The Big Read 2017

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The Big Read is a national initiative dedicated to supporting organizations across the country in developing community-wide programs that encourage reading and participation by diverse audiences. The Miami Book Fair has been part of The Big Read since its inception by the National Endowment of the Arts 11 years ago, and has brought cultural programming to thousands of South Floridians relating to a variety of titles, including Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, the poetry of Emily Dickinson, Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, and Brother I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat, among other books.

Miami Book Fair remembers the plight of Cambodia’s refugees fleeing the brutal Khmer Rouge regime and celebrates Cambodian culture. This year, we have selected The Big Read title In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner. Displaying the author’s extraordinary gift for language, In the Shadow of the Banyan is a brilliantly wrought tale of human resilience. This New York Times bestselling novel tells the story of Raami, a young girl who comes of age during the Cambodian genocide, and finds strength and resilience by clinging to the mythical legends and poems told to her by her father.

Program activities from March 20, 2017 to April 20, 2017 that will focus on the themes addressed in In the Shadow of the Banyan.

About Cambodia:

Past Events

April 2017
Wednesday, April 19 @ 6:30 pm
Books & Books – Coral Gables
265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables , United States

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Keynote Address: In the Shadow of the Banyan: A Conversation with Vaddey Ratner

Vaddey Ratner is a survivor of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Cornell University, where she specialized in Southeast Asian history and literature. In addition to delving into her own personal story of survival from the Khmer Rouge, author Vaddey Ratner will address the various themes in her novel such as hope and resilience, beauty and truth, and the redeeming power of art and storytelling. She will take questions from the audience…

Tuesday, April 18 @ 7:30 pm
The Lightbox at Goldman Warehouse
404 NW 26 Street , Miami, 33127 United States

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The Origin of the Tiger: A Cinematic Shadow Puppetry Performance

Created by artist, Dan Walker, The Origin of the Tiger is based on a Cambodian folk tale that tells the story of a king’s obsession with obtaining power and the consequences that follow. This adaptation of the folk tale brings the story to life through a combination of shadow puppets, live action, dance, music, and more.

Saturday, April 15 @ 1:00 pm
O Cinema
90 NW 29th St, Miami, Fl United States

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Cambodia in Film: The Missing Picture

After a golden age of cinema in the 1960s, the Cambodian film industry suffered during the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, under which entertainment and arts were dismantled. In the 1980s and 1990s, the industry started making a gradual, slow comeback. Foreign films highlighting the country, such as The Killing Fields, Tomb Raider have helped boost these efforts. In The Missing Picture, writer-director Rithy Panh takes on a daunting and emotionally draining topic—the atrocities Cambodians suffered under Pol Pot and the Khmer…

Saturday, April 8 @ 1:00 pm
O Cinema
90 NW 29th St, Miami, Fl United States

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Cambodia in Film: Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten

After a golden age of cinema in the 1960s, the Cambodian film industry suffered during the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, under which entertainment and arts were dismantled. In the 1980s and 1990s, the industry started making a gradual, slow comeback. Foreign films highlighting the country, such as The Killing Fields, Tomb Raider have helped boost these efforts. During the 60’s and early 70’s as the war in Vietnam threatened its borders, a new music scene emerged in Cambodia that took Western rock…

All day event.
Wednesday, April 5
Various Locations

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Poetry Workshops with Peuo Tuy

Khmer-American author Peuo Tuy will facilitate community poetry workshops with a focus on trauma healing for both high school and college students. She will visit local high school classes, where each student in the workshop will receive a copy of her poetry book, Khmer Girl. She will also speak to several MDC classes about her book and writing process.

March 2017
Monday, March 20 @ 6:30 pm
Books & Books @ the Arsht Center
1300 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, United States

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Farm-to-Table Dinner: Feast your Eyes on Cambodia

Join Chef Allen at this special edition of his famed Farm-to-Table dinners. Listen to live music as you enjoy the flavors of Cambodia with fresh, organic produce brought directly from the Farmer's Market, right outside our doorstep, straight to your own table. Dinners are served Family-Style. Reservations Recommended, walk-ins welcome. For reservations call (786) 405 – 1745. Tickets are $25, with the option of a wine pairing for an additional $14.

All day event.
Monday, March 20
Various Locations

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Book Discussions: Various Miami Dade Public Library Branches

A minimum of 12 book discussions will take place at public libraries, independent bookstore, Books & Books and MDC campuses. Free books will be distributed to all participants. Educational and promotional materials provided by NEA will accompany the books to serve as springboards for discussion. Please visit www.mdpls.com for more information.

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