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Year Eleven


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Nov. 10, 2014

Saratoga Reads: Film Screening and book fair highlight November events

Saratoga Reads will present two events during November, Native American Heritage Month—a film screening and discussion related to the depiction of Native American life and a book fair fundraiser to support Saratoga Reads public programming.

The Saratoga Reads book for this year, The Round House by Louise Erdrich, transports readers to a literary terrain that Erdrich has used in a number of her works—the North Dakota Ojibwe reservation, a place where contemporary Native Americans and their white neighbors navigate complex interrelationships. Set in 1988 and driven by issues of tribal criminal jurisdiction, the book probes the lives of marginalized Indians on the reservation.

On Thursday, Nov. 13, Saratoga Reads will present a showing of the 2000 documentary film Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians. The event, which will include a panel discussion, will take place at 6:30 p.m. in the Somers classroom of Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College. Edward Curtis (1868-1952) was a noted photographer who spent 30 years documenting the culture and customs of Native American tribes. The film event is open to the public free of charge.

According to Bullfrog Films, which handles the educational licensing of the documentary, “Coming to Light tells the dramatic story of Curtis' life, the creation of his monumental work, and his changing views of the people he set out to document. The film also gives Indian people a voice in the discussion of Curtis' images. Hopi, Navajo, Eskimo, Blackfeet, Crow, Blood, Piegan, Suquamish, and Kwakiutl people. . . respond to the pictures, tell stories about the people in the photographs, and discuss the meaning of the images.”

Barnes & NobleBook Fair, Nov. 15, supports Saratoga Reads

The second event in November will be a book fair at Barnes & Noble in Wilton on Saturday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Highlights include a Thanksgiving story time and craft-making at 11 a.m. and an American Girl Tea with story about Kaya at 1 p.m., followed by a craft activity. Give our prize wheel a spin at anytime during the day, enter our free door-prize raffle, and try a signature drink at the café that has been created specially for the event.

A full-sized doll—Isabelle, the 2014 American Girl of Doll of the Year—will be among the prizes given away in free drawings. Purchases made on the day of the book fair will benefit Saratoga Reads if customers mention Saratoga Reads at the register or provide a Saratoga Reads voucher available at our greeting table throughout the day. Online purchases made between Nov. 15 and 20 will also benefit the organization, if the purchaser enters the code 11468758.

In addition to the Saratoga Reads-organized programs, the Crandall Library in Glens Falls will screen two films with Native American themes—Skydancer on Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 6:30 p.m. and The Cherokee Word for Water on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at 6:30 p.m.


Sept. 15, 2014

Saratoga Reads announces new book of choice and books for young readers
Selections center on Native American themes

The Round House by Louise Erdrich has been selected by public vote as this year’s book of choice for Saratoga Reads, a community-wide reading program now marking its 11th year.

Round House coverThe Round House, Erdrich's 14th novel and winner of the 2012 National Book Award for fiction, transports readers to a literary terrain that Erdrich has used in a number of her works–the North Dakota Ojibwe reservation, a place where contemporary Native Americans and their white neighbors navigate complex interrelationships.

The narrator of the book, Joe Coutts, is one of Erdrich's most memorable characters, a 13-year-old boy who hunts for the perpetrator of a violent crime that took place on the reservation. Though this story of family, friendship, and the search for justice stands on its own, it fits squarely in the writer’s overarching, interconnected literary vision.

The Round House is infused with Erdrich's trademark narrative excursions into a world of spirit and tradition still central to Native American cultures. Set in 1988 and driven by contemporary issues of tribal criminal jurisdiction, the book probes the life of marginalized Indians living on the reservation.

Wrote Ron Charles in the Washington Post, "Book by book, over the past three decades, Louise Erdrich has built one of the most moving and engrossing collections of novels in American literature. Few writers have done as much to help modern readers consider the position of Native Americans within a national culture that has denigrated, ignored, and romanticized them."

Maria Russo in the New York Times Book Review wrote, "The Round House represents something of a departure for Erdrich, whose past novels of Indian life have usually relied on a rotating cast of narrators, a kind of storytelling chorus. Here, though, Joe is the only narrator, and the urgency of his account gives the action the momentum and tight focus of a crime novel, which, in a sense, it is."

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Book Of Choice 2014-15
Round House Book Cover


Prior to the Nov. 13 event, at 5:30 p.m., the Tang Museum will offer an “Inside Out” tour of the museum. The Inside/Out tour is a public tour that gives visitors an intimate look at the Tang Teaching Museum. It familiarizes visitors with the current exhibitions as well as the inner-workings and behind-the-scenes spaces of the museum. The tour will be led by Rebecca Green '15, a Skidmore student trained through the Tang Guides program and currently working as an Education Assistant at the Tang.



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