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Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Quincy Carroll, Author of “Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside,” Brings a Captive Audience to Rural China.

Posted on April 8th, 2016 by kmiller@private.bpl.org in General

On a rainy Thursday evening in Boston, Quincy Carroll took his audience’s imaginations to the countryside of China. The crowd in the Commonwealth Salon in the Central Library in Copley Square sat engaged as Carroll discussed the inspiration for the novel “Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside” as well as reading two carefully chosen passages from the book.

Carroll began the talk by discussing how his background and personal experiences influenced the novel. Born and raised in Natick, Massachusetts, Carroll attended Yale University. After graduating in 2007, Carroll headed to New York to enter the financial world in sales and trading. It didn’t take long for Carroll to realize that he wanted a different life, leading him to quit his job and move to China. Before departing he found a graphic novel, “East meets West,” by Yang Liu that informed his knowledge of the differences between the cultures. Upon arriving in China, however, he found quickly there was a gap in the literary world for an exploration of foreigners living and experiencing China and Chinese culture. After returning to America, Carroll enrolled in the Creative Writing MFA program at Emerson College and the journey of writing “Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside,” began.

The first passage Carroll read was a particularly meaningful one, considering the location of the talk. Carroll revealed to the audience that this portion of the novel was written just a few yards away in Bates Hall at the Central Library in Copley Square. This passage is also significant as it’s the first time we meet two of the main characters, Thomas Guillard and Bella while they waited for a train to Ningyuan. The scene creates an image for the audience of Guillard’s nonchalant attitude towards the Chinese culture, through his smoking and staring at a nearby girl. The passage sets the audience up to learn more about these two characters and how their different backgrounds will influence their relationship.

The second passage Carroll read introduces the other main character, Daniel. Daniel is traveling by bus to visit friends and the contrast between him and Thomas is immediately felt. At one point Daniel automatically nods to a man he passes and is embarrassed because “Simply because they came from different countries did not mean they owe each other a hello.” This quote spoke to Daniel’s mindfulness of the culture and his role as an outsider.

Carroll ended the night thanking everyone who attended, as well as answering numerous questions from the audience. In response to the questions, Carroll discussed the artful act of infusing Chinese into a novel meant for English speakers, his plans for the next novel, and that the characters were hybrids of many different people he met in his travels.

This talk is part of the Boston Public Library’s Author Talk Series. The next talk in the series will take place on Monday, May 9, 2016, at 6 p.m. featuring Paul Lewis, editor of “The Citizen Poets of Boston: A Collection of Forgotten Poems, 1789-1820, and taking place in the Commonwealth Salon at the Central Library in Copley Square. Learn more via here.

Boston Public Library Welcomes Bestselling Irish Author Colm Tóibín for a St. Patrick’s Day Author Talk

Posted on March 11th, 2016 by BPL News in Media Releases

brooklynBoston Public Library’s Author Talk Series features renowned Irish author Colm Tóibín on Thursday, March 17, at 12 p.m. in the Abbey Room at the Central Library in Copley Square in collaboration with the Consulate General of Ireland.

“St. Patrick’s Day in the City of Boston holds a special place in my life,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “It is a festive celebration of Irish culture, and we are fortunate to have such a talented writer coming to visit the Boston Public Library on this occasion. We welcome Colm Tóibín and I encourage the people of Boston to take a moment to stop by and hear about his work.”

“We welcome Colm Tóibín to the Boston Public Library for this special St. Patrick’s Day author talk and are grateful to the Consulate General of Ireland for their work to bring this to fruition,” said Boston Public Library Interim President David Leonard. “The talk promises to be a wonderful opportunity for the audience to learn more about his works and career as a bestselling author, during this year of great significance to members of the Irish community at home and abroad.” (more…)

Boston Public Library to Host Film Premiere for Ric Burns’ The Pilgrims on November 23, 2015

Posted on November 18th, 2015 by BPL News in Media Releases

Still 2Stunning Recreations Bring to Life the Stark, True Story of America’s Early Radical Settlers

The Pilgrims, a new film by Ric Burns narrated by celebrated actor Oliver Platt, will premiere at the Boston Public Library’s Central Library on Monday, November 23, at 6:00 p.m. Burns will conduct a question and answer session with the audience following the full screening of the movie. The Pilgrims will air on American Experience on WGBH and WGBY November 24 and Thanksgiving Day.

Produced by WETA Washington, D.C., the flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital, and Steeplechase Films, in association with the BBC and CTVC, this two-hour documentary endeavors to tell the true story of the Pilgrims, a small group of religious radicals whose determination to establish a separatist religious community planted the seeds for America’s founding.

Arguably one of the most fateful and resonant events of the last half millennium, the Pilgrims’ journey west across the Atlantic in the early 17th century is a seminal, if often misunderstood episode of American and world history. The Pilgrims will explore the forces, circumstances, personalities, and events that converged to exile the English group in Holland and eventually propel their crossing to the New World; a story universally familiar in broad outline, but almost entirely unfamiliar to a general audience in its rich and compelling historical actuality. (more…)

Rare Chronique Anonyme Universelle Now Viewable Online

Posted on July 13th, 2015 by BPL News in Media Releases

Chronique Anonyme UniverselleLate 15th century treasure depicts the history of the world

Today, the Boston Public Library announced that the Chronique Anonyme Universelle, or “Genealogy of the Bible,” a 35-foot scroll and manuscript dating from approximately 1470-1479 is now available online. The ornate manuscript depicts the history of the world from Creation to 1380, tracing the genealogy of individuals from the Bible to the royal houses of France and England, and weaving in biblical stories alongside Roman and Greek history. Users can view the scroll at the BPL’s Digital Commonwealth portal, zooming into the piece to see the historic writing and colorful images of castles, medieval sword fights, and the Garden of Eden. (more…)

BOSTON’S POET LAUREATE VISITS BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY BRANCHES

Posted on June 24th, 2015 by admin in Media Releases

East Boston, Honan-Allston, and Mattapan Branch Visits Scheduled

danielleBoston Public Library and the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture announce branch visits by the City of Boston’s Poet Laureate, Danielle Legros Georges, who will travel to Boston Public Library locations this summer to meet and engage with aspiring and practicing poets throughout the city. Interested participants can bring examples of their work for discussion, or questions and comments for the Poet Laureate Program.

“The drop-in workshops from such a highly accomplished poet are a unique learning opportunity to develop one’s skills and celebrate creativity and the arts in the City of Boston,” said Christine Schonhart, Boston Public Library’s Director of Library Services for the Branches.

The following visits take place in Boston Public Library branches:

  • Saturday, June 27, from 2 – 4 p.m. at the East Boston Branch, located at 365 Bremen Street.
  • Saturday, July 25, from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Mattapan Branch, located at 1350 Blue Hill Avenue.
  • Saturday, August 8, from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Honan-Allston Branch, located at 300 North Harvard Street.

(more…)