NEA Big Read

The Sunderland Public Library, in cooperation with the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association (PVMA) and Tilton Library, will participate in this year’s NEA Big Read. More than 20 libraries in our area will be reading Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel, and will be hosting a plethora of related events, including a “Conversation with the Emily St. John Mandel” on Tuesday, April 27, at 7 pm, hosted by New England Public Media (NEPM). Preregistration is necessary for all events.

The Sunderland Public Library will be hosting two events:

  • Tuesday, May 11, at 6:30 PM (virtual program): Coping with Trauma and Loss: How Therapy Can Help – A Presentation and Discussion with Susannah Sheffer, LMHC. Email the Sunderland Public Library to preregister.
  • Monday, May 24, at 6:30 PM (virtual program): Station Eleven: The Collapse of Systems and the Reemergence of Neighborliness – A Book Discussion featuring David B. Schwartz, Ph.D. Email the Sunderland Public Library to preregister.

Click here for a complete listing of events around the entire region.

Why Station Eleven? The 2014 novel is set in a dystopian post-pandemic world. PVMA chose it from a list of NEA Big Read offerings before COVID-19 hit. “What caught our attention about this book, as we were planning PVMA’s 150th anniversary celebration, was a museum that  started in an airport where a group of stranded travelers survived and formed a  community,” notes PVMA Outreach Coordinator, Sheila Damkoehler. “PVMA’s  Memorial Hall Museum is, in a way, like the novel’s ‘Museum of Civilization,’ with many  objects from the past that have little or no use in our modern world. Reflecting on old  and new worlds — before and after — as Station Eleven does, is what history museums do! This novel and our organization’s anniversary seemed a perfect match. Now that we’re experiencing an actual pandemic, the NEA Big Read of this fictional story provides an  opportunity for local communities to discuss our real pandemic experience, as well as  the role the arts play in our lives (a central theme in Station Eleven).” 

Copies of Station Eleven are available at the Sunderland Public Library or through the C/W MARS Online Catalog.