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Duquesne’s Big Read Program Features ‘When the Emperor Was Divine’

City of Pittsburgh, General Community Invited to Join #DUQREADS

Members of the Pittsburgh community are invited to join Duquesne University in reading Julie Otsuka's novel When the Emperor Was Divine as part of its Spring 2017 Big Read event.

Hosted by the University's Gumberg Library, the Big Read focuses on the story of a Japanese-American family forced from their Berkeley, Calif., home and sent to live in a Japanese internment camp during World War II.

Gumberg Library has purchased 900 books for use by Book Clubs in the Pittsburgh area. A limited number of books are also available for individual. For more information, email kliewerc@duq.edu.

Relevant educational and cultural events and activities leading up to Duquesne's Big Read include a Haiku Workshop; a Dorothea Lange art installation of photos taken of the internment of Japanese American citizens; and an Origami Workshop.

The Big Read project kicks off on Thursday, March 16, with free copies of When the Emperor Was Divine, authentic Japanese onigiri, traditional Japanese violin music and a drumming performance by Pittsburgh Taiko from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Duquesne University's Genesius Theater.

On Thursday, March 30, Otsuka will visit campus to discuss her book and its cultural impact from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Duquesne Union.

"Book discussions will spark conversations about the novel's themes, both looking back at a historically turbulent time in America as well as examining the world today," said University Librarian Dr. Sara Baron. "Together, we will read this book to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities and ourselves."

Duquesne University is one of just 77 non-profits selected to receive a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant to host a Big Read project. A detailed list of the program's events is available at http://guides.library.duq.edu/BigRead/events.

Additional information on the Big Read project, including overviews and reviews of the novel, teacher resources and videos and podcasts related to When the Emperor Was Divine can be found on the Gumberg website.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
www.duq.edu