The NEA Big Read – This Boy’s Life

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The NEA Big Read – This Boy’s Life

September 17 - October 24


The National Steinbeck Center and the Salinas Public Library are proud to receive an NEA Big Read grant to host a community read on Tobias Wolff’s memoir This Boy’s Life. From September 17th to October 24, we will host a variety of events to discuss and explore themes covered in the book. Please check back on our website and follow us on social media for more information. For specific questions, please email eric@steinbeck.org

Ways To Get Involved
Free Film Series Schedule
Event Schedule


Ways To Get Involved

Read This Boy’s Life

Challenge your family to a reading contest, start a book club, or join your neighbors in reading This Boy’s Life. We want as many people in Monterey County to read This Boy’s Life. Here is the book description from the NEA Big Read’s website:

Tobias Wolff’s memoir, This Boy’s Life (Grove Press, 1989), is a story about a mother and son trying to survive in 1950s America. Separated from his father and brother and without good male role models, Wolff struggles with his identity and self-respect when his mother moves the two of them across the country. They eventually settle in northern Washington where Wolff finds himself in a battle of wills with a hostile stepfather. Wolff’s various schemes—running away to Alaska, forging checks, and stealing cars—lead to an act of self-invention that releases him into a new world of possibility.

Attend NEA Big Read Events

A full schedule outlining movie screenings, theatre performances, book discussions and more will be posted. Attend one or more (the more the merrier) events! Follow us on social media to see updates and schedules.

Help us Spread the Word

Rally your friends, family members, and coworkers to join you in reading This Boy’s Life. Help us spread the word about the NEA Big Read and the accompanying events. Share our events on Facebook and your favorite social media outlets.

The NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.


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Free Film Series Schedule

The National Steinbeck Center and Maya Cinemas will offer a FREE film series:
Mondays, September 17th – October 22nd at  6:00 PM

 

Sept. 17

The Red Pony (1949) | 89 m | NR |  Introduction by Julie Minnis, Education Consultant, National Steinbeck Center

The Red Pony films is based on the John Steinbeck novella by the same name.

 

Sept. 24

The Bad Kids (2016) | 101 min | NR |  Introduction TBA

The Bad Kids is a documentary about students at risk of dropping out who attend an alternative school in Yucca Valley, California.

 

Oct. 1

The 400 Blows (1959) | 97 min | NR | Introduction TBA

The 400 Blows follows Antoine Doinel, a misunderstood adolescent in Paris who struggles with his parents and teachers due to his rebellious behavior.

 

Oct. 8

The Lavender Scare (2017) | 77 min | NR |  Introduction by a representative from California Rural Legal Assistance

The National Steinbeck Center, California Rural Legal Assistance, Salinas Valley Pride Celebrations and the Monterey County Office of Education are excited to present a FREE screening of The Lavender Scare (2017). The Lavender Scare (2017) is a documentary focusing the U.S. government’s efforts to identify and fire gay and lesbian employees in the 1950’s.

 

Oct. 15

Take My Eyes (2003) | 109 min | R (scenes of abuse, language) | Introduction TBA

Take My Eyes (2003) is a Spanish film following Pilar, a woman in an abusive relationship. Take My Eyes is critically acclaimed for its unclichéd treatment of domestic violence, winning 7 Goya Awards in 2004, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, and Best Supporting Actress.

 

Oct. 22

This Boy’s Life (1993) | 115 min | R |  Introduction TBA

We will conclude our NEA Big Read Film series with the film adaption to our NEA Big Read book This Boy’s Life.

Adapted from the book of the same title, This Boy’s Life (1993) stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Tobias Wolff, Robert De Niro as stepfather Dwight Hansen, and Ellen Barkin as Toby’s mother, Caroline.

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Event Schedule

Made a resolution to read more in 2018? Looking to meet people who love books? Join the official NEA Big Read Book Club! We will be meeting every Sunday at 1 PM at Rollicks coffee for a discussion of the NEA Big Read book This Boy’s Life. Every meeting we will discuss about 60 pages in the book–that’s less than 10 pages to read per day!

For our first meeting, we will be discussing the first 56 pages in the book. Facilitated by NSC Marketing Coordinator Eric Mora

NEA Big Read Book #2 | September 30, 1:00-2:00 pm

For our second meeting, the NEA Big Read Book Club will be discussing pages 57-116 of Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life. If you didn’t attend the first meeting, join us anyway–jump right in!

NEA Big Read Book #3 | October 7, 1:00-2:00 pm

For our third meeting, the NEA Big Read Book Club will discuss pages 117-178 of Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life at Rollicks Coffee.

NEA Big Read Book #4 | October 14, 1:00-2:00 pm

For our fourth meeting, the NEA Big Read Book Club will discuss pages 179-233 of Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life.

NEA Big Read Book #5 | October 21, 1:00-2:00 pm

For our fifth and final meeting, the NEA Big Read Book Club will be discussing pages 234-288 of Tobias Wolff’s This Boy’s Life.

Educators’ Book Club #2 | October 9th, 4:30-5:30 pm

Join us for the second book club meeting for educators and community members. Dr. Jennifer Elemen and NSC Marketing Coordinator Eric Mora will facilitate a discussion of the NEA Big Read Book “This Boy’s Life”

This event will take place at the Monterey County Office of Education ( 901 Blanco Circle, Salinas, CA) Room D and is admission free. Please bring your own book!

Being Lgbtq+ In Salinas | October 10th, 6:00-8:00 pm

The National Steinbeck Center and Our Gente present “Being LGBTQ+ in Salinas: A Story and Resource Sharing Event” on Thursday, October 10th from 6-8PM.

Want to learn more about LGBTQ+ resources in Salinas? Join us and contribute to the Queer and Trans Salinas narrative. Join us for an evening of story and resource sharing in addition to reflections on the NEA Big Read book “This Boy’s Life.” Light refreshments served.

For more information, contact ourgente@epicentermonterey.org

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