CSU, Chico News

Spring Events Explore 2013-14 Book in Common, “The Yellow Birds”

Date: 02-25-2014

Sarah Langford
Public Affairs Coordinator
John Crosby, Professor
Department of Political Science

Several events exploring the 2013-14 Book in Common, “The Yellow Birds,” are planned this spring at California State University, Chico.

A lecture and discussion titled “Iraq: 11 Years Later” on Thursday, Feb. 27, will examine the costs and effects of the Iraq War, starting with the events leading up to the invasion. Impacts over the last 11 years will be explored, including shattered veterans, destroyed communities in Iraq and an upheaval felt throughout the Middle East. Attendees’ perspectives are welcomed. The event is slated from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Ayers 106.

A panel discussion on Tuesday, March 25, will explore “The Yellow Birds” from a historical perspective including the use of novels to describe the experiences of war. Panelists will explore a number of topics, including whether the genre is timeless, how these novels influence the debate about war and what we can learn about ourselves and our society by reading these works. The discussion takes place from 7 to 10 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) 134.

On Tuesday, April 1, author and veteran Brian Turner will lead a poetry reading and discussion of his work. Turner earned an MFA from the University of Oregon and lived abroad in South Korea for a year before serving in the U.S. Army. His first book, “Here, Bullet,” chronicles his time in Iraq. Turner will read from a selection of his poetry and entertain questions about his work and his perspective in a sobering evening of introspection and reflection. The presentation is from 7 to 10 p.m. in PAC 134.

“The Yellow Birds” is a highly acclaimed novel about a soldier’s experiences in the Iraq War, torn between a promise made to a friend and his duty as a soldier, and the difficulties readjusting to civilian life. A finalist for the National Book Award, “The Yellow Birds” is the first book for author Kevin Powers, himself an Iraq War veteran.

The Book in Common is a joint project of the University, Butte College, the City of Chico and Butte County and is designed to promote discussion and understanding of important issues facing the broader community. Past community reads include “The Soloist” by Steve Lopez, “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers and the 2012-13 Book in Common, “Unquenchable” by Robert Glennon.