Books: MDC’s Big Read Miami

Month-long Series to Feature Author’s Lecture, Film Screening and Teen Essay Contest

The Center for Literature and Theatre at Miami Dade College (MDC), in collaboration with Miami-Dade Public Library System, kicks off its month-long The Big Read celebration with a host of events centered on the novel The Things They Carried, by award-winning author Tim O’Brien. The Big Read kicks off on March 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Miami Beach Regional Library, with an appearance by decorated U.S. Marine turned filmmaker, actor and author, Benjamin Busch. Part of the national Big Read initiative, the series continues through April 19 and will feature a lecture by lecture, film screenings, a teen essay contest and much more. Free copies of The Things They Carried will be distributed throughout The Big Read series. Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

About the Book
With more than two million copies in print, The Things They Carried is a classic work of American literature that has not stopped changing minds and lives since it burst onto the literary scene. It is a groundbreaking meditation on war, memory, imagination, and the redemptive power of storytelling. The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of forty-three.

Taught everywhere—from high school classrooms to graduate seminars in creative writing—it has become required reading for any American and continues to challenge readers in their perceptions of fact and fiction, war and peace, courage, fear and longing.

The Big Read Miami events:
Big Read Kickoff, Tuesday, March 19
Join us for a very special appearance by author, actor, filmmaker and decorated U.S. Marine Corps infantry officer Benjamin Busch. A star of the HBO series The Wire, Busch has written an unforgettable meditation on life and loss, in his extraordinary book, Dust to Dust: A Memoir. Event starts at 6:30 p.m., Miami Beach Regional Library, 227 22nd Street, Miami Beach.

Keynote Lecture by Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried, Tuesday, April 19.
Tim O’Brien has been writing to wide critical acclaim since he Published the first of his books at age 27. A finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize, The Things They Carried has been called one of the finest books about the Vietnam War ever written. O’Brien makes a very special appearance in South Florida to discuss and celebrate this novel’s place as a contemporary American classic. Event starts at 7:30 p.m., Coral Gables Congregational Church, 3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables.

The Big Read Miami 2013 Film Series:
Tower Theatre: 1508 SW 8th Street, Little Havana. All Tower Theatre screenings are at 7:00 p.m.
March 21 – The Hurt Locker
April 4 – In the Land of Blood and Honey
April 18 – Apocalypse Now

Coral Gables Library: 3443 Segovia St, Coral Gables. Film screening is at 6:00 p.m.
March 25 – Casualties of War

Miami Beach Library: 227 22nd St. Miami Beach. Film screening is at 6:30 p.m.
April 1 – Hamburger Hill

Other events include:
Teen Essay Challenge
Selected Miami Dade County Public School students will answer this essay question: If you were leaving for war tomorrow and could carry only one thing with you, what would be the thing you carry and why? Grand Prize: Free tuition to a future Talented Teen Writers Course at The Center and a meeting with author Tim O’Brien. The winner will also be featured on The Center website. The contest is held in partnership with Miami Writes. To participate, contact Nicole Swift at

Send a Book to our Troops: Join Operation Paperback
At each Big Read 2013 event, we will collect gently used paperback books to send to veterans and deployed troops overseas through Operation Paperback, an organization that provides books to military and veterans hospitals located within the United States, as well as USO centers at U.S. Airport transit points. The book collection is held in partnership with South Miami High Cobra Readers and the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida.

Veterans Oral History and Art Project
Recordings of veterans’ stories made by MDC students and artwork by Miami artists will be part of an exhibit that will open during The Big Read’s closing week (April 15 – 19), and be featured in perpetuity at

Book Discussions
Miami-Dade Public Library System and other locations throughout Miami-Dade County.  Visit or for dates, times, and locations.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in partnership with Arts Midwest. It is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture, bring its transformative power into the lives of its citizens, and encourage communities to come together to read the same book. The Center is a proud supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project. We
will collect monetary donations at various events, 100% will go to Wounded Warrior.

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