Nashville Mayor and Nashville Public Library Kickoff Citywide Read

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Program Begins With Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ to Encourage Discussion

"I am confident that Nashville is a city not only of readers but also of respectful dialogue,” stated Mayor Karl F. Dean

Nashville Mayor Karl F. Dean and Nashville Public Library have launched Nashville Reads, a citywide reading campaign to encourage teens and adults to read the same book at the same time to create a shared experience of reading in the city.

”The Handmaid’s Tale,” a novel by internationally acclaimed author Margaret Atwood, is the inaugural book selection for Nashville Reads. Dean also publicly announced Atwood as the recipient of the 2012 Nashville Public Library Literary Award.

“We are a city of readers, and to read the same book at the same time gives us an easy connection with the diverse people we encounter in Nashville every day,” Dean said. “I hope book clubs and other organizations will use Nashville Reads as an opportunity to participate in a citywide dialogue. There are so many ways reading can be a community activity.”

Nashville Reads is a program of Nashville Public Library and is supported by many community institutions. There will be moderated book discussions and other events this fall around “The Handmaid’s Tale.” The inaugural Nashville Reads campaign will conclude on Oct. 27, when Atwood will deliver a free public lecture at the library as part of a series of events tied to the literary award. Nashville Reads will be a regularly occurring initiative focusing on a variety of literary styles and reading levels.

“Nashville Reads’ coinciding with the Nashville Public Library Literary Award is perfect,” said Kent Oliver, Nashville Public Library director. “For the past nine years, we have honored authors who have in turn given a free public lecture before receiving the award. What better way to lead up to Margaret Atwood’s public lecture than with all of Nashville reading ‘The Handmaid’s Tale?’”

To participate in Nashville Reads, visit for additional information on the program.

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Bonna Johnson

Renuka Christoph
Nashville Public Library
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