Big City Read author signs off at Acomb Explore

Join us for the Big City Read 2014 finale event at Explore Acomb Library Learning Centre on 24 September with the York-based author of this year’s chosen novel, The Orpheus Descent.

Acomb Library Learnign Centre Feb 08

After a summer of 24 events held in libraries across the city alongside associated events held by partners, Big City Read author Tom Harper will bring this year’s Big City Read to a close on Wednesday 24 September at 6.30 pm. The event is free but booking is advised through any Explore York Library.

Tom will reminisce on his experiences of being this year’s featured author, the events he has taken part in and will give a taste of some of the other books he has written to take Big City Read participants’ reading further.

The Big City Read issues 5,000 copies of the chosen title to residents to read over the summer. Books always have some link to York and the book for this year, The Orpheus Descent is by local writer Tom Harper. Tom came up with the idea for the book from reading in the University of York Library, which he researched in more depths in York’s libraries before writing the novel in York.

Big City Readers have given Explore York Libraries feedback on The Orpheus Descent including: “A well-crafted archaeological adventure with a fast-moving narrative thread and telling descriptive passages”,  “A thought-provoking read” and “A rattling good yarn by a new-to-me teller of tall tales! If they’re all as entertaining as this, then I’d happily read his others.”

Fiona Williams, Chief Executive of Explore York, said: “It has been another successful Big City Read and we would like to thank Tom for all the time he has given us. I loved the book and am now reading another of his about the Crusades.”

Acomb Explore’s first transatlantic event to be with Orange Prize-winner

Author Madeline Miller will be talking about her Orange Prize winning novel, The Song of Achilles, live from the East Coast of the USA.

The talk, including a question and answer session, will be broadcast from Boston via Skype to a large screen at Acomb Explore on Thursday 21 August, 7-8pm, with entry by ticket only.

The American writer is a classical specialist and her book is a very human retelling of the Ancient Greek tale of the god Achilles and his lover Patroclus, hero Hector and the siege of Troy.

A captivating retelling of the Iliad and events leading up to it through the point of view of Patroclus: it’s a hard book to put down, and any classicist will be enthralled by her characterisation of the goddess Thetis, which carries the true savagery and chill of antiquity.” Donna Tartt, in The Times

Madeline Miller was born in Boston and grew up in New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she earned her BA and MA in Classics. She has studied at the University of Chicago’s Committee on Social Thought and in the Dramaturgy department at Yale School of Drama, where she focused on the adaptation of classical texts to modern forms. While for the last ten years she has been teaching and tutoring Latin, Greek and Shakespeare to high school students.

The Song of Achilles was her first novel and was awarded the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction and was a New York Times bestseller. It has been translated into twenty-three languages including Dutch, Mandarin, Japanese, Turkish, Arabic and Greek. Madeline was also shortlisted for the 2012 Stonewall Writer of the Year, and her essays have appeared in a number of publications including the GuardianWall Street Journal, Lapham’s Quarterly and She currently lives in the USA, where she teaches and writes.

Fiona Williams, Chief Executive of Explore York Libraries and Archives, said: “This is our first event by Skype and we are privileged that it is with such an amazing author. Using this technology opens up the whole world to us and we will be using it lots more in the future. Madeline’s book is one of my favourites and I can’t wait to hear her talk about how it came to be written.”

Tickets are £5 and include a glass of wine and can be bought from any Explore Library.

Acomb Explore Library now open 7 days a week