The Big Read: Ernest J. Gaines, A Lesson Before Dying, Feb. 5 - Mar. 13, 2016
Read and discuss Ernest J. Gaines' award-winning novel A Lesson Before Dying with the entire community

Some stories are tough, but they can change the way we see and feel. They can help us connect. They can make a difference. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines is one of those stories.

Set in southern Louisiana in the 1940s, the novel offers relevant perspectives for our own community as issues of social justice for Black men occupy increasing space in the cultural and political conversation. We are pleased to offer this opportunity for our community to read, learn and change together.

Event highlights

Community Leaders Panel, February 23Concert/Lecture - Spiritual Songs, February 24

A Lesson Before Dying: A play be Romulus Linney based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines | February 24 - March 13 |

About The Big Read

About the AuthorAbout the Book

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. Knox County Public Library is one of 75 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2015 and June 2016. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest

Our program hosts

Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of TennesseeThe Knox County Public Defender's Community Law OfficeFriends of the Knox County Public Library

Many thanks to our community partners

Beck Cultural Exchange Center
Friends of Literacy
Great Schools Partnership/Community Schools
KAT (Knoxville Area Transit)
Knoxville Area Urban League
McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture
Police Advisory Review Committee (PARC), City of Knoxville
Save Our Sons, City of Knoxville
Union Avenue Booksellers
UT College of Law
UT Commission for Blacks
UT Libraries
Vice Chancellor’s Office for Diversity & Inclusion
Youth Leadership Knoxville