WestportREADS 2013

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The Westport Library presents WestportREADS 2013: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

The 10th annual WestportREADS selection is The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of the most well-known and provocative American literary novels of the 20th century. The Westport Library invites everyone from high school students to senior citizens to read the book, which famously chronicled the Roaring ‘20s, and to join in the many events and presentations related to it that will take place during the month of January.

Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived in Westport in 1920, in a house near Longshore Club Park on South Compo Road. To celebrate their time in town, twenty names will be drawn by lottery to attend a talk at the house where they lived, which will include light refreshments. Increase your chances of winning by attending WestportREADS event throughout January; opportunities to enter the drawing will be available at each event. Former Staples High School English teacher Dr. Gerry Kuroghlian will lead the talk.

WestportREADS is an annual program dedicated to strengthening the community through the shared experience of a book or author. All programs, with the exception of a culminating fundraising gala, are open to the public. The program this year is funded by Jerry A. Tishman.

There are many events, from lectures to dance lessons! Mark your calendar for:

  • Sunday, January 6, 2 pm: Join Yale College Associate Dean Mark Schenker for a non-political consideration of what The Great Gatsby continues to tell us about our nation, our history and ourselves. McManus Room.

  • Monday, January 7, 7:30 pm: Westport Country Playhouse Artistic Director Mark Lamos directed the opera version of The Great Gatsby for the Metropolitan Opera. He will discuss the opera’s libretto, written by John Harbison, and present musical selections from the score. McManus Room.

  • Wednesday, January 9, 7:30 pm: You can read Gatsby by yourself, or you can have the first two chapters read to you by a host of local celebrity readers including Library Director Maxine Bleiweis, sportswriter Frank Deford and First Selectman Gordon Joseloff. McManus Room.

  • Thursday, January 10, 10:30 am: Join a discussion of the book that in 1922 F. Scott Fitzgerald announced as "something new--something extraordinary and beautiful and simple and intricately patterned." Seminar Room.

  • Friday, January 11, 7:30 pm: Learn to dance the Charleston, the Peabody and the Blackbottom with Robin and Ed Poska, directors of Ballroom Magic. For adults and teens. McManus Room. Register online.

  • Saturday, January 12, 10 am: Perspectives on Gatsby is an intergenerational discussion at the Westport Center for Senior Activities presented by two senior citizens (Sybil Steinberg and Dick Leonard) and two high school seniors.

  • KIDS Saturday, January 12, 2:30 pm: Join the fun as Robin and Ed Poska, directors of the Westport/Weston Cotillion, teach the Charleston to children in grades 2-5. McManus Room. Register online.

  • Monday, January 14, 7:30 pm:  Discuss Prohibition as a legal step to control the “First National Pastime.”  Writer and broadcaster Eric Burns discusses how Prohibition had as much to do with politics, economics and geography as it did with alcohol consumption. McManus Room.

  • Tuesday, January 15, 10:30 am: the Library book group PageTurners will discuss two books, Gatsby’s Girl by Caroline Preston and The Perfect Hour: The Romance of F.Scott Fitzgerald and Ginevra King, his First Love by James L.W. West, III. Sheffer Reading Room.

  • Tuesday, January 15, 2 pm: Showing Screening? of the 1939 movie The Roaring Twenties starring Jimmy Cagney and Humphrey Bogart (106 min) McManus Room.

  • Thursday, January 17, 7:30 pm: Todd Bryant Weeks, writer and jazz historian, will celebrate jazz with examples, stories and a love for the music. McManus Room.

  • Tuesday, January 22, 10:30 am and 7:30 pm: Discussion of the book The Man Who Would be F. Scott Fitzgerald by David Handler. (See January 27, when Handler will be at the Library Sheffer Reading Room).

  • Tuesday, January 22, 2 pm: Showing of the 2011 movie Midnight in Paris(94 minutes). McManus Room.

  • Sunday, January 27, 2 pm: Author David Handler discusses his award-winning book The Man Who Would be F.Scott Fitzgerald. McManus Room.

  • KIDS Monday, January 28, 6 pm: Mysterious Book Society discusses Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine.

  • Tuesday, January 29, 7:30 pm:  UConn Professor Kathy Knapp, PhD, leads a seminar-style discussion of The Great Gatsby, which is the Spring 2012 UConn Reads selection. McManus Room.

  • Saturday, February 2, 4 pm: Showing of the film The Great Gatsby starring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow, Bruce Dern and Sam Waterston. Tea will be served at this event (Daisy and Gatsby met at tea), which is $10 per person and co-sponsored by Westport Cinema Initiative. Note that the location is Christ and Holy Trinity Church. Purchase tickets online at westportcinema.org or at the door; an advance reservation is preferable.

  • Saturday, February 9, 7 pm: A Gatsby style party!  Enjoy live jazz, swanky cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and learn the Charleston. Dress is festive, flapper or dapper! Purchase tickets online at westportlibrary.org; $75.00 per person. For more information, call Cindy Clark, 203.291.4824. Proceeds from the party benefit all Library programs.

For further information, phone 203-291-4800, or check westportlibrary.org.



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