 4th at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Library

A book discussion led by Joan Sindall on Wednesday, May 11th at 7:00 p.m. at the Porter Square Books (25 White Street, Cambridge)

A tour of Harvard University's Arthur M. Sackler Museum (485 Broadway, Cambridge) focusing on its collection of South Asian art on Saturday, May 14th at 10:00 a.m.

A talk by Brandeis University professor Harleen Singh on Wednesday, May 25th at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Library

A book discussion led by Somerville Public Library Librarian Kevin O'Kelly at Sherman Café (257
Washington Street, Somerville), date and time TBA

A film festival at the Central Library:
The Namesake, Thursday, May 5th at 6:30 p.m.
In America, Wednesday, May 18th at 7:00 p.m.
Hester Street, Thursday, May 26th at 7:00 p.m.

All events are free and open to the public.

More information about Somerville Reads will be coming soon, and residents are encouraged to visit the City website,, for updates.

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