Events for 2009-2010 Book in Common, “The Soloist,” Begin Sept. 17 at Chico City Plaza

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: 09-10-2009

Kathleen McPartland
Publci Affairs
530-898-4260
Brooks Thorlaksson
College of Humanities and Fine Arts
530- 898-5351

Events complementing the 2009-2010 community Book in Common begin in Chico on Thursday, Sept. 17 when Mayor Ann Schwab and Supervisor Maureen Kirk read proclamations declaring Steve Lopez’s “The Soloist” a community read.

Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Chico City Plaza with cellist Will Buchholz playing music from the book and others reading excerpts.

William Loker, dean of Undergraduate Education at California State University, Chico, applauds the community commitment to the Book in Common. “For years, we enjoyed the benefits of a common reading on campus, and we are pleased that this is a way that the whole community can connect. We have been beyond pleased. It has been inspiring to work with the many agencies, businesses and individuals who have joined in this year to generate discussion about issues raised in ‘The Soloist.’”

The book is an ideal choice, as CSU, Chico President Paul Zingg said in his notice to the campus: “In the process of reading ‘The Soloist’ we explore issues of homelessness and mental illness and the difficulties that result when these two conditions coincide. Homelessness has been a persistent issue in our own community, though nowhere on the scale of Los Angeles, where an estimated 60,000 people live on the streets. The current economic downturn is sure to increase those numbers and strain the resources—public and private—available to help the homeless cope. ‘The Soloist’ uses a powerful narrative to increase our understanding of the scope of this problem, as well as provide insight into conditions like schizophrenia and other mental illnesses that are poorly understood and often stigmatized.”

A calendar of Book in Common events is available at www.csuchico.edu/bic and includes information about films, lectures, town hall meetings in Chico, Oroville and on the CSU, Chico campus, as well as many other events.

If you have read the book and would like to donate your copy to the public schools, you can drop it off at Lyon Books next to City Plaza.

Community partners include Enloe Medical Center, Butte County Library, Lyon Books, Barnes and Noble, Jesus Center, Torres Shelter, Butte Behaviorial Health, and Chico Unified School District, in addition to CSU, Chico and the City of Chico.

For more information, contact Brooks Thorlaksson, associate dean, College of Humanities and Fine Arts at CSU, Chico, at 898-5351 or BThorlaksson@csuchcio.edu.

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